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Renovating tips for a family-friendly bathroom

By Dan Sowden

A bathroom makes a big impact on the value of your house. Here’s how to make it family friendly and stylish.

It may be the smallest room in the house, but the bathroom makes a big impact, especially with so many stunning options now available in tiling, baths and vanities.

A bathroom renovation can add tens of thousands of dollars to a property and, at the same time, enhance family life. But some of the new luxury options can be a little impractical when they’re used regularly by kids.

It’s important to make great decisions that are affordable as well as adding value to your home. Here’s our guide to family-friendly bathroom renovation ideas that are beautiful as well as practical.

Make bath-time the best time

A bath is an essential as every parent knows. It’s a great place to calm down the kids and get them ready for the evening and bedtime. Acrylic baths offer the best value and safer option than say, an iron bath. The new freestanding baths are the height of luxury, but with kids splashing everywhere, gunge can quickly build up down the back in hard-to-access corners. Get the best of both worlds by choosing the styles that look like they’re freestanding but actually fit flush to the wall. It will also give you some corners to stick the rubber ducky and soap on!

Get your head around the shower

Select an adjustable, detachable shower-head and hand shower to cater for every age group in the house. It’s especially practical for washing hair and will allow you to ‘hose off’ kids on the occasions when they need it, like after a particularly muddy sports day or a day at the beach. Hand-held nozzles also makes cleaning the shower easier because you can get into the corners and rinse off tiles properly.

Flushed with success

No one enjoys scrubbing the loo, especially when there are little boys in the house! Reduce dust and mess build up around the S bend and awkward spots by choosing a toilet that runs flush to the wall, or alternatively hangs from the wall. It will make cleaning so much easier. Also choose a soft-closing seat to prevent it slamming down. A small step stool from IKEA or Bunnings makes access easy.

Sinks and vanities

Make sure your vanity doesn’t have sharp edges. Avoid protruding basins as this reduces the risk of children bumping their heads. If you have the space, consider installing a double vanity so there’s no fighting over the tap at teeth brushing time. Vanity tops can be stained or scratched easily if you choose the wrong materials. Quartz and Caeserstone are high-end materials that are scratch-resistant and come in a variety of designs and colours. They’re better for high traffic and splash areas than say, timber. Glass for your shower recess and glossy porcelain tiles will maintain their original lustre even with punishing usage.

Tile tips

Avoid the temptation to choose a white tiled floor in a family bathroom. It will show every piece of dust, dirt or hair minutes after you’ve cleaned it. Go for a more beige or sandy colour, or consider a texture that will make footmarks and regular wear less noticeable. Make sure the floor tiling is non-slip. A good choice is mosaic tiling because its many grout lines offer greater grip. Tile to the ceiling if this is practical, especially behind the bath. That way the kids can splash to their hearts content and you don’t have to worry about paintwork.

Don’t get into hot water

Ask your bathroom designer about new devices on the market that will stop children being scalded by hot water. A temperature-control feature in the bathroom will keep the children safe and be an asset if you wish to sell your home in the future. Easy-grip lever-handle taps can help avoid accidents, too and are easier for kids to manage.

We hope you find these tips helpful!

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