10 Simple Steps for Planning a Minimalist Bathroom

minimalist bathroom sink and tap

Contemporary design is all about minimalism. Homeowners recognise the stresses and anxieties that come from excess and from being overly attached to material possessions. Minimalism is all about freeing oneself from unnecessary clutter and focusing on what’s truly important. This is what makes it so appealing.

We’ve put together an easy to follow guide to help homeowners achieve the minimalist design through renovations, so the overall experience remains as stress free as the desirable outcome. In truth, these simple steps could be applied to any renovation, but the bathroom is a great place to start. Here are ten simple steps for planning minimalist bathroom renovations.

1. Seek Out Design Inspiration

Every great idea begins with a spark of inspiration. Whether it’s a design featured online that caught your attention or a desirable solution to a drawback of the current layout, your inspiration will set the foundation for what’s to come. So if you lack ideas, seek them out! Read design blogs, lifestyle magazines, watch reality TV or visit some showrooms. There’s no shortage of inspiration out there.

Selecting a style right off the bat will also help narrow down your choices and simplify the entire process. Minimalism is all about keeping it simple, so try not to get too carried away.

minimalist bathroom planning

2. Set Achievable Goals

Now that you’ve found some inspiration, it’s time to set minimalist bathroom goals. Write down everything you hope to achieve with the new space. Are you happy with the current layout? Is there enough lighting? Will the amenities support a growing family? Of course, there’s a lot to consider beyond the fun additions like recessed lighting, double vanities and heated towel racks. But you can still add these to the list.

Your focus and expectations could be different if renovating for profit, and the work may be more structural than cosmetic, so budget accordingly. You can expand and shave items from the list along the way. But it’s always smart to have a clear set of achievable goals right from the start.

3. Draw Up a Basic Floor Plan

You don’t need a degree in graphic design to create a floor plan. Instead, take advantage of free versions of design software like SketchUp or EdrawMax to craft a detailed layout of your dream minimalist bathroom. Alternatively, a pen and paper will do just fine, so long as you keep your drawing to scale.

Whip out a tape measure and get accurate measurements of the current space, so you and your builder/tradesperson can visualise the new layout and know what they’re working with. This can also help identify potential issues like access to running water and electricity. You can always lock in an interior designer or architect for a challenging renovation.

bathroom design

4. Set Your Minimalist Bathroom Budget

It’s estimated that the average minimalist bathroom renovation costs in Australia are $17,500. Of course, this could differ depending on the size of your bathroom and your goals. Ultimately, you will know better than anyone how much you can spend on renovations.

Here’s a savings tip: you can save up to $5,000 by choosing not to relocate access to water and electricity. You can still upgrade the shower, toilet and vanity, but keep costs to a minimum by having them installed in the existing locations.

Homes to Love breaks down the costs of renovations with 45-50 per cent going to materials, 30-35 per cent to labour and 20-25 per cent for fees, taxes, GST and levies. Consider what can be completed DIY, like painting and removing old fixtures/tiles to reduce costs if needed. But don’t take on any plumbing or electrical work. Leave that to the qualified professionals.

5. Even a Minimalist Bathroom Needs Ventilation

One aspect of bathroom design that’s easily overlooked is ventilation. Every bathroom needs some form of ventilation, whether it’s an exhaust fan in the ceiling or at least a window that you’re willing to open every time someone runs hot water

Hot water causes condensation to form on surfaces which can then result in mould and mildew. In addition, timber and plasterboard can rot, and metal structures rust, so ventilation is essential. The easiest solution here is to have a ceiling light with a built in exhaust fan. There are many styles available with options that won’t mess with your dream minimalist bathroom.

minimalist bathroom planning

6. Seek Approval Where Required

Low impact renovations can usually proceed without development approval, but these rules do change from state to state and even from council to council. Internal renovations that don’t affect the structural integrity of a home should be exempt. But it’s always advisable to check with the local governing body before going ahead with the work.

According to YourHome, plumbing, gas fitting and electrical work do require approval and inspection. The licensed plumber, gas fitter, or electrician who completes the work can sign off when complete and submit the paperwork to the appropriate department.

7. It’s Time to Go Shopping

Once the previous steps are complete, the fun well and truly begins! There’s no shortage of showrooms and online retailers stocking tiles, amenities and appliances, so be sure to shop around if you haven’t already nailed down your choices.

The great thing about deciding what to buy from online listings is that most items include their dimensions, so you can quickly refer to the floor plan to ensure things like vanities, walk in showers, and tubs will fit within your new minimalist bathroom.

You can also request tradespeople to purchase items for you who may better understand the exact quantity of tiles required or may be able to secure a discount through a bulk trade supplier.

minimal bathroom design

8. Lock in Your Tradespeople

For a complete bathroom overhaul, you will likely require the skills of a plumber, electrician, a tiler and maybe a builder, plasterer and painter. It all depends on the scope of work. Remember, plumbing and electrical work must be completed by qualified tradespeople, and tiling needs to be done right, so water drains correctly.

Before locking in a professional, ask to see trades licenses and receive a copy of their up to date public liability insurance for your records. Some tradies will need to be booked well in advance while others can get there much quicker with some specialising in same day service for certain types of work.

9. Keep Detailed Records

All invoices, receipts, insurance info and contracts should be kept safe and well organised for easy access during the completion of the work. When making arrangements with professionals, always ask for it in writing. This way, there can be no discrepancies between your expectations and the work to be completed.

Keeping detailed records is one of the best ways to ensure your minimalist bathroom renovations remain a stress free experience and protect you against those worst case scenarios. Delays are common, so keeping a renovation diary could help along the way.

minimal bathroom example

10. Recycle, Sell or Upcycle

Instead of having a skip bin haul the old building materials to landfill, consider putting them to better use. For example, many scrap yards accept old timber and tiles for recycling. Plus, there’s bound to be someone on Marketplace happy to receive your unwanted vanity, toilet or showerscreen. Green thumbs could even upcycle an old bathtub, transforming it into a garden planter box or compost bin.

Sure, sending old materials to the landfill is easy, but it’s not good for the planet and certainly won’t aid anyone out there looking to complete renovations on a budget.

And with those steps complete, you should be well on your way to enjoying the comfort and contemporary design of a brand new minimalist bathroom. If you’re still looking for someone to install the new shower, bath or toilet, consider contacting our team of professionals. Book a Plumber Online has local plumbers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a wide range of residential services.