Bathrooms seem to be the one area of the house that are the most frustrating to clean. Not everyone has a housekeeper, so when you are the one who has to do the cleaning, your design choices will make an impact on you every day. Implement the strategies below and you will end up with a bathroom that looks and feels like a dream bathroom, but cleans as easily as a no-nonsense public restroom.
Just say no to grout. Scrubbing grout lines has to be one of the least favorite chores when it comes to cleaning a bathroom. Using a solid-surface choice for your walls will save a lot of elbow grease. Consider using stone slabs, which have few seam lines and are very thin. Other options include: caesarstone (which can be used alone or in a combination with tile), vinyl wall coverings, and back-painted glass. In areas where your walls don’t have to be tiles, paint it a great option. Use one specifically formulated for bathrooms for its resistance to mildew. If you can’t eliminate grout lines entirely, then reduce the number and thickness.
Buy a (quiet) fan. Yes, buy a fan for your bathroom and put it on a timer. This may not sound like a design strategy for making your bathroom easier to clean, but it is. If you have a fan that sounds like a jet engine, you will be less likely to turn it on and that will lead to an increase in mildew- which means more cleaning. A whisper-silent one is so quiet that you’ll need a timer so you won’t forget to turn it off.
Select a linear drain. Installing one of these drains means that your shower floor will have a flat slope in one direction. You will be able to run your large-format floor tile right on into the shower instead of using little mosaic tiles to accommodate multiple directions of slope.
Say good-bye to glass. Cleaning glass is almost as bad as cleaning grout. Instead, strategically plan your shower around a corner in a wet zone. This will eliminate the need for a glass partition. With large-format tiles and a slab countertop as well, the bathroom would be very low maintenance. You may go even more extreme and create a fully watertight wet room. The handheld showerhead lets you hose it down and go. In fact, handheld showerheads are a real help in cleaning your shower, even if you have a more conventional-style bathroom. Get one with a long hose. If a wet room isn’t for you, consider a shower curtain and its waterproof liner in the washer to clean it. A bonus to using a shower curtain is the visual warmth fabric it adds to the décor.
Go frameless. The aluminum frames around glass shower doors are a magnet for gunk. Going frameless on your glass gives you a simple sheet to clean. There are a number of options for coatings on glass that also help it to repel water and soap scum. Check with your glass shower door manufacturer for factory coating options. Many recommend Rain X.
Get everything off of the floor. Getting on your hands and knees to clean a toilet crammed into a narrow space with that horrible, convoluted shape on the side is not a fun task. Wall-mounted toilets are easier to reach all the way around. They also make cleaning the floor easier. Mounting your vanity on the wall will also make the floor easier to clean. If you choose to not install a wall-mounted toilet, then at the very least, choose a skirted model. The smooth sides don’t catch as much as dusk and gunk.
Wall-mounted faucets are a better choice than deck-mounted ones. Gravity is working for you, carrying the soap and water residue away from the faucet instead of having it all collect at the base. Wall-mounted facets also keep the counter clear, making it easier to wipe down.
Choose tile placement carefully. If you absolutely love tile and want to have some in your bathroom, then place it where it will need the least amount of cleaning. Try to place tile out of any splash zone.
Have a place for everything. One thing that makes it easier to clean a bathroom is to have a spot for what you want to put away. No thinking about where to place it or having to organize a messy drawer to make room.