Tips for Your Bathroom Plans
When you draw your bathroom plans your main thoughts will probably be on the lovely new bathroom furniture and fixtures you are going to put in. You mustnít forget, though, that you need just as much careful planning of the plumbing and electrical installations. You need to consider all the infrastructure of water pipes, waste pipes and the electrical system.
If they are already in place, such as when you are remodeling a bathroom, you are either going to have to position the new bathroom fixtures and furniture in more or less the same places as the old ones, or you will have to get the experts in to make radical alterations and extensions to the existing systems.
Bathroom Plans: Plumbing
If you live in a climate where the winters are cold and the temperature drop below zero you will need to be careful with the placement of water pipes.
A rule of thumb, when you are drawing your bathroom plans are the following: Up to about five degrees below zero, your pipes will need rubber or other insulating material sleeves, if they are in the outer walls or the roof. Your house insulation in the ceiling should be placed above the water pipes and not below. The warmth of the house will then keep them from freezing and bursting. Likewise, have the water piping installed on the inside of the wall insulation, rather than on the outside. The best place for water pipes in really cold winter climates is in the inner walls and the flooring.
If you have removable wall panels at strategic positions, you will more easily be able to inspect the joints and add extra plumbing links if you decide one day to add a new bathroom fixture, such as a bidet or an extra sink. For the same reason, keep a plan of the water and waste water lines, so that you can easily find them at a later stage.
All furniture items with drains need to be vented and trapped in the right way to prevent backups of odors. If you can, try and have all vents leading to a single main vent.
Bathroom Plans: Electricity
Most local authorities have stringent regulations governing the electrical installations in bathroom plans. This is for very good reasons. The chances of electricity from a faulty appliance, finding its way to earth (through you) are more in a bathroom than anywhere else in the house. Almost wherever you stand in a bathroom you are within reach of water, and water, we know is an excellent conductor of electricity. Wall switches for lights, fans, heaters, etc, should be at the entrance door, well away from any water fixtures and metal.
If you have plugs for shavers, hair dryers, or electric toothbrush chargers, have them well away from bathtub or sink. An extra long vanity with a mirror and a wall socket out of reach of the sink is a possibility. If you have children or elderly or disabled people using the bathroom, I would avoid having such things in the bathroom at all. A blind or elderly person may not notice a puddle of water on the floor, and step into it while holding a faulty electric razor or a hair dryer. A child or mentally disabled person can quite easily be curious to see what happens if they drop an appliance into a sink full of water or the bathtub. Go for the battery operated kind, and keep the rest in the bedroom.
If your bathroom plans are designed for music in the bathroom, this can be a really pleasant addition to the atmosphere of a relaxed soak in the tub. Unless really responsible people are going to make use of this pleasure, rather install the speakers in the bathroom and have the CD player or radio in a recessed cupboard in the wall, with its access in the next room. Apart from the safety aspect, your sound system will last a lot longer out of the humid environment of the bathroom.
The new steam spa shower cubicles normally make use of electricity as well, but when buying your shower you will find that everything is insulated and protected as long as it is professionally installed. Electricity vastly enhances the comfort and convenience of your bathroom, but serious care is required to prevent accidents. In most places, a qualified electrician with a wiremanís license will be required to do the installation, and he can advise you about all these safety issues.
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