How to Design a Bathroom That’s Easier to Clean

Does anybody actually enjoy cleaning a bathroom? Implement these features and keep your lavatory squeaky clean with minimal effort.

By Kat Hodgins | Published Oct 24, 2023 12:59 PM

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white-bathroom-seen-through-the-door-ajar-and-with-a-bright-window-in-the-background

Photo: istockphoto.com

Most people would rather spend more time washing up than cleaning up in the bathroom. Scrubbing and scouring a bathroom is a necessary but undesirable chore—even a little dust or grime makes a bathroom look dirty. Keeping a water closet tidy shouldn’t require harsh chemicals or constant attention.

Instead, designing a bathroom that’s easy to clean makes it more hygienic and pristine in less time. Whether you’re renovating your bathroom or looking for a few tips on how to ease your efforts, use these 12 design ideas to save time and keep your bathroom glistening.

1. Choose antibacterial metals.

A copper sink and faucet is mounted on a granite counter with a maroon wall background.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Consider using antibacterial metals, like copper, brass, nickel, and bronze, in your bathroom design. These metals are excellent additions to a bathroom since they hold up under moisture and rubbing or use. Not only antimicrobial, these metals have the added benefits of being durable and corrosion resistant, so they should last a long time.

RELATED: 7 Natural Disinfectants You Probably Already Own

2. Opt for seamless shower walls.

Natural elements like wood and-wicker decorate a seamless marble slab bathroom with glass shower and wood vanity.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Due to the humid nature of many bathrooms, moisture can cause a few undesirable issues. A seamless shower is a great way to prevent mold growth or leaking behind the shower tiles. This water-tight design is one solid piece; there are no cracks or grout to complicate and lengthen the cleaning process.

RELATED: I Used This Hack to Clean My Shower Head and Here’s What Happened

3. Invest in closed storage.

White laundry, pillows, towels organized and folded in baskets on shelves in white opened linen closet in the bathroom.

Photo: Istockphoto.com

Closed storage, such as a linen closet or vanity, can easily reduce visible clutter by offering a dedicated location for lotions, facial cleansers, makeup, and more. Though visually beneficial, cabinets and drawers also help keep your countertops free and clear, making cleanup a breeze as there aren’t any items in your way collecting dust.

RELATED: The 12 Best Storage Products and Organizers to Declutter Your Bathroom

4. Select durable paint.

A gallon of Zinsser perma-white paint shows that it is mold and mildew proof.

Photo: lowes.com

Your bathroom can be warm and moist, so it’s not ideal for regular paint. When choosing paint for a bathroom, look for one with antimicrobial additives and mold resistance, like this semi-gloss from Zinsser, a top pick in our list of best paint for bathrooms.

Additionally, a bathroom is not a place for textured wall treatments. Smooth, flat walls are easier to clean, as you can just run a cloth down them to clean them with little scrubbing needed.

RELATED: Solved! How to Choose The Best Paint for Bathrooms

5. Pick a shower curtain over shower doors.

A wooden door is open to show a beige and brown bathroom with wood vanity and a shower curtain around the standing shower.

Photo: istockphoto.com

A shower curtain is one way to add color or design to your bathroom. Many shower curtains can safely go into the wash whenever they need a quick clean—just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. They are relatively affordable and easy to swap out if you want to change or replace a curtain.

Glass shower doors, on the other hand, need a bit more effort to keep looking their best as they show soap scum buildup more clearly. The tracks may also become a trap for mold and dirt, increasing the time and care you need to invest in them.

RELATED: 10 Quick Fixes for a More Refreshing Shower

6. Choose larger tiles over small ones.

Large square sage green tiles cover the wall in a shower with a plant.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Larger bathroom tiles are much easier to clean than heavily detailed tiny tiles. The reason for choosing large tiles is that they have fewer grout lines and larger surfaces that you can quickly clean. Though small bathroom tiles can be beautiful, they have additional crevices where dirt and soap scum can build up.

RELATED: The 9 Best Tile Brands

7. Get the best ventilation you can.

A white bathroom ventilation fan is mounted on yellow tile.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Ventilation in a bathroom is crucial. Improving airflow in this space is worth extra time, effort, and dollars. The bathroom is the wettest room in your home; removing moisture as soon as possible is vital to avoid mold and mildew growth. A hard-working, well-placed bathroom fan can help with this issue and make cleaning much more manageable.

RELATED: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bathroom Fan?

8. Set up a hair trap.

Shower Shroom hair catcher is in its original package showing the item and tips to use it.

Photo: lowes.com

One of the worst jobs when cleaning a bathroom is pulling hair out of a clogged shower drain. Not only can it cause plumbing issues, but it also traps water, dirt, and grime to create undesirable odors. One simple way to avoid this is to install a hair trap, like the TubShroom drain cover at Lowe’s, a small addition to the fixture drain that sits inside or on top of it and collects hair before it gets snagged within the pipe.

RELATED: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Unclogging a Drain

9. Add a wall-mounted vanity.

A beautiful bathroom with marble walls, a floating natural wood cabinet, marble countertop, and gold lights mounted above the black mirrors.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Dirt, dust, and grime always find their way into nooks and crannies. Installing a floating vanity pulls it off the floor, making cleaning underneath simpler. Though this feature doesn’t eliminate dirt and dust, you can quickly sweep underneath without maneuvering around the vanity’s legs, capturing the particles in seconds.

RELATED: 18 Bathroom Updates You Can Do in a Day

10. Forgo textured tiles.

A wood and blue bathroom has smooth large blue tiles on the walls.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Choose bathroom tiles that have a smooth finish. Textured tiles create more places for dirt to accumulate, requiring more elbow grease to make them clean again. You can spray many smooth tiles with a cleaner and wipe them down in a fraction of the time it takes to clean a textured tile.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Clean Stained Grout

11. Match your grout to your tiles.

Lavender tiles have matching lavender grout on the wall of a bathroom shelf decorated with towels and rabbits.

Photo: istockphoto.com

By selecting large and smooth bathroom tiles, cleaning your bathroom becomes immensely more manageable, but what happens if you’re behind on cleaning? Matching tile and grout can better mask belated cleaning than contrasting grout and tile. Since soap scum, dirt, and water all impact colors differently, two colors might draw more attention to dirt. Keeping these bathroom elements in the same hue disguises grime a bit better until you can get on top of your regular cleaning schedule.

12. Install a no-groove toilet.

A grey bathroom has a WOODBRIDGE Bristol 1-piece 1.6-GPF high-efficiency elongated all-in-one toilet with soft-close seat.

Photo: homedepot.com

When picking a toilet for your bathroom reno, move away from traditional styles and pick one without grooves. A grooved design usually attracts dirt and dust, requiring it to be cleaned more frequently. These little pockets are difficult to clean properly. Though clean and simple in stature, a no-groove or 1-piece toilet, like this Woodbridge 1-piece toilet at Home Depot, can be wiped clean in a flash.