How to design TV and audio into your new bathroom project
Bathrooms are such important spaces for us in our homes today. As essential for relaxation and wellbeing as they are for our daily ablutions, they can now be designed as multi-functional spaces. Watching films and television, or listening to music, are often requested as part of our interior design projects.
There’s plenty to consider though, and in Grand Designs Magazine this month I give my advice on how to think about this, and how to achieve the best result in your new design. Here are the questions I’m most commonly asked:
Where’s the best place to install a TV in a bathroom?
A television at the end of the bath is a great location, as that’s where you’ll probably spend the most time. Make sure the bath itself is comfortable, and also in a place and location that’s and calm and lends itself to that longer soak. The most important thing is location – prospect and refuge. Avoid the middle of the room or a location where the door to the room can’t be seen or is behind the bather. Nobody will want to be there for that long if they don’t feel sheltered.
Can I install a TV in the shower?
TVs in showers aren’t worth it. The point of a shower is often to be pretty quick, and you’ll spend more time operating the TV than actually showering. Ditto behind a basin mirror. You’ll have moved on to the next stage of your morning’s routine before you’ve had a chance to watch much.
What sort of TV do I need to use in a bathroom?
Make sure it’s a proper bathroom television – both the TV and the remote control should be waterproof. That remote control will end up in the tub with you at some point!
What’s the benefit of using separate loudspeakers into the scheme?
With separate audio in the ceiling the installation can be very discreet, and the sound system can also be used for music, radio and so on. This does have more value for at the basin and showering. And as well as music a common use is to be able to keep listening to something on the radio while moving from room to room in the morning. With a Sonos system guests can also stream their own music from their own smartphones.
What’s the best way of setting up loudspeakers in a bathroom?
With several speakers covering a room make sure they’re all running combined stereo or mono output. i.e. don’t have a left speaker over the tub and a right speaker at the other end of the room. It will make films and dialogue very strange to watch, and anything in the far speaker won’t be clear. The left-right mix is not quite so important in the tub as being able to hear everything!
Can I install TV and audio in my bathroom in the future?
Yes – it can all be retrofitted without ripping the walls apart as long as the cables are put in place beforehand. The cables are relatively inexpensive, and the ‘hub’ for a system would generally be outside of the room, or in the next room or adjacent cupboard etc. Run sufficient loudspeaker cable for both channels to go to every ceiling speaker location too, unless you know your loudspeaker specification already. For the TV run HDMI cables, antenna cables, CAT6 ethernet for smart features and catch-up services, and of course power.
The full article on multi-functional bathroom design is in the November issue of Grand Designs Magazine – available in print on online.
Our London penthouse interior design project is also included in the feature. It shows a best-practice example of incorporating a TV into a bathing area, in a truly stunning setting overlooking London’s skyline.
In this project we designed and installed HD television and audio into the bathroom. The TV from Aquavision is waterproof of course, as is the remote control. Audio is fitted discreetly within the ceiling with high-performance loudspeakers from B&W. The ‘speakers can be used for music and radio from the Sonos system, as well as for the television audio. There are also feeds for Sky TV and Blu-ray/DVDs, so whatever the mood or time of day there’ll always be something suitable to watch.