The PJ Team
How to Design a Bathroom That’s Easy to Clean
There are many things to consider when planning a new bathroom, but how to keep it clean might not be top of mind when you’re looking at faucet finishes and tile colors. With a little forward thinking, though, you can get a bathroom that stays fresh and tidy with minimal effort.
Professional advice from: Josephine Lecouflé-Vinet, interior design consultant at JLV Design; Eva Byrne of houseology; and Ana Rezende, senior designer at Ripples Bathrooms
Keep Mold at Bay
“Mold is the No. 1 enemy in the bathroom,” Eva Byrne says, “so all choices should relate to preventing it from growing.”
To stop mold from developing in the first place, Byrne says, a ventilation fan is key. This should be in addition to a window or a skylight that opens.
Byrne suggests choosing an inline fan, where the motor is located remotely, out of the room. “An inline fan has a minimal noise level that isn’t as maddening as the din made by conventional fans,” she says.
Tile Walls for Quick Cleaning
To cut down on time spent repainting or cleaning walls, go for a tiled finish rather than paint or wallpaper. “Painted walls can get dirty very quickly in a bathroom,” Ana Rezende says, “but tiled walls are quick and easy to clean with a damp cloth.”
This will be particularly useful in areas where hands are frequently brushing against walls, such as near the sink, next to wall-hung towel hooks and around light switches.
Install a Waste Trap
“Little and often” is a good mantra when it comes to cleaning, and a small preventative measure such as a waste trap can be a big help in cutting down on housework. “Always make sure you have a [drain] with a hair trap in both your sink and shower,” Rezende says. “You can then frequently remove it and quickly clean it to avoid hair clogging up waste pipes and prevent it from becoming an issue.”
Choose Wall-Hung Features
“Use a wall-hung vanity unit and [toilet] to keep the floor as free as possible,” Rezende says. “It makes it so much easier to clean around the entire area, especially the floor.”
“All [fixtures] should be easy to clean,” Byrne says. “Look at the toilet seat: Can you reach all the crevices with a cloth? Streamlined [fixtures] will be easiest to clean.”
Select Easy-Care Flooring
Practicality is key in a bathroom, and your choice of flooring can be crucial to the amount of time you need to spend cleaning it.
“Don’t put textured porcelain tiles on the floor, especially if there’s a [toilet] in the bathroom, where people tend to walk with their shoes on,” Josephine Lecouflé-Vinet says.
Byrne says: “A joint-free floor will be the most hygienic and easiest to clean. For example, terrazzo or cushion-backed vinyl.”
Go With a Hinged Shower Door
Shower doors and panels get soaked frequently, so they’ll need cleaning often to prevent mold and limescale buildup.
Byrne recommends choosing a hinged shower door as opposed to a sliding or bifold one for an easy-clean bathroom. “A hinged shower door is the best choice, as there are fewer spots for water to linger and mold to form,” she says.
Be Aware of Hard-Water Buildup
“Always use white grout if you have hard water,” Lecouflé-Vinet says. The reason? Minerals in hard water can cause a white bloom to build up on tiles and grout, and this will be much more visible on dark surfaces.
You’ll still need to keep on top of cleaning pale-colored tiles and grout, but the daily buildup will be much less noticeable.
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