Ground fault circuit interrupters look similar to standard outlets except that they have buttons that replicate the function of a circuit breaker box. When a circuit is blown the buttons will pop out and the outlet will cease producing electricity until the button is manually depressed and the outlet is turned back on. When renovating a home, replace your standard outlets with GFCI outlets in your bathrooms and kitchen, which will protect your family and guests from accidental injury.
Contact your local building department to ask about the requirements for outlet locations in your area. Every area is not alike. Some communities allow you to position outlets as high or low on a wall as you want and as close to a sink as you want so long as the GFCI is used. Other communities have strict guidelines for new outlet installations in bathrooms and kitchens. Outlets are commonly positioned several inches above the countertop and off to the side of the sink.
The National Electrical Code requires that a GFCI outlet must be positioned within 3 feet of the outside edge of the sink. The Code also requires that the outlet be at least 48 inches above the floor. No outlet can be installed face-up on the counter or floor. Other outlets, not in relation to the sink, shower and tub, can be positioned at the home owner's convenience. The code recommends that shower lights and lights over tubs also use GFCI circuits.
Your existing bathroom is likely to have outlets that do not conform to the National Code. You should correct the type and placement of your outlets to conform both to protect your family and to prepare your house to meet minimum requirement for resale. Any bathroom remodeling requires you to correct the type and placement of outlets around sinks, tubs, kitchens and other wet areas.