Tips for Planning a Powder Room

shutterstock_548922013Putting in a half bath is one of the most common renovation projects. It’s an easy way to add value to the price of your home and a convenient addition for older homes not equipped with a powder room for guests.

Having a dedicated guest bathroom offers several benefits:

  • Easy to keep clean: Be ready for visitors at a moment’s notice.
  • Maintains privacy: Who wants to worry about company seeing your dirty clothes and prescription bottles?
  • Design freedom: A small bath allows you to splurge on materials or go with an outside-the-box theme.

Once you’ve got a powder room, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Here are a few ideas for planning the perfect half bath for your home.

The Essentials

The powder room is a unique space in the home in that bigger is decidedly not better. A half-bath shouldn’t be spacious. It should be just the right size. Shoot for 3 to 4 by 6 to 8 feet with 5×10’ as a maximum.

Always include all three critical elements: toilet, sink & mirror. You’re better off going with a tighter fit than foregoing a small vanity.

Conserve Those Inches

For room dimensions on the small side, opt for a traditional toilet as opposed to the more modern elongated bowl. Saving three inches can make a world of difference and comfort isn’t as important in a bathroom that’s only used on occasion.

Remember that the sink is only there for a quick wash of the hands. You’re better off going with a basin that’s fancy and small. Try to maintain a minimum of 24 inches in front of the sink.

Go Bespoke on Storage

A vanity with cupboard and drawers is not a powder room requirement, but it’s nice to have a place to store extra toilet paper, hand soap and perhaps cleaning products or a plunger.

Instead of trying to squeeze in a pre-built vanity that just doesn’t fit right, commission a custom cabinet to best take advantage of limited space. It’s a small investment that pays big dividends.

Splurge With the Details

Dress your powder room to impress. With so few square feet to decorate you can afford to upgrade the flooring, wall covering, lighting and fixtures.

A gorgeous vessel sink and high-end faucet can really set the tone for a relatively low cost compared to what a standard room renovation looks like.

A Boost of Extra Privacy

Given that a powder room is generally located near the living room or dining area to accommodate guests, consider adding additional insulation as a buffer against sound.

  • Cellulose insulation can easily be blown into wall cavities if you are not replacing the drywall.
  • Use Type X 5/8 inch fireproof drywall as it’s denser and more sound resistant.
  • Seal with acoustic caulk.
  • Wrap pipes before closing the wall. The same material used to protect against freezing also absorbs sound.
  • Install a door sweep and/or door gasket.

Speaking of privacy, try to aim for discrete door placement. Ideally the toilet will not be visible with the door open.

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