Design By Kimberley Seldon Design Group
Over the years, bathrooms have evolved from small, functional spaces into luxurious private retreats within the home. Many of today’s hottest bathroom trends – including hidden conveniences and the spa ensuite – have specific and important electrical considerations. You’ll need to plan out your bathroom reno fully to identify all the obvious but also hidden electrical needs up front. Planning ahead will save time, money and costly rework.
Light Up the Room
Lighting isn’t just an enhancement when it comes to bathroom design, it’s a critical component. More than almost any other room in your home, the bathroom has important and mixed lighting needs. Dynamic, layered lighting can add drama and depth to any bathroom space, and don’t forget to provide adequate shower lighting that includes a dimmer to make mornings a little easier to handle. Consider task lighting for eyebrow maintenance and specific lighting for night time use, such as low ambient motion-sensor light options (potentially at baseboard level) to gently light a path to the bathroom that won’t disrupt sleep patterns.
Many bathroom lighting applications have special requirements under the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. If you’re thinking of pot lights for your bathroom, for example, you’re going to require at least 150 mm of clearance if they are installed above a cupboard or near anything flammable. And any outlets that are going to be located within one metre of a sink, bath tub or shower need a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet to protect against electrocution from water. Not to worry, your Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) will be familiar with the requirements for bathroom lighting. You can also ask them to plan for well-positioned outlets to accommodate blow dryers, shavers, etc., and light switches located on exterior and interior bathroom walls, which allow you to turn on lights without waking anybody sleeping nearby.
Creating Your Retreat
If you really want to pamper yourself, there’s nothing more luxurious than heat. Heated towel bars, floors, and toilet seats are all powered upgrades that have swept the bathroom reno scene by storm. These touches add to a spa-like atmosphere, but there are important safety requirements to consider when they’re being installed.
If you’ve purchased a particular light, fixture or electrical component yourself that you’d like included in your reno, make sure to show it to your general contractor and Licensed Electrical Contractor early in the planning stages so they can account for any additional electrical implications well in advance.
Finally, do include some artwork in the bathroom. A series of black and white travel photographs can fill an empty wall and remind you of your honeymoon or favourite holiday. Plan ahead and work with your design professional and LEC to include library lights to illuminate the most important pieces of art in the room.
Choose a colour for your bathroom walls that is flattering to the skin, easy on the eye and generally soothing. Shades of shell pink, pale salmon, ivory, and bisque work to bring out a rosy hue in many skin tones.
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