Kid-Friendly Bathroom Design

Resist the temptation to micro-size. Kid-friendly bathroom design begins with the selection of smart and stylish design fixtures that accommodate the needs of a growing family - both children and adults.

By: Alicia Garceau

Bath Time for Baby

Bath Time for Baby

The bathroom, one of the smallest rooms in the home, poses the biggest challenge for children who struggle to reach sinks and climb into deep soaking tubs. While a parent's inclination may be to remodel using child-sized fixtures, Rob Bennett of Indianapolis-remodeling company Bly Bennett Inc. encourages homeowners to think twice. "Building a bathroom for children is only for those with no concerns about budget or resale," Rob says. "Build bathrooms for adults and resale; then buy after-market elements to help small children use the bathroom."

Here are some tips for making your bathroom kid-friendly:

Get a taller vanity.

Beverley Binns, owner of Binns kitchen + bath design in Ontario, Canada, recommends a vanity taller than the standard 30 inches. "Kids do get older and taller, and eventually they're going to want a taller vanity," she says. Until a child hits that growth spurt, Beverley suggests, get a bathroom stool that can be tucked away in a cabinet when not in use.

Choose a kid-proof countertop.

Granite countertops can be stained and scratched. "Parents don't want to worry about kids spilling something on a granite countertop," Beverley says. She recommends using quartz, which is scratch- and stain-resistant and mimics the luxurious look of granite.

Install a standard-height toilet.

Although a child-sized toilet may seem a smart choice, it's impractical as children grow and adult guests share the bathroom. A taller, comfort-height toilet isn't a good choice for a child's bathroom, either. They're the height of a chair, which is too tall for kids. The best choice is a standard-sized toilet. To help little kids reach it easily, put a step stool next to it. And installing a soft-closing toilet seat will eliminate squabbles over toilet seat etiquette.

Choose fixtures that offer bathing options for all ages.

Many designers select a bath/shower enclosure with a shower bar to hold an adjustable showerhead and handshower. The showerhead can be repositioned to suit the needs of children, teens or guests. The handheld sprayer comes in handy when bathing tiny tots - or cleaning the tub and shower stall.

Protect children from hot water.

To keep small children from burning themselves when they're bathing or washing their hands, Beverley advises parents to install anti-scald devices on faucets and showerheads. These devices control temperature by limiting the amount of hot water that can flow.

Include storage for toys and personal items.

You need a storage plan to corral kids' bath toys and personal items. Beverley incorporates storage baskets and drawers accessible at a child's level. For families with more than one child, she suggests giving each child his or her own storage spot. "If each of them has a drawer or a medicine cabinet, it gives them somewhere they can keep their things and take pride in ownership of that," Beverley says.

Add personality with paint and accessories, not fixtures.

Express your child's personality with brightly painted walls and fun accessories. Cheryl Kees Clendenon, owner of Florida kitchen and bath design firm In Detail, recommends neutral colors for tile and cabinetry and a saturated color palette for towels, accessories and, of course, paint. Beverley agrees. "You can be really fun and dynamic with paint," she says. "It's a very economical way to jazz up a space, and easy to change in the future."

Next Up

Kid-Friendly Bathrooms

Outfit the space with right-sized features that will function as they grow.

Small Bathrooms, Big Design

Get tips for designing a master bath as luxurious and enticing as those found in the finest spa retreats.

Three-Quarter Bathroom

Get tips for designing a just-the-basics bath for guests or secondary use.

Kid-Friendly Bathroom

Designer Anisa Darnell shares her story of a cottage-inspired bathroom remodel that works for guests and kids.

Linda Woodrum's Design Basics

HGTV Dream Home designer Linda Woodrum shares her tips on how to fix decorating mistakes and find inspiration.

Design Lessons From Mom

Behind every great designer is a lady of high style and discerning tastes — their mom. Our favorite designers share how their mothers influenced their style.

Tips for Decorating Children's Bedrooms

Find out how to get their rooms to grow right along with your kids.

Top 15 Home Updates

Find out how the top 15 home improvements rank, plus get tips on maximizing the return at resale.

Design Tips for the Front Porch

Whether your porch is a small entry area or a roomy wrap-around, we'll show you how to create style, curb appeal and comfort in your home's welcome center.

Maximum Home Value Bathroom Projects: Counters and Vanity

Add value to your home and grab buyers’ attention when it’s time to sell by giving an outdated vanity and countertops a makeover.


Rescue My Renovation

6:30am | 5:30c

Selling LA

7am | 6c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Good Bones

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Good Bones

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.