Electrical Planning – Bathroom and En-Suite

Here are a few thoughts about electrical planning for your new bathrooms.

  • Fan over the shower. I like these better than the centrally mounted fans.
  • Heating unit. A lot of people like those 3 in 1 heating/fan/light units but I prefer separate lights,heaters and extraction fans.
  • Heated towel rail.
  • Power sockets If you really want them try and avoid putting them in a place where you will not be tempted to touch them with wet hands.
  • The ‘lady of the house’ will probably appreciate good lighting of her face (with warm white lights) when she stands in front of the mirror. It is easier for her to get her make-up right.

Luxury Bathrooms

When it comes to luxury I’m not really an expert as I am more a; get in, S**t, Shave, Shampoo, Shower (SSSS) and get out.

A friend of mine however went the five star treatment.

His bathroom includes a two person spa, flat screen TV, and ‘champagne fridge’ within easy reach of the spa, a bit out of my league.

Another luxury fitting which is gaining a following are those ‘Japanese Bidet Toilet Seats’. If you want one of these you will need a power point behind the toilet.

Interesting Fact

Do you know that in England the Electrical Wiring Regulations don’t allow power sockets or wall mounted electrical switches in bathrooms.

All switches must be ceiling mounted pull switches.

The Australian Regulations are far more relaxed about people touching 220 volt switches with wet hands, or dropping the hair dryer in the basin!


For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists

in the ‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


3 in 1 Bathroom Heaters or Separate Units?

In a previous house we had one of those 3 in 1 bathroom light/heater/extraction fan.

I can’t say I was impressed. . . . It suffers from the Swiss Army Knife Syndrome…… doing lots of things, but none of them as well as a purpose designed tool.

It seems more sensible to me to have the fan directly above the shower and extract the steam at it’s source, rather than let it drift across the ceiling and then extract it.

As far as Lighting is concerned it’s easier to see yourself clearly in the mirror if the light is in the area between the mirror and you, rather than behind you. . .

I think that ladies putting on make-up in the bathroom will agree!

For heating I never seemed to get much heat from the heat lights. (One exception was a unit in a hotel bathroom with a low 2.1m ceiling)

The best bathroom heating solution for us has been a wall mounted fan heater

A couple of low price alternatives are:

  1. Leave the door partially open overnight allows enough heat from the ducted heating to flow through to the bathroom in the morning.
  2. Switch the bathroom fan on a few minutes before your shower and it will pull the warm air into the bathroom.


Thinking about underfloor heating? . . . Check out this Link : Underfloor Heating


For more see Bathroms and Ensuites


Separate Toilets?

Most house plans show a toilet in the master bathroom but a separate toilet in the other bathroom……………. Why?

Maybe it’s because you don’t want visitors to see the bathroom, but where are they going to wash their hands?

Is it because you want somewhere quiet to go and read?

In England the only time people generally had a separate toilet was downstairs when the main bathroom with a toilet was upstairs.

I used to hang my college certificates in the downstairs toilet in one house. . . . That’s because I think you should never be in a dignified position when you are reviewing your achievements.

To make your house more accessible for a disabled visitor, or even old or injured family members, it’s easier for the toilet to be in the bathroom.

To get an idea go and look how a disabled toilet is organised in your local shopping centre.

I suppose if you have a big family queuing for the bathroom it might be a problem but then I would have though the best thing would be, rather than have a bathroom and a toilet to have two shower rooms each having a washbasin and a toilet.

With the shower rooms being smaller than a bathroom they probably wouldn’t take up much more space than a bathroom plus toilet.

Perhaps in one room you could have a half bath rather than a shower tray so you could still be able to give small children and babies a bath.

Must have a separate toilet

If you really want a separate toilet, as many people do, here are a couple of reasons why you might think of opening the door outwards rather than inwards as is typical.

    • You can make the toilet area a bit smaller which can help fit it in.
    • If someone passes out they will most likely fall forward against the door. If the door opens inwards how would you get them out?

One question I haven’t resolved is how should you decorate a separate toilet and should you install magazine rack?

After all reading on the toilet is the only time most of us men do any multi-tasking.


As you can see I can’t take this issue too seriously so here’s an appropriate web page: Strange Toilets

N.B I hope you liked the photo of the Avocado Bathroom. . . it was very trendy when we were re-modelling our first home

For other posts about House layouts see Plans

For Toilets see Plumbing

More plumbing information and 24 pages of Check Lists in the ‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


Bathroom Fashion 2

There are a lot of expensive bathroom fittings on the home shows and showrooms, but are they really practical?

I saw this wash basin the other day. . . . . .But how do you clean under and behind it?

Perhaps all the people who design these fittings employ cleaners so they don’t care about how practical it is!

As well as making cleaning difficult this free standing bath provides a great hiding space for spiders.

How would you feel relaxing in the bath if a big huntsman came walking up the wall!

I wouldn’t have a freestanding bath unless I could have 1m of clear space all round the bath. At current house building costs the extra space needed would be adding an extra $3-$4,000 to your build on top of the cost of the bath.

Here is a wash basin in our current rental property which has two issues:

  • The dirt trap between the basin and the wall.
  • Square section taps (The issue is water doesn’t run off the horizontal surfaces so there are always stains on the chrome)

For lots more about choosing what goes in your new house see : anewhouse Guide to Selection/Pre-Start