Designing Bathrooms for Children
The most important thing to remember when planning a children’s bathroom is that they only stay small for a short time. Toddlers turn into gangly first-string high school basketball players in short order. Consider things that will work now as well as for adults:
Here are some ideas with design flexibility…things that will grow with the children:
- Adjustable hand-held showers mounted on pole offer flexibility. They can be moved up as the child grows and can work with an adjacent permanent shower head. I have always liked hand-held shower heads because they are so handy when cleaning the shower.
- Find space to tuck a stool for use in reaching the vanity instead of installing a lower cabinet. Today, the preferred vanity height is 36” including the countertop and the children will soon enough grow into it.
- Consider a framed mirror that can be hung at a higher height as needed. Another idea is to use a secondary full-length safety glass mirror-it works for people of all heights.
- Use hooks to hold towels instead of just towel bars. Children will do a better job of hanging up those pesky wet towels if it can be done in one quick motion.
The best investment that can be made for a child’s bathroom is hidden behind the walls. It’s a thermostatic, temperature controlled valve for the tub/shower. Temperature control valves maintain a pre-set temperature (usually between 70 and 110 degrees) which prevents scalds. Every child’s bathroom should also have a bath tub. If there’s no room for a separate shower, plan on a combination tub/shower. Slip resistant flooring and rounded corners on countertops add safety to the room.
Jack and Jill bathrooms are bathrooms with two entrances: one from each of two bedrooms. Best when compartmentalize and separated by a door so that one child can use the toilet and vanity and the other the tub/shower. It will make mornings for school-age children go much better.
Use cheerful colors on the wall. Paint can easily be changed. But keep permanent surfaces like flooring, tile and plumbing fixtures in neutral colors. That way the room can be updated with a new color scheme as the child grows and their taste becomes more sophisticated.