When you think of your garage, taps, toilets and basins don’t immediately spring to mind. However, it could be the perfect place to build a new bathroom. We discover why…
Going back a few decades, the humble garage used to perform a vital function, when cars were still very susceptible to the elements and burglars. Many of us will still remember a time when a car would fail to start if it was left parked on a street or driveway during the cold winter months.
These days, we take our cars for granted and fully expect them to work first time, wherever we store them and in any conditions. Therefore, the garage is fast becoming a “nice-to-have”, rather than a fully functioning part of our property.
How do we use our garage space?
More often than not, the garage simply turns into a glorified storage unit. A place to dump all those weird and wonderful things like equipment from hobbies and past times, car parts and accessories, the barbecue, toys, a freezer or even your washing machine and tumble dryer. Back in 2004, the RAC conducted a survey which found that 62% of motorists no longer used their garage to store their car. However, out of all those surveyed, who no longer used their garage for its intended purposed, just 9% had formally converted it to other use.
This gives many of us the option to do something wonderful with this space. So, kick out your car and clear away the clutter, here are 4 reasons why turning your garage into a bathroom could be the best decision you’ve ever made!
1. You can create a bathroom for independent living
As you get older, futureproofing your home is a key consideration. With a desire for independent living, it may be the case that your current bathroom has an awkward layout that simply doesn’t make it very accessible or easy to get around.
On reaching pensionable age, you are more likely to need a bathroom with level access and plenty of room, so a garage on the ground floor of your property could be your best option for expansion.
If you live in a two storey home, having a bathroom on the both floors will have a real benefit, meaning you don’t have to traipse up and downstairs. Just remember to remove the garage door first and replace with something more appropriate! Obviously, this option might not be suitable if your garage is a standalone unit, separate to your house.
2. Your garage has a larger floor plan than your existing bathroom
A lack of space or an unusual layout are issues that people often encounter when they go to renovate their bathroom. In fact, many of the people we surveyed, stated this was the biggest issue they faced.
In all likelihood, your garage will have a larger floor plan than your current master bathroom, so it’ll certainly give you more room to play with when it comes to incorporating all the elements you have your heart set on.
In a garage bathroom, you could easily fit both shower and bath installations for example, or create your very own home spa by installing a wet room. The options really are limitless, especially if you have a good-sized budget to work to.
By turning your garage into a bathroom, there should be plenty of space to play with
3. You can tap into existing plumbing
If your garage is adjacent to your soil stack, you may be able to plumb a toilet and waste pipes from your basin, shower and bath directly into it with minimal disruption. The same goes for your water supplies.
If you don’t have quick and easy access to drainage, you can always use a macerator, like the ones available from Saniflo. A macerator breaks down waste, before quickly and hygienically whisking it way via small bore pipes to your nearest waste outlet. With some macerators, waste can be pumped up to 100 metres horizontally, so the unit can be placed a fair distance away from the nearest outlet.
4. You can get creative with a truly blank canvas
With no previous layout to contend with and a regular shaped floor plan, you can design the whole room from scratch and let your creativity run wild.
Remember, with what will likely be a concrete floor, you may have to build a false floor on top to allow room for pipework. When fitting a shower enclosure, riser kits are available to raise the tray off the floor. This allows the waste to be installed underneath.
As you are building from scratch, absolutely everything, from wall and floors to lighting and ventilation, will need to be planned in, so it will present much more of a challenge than, say, the refurbishment of an existing bathroom. Whether you have the time and patience for such a project is up to you.
Let your imagination run free and create any style of bathroom you desire, like this stunning vintage-inspired design
Top 6 things to consider when turning a garage into a bathroom
If you’ve been inspired to turn your garage into a new bathroom, we’ve got lots of room planning and DIY advice that will help you on your way. To get you started, here are the top 6 things you’ll need to consider:
- Plumbing — Can you easily plumb into your existing pipework? Or will you need to be more creative?
- Electrics — Do you already have electrics installed? What work will need to be done to make it safe for a bathroom?
- Heating — How will you heat your bathroom? Can you easily add a radiator or heated towel rail? Is underfloor heating an option?
- Ventilation — How will you ventilate your bathroom? Can you fit an extractor fan?
- Windows — Are you able to fit windows to your garage? Will you need to convert existing windows to privacy glass?
- Access — How will you gain access to your bathroom? Will you need to add an additional door?
Check out our bathroom planning section for more handy advice.