Addressing issues of function in a family bath can be complicated as each member of the family has their own preferences and needs. The needs of a large family with kids will be distinctive from an extended family with older members who have special needs. Meeting all of these issues requires a significant amount of time in the planning phase. Spending time with all members of the family determining how best to meet everyones desires will significantly reduce future renovations, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy your new bathroom.
Compartmentalizing is the best way to make any physical space multifunctional. Designate separate areas for grooming, showering, and using the toilet. Separating the bathroom into smaller area can make the room seem dark and cramped, so consider dividers that offer privacy while allowing light to flow. Glass block and frosted - glass partitions are great choices. It is important to include lighting for each area in addition to general room lighting.
If you have a particularly large space, consider building two connected bathrooms rather than one large one. The plumbing will already be in place, saving you money. You could also try putting the shower and bathtub in the center of the room, with the toilet and sinks on either side in their own separate area. You will need to have each side of the room accessible to the door. This can allow more than one person to use the room at a time.
Storage is an important aspect of any bathroom design, but is critical in a family bath. With so many people coming in an out every day, it can become cluttered very quickly. Countertops and other surfaces can assume the job of unorganized storage areas without a proper plan. If possible, each family member should have their own separate storage space for personal grooming supplies.
Custom bathroom cabinets can be tailored to accommodate everyones storage needs. They can be made into a large dividing wall, or built in to a vanity. Under sink cabinets can incorporate a pullout step young kids bath accessibility. Hanging baskets, extra racks, and stackable bins can add to your bathrooms storage capacity. This can be supplemented with wall shelving or freestanding units installed under the sink or above the toilet. Nooks built in to the tub or shower wall can keep soap and shampoo off the tub ledge.
Spa amenities in a family bathroom can make sense, as they are something everyone can enjoy. A heated whirlpool tub will be used with enthusiasm by every generation in the house. An extra deep soaking tub or an oversized tub built for two can also be considered. If there are young children in the house, they you will want to avoid a steam - equipped unit as it can be dangerous.
You can have a stylish bathroom for your family without breaking your family budget. Affordable improvements can be made in the small spaces most people live with that will update and enhance the functionality and appearance of the room. Moving plumbing lines is expensive. Installing a new tub or shower might be cost prohibitive, but relining it might not be. Fittings, however, are worth the investment in the long run, as cheap faucets simply do not last very long.
Your family bath can incorporate several of these ideas without breaking the bank. Materials and custom work drive up the cost of bathroom remodels. Stick with less expensive materials like plastic laminate or ceramic tile. A prefabricated shower will be much more affordable than one that is custom designed. Also, large tube can be a great deal pricier that standard sized models, and are ultimately more expensive to fill with water.