6 elements to think about when designing a yacht bathroom

Expert advice

Svetlana Mojić Džakula
Architect and yacht designer,
owner of Salt & Water studio

Salt & Water is an architecture and design studio specializing in water-based projects such as yachts, river cruisers, houseboats, and floating objects. The studio’s main fields of work include designing interiors and providing support for successful interior execution. Additionally, the company offers exterior styling for all types of vessels.
To date, Salt & Water has received 12 international awards for architecture and design, including the Millennium Yacht Design Award 2023, The Cruise Ship Interiors Awards 2022 for Best Spa and Fitness Area, and The International Yacht & Aviation Award 2014 for the best private jet interior design. Their successful collaborations with shipyards, naval engineers, engineering teams, captains, and yacht owners over the past 12 years are a testament to team expertise and dedication to every project.

Imagine enjoying a vacation on a yacht. The weather is great, you are sailing through beautiful landscapes, and the food and service are fantastic. Everything is just perfect…
However, suddenly, the long waves from the stern begin to rock the yacht. Long and monotonous, not giving up. You realize you need to use the bathroom!
In that situation, would it still matter to you if the bathroom is super-designed? Or would having a bathroom that is easy and safe to use become significantly more crucial?

Here are six elements that, in my view, should never be underestimated when designing a yacht bathroom, because they significantly affect its safety and functionality:

  1. Ensure you can hold on to something in all areas of the bathroom
    Motor yachts often don’t have designed positions that you can hold on to because they don’t sail tilted. Only later, on water, you will see that it is a mistake. The water surface is almost never static. If you think about holders from the beginning, they can easily fit into the overall design without disturbing the final appearance of the space.
  2. Protection from prying eyes during their stay in the marina
    Bathrooms with larger windows have been standard for a while now. While they visually increase the bathroom, allowing it to be bathed in natural light, it is necessary to consider the users’ privacy during their stay near the coast or other boats.
  3. The bathroom has adequate lighting
    I really don’t understand why this is still a common problem on both yachts and in hotels. The chosen lighting makes the bathroom visually appealing, but when you look in the mirror, you don’t want your face to be in a shadow. The reason for that is the lamp that is being positioned on the ceiling behind you. It is necessary to provide additional lighting that will illuminate your face properly and allow you to easily apply makeup or shave.
  4. Proper water drainage
    Numerous yachts today feature walk-in showers. Because yachts move and sway, think carefully about water drainage before choosing one.
    I have heard many stories from experienced crew members about water all over the bathroom floor because the provided drain is inadequately sized or positioned, so the water easily bypasses it.
    If the yacht is used for charter, it is necessary that the drain is easy to clean. Since the time between guests is short, it is super important that everything is easy to maintain and clean so that the crew does not waste their time unnecessarily.
  5. Plenty of space in the bathrooms for hanging towels and keeping cosmetics
    Most people think that this belongs to decoration, but this should be considered from the beginning when designing the space. It is also necessary to keep everything within easy reach and prevent it from sliding on the bathroom surfaces. With intelligent design, these elements are incorporated with the rest of the bathroom design.
  6. High slip resistance of the selected ceramic tiles
    I’ve been on yachts multiple times with remarkable bathrooms featuring ceramic floor tiles that become slippery underfoot, even when dry.
    When wet, they transform into hazards for users, potentially leading to severe injuries from slips. As such, when selecting tile decor, it’s imperative to verify their anti-slip properties.

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