How To Design An Ergonomic Bathroom
Ergonomic Bathroom Design: A How To Guide
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is a design philosophy that focuses on how people use the space. For example, an ergonomic office design features desks and arm rests designed to keep the user’s arms straight when using a keyboard, as the arms being straight is the most natural position.
What Is An Ergonomic Bathroom?
So, what is an ergonomic bathroom? An ergonomic bathroom is a bathroom designed with how the user interacts with it as the focus and features a number of easy to achieve quality of solutions are more typical bathroom may not have. Let’s dig into how you can design and build your own.
How To Achieve An Ergonomic Bathroom
There are many ways you can create an ergonomic bathroom, some are simple and small steps you can take right now, while others are larger scale tasks for major life improvement. Let’s start at the beginning, with the design phase.
Design A Floor Plan
The first step you should take when designing an ergonomic bathroom is drawing a to scale floor plan. This is when you draw a top down version of your space on graph paper. The reason you use graph paper is because the squares can act as reference points, allowing you to draw your image to a specific scale.
By drawing a floor plan, you can then figure out the optimal places for every item you wish to have in your bathroom. This is imperative to ergonomic design because it allows you to figure out how to optimize your space and make sure it is used efficiently, effectively and in a way that suits you.
So, you’re ready to draw your floor plan, but what fixtures should you include? The ergonomic design philosophy dictates you focus on function and quality of life. For example, if you have a large family, a double basin or an additional basin on top of your toilet gives your space extra utility that allows multiple people to use it at once. This is ergonomic function and an example of following your personal needs to effectively design your space.
Another design priority should be to save space. This is because ergonomics focuses on the idea that humans innately need to move, therefore maximizing the space you have to move around in can severely improve your quality of life. To effectively save space, focus on space saving fixtures like quadrant shower enclosures and wall hung sinks. You should also have your fixtures and furniture situated against the walls, to leave as much room in the central space as possible.
Accessibility & Ease Of Use
To expand on these ideas, you should focus on ease of use and accessibility. Ergonomic design is all about ease of use and comfort. Invest in fixtures and furniture that can make your bathroom accessible and comfortable, such as comfort height toilets and grab bars. By doing this, you will drastically reduce any stress gained from using the bathroom.
The ideas discussed so far also relate to the concept of feng shui which is worth keeping in mind when designing ergonomically. Feng shui is a Chinese concept that posits furniture should be arranged in a balanced way that reflects nature, so the user can reap the awards of being synergetic with their environment. Feng Shui suggests that you should put the most crucial elements of your room far away from your door diagonally adjacent to it, so that you can see the door without being in line with the door. This is called The Commanding Position. The view of the door, while not being directly reachable from the angle of the door is said to help people feel safer and more comfortable in their rooms.
Ensure The Room Is Safe
An easy way to ruin your ergonomics is to make the space difficult or dangerous to use. This is quite common with bathrooms, as water can often make the floor and other surfaces slippery. To avoid this, there are a few steps you can take.
You could segment your bathroom, distancing your shower enclosure from the rest of your utilities, to ensure that any water dripping from you when you exit is localized specifically to near that fixture and will not affect the remaining ones.
You can also ensure you use non-slip surfaces, such as anti-slip shower trays and mats. Using these in your bathroom will reduce the danger of water and allow you to use your space uninterrupted.
Finally, you could tackle the issue from the other side and convert your bathroom into a wet room, designed to be wet which would embrace the space rather than try and defeat it.
Long Lasting, Easy To Clean Fixtures
A lot of ergonomics comes down to quality of life and ease of use, this extends to cleaning and maintenance too. Ergonomic design focuses on practical designs that are either easy to maintain, do not need much maintenance or ideally, both. We suggest investing in stone resin basins and stone resin shower trays, as they are easy to clean and can last for a life time with minimal maintenance.
Storage gives you easy to access options and in turn, easy to access options improve your quality of life. Installing cupboards, bathroom vanities and bathroom shelves go a long way to make your space even more practical. We suggest finding ways to increase your storage capacity without taking up much extra space, to keep your room open and flowing. To achieve this, try storage solutions such as in built basin vanity cupboards and bathroom shelves over the top of toilets.
High Quality Lighting
A simple, but highly important aspect, that is often overlooked when designing ergonomically is good lighting. Having clear and crisp lighting that allows you to see everything and doesn’t require you to squint from brightness or darkness goes a long way to developing a space where you can feel comfortable and thrive. This is especially important in spaces like the bathroom where you may shave or handle delicate objects, like aftershave bottles.
Now, a high tech way to approach ergonomics is automation. Afterall, automation is about making less work for the user, which in turn makes the space easier to use and more comfortable. Consider items such as demister mirrors, bidets and electric toothbrushes as little extras that act as the perfect ergonomic finishing touches.
Ergonomics is all about making you happy, so if your design makes you happy, you’re probably on the right track. Just remember to always consider how you act in your day to day and how you will use the space, with these considerations in mind, you can’t go wrong.