Typically people take for granted the convenience of half baths. For the most part bathrooms are defined by the mixture of critical fixtures they contain. This pint sized room is normally furnished with only a sink and toilet and is sometimes referred to as a powder room.
Contrary to popular belief, these convenient chambers and powder rooms are two distinct habitats, both intended for different purposes. While the similar washroom space may hold the same fixtures, a half bath is primarily for family use whereas a powder room services visitors to your home as well as accommodating household members.
Its all About Location
These handy little spaces are a convenient alternative to the family’s main bathing area when things get a little dicey in the morning rush hour. Location will determine the ultimate usage of the space, so when planning this small room for washing up, you first must determine who will chiefly be using the facility.
Despite the diminutive space of the chamber, there are innovative ways to make the facility appear larger and more user friendly. Pedestal sinks are great but a novel space saving strategy another recommendation is to install a pull out sink.
With this approach, the vessel is hidden away behind a drawer façade until needed at which time the sink attached to a roll out drawer conveniently pulls out from the wall on drawer hinges to reveal a fully functional basin and counter space.
Maximize the Limited Space
Another space saving idea for your ensuite is to construct a narrow section of countertop on either side of the sink extending over the toilet tank for display and storage of toiletries and rolled up hand towels. Make sure the section above the toilet tank is hinged so that the tank remains accessible.
Using the cavities between the wall studs in the interior walls of your privy can also be used for shallow shelving. A sliding pocket door means you can place you toilet or sink where you want without having to worry about how your door swings.
The minimal ideal space for such a comfort station would be larger than 4×6 feet. The three most common room layouts for these types of facilities locate the sink and toilet on same the wall, opposite walls or adjacent wall. If space is at a premium, you can even fit your washroom into an unused closet or extra hallway space.
Also take into consideration that adding a new smaller bath next to an existing bathroom or laundry area is much more cost effective than adding a washroom in a part of your home that is too remote from your existing plumbing.
Arranging The Bathroom
When planning the layout for the room, the fixtures have to be located efficiently with respect to one another and with enough clearance in and around them to make them convenient and accessible to use. You must remember however that what you actually see is only half the picture.
What most first time bath renovators don’t take into consideration is the network of water supply and waste piping behind the scenes. A good rule of thumb is to keep as many fixtures on the same wall as possible when arranging the space to save money and reconstruction when upgrading or putting in a new rest room.
These small rooms make a useful second bathroom, especially if located on the main floor. If you intend to use your half bath as a powder room, locate it on the main floor for a convenient facility for your guest, close to, but not in plain view of the living or dining room. If you can, try to locate the toilet so that it won’t be seen when the door is open by anticipating the direction of the door swing to help shield the toilet from view.
Accessorize to Impress Your Guest
As a powder room, this “little ladies room” can leave a memorable impression on your guest, if this is the case, here you may consider decorating the room with more stylish materials. Splurge a little on fancy faucets and surface materials, so that when your friends go to use the facility they will be impressed by your design prowness.
If your residence has only one family bathroom, you can reduce the morning dash for the washroom by adding a half-bath. These tiny spaces can sometime appear claustrophobic, so adding a wall mirror or a window does wonders to open up the area. Select materials that are durable and easy to maintain.
Design for Functionality
Because half baths are primarily used by family members you should focus your remodeling efforts on your own comfort and convenience and not your guest even if the improvements don’t add to the resale value of the house. In the process if you add some real value to your home, then that is a plus.
Unlike your master bathroom, remember it is much more important to satisfy your present family’s needs than to try to figure out the desired taste of future buyers if you eventually want to sell your home.