10 Bathroom Design Mistakes That Will Make Cleaning a Nightmare

  • Nov 7, 2023

Cleaning your bathroom doesn’t need to be a never-ending nightmare. With proper planning, you can create a bathroom design that’s a breeze to clean and maintain. All it takes is to avoid these design mistakes:  

1. Leaving narrow gaps between the bathroom fixtures

When dealing with a small bathroom, the tendency is to arrange everything close together to make the most of the space. But cramming your bathroom fixtures together can make cleaning a real challenge. Avoid narrow gaps and flush your fixtures against the wall where possible. Consider also leaving a decent size gap between the flooring and any wall-mounted vanity or toilet bowl so that you can easily clean the floor without hassle. 

Sleek bathroom design
Make sure there is enough space between the fixtures for easy cleaning access.

Design: Rezt + Relax 

2. Not having enough storage  

Since our bathrooms are usually not the largest spaces in our homes, it may feel excessive to allocate too much storage. But having sufficient storage, preferably in a closed design, is crucial to create an easy-to-clean bathroom design. It helps to reduce clutter to make it easier to wipe down the surfaces in our bathroom for one. And having a dedicated area for your cleaning supplies also makes it easier to reach out for them to do spot cleaning, reducing the effort the next time you’re deep-cleaning your bathroom. 

Bathroom vanity with storage
Adequate storage keeps clutter at bay and allows you to store cleaning supplies within reach. 

Design: BuildBuilt

3. Letting your AC drain pipe rest on the floor

If you’re running the air-conditioning drain pipe to the bathroom in your HDB, don’t have it sitting on the floor. Besides looking unattractive, it also allows the dirt to build up. Consider trunking and elevating the pipe from the floor. 

Bathroom Drainage Pipe for Air Con
Opt for a slim trunking and elevate the AC pipe above the floor to avoid trapping grime and dirt. 

Image: Andotang

4. Going for a full, framed shower enclosure 

Don't want the hassle of cleaning water stains? Consider limiting the number of shower glass panels in your bathroom. And here's a handy tip: keep a squeegee within reach next to the shower, allowing you to quickly wipe down the glass after each use. It’s also best to avoid shower panels with clunky frames. These not only look tacky, but they also tend to collect and trap all types of dirt and grime. Ew.

Clean BTO bathroom design
A sleek glass shower panel beats a full-framed one when it comes to cleaning water stains. 

Design: Ovon Design 

5. Using tiny tiles in your bathroom design

We have to admit—tiny tiles (like kitkat!!) are super aesthetic. But they aren’t the best choice if you want an easy-to-clean bathroom design, mainly because of how much more grout you get and having to then scrub them clean. If you must, incorporate them sparingly and preferably on walls that don’t get exposed to heavy use or too much water to minimise stains. 

Bathroom design with small kitkat tiles
Using the bigger tiles as a splashguard and keeping the smaller tiles for aesthetic. 

Design: Monocot

6. Opting for too-large floor tiles

When it comes to bathroom floor tiles, don’t go to the other extreme of opting for too-large tiles either. Too-large floor tiles aren’t just a safety hazard (fewer grout = less friction = more slippery), but they also make it difficult to drain water, creating a persistent damp smell or causing mould growth over time. Our recommended floor tile sizes for smaller bathrooms: 30 x 60cm or 60 x 60cm. 

Wood and stone bathroom
Choose the right-sized floor tile in your bathroom to ensure safety and proper drainage. 

Design: Weiken 

7. Choosing a raised shower curb 

A raised shower curb isn’t just difficult on the joints and a tripping hazard, especially for the elderly or younger children, it can also be more difficult to clean thanks to the dirt and grime that gather at the corners, crevices and the small pieces of tiles. Instead of a raised curb, avoid it altogether. But if you want some sort of threshold to prevent water from coming out of your shower, go for a recessed shower floor where you step into the shower rather than over a curb like this bathroom:

Bathroom with glass shower panel
A recessed shower floor prevents water from coming out of your shower area and has less surface area for trapping gross stuff. 

Design: Fineline Design 

8. Placing your towel holder at a corner 

PSA: Your towel holder should be placed at a spot that allows your towels to dry effectively i.e. near the window or bathroom entrance. Placing them at a corner that tends to be damp and poorly ventilated can lead to mould and mildew growth and also a less-than-pleasant smell in your bathroom. The towel handle placement in this gorgeous bathroom though, is ideal: 

No glass bathroom design
Locate your towel bars or hooks in a well-ventilated area. 

Renovation: Treasure Pod
Design + Styling: Roomable

9. Using off-the-rack shower caddies 

Unless you’re on a really tight budget, we totally recommend going for built-in shower niches. These are a lot easier to wipe down, without those drainage holes you often see in store-bought shower caddies that can be huge grime traps. 

Built-in shower niches for shampoo bottles
Built-in niches will require prior planning but they make cleaning a bathroom a lot easier. 

Design: The Interior Lab 

10. Including plenty of horizontal surface areas

Dust and dirt have a way of piling up on horizontal surfaces, whether we like it or not. If you want a bathroom that's easy to clean, it’s best to limit open shelves and excessive countertop space—these are hotbeds for clutter anyway! And if you’re going for wall cabinets, make sure to build all the way to the ceiling.

Contemporary bathroom
Minimise open compartments and go all the way up for wall cabinets so that there are fewer horizontal surfaces for dust to settle. 

Design: Rezt + Relax 

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