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Granny Flat Bathrooms – [Design Ideas] + What You Have to Include

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granny flat bathrooms

If you are currently designing your granny flat, one thing on your “to-do” list may be to find – The best layout for a granny flat bathroom:


When designing the bathroom for your granny flat, it is important to consider your space and how any limitations will make the bathroom look and feel. The second consideration is where to put your plumbing. Ensuring you get the layout of your bathroom correct means the space will be both functional and stylish.


Today, I will cover:


DON'T PAY A FORTUNE FOR YOUR GRANNY FLAT. Find out how to deal with council and build a granny flat for the lowest cost possible. Learn More.

  • Design ideas and inspiration.
  • Materials that are best to use right now.
  • How to make the bathroom feel bigger.
  • Can you fit in a bath? And should you.
  • The necessity of waterproofing, and why it is important.
  • How you should design your plumbing to save on cost.
  • What makes a great plumber.


So, get ready to be motivated to design the bathroom in your granny flat!


Design Ideas and Inspiration


From this great example in Torquay, VIC


Even with just one vanity the same feel can be achieved. Source: www.realestate.com.au


The frameless and semi-frameless shower screens in these bathrooms really helps to open them up. You will read more about the importance of this under the sub-heading “How to Make the Bathroom Feel Bigger”.


A very different look, however a lot more common this decade. Source: www.realestate.com.au


This bathroom has both great vanity units and lighting, which help give it the appearance of being larger. You can read about these features under the below sub-heading on materials.


Materials That Are “In”


When selecting the materials for your bathroom, knowing where to spend is crucial for the quality of your design.


Below is a list of materials to use in your bathroom that are “in fashion” right now.


Bathroom Vanities


Your bathroom should be a peaceful place, where you feel at ease.


You do not want a disorderly, disorganised, set of drawers, as they will have you in a frenzied rush, rummaging through them in despair trying to find your deodorant while getting ready for work. When buying a vanity unit, it is worth spending money on one with five drawers. Or, if the unit only has three drawers, those drawers should have organised compartments.


These will provide you with enough storage space and order to be able to separate your products. Any product you need will be quick and easy to find, leaving you with no reason to worry. I found this great article that shows you some of the best bathroom vanities available today.




A way to “upscale” a bathroom is to spend money on high-quality, bespoke, fixtures and features. Not only will these add a look of luxury, their aesthetic appeal will also naturally enhance the small amount of space there is in a bathroom, making it appear bigger.


Remember great design can be achieved without a lot of “things”


So, splurge away on certain items that will be getting the most use. These include;


  • Decorative lighting. This article will help you find the latest trend in lighting that matches the style of your bathroom.
  • Shower station/head, and tapware (i.e. spout/s and/or faucet/s). Gold is “in” right now for both.


Gold tap wear is certainly making a comeback




I will mention storage a lot throughout this article, and not without reason. It is vital to consider in a granny flat, as it is a smaller space, and you do not want to face the possibility of having a messy bathroom, full of clutter.


Trending at the moment are shallow storage mirrored cabinets. You can have these custom-designed or buy as-is.


These modern designs are a great way to keep your vanity counter-top free from junk.


How to Make the Bathroom Feel Bigger


There are multiple ways that you can make your bathroom ‘feel’ bigger. I have listed these for you below.


Use a Frameless Shower Screen


I have suggested an open-plan granny flat many times as a design – that is, to remove any unnecessary walls. Walls can take up a lot of space, which is limited in a granny flat. So, an open-plan design helps your granny flat look bigger.


Just as removing walls provides a feeling of spaciousness, a frameless shower screen can have the same effect. It will allow your bathroom to feel more open, thus appearing larger.

Utilise Lighting


Using as much light as possible in a small space can help.


Yes, realistically speaking, it will not actually make the floorspace inside the bathroom bigger, but it allows people to see more intensely, so makes the space feel larger. Though, if your bathroom has no access to natural light, you can always install lighting behind mirrors.


Install Storage 


As mentioned, storage spaces are essential in a bathroom – it needs to remain clutter-free and uncrowded. You have various options – overhead cabinets, hooks, or wall mounts. All will let you store your products off the floor and on the wall, where they are just an arm’s length away.


Hooks and wall mounts especially are an inexpensive and easy option to add to any bare wall in the bathroom, so consider putting them behind your bathroom door and in the shower.


Can You Fit a Bath? And Should You


A bath can fit in the bathroom of a granny flat, if a lot of thought is put into the design so every inch of space is used, and the plumbing is planned carefully. Granny flats with a bath, or a shower over the bath, can be seen at Granny Flat Approvals.


However, a bath is not necessarily required. It is important to decide early your intention and vision for this space. So, contemplate at the beginning what is at the top of your wish list – visual appeal, functionality, or storage.


Now, if you are planning on renting out, the cost a bath adds to the granny flat is overcapitalising, as it is not functional or cannot be used for storage.


Overcapitalising is a common error that people make when building their granny flat. To have overcapitalised means that you have spent more money on building the granny flat than its’ resale value will be worth. Meaning, if you decide to sell your home after you have built the granny flat, you will not be able to recoup the money you spent, you will lose money.


So, how do you make sure that you do not do this?  This article has some great points to make sure that you don’t spend thousands more than you need to when building the granny flat. But, if the thought of a bath still intrigues you, feel free to view this article, which shows you baths used by well-known interior designers such as former Block contestants.


The Necessity of Waterproofing, and Why it is So Important


There are 11 certificates that you will need to comply with your Council’s regulations when building a granny flat.


One of these is a Waterproofing Certificate.


Your Council will ask for this, to make sure that a licensed waterproofer has carried out the waterproofing that is needed for all “wet” areas of your granny flat – that is, your bathroom and laundry. The process of waterproofing is considered an inherent procedure in construction, as it is a protective treatment that supports the integrity of a building, by;


  • Preventing water or moisture from getting inside a building, thus reducing problems that may occur by water damage, such as mould growth or rusting.
  • Protecting wet areas (i.e. a shower) and stopping water from getting out of them.


More about how this protective treatment is selected and applied can be read here. If you do not get the Waterproofing Certificate, your granny flat will not get approval from Council.


NOTE: Water is the one greatest dangers to any new dwelling – Any builder will tell you this. So getting on top if it from the beginning, will place your mind at ease.


How You Should Design Your Plumbing to Save On Cost


It is important to think about where your plumbing will be placed in your design, as this can save you a lot of money. So I advise you, when possible, to position your bathroom so it has the same “wet wall” as your kitchen.


In simpler terms, have your bathroom back-to-back with your kitchen. The primary purpose being that this will lower the cost of your plumbing.


All your water pipes and drainage pipes should be positioned so that they are as near to the other as is within reach (hopefully, this is within a few metres). The more nearby the source of water and drainage is allows for:


  • A lower price in labour, for installation of all plumbing essentials.
  • A less complicated installation process for the plumber.
  • A reduced cost towards materials, as there are no long pipes – they do not have to run a long length, reaching all the way between both sides of the granny flat.
  • A streamlined connection for the drains and vent stacks.


This has just made the construction of both your bathroom and kitchen a lot less expensive, as there will now be;


  • Not as much uncertainty between you and your trades.
  • Fewer errors made because the plumbing and sewerage for the granny flat is uncomplicated.


There is more information available on what thought to put into plumbing and sewerage for your granny flat.


What Makes a Great Plumber


There are several traits a great plumber should have. Below I have listed every one of these qualities, so you know what you should look for.




It is vital that you check that the plumber is fully licensed. These licenses vary between each state, but ensure the plumber has full knowledge of pipe systems, septic tanks, and sewerage removal.




You must also check that the plumber is insured to perform the work.




It is crucial you check that the plumber has experience in their industry – this is the key to gaining insight to their credentials. There are various ways to check this. First, you can check their training- spending years as an apprentice, as well as probably studying either a vocational program or at a trade school, would have taught them a lot.


It is important to note that a vocational school must be authorised by a relevant trade union.


Secondly, you can read any online reviews about their work.


Something else I recommend is that you ask the plumber personally for references. Then, you can give people whose granny flats they have worked on a call and ask them what they thought of the plumber.


Good questions to ask include:


  • Did they make safety a priority? A great plumber should handle any issues that arise by operating safely and following all necessary safety methods.
  • Were they punctual? A great plumber will always show up to site on time – this means they have a good outlook towards work, and value customer service.
  • What were they like to speak to? A great plumber will have good communication skills, including being able to listen mindfully so they can recognise your problems.


By doing so, this will make you feel at ease when speaking to them. They will also be able to describe to you what is causing the problem and suggest suitable solutions.


Years Spent in Your Region


Lastly, you must check that they have been founded in the area around you for years. The importance of this is that a plumber who has been around the region for a long time has built themselves a reputation.


You do not want a plumber who has not sustained their reputation around town, as they might move or get a new phone number. And you will be left with a lot of mess. Whereas, with the plumber who has been in town for years, you can check how their work has stood the test of time, weeks or months later.




I hope reading this has inspired you to start designing the best possible layout for the bathroom in your granny flat. Remember that it is important to get the basics right, but do not forget to “upscale” it, for the look of luxury.


If you need more ideas, another fantastic article I found was about how you can take inspiration from great hotel bathrooms.


Or, if you are ready to start building, find out more about DIY Granny flats.