10 Small Bathroom Ideas That Work

10 Small Bathroom Ideas That Work

Bathroom layouts can be a challenging, but a small bathroom can be particularly challenging. If your bathroom is short on space and you need some small bathroom ideas to make it work, then you have come to the right place.

Every day here at RoomSketcher, we see hundreds of bathroom designs, floor plans and remodeling projects, from all around the globe. We work with customers just like you to help you create floor plans and to visualize your design ideas in 3D. One of the projects that we see people struggle with the most is small bathrooms.

To help, we pulled some of our favorite small bathroom projects to show you examples of small bathroom design ideas that really work. Let’s take a look:

10 Small Bathroom Ideas that Work

1. Add Mirror Walls
As the small bathroom above shows, adding a mirror across a whole wall can double the look and feel of a small room. This is particularly effective above a vanity or along one side of a narrow bathroom. Mirrors are also great for reflecting light, so you can get more lighting from your light fixtures or windows.

2. Wall Mounted Toilets
If you have space in the walls of your small bathroom to build-in a toilet tank, you can save both floor space and legroom with a wall mounted toilet. If you can’t wall mount the toilet, consider adding shelving above the tank for additional storage or extending your vanity top to create a narrow ledge.

Small Bathroom with Wall Mounted Toilet & Shelving

Gain additional floor space with a wall mounted toilet or add wall shelf above for additional storage

3. Lose the Tub
Tubs take up twice the amount of floor space than showers. If you have the option to lose the tub, you’ll open up your small bathroom significantly. Showers are great for adults and guests, especially older ones. If you add a hand shower, showers are also excellent for getting pets clean too. However, if you have children and you need to keep the tub for bathing them, then consider a lower profile tub. The lower height makes getting in and out easier and it will make your room feel more open as well.

Small Bathroom with Tub vs Shower Before & After

Extend your bathroom by replacing the tub with a shower

4. Frameless Glass Tub and Shower Panels
Let’s be honest, no one likes shower curtains. They stick to you when you’re showering and they are a pain to clean. Shower curtains also close off one-third of your room visually. To prevent this, swap out your shower curtain with a frameless glass panel instead. This will open up your bathroom significantly and allow more light into your shower or tub. Glass panels are easy to install, maintain and are perfect for small bathrooms. They can be either fixed in place or hinged to swing. You can fold hinged glass panels inward when the shower is not in use as well. Avoid sliding glass panels, which require top and bottom tracks and are more difficult to clean.

Bathroom Shower Curtain vs Frameless Glass Tub Panel Before & After

Replace your shower curtain with a frameless glass tub or shower panel

5. Continual Flooring and Curbless Showers
Here is one of our favorite small bathroom design ideas – curbless showers. By eliminating the curb around your shower, your flooring can continue right into the shower. This works great with concrete, stone slab and tile floors. You can even incorporate a concealed or infinity-edge drain for a really seamless look. Plus curbless showers are easier to clean.

Curbless Bathroom Shower with Glass Panel

A continuous concrete floor and curbless shower gives this narrow bathroom a clean open look

6. Small Sinks and Floating Vanities
As with wall mounted toilets, wall mounted sinks are an excellent way to save floor space and to make your small bathroom appear more open. If storage is key, try a wall mounted floating vanity. Look for narrow washbasin designs and for the newer thin-edge sinks. The ceramic is just as strong as it is with a traditional sink and you’ll get a larger washbasin in less space.

Small Bathroom with Wall Mounted Vanity Sink & Toilet

A narrow wall mounted vanity keeps this bathroom light and open

7. Think Vertical – Add cabinets and open shelving on the walls
In small bathrooms storage is often sacrificed. While there may not be available real estate on the floor of your small bathroom, there is on the walls. Opt for recessed medicine cabinets with mirrored fronts above your sink. Add shelving on the wall above the toilet, at the end of a tub or above the entry door or vanity mirror. Use narrow open shelves to keep the look light. Metal towel racks also work well. For cabinets, look for ones with glass fronts. Don’t forget the back of the door, it is a great place to add towel bars or robe hooks.

Bathroom with Storage Cabinets & Open Shelving on Walls

Take advantage of available wall space for additional storage

8. Pocket Doors
Beyond eliminating the tub, one of the biggest space saving small bathrooms ideas you can consider is to switch from an in-swinging entry door to a pocket door. To install a pocket door you will have to open your wall to create the pocket. However, you can gain up to 9 square feet of useable space that you did not have before. You will have more flexibility when placing your fixtures as well. You can also look for surface-mounted sliding door hardware to create a modern sliding door or barn door look.

Small Bathroom Floor Plans with Pocket Door

Switching to a pocket door allows enough space for this half bath to become a full bath

9. Combine Dark Floors with Lighter Walls
With small bathrooms you want to be strategic with color. Dark walls will make an already small bathroom feel smaller. Light walls will reflect more light and make your small bathroom feel larger. Reserve dark colors for the floor or keep the overall scheme light. If you have wood floors, look for shower tiles that match the wood in color and tone. This will create the illusion of a continuous floor and won’t draw your eye to the smallest part of the room.

Bathroom with Wood Floor & Curbless Shower

Match shower floor tile with your wood floor to create a continuous look

10. Create an Accent Wall
We saved the best small bathroom design idea for last. This is one of our favorite small bathroom ideas and it works great. If you want to add some color to your small bathroom, place it on the back wall. You can add color to the whole wall or a band of color. This technique will give your room depth and interest without overwhelming it. You can do this with paint or a fun colorful tile. If you want to add some pattern, then use it in the same way – either on the floor or to create an accent wall. Keep the rest of your walls simple and light in color to not dilute the effect.

Small Bathroom with Accent Wall of Blue Mosaic Tile

A creative accent stripe adds both depth and detail in this small bathroom

We hope you find these tried and true small bathroom ideas useful for planning your small bathroom.

You can bring your small bathroom design ideas to life in own bathroom, just like these, with RoomSketcher Home Designer. RoomSketcher is a fantastic and easy-to-use online home design software that you can use to create your small bathroom design. Create bathroom layouts, floor plans, and visualize your small bathroom ideas in 3D.

Frankie Elmquist
Frankie Elmquist is an interior architect and our Home Design Specialist. She’s worked around the globe for some of the top design firms in the world and now she brings her expertise to you.

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