Planning A Bathroom Renovation
Electrical Design

Part II of bathroom design ideas “From Concept to Completion”.
The series of articles from the Style Plus design team will look at key aspects of bathroom design and what is undertaken during a typical renovation of a mid-sized bathroom.

Electrical Design for Your Bathroom Renovation

Power point placement and how many you require are important considerations when renovating you bathroom. It’s very easy to underestimate your needs. Hand-powered grooming and cleaning tools are being replaced by high-tech, electrical devices, so try to take stock of bathroom appliances present and future while planning your bathroom renovation.

Also while planning your bathroom renovation, consider whether electric powered devices will be run simultaneously. If this is the case, more circuits and power points can be added to accommodate the load. For example, do you have two teens that are likely to be running hair dryers at the same time? Do they also need a curling iron or hair straightener plugged-in and heating up while they’re drying their hair? Plan your power points accordingly.

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If you like clean lines, you can improve the aesthetics of your bathroom by placing a number of power outlets in cupboards, cabinets or vanities. For smaller bathrooms this may be a useful option where space is at a premium. Regular power outlets that are not installed inside cabinets are also useful when placed in optimal locations.

Plan with aesthetics in mind. Small details have a large impact in bathroom design. When planning power point placement, there are three options to consider – conceal, camouflage, or complement. Sometimes all three options are taken.

The way power points need to be mounted and what protection is required is set out very specifically in AS/NZS 3000:2007. Your licensed electrical subcontractor should be completely familiar with all of rules and conventions. If you do require an electrician, contact Style Plus and will arrange for a qualified and experienced electrician to contact you and discuss your requirements.

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Bathroom Design

BATHROOM LIGHTING

Lighting design is one of the most important and challenging aspects for a bathroom renovation. A bathroom renovation or new bathroom build, should include in my opinion a lighting plan that layers and blends four different types of light — task, ambient, accent and decorative (lighting will be covered in more depth in the next article).

Ambient Light. For ambient lighting, ceiling lights are a great option. A single feature ceiling light can provide you with a great focal point, and the main illumination for your bathroom. A pendant fixture with a translucent shade can be a source of both decorative and ambient light.

Accent Lighting. Down lighting is great for accent/task lighting, providing focused light to help you accentuate specific features of your bathroom. You can also find down lights for bathrooms that are protected against condensation and moisture damage, and are available in a variety of styles to match your home

Recessed lighting is perfect for modern homes and contemporary interior designs. It creates a bathroom with clean, straight lines, and enabling your chosen fixtures and fittings to really stand out. They’re also a good choice for smaller bathrooms, helping you to maximise available space without cutting into the room itself.

Decorative Lighting. Decorative lighting adds visual panache to a completed bathroom renovation. For example using a single pendant in a square-shaped bathroom would just add the right design element.

A lighting designer would look at the bathrooms overall design to determine the amount and placement of light needed in the space. The following is an example design. Sconces on large mirrors at the sink vanities would offer functional task lighting. Recessed lighting on dimmers provides ambient light for whatever mood is desired. Dimmers are especially useful in the bath tub area where relaxation and romance are priorities. Wall sconces offer additional ambient and decorative light. A large mirror at the vanity effectively reflects all of these layered light sources for the best effect.

BATHROOM HEATING

Radiant underfloor heating is one method of heating your bathroom. It is an under-the-floor heating system that conducts heat through the floor surface rather than through the air.

The two common types of radiant underfloor heating systems are electric (heat via electric wires) and hydronic (heat via hot water tubes). Both are installed underneath the floor.

Electric radiant underfloor heating systems are easier and more affordable to install, but more expensive to operate, making them ideal for heating small areas.

Hydronic systems are less expensive to operate, so they work well for large floor areas and even entire houses. The caveat is that they come with higher initial costs because they’re more complicated to install and require heated water from a water heater.

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BATHROOM VENTILATION

Effective ventilation is vital in bathrooms because moisture in the air can lead to condensation and mould growth, not just in the bathroom itself but throughout the rest of the house. So the Building Regulations are quite strict on this issue (NZ Building Code G4 Ventilation).

BATHROOM EXTRACTOR FAN TYPES

When considering your bathroom renovation or new build project, there are a number of types of tiling to choose from, and quite an array of sizes, shapes and colours. The type of tiles you select will depend on a couple of key factors:

• Style of your interior design.

• Your colour scheme.

• Your space.

• Your bathroom fixtures.

The way you place your tiles can have an effect on the light and sense of space in your new bathroom. An example would be to use a reflective tile surface to bounce light around the room or by using long horizontal tiles to help make walls appear wider.

EXTRACTOR FAN PLACEMENT

Fan placement is important as its primary function is to get the air to flow across the room, without taking a shortcut and leaving an area unventilated. This means that if there is say a window within the room, the air shouldn’t come in the window then straight to the fan without passing across the room first. Place the fan intake as close as possible to the problem, which typically means over the top of the shower area.

EXTRACTOR FAN SIZE

Selecting the correct size fan is vital for effective ventilation. Your electrician will will be able to help with the selection. If you would like to calculate the size yourself, use the following calculation:

Calculate the Room Volume in Metres:
Multipy: Length of the room x Width of the room x Height of the room = Room m³

Calculate Required Performance:
Multiply the room volume by the number of required air changes. 11 to 15 air changes per hour is a good starting point.

Select Your Fan:
Select a fan with a performance rating at least 20 percent more than what you have calculated. It is better to choose a fan with a higher rating than have inadequate ventilation.

Example:

• A domestic bathroom 3m x 2.5m x 2.7m = 20.25m³

• Recommended air changes for a domestic bathroom = 11 to 15

• Taking the higher value – multiply 15 x 18.75 = 303.75m³/hr

• Add 20% = 364.5 m³/hr (364.5 divided by 3.6 = 101.25 l/s)

ELECTRICAL SAFETY CERTIFICATE

When the renovation work is finished the licensed electrician will issue a Certificate of Compliance and/or Electrical Safety Certificate. The certification is a public assurance that the work has been carried out by an authorised person, it has been tested and that it complies with the safety requirements. Electricians must issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to customers when doing any fixed wiring work, including fitting new power points. Keep your CoC in a safe place as a record of the work done on your property. It is an important document and may be required for insurance claims or when you are selling your home.

If you are considering renovating your bathroom and would like to discuss your requirements with our bathroom designer, use the “Request More Information” tab on this page. We will then get in touch with you to discuss your project. Alternatively, use the “Contact Us” button on this page.

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Whilst all information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and Style Plus is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.