Designing a house that is easy to clean/maintain(35 Posts)
what choices would you make/suggest for an easy to clean/maintain house, in particular kitchens and bathrooms?
A dolls house . Mine is always tidy. My own house not so much. I would say storage especially in the bathroom as you can hide all sorts behind the cupboard doors. Wish I had space for my toilet rolls though, the bag goes on top of the cupboards.
When I'm in a position for a new kitchen I will be putting a walk in pantry back in. I can keep my breadmaker, slow cooker, food processor, baking tins, tagine and all the other things that make the place look cluttered in there. Clear worktops for me next time around.
Forgot to say my bathroom has smooth doors which are easy to clean. I will be having the same type of kitchen doors as my current doors have grooves going around them and are a pain to clean.
A toilet that doesn't have cruddy horrible nooks and rear-surfaces that gather dust and you have to crouch down and reach behind to wipe. Eugh.
Walls / shower doors etc that can be squeegeed.
No tiles on walls or floor = no grout to get mouldy
Great ventilation to prevent things getting damp; surfaces that stay wet for longer can suck soooo much crud / dust onto them.
Built in appliances etc., again to mean you don't need grout or sealant.
Kitchen cupboard doors with that press/bounce open mechanism so you don't need handles.
Raised oven - much easier to clean if you don't need to be on all fours to reach into it!
No skirting boards or coving, in fact no mouldings of any kind of furniture or doors.
Wall hung toilet as easy to clean under, if going for tiles large format tiles so less grout lines, washable paint, shallow storage built into wall if possible for extra toilet rolls, toilet brush, wipes, cleaning products, toiletries etc. Wet room type floor with single glass shower panel is easy to clean Squeegee in the shower for after every times it's used. takes 10 seconds and reduces water marks.
Kitchen don't choose open shelving, pick cabinet doors without loads of grooves, a door type that doesn't show finger prints, matt finish floor choice that doesn't show streaks, matt/honed finish on worktop. If an option put in a pantry with small counter and have bigger items like air-fryer, etc that are frequently used in there.
I have nothing on my counters, have a boiling water tap, don't use a toaster, and have the coffee machine and blender in tall units in the kitchen. Have a spare drawer for if stuff starts accumulating on the counter, can sweep it in there if needed and sort later. Good sweeping brush and cordless vacuum if you can.
TroysMammy - great ideas, thanks! You are so right with the storage. It is vital!
I'm planning to have an oak kitchen (IKEA) to avoid having to scrub cupboards all the time...
You can keep all your kitchen and laundry crap in there, and have your kitchen more of a minimalist space.
Wish we had one
wow guys, loving your ideas! Please keep them coming!
Our utility room will be part of the kitchen so won't be able to hide things in there.
Having loads of cupboards to store things.
Hadn't thought about that wall hung idea. Fab!
Def considering large wall tiles for bathroom! I had those UPVC panels installed in my current bathroom and while they are a dream to clean, they are now peeling off
As others have said - remove opportunities for dust and dirt and make areas easy to wipe clean.
Good storage. No clutter.
Box in things like pipework and remove irregular nooks and crannies, box in up to the top of the cealing in the kitchen over the cupboards.
Cupboards not shelves.
Flat doors rather than textured ones or patterned with grooves.
Large tiles (less grout) and dark grout.
Appliance garage in the kitchen for toaster etc.
If in a hard water area invest in a water softener so stop scale building up in sinks, shower screens etc. They're quite expensive so we plumbed ours such that we took it with us when we moved house.
Agree with pp about wall hung toilets and sinks for easy floor cleaning, and large format tiles to reduce the amount of grout. Reduce things with horizontal ledges that can collect dust as much as possible, so for example a shallow medicine cabinet could be installed into the wall so there is no ledge above it. Similarly, kitchen units to the ceiling.
Personal preference but I find hard floors easiest to clean.
In the kitchen get pull out drawers inside cupboards - much easier to see everything and get to things in the back. And clean!
Storage - no clutter.
Have your kitchen cupboards go up to the ceiling or have moulding on top so no way to catch dirt and grease
Line all cupboards
Have a system in the fridge including containers (if you google or pinterest it there are loads)
Places to put small appliances (I keep my toaster on a tray in a cupboard in the kitchen - easy to get out, just wash the tray every now and then)
Have a place for everything.
Windows that swivel in for easy cleaning.
Hardwood floors rather than carpet.
The best thing that I did in my new kitchen was to put all the cutlery and crockery into drawers in a base cabinet. So it goes, sink, to the left of the sink the dishwasher, to the left of the dishwasher the cutlery/crocker drawers (last base cabinet). Beside the cutlery/crockery drawers is the kitchen table. So laying the table, loading the dishwasher and emptying the dishwasher are really quick and for the most part I hardly need to move my feet, let alone walk back and forth for miles.
The base of my loo is smooth and the back of the column is flush with the wall so it's easy to mop and there's nowhere for pre-teen boy piss to collect. The loo seat has a quick release mechanism so the whole seat and lid lift off for easy cleaning, again for pre-teen boy reasons.
Have a system in the fridge including containers (if you google or pinterest it there are loads)
Yes this is a good idea - I have 'things in things' in all my cupboards in the kitchen e.g. you just pull out the box of spices rather than having al spices loose.
Bathroom - wall hung toilet, large tiles on wall and floor, dark grey grout for the floor tiles. Wall hung cupboards with a counter top and built in basins so you can clean the floor under the cupboards. Boxed in bath with wall mounted taps and all shower fittings hidden behind the wall with a glass shower enclosure.
Kitchen - no open shelving, false panel from top of cupboards to ceiling, all integrated appliances and easy clean work tops. Plinths that are sealed so no bits get under the gap between floor and plinth. No gloss doors or ornate handles. Plenty of storage so little is left on the work tops. Boiling water tap so no kettle to wipe splashes from. No fancy fabric blinds/curtains and an extractor powerful enough to clear steam. Flooring which is easy clean - oh and a cleaner!!!! 😂😂
Tell you something that's made a big difference here. Inside all external doors, rather than any kind of flooring I have 3 or 4 feet of full width doormat, you know, the really thick straw coloured stuff. The tile/laminate starts further back along each hallway. It's amazing the difference those first few steps of doormat make, and it looks much nicer and 'fitted' than just chucking down a doormat.
Walk in shower - no glass or unnecessary nooks and crannies.
Everything boxed in and wall hung.
Cupboards in the kitchen up to the ceiling. Pull out shelves for everything.
Underfloor heating. Mixer taps.
Don't have kids or pets. Or hobbies.
I will add quite an obscure one:
Bette (bath and shower company) do baths and showers with an "upstand" built along the edge of the bath or shower tray. You tile down over the upstand. That means no need for the silicon strip which is the bit that always goes mouldy.
Full width carpet on the stairs, not runner. With runners, dust collects at the edges. Or wood stairs but that's noisy.
YY to larger tiles, underfloor heating, wall hung loo and basin, single mixer tap, built in doormats, walk in shower.
For bathroom pipework you have a choice: chased into the wall looks better and will be easier to keep clean, however it's harder to fix if it leaks, especially if you've tiled over it. Same applies to wall mounted taps vs basin/bath mounted taps.
Choose tiles, flooring and worksurfaces which have a bit of a "fleck" or pattern to them - so that every speck of dirt or stray hair is not on show. And avoid anything textured or carved as it will collect dirt (even just a simple Shaker cupboard collects dirt, flat fronted would be better).
Avoid wood in the kitchen or bathrooms.
If you are in a position to design this house from scratch then I'd say making a separate laundry area is a must ! And if it's at all possible, locate it close to the bedrooms so the washing doesn't have to be hauled up and down stairs - simply wash/tumble dry /hand to de crease or iron if needed then put away !
( unless you are working from home all day and have time to put washing outside to dry )
Wow guys, thanks so much for all your ideas. I really appreciate it
For the kitchen we have chosen oak cabinets (Hyttan IKEA see pic) - totally straight, no nooks and crannies for dust to collect and because it's wood I'm hoping it won't show as much if it is dirty (although I clean regularly - I must add). The worktop will have to be laminate as the budget won't stretch to Quartz. I'm thinking something black as we like the contrast with the wood but we're not totally sure yet. Floor will be good quality vinyl. Splashback will be tiled but probably white tiles with dark grouting. Nothing in the kitchen will be exposed. We have
gone mad with cupboards everywhere to avoid having open shelving as these only look good for photos but in reality are a nightmare.They all go up to the ceiling!
Bathroom very similar - large tiles with dark grouting. I will now research the wall hung toilet and sink cabinet options. What a great idea!
I think the only place in the house with carpet will be the stairs. Need to research which types of carpet are better for stairs. Need something heavy duty that won't show dirt as much. Can anyone recommend anything in particular?
Thank you all very much, this thread has been so helpful!
This Don't have kids or pets. Or hobbies.
Seriously though, forget all the open plan nonsense. If you are designing a house from scratch, incorporate separate rooms and actual doors. Allow yourself space to shut the door on things sometimes. Definitely go for a separate utility / laundry room. I also really miss not having an airing cupboard in this house. Don't kid yourself that any house lived in by a family doesn't have to store things like wellies, and have clothes that sometimes need soaking before a wash, and sometimes need to dry clothes that don't go in the tumble drier, when it's a rainy week. Do allow yourselves to have space for hobbies - be that doing them or storing equipment. A really sterile house makes me feel so sad for people living there.
These are really useful tips. We are just planning a renovation of kitchen, bathrooms, utility room-quite overwhelming!
Anyone with high (to the ceiling) kitchen cabinets do you use the full height (if so what for?) or does it station you dumping things on top of cabinets?
Go for sanitary ware that is smooth and rounded, so easy to clean. Wall hung loo makes it easier to install underfloor heating as well.
Stair carpet - I would go for a heavy duty (32oz and above) 80/20 Heather twist, the colours are speckled so hides any dirt. Buy the best underlay you can.
Yes to the upstairs laundry room - friends had this in their US house and it makes a lot of sense.
CountMagnus - many thanks for the carpet advice. Greatly appreciated! Will check that out
For everyone suggesting a separate laundry area and/or upstairs. This won't be possible in our house, sadly. But I think that the layout we chose will work for us. We're not redesigning/building the house from scratch. Only adding an extension and changing a garage into the play room. Upstairs and lounge will remain the same layout.
For those suggesting no kids or pets: I'm afraid I'm too late on the no kids policy as we have a almost 2 year old son now. However, I have a 'no kids in the kitchen' policy for now and so far it has worked well for us. On the other hand, I am firm on the NO pets rule. Definitely not having pets as I am highly allergic and could not cope with having them, I'm afraid.
I'm totally on board with the other suggestions. SO so useful!
Many thanks, guys
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