Skip to main content

Design a hygienic bathroom

By March 31, 2020Bathrooms

With so much uncertainty in so many areas due to the global health crisis, many house-moves and renovation work projects are, rightly, paused for now. 

However, to the extent it’s possible to do so, we suggest continuing to work on finalising the planning/ designing/ decision-making during this ‘on hold’ period.  When normal-ish life resumes, you can have made (most of) the remaining design/ choosing, etc. decisions and obtained related costings, with less time pressure than usual, and be ready to start ordering and getting on site at an appropriate time. 

Working on your renovation project may also be a welcome distraction…  We’ll continue to share content to advise and inspire.

Hygiene-led bathroom design

As the company germaphobe, I have an ongoing obsession with designing sleek, stylish and hygienic bathrooms. In light of recent events, I’m sharing my inside tips on designing and upkeeping a truly clean bathroom.

First- the Loo!

As the epicentre for germs, it is important that you carefully consider the fittings and location. Traditional flushing toilets create water vapour when they flush – the smells and germs can escape (up to 6ft) from the pan when you flush with the lid open.

A few ways to reduce this spray, and its effects:

  • Invest in a Toto WC, which has ‘tornado technology’ specially engineered to suck down all water, debris and eliminate the aerosol effect. The ceramic is also extremely smooth, allowing less bacterial build up. (You could even invest in a Japanese-style lid with all the bells and whistles…)
  • Invest in a rimless pan and ceramic seat – makes cleaning easy and avoids build-up of bacteria which cause smells (and disease)
  • Encourage users to put down the lid before flushing by placing the flush plate behind the lid
  • Position the WC away from towel rails, sink and open storage (where possible use closed storage – especially for toothbrushes etc)
Head to Toto to find out more about ‘tornado technology’

Next, the basin

  • Surfaces should always be easy to clean; the best option is a single piece sink with worktop/ soap space as necessary. Ideally the edges are smooth with seamless joins to avoid bacteria or limescale building up.
  • Taps should also be easy to clean and maintain. Wall mounted taps are easiest to clean around and levers are preferred over cross handles- especially when you can turn off with an elbow.
  • Ensure there’s space for soap- whether that’s a bar, liquid bottle or a wall mounted refill bottle. It should be easy to reach/ fill up and use.
  • Storage- discourage use of the worktop as storage – this could easily be splashed/ collect bacteria. Provide plenty of closed storage- for example a vanity and mirror cabinet. Ensure the parts you touch can be easily cleaned- handless designs (such as grooves) are especially easy to clean and maintain.
  • Finally, if you have space, consider a double sink- particularly if you’re sharing the bathroom with someone who has a different approach to sink use/ cleaning!
Dornbracht Vaia lever handle shower controls
These elegant lever controls by Dornbracht can be turned with an elbow
Modern bathroom with white marble wall tiles styled by Absolute Project Management
Double basin, built-in storage and a single worksurface
Small modern storage space and the mirror storage cabinet styled by Absolute Project Management
Mirror cabinets create lots of closed storage

The shower/ bath

Choose fittings which are easy to clean and maintain

  • Ensure you can remove all parts easily for regular cleaning- especially shower cubicle doors or high-up shower heads.
  • Ceramic shower trays and baths work best for cleaning. If you’d like a fully tiled showering area – large scale porcelain tiles with high quality grout work best to avoid build-up of scum.
  • Where possible, include a tiled recessed shelf rather than a shower basket.
  • Consider minimalist tap fittings – levers, overhead showers and side bath fillers work best as they are touched less.


  • Where possible all fittings should be wall mounted – this makes the space seem larger and makes cleaning the floor much easier. Ideally the skirting will be formed of the same floor tiles, where the rest of the wall is painted.
  • Splashbacks should be included behind basins and around the whole showering area. For frequently used toilets or spaces where pets are washed, tile around the whole lower section of walls – makes cleaning easy and ensures the space stands up to wear for longer.

Bathrooms are extremely personal spaces and often have space constraints – so it’s important to engage a professional to guide you through the design process and help you choose beautiful, good quality fittings. If you’d like help with your bathroom design please do get in touch.

See more of our bathroom design guides

Share this: