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Really think about the space in the bathroom when designing it

Really think about the space in the bathroom when designing it

If young children are going to be the main users of the bathroom, choose fittings that will accommodate short legs: a wall-hung basin, for instance, that can be set at an appropriate height; a toilet with a low - level cistern and a lever that is easy to reach; a bath with a relatively low side and a flat, non-slip base; a shower with a sliding shower head rather than a fixed one and, if possible, a thermostatic safety control to prevent small hands suddenly causing a surge of scalding water.

Many an accidental bang on the head can be avoided if you wall-mount the bath taps and mixer spout; this will also keep the controls out of reach. Me sure that at least one cupboard is fitted with a secure lock to keep medicines and cleaning agents out of harm's way. Buy a rubber suction mat for the bottom of the bath and a large, absorbent bath mat for the floor outside. Flooring generally should be non-slip even when wet and this applies especially to the areas by the bath, the shower, the basin and the toilet. lf you fit a lock on the inside of the bathroom door, position it well out of your children's reach.

Some of these guidelines apply for the elderly as well, such as a shower with a thermostatic safety control and non-slip flooring. A shower door that opens inwards or slides will reduce the likelihood of water dripping onto the floor, making it slippery. The bath should similarly have a flat, non-slip base out, in this case, a high side is a help rather than a hindrance, allowing access to the bath without too much bending or straining. Some sort of bath-chair on a swing arm may be required for the very infirm, position the bath to accommodate the fixings.

Choose taps or levers that are easy to turn and add helpful extras' such as grip rails in the bath and shower and judiciously placed seats. A bathroom plan should also incorporate changes of floor level, if appropriate. Here, the shower area is defined by a lowered floor which, together with the partition wall, retains most of the fall of water, allowing the shower to be used at the same time as the rest of the bathroom.

The flooring throughout the room runs to skirting-board height and the join with the tiles is well sealed to prevent any water seeping through. The wall-hung toilet and basin stand clear of the floor, making it an easy-to-clean surface. Both bath and basin are fitted with streamlined modern taps, and a white ladder rack towel rail makes good use of the otherwise redundant space at one end of the bath.