Ah, the bathroom. It’s such an important part of every house and flat, and yet often the most neglected in terms of both maintenance and improvement. Everyone naturally wants to feel at ease, refreshed and relaxed after a trip to their bathroom, but if you don’t actually end up feeling this way after using it then it could probably stand some genuine reworking. Let’s look at four indicators that it’s potentially time to remodel/rework your bathroom:

1. Safety

How can you tell if your bathroom is unsafe? Well, the most obvious indicator is if you or a member of your family has suffered an accident within. The National Safety Council has stated that at least 20,000 people a year are injured in their bathrooms, most of whom are children. Slipping and falling due to water gathering in spots in your bathroom rather than quickly drying are the most common causes of such things.

If a bathroom is poorly designed, a bath or shower may allow water to spill very easily. Additionally, water spilled from the sink or after you or your family have showered or bathed may collect if floor tiles are cracked, linoleum is ripped, etc. These are all potentially life threatening vulnerabilities. If you or your family have had accidents, then get a plumber or other such qualified worker to check your bathroom for all of these possible hazards. You shouldn’t need to use towels to absorb water for example. If your bathroom is well designed, water will not end up gathering in places after minor spillages.

2. Feelings of claustrophobia

Have you ever felt trapped or uncomfortable in any room within your own home? Most of us would be happy if the answer was no. Unfortunately, not every architect was accurate in their approach to design and thus we sometimes end up with claustrophobia-inducing rooms. Overhanging ceilings, overly narrow spaces, etc.

A bathroom is perhaps the worst place to potentially be a claustrophobic space for anyone. You go to the bathroom to cleanse your body and thus feel cleaner mentally (and possibly spiritually). If it’s cramped due to poor design, this could seriously affect the well being of yourself and your family. So why not take the time to turn it into the opposite of this nightmare; a well spaced area where you can feel truly at ease?

If you can’t alter the actual size literally for various reasons, then think outside the box for more unusual ideas. For example, if a bathtub takes up too much space on the floor, replace it with a shower stall. Think about how the size of everything will impact on everything else; sink, shower, bath, airing cupboard (if you have one), etc.

Also, think about how small things can massively affect the ambience of a room: poorly placed lights, lack of (or overly small) mirrors, windows, or even things such as how where objects are placed can affect the shape and contour of the bathroom as a whole. These will all give you the insight you need to know how to best improve your bathroom.

3. Dullness caused by bad decor and outmoded facilities

No matter how well designed your bathroom might appear to be, it may be lacking in the simplest of things: good colour and attractive facilities. Imagine, for instance, a bathroom with chipped beige paint on the walls, rugs on a carpeted green floor – carpeted! Why isn’t it tiled? And, in addition to all this, a 70s style sink, bath and shower. Unless you love 1970s decor and questionable design features, or you have some love for brutalist architecture and ugly functionality, would you ever choose this?

Look at your bathroom carefully, with a really, genuinely critical eye. How do the colours match? Is there some old style beauty matched poorly with a functional but cheap modern design? Is there a gloomy 70’s style to the windows and paint but modern looking sinks and a bath? If the answer to any of the above is yes, then it’s not likely to be a space you’d enjoy being in to cleanse yourself and relax.

So what can you do to change it?

Have stuff repainted so that the colours all match up. Think about the ambience you want your bathroom to have – ideally – and write it down, then get someone in to make the changes you requested. Above all else, don’t settle for less than what’s ideal. A bathroom shouldn’t be functional. It should make you feel good.

4. Physical impairments and the bathroom

You want your bathroom to be a safe space for all. If it isn’t, then look at why. It’s probably because it isn’t any good for a member of your family who is less physically able due to age, illness or disability.

Tips: Obviously, you want to place handrails as the top priority, as they are the best way to ensure safety for all. Think also about nonslip floors and raised toilets, although they may not strictly be necessary.

Look at what the physically impaired person in your family struggles with the most and give them whatever will help them best. They can’t see well? Get brighter and bigger lights. Look at the height level of various objects and see if they can be altered to better suit your impaired family member.

In conclusion: Over all and above all else, take a look at your bathroom with the most critical eye. Approach the room not as if you’ve been there for however long you’ve lived there, but as if you’re a first time buyer or looking to rent and this is the room where you will be not only washing but also relaxing, as you should be. Observe the decor. Look at the windows. Smell the air. How do the taps sound when you turn them on? What colour is the water? How clear is it? How does the room actually make you feel? And most of all, if you were a first time buyer or looking to rent and had never been here before, would you be happy with one of the most important rooms in the house? If the answer to this last question is no, even just slightly, then it’s time to make improvements and live the life you want.