There are many ways to make the most of a small bathroom space and even make it seem bigger. A small square footage allows opportunity for creative use of space and unique storage options. What matters most to you in a bathroom should be your guide in determining the fixtures and furnishings to be used – and, if possible, how everything is arranged.
Primary Considerations When Planning Your Bathroom
- Priorities – If a soaking tub is a high priority, eliminate the shower stall and place towel racks on the far wall of the bathtub. Or, if you prefer a shower to a tub, install a wide shower that gives you enough room to move freely. Full sink vanities take up a good deal of space but can provide plenty of storage plus a larger countertop for placing toiletries and keeping them handy. At design time, a to-scale drawing helps come up with the best room arrangement for your needs.
- Vanities and Sinks – When space is at a premium, two options exist for small sinks: a floating basin style that appears to hang on the wall and a pedestal-style sink that is open underneath and has no countertop. Both types provide room for feet and movement in a cramped space, while also allowing for storage in bins or baskets on the floor. Round vanity edges are better than square in a tight space, and eliminate the worry of bumping into a sharp point! A trough-style sink is a good option in a children’s bathroom, as two or three kids can brush teeth or wash hands at the same time. A vanity top placed over the top of the toilet tank is perfect for holding soaps and hand towels.
- Showers and Bathtubs – Showers and tubs come in a wide range of styles that work perfectly in small bathrooms. Most small tubs are extra deep and allow for a relaxing, warm soak at the end of the day. Some bathtubs measure 4 square feet – made to fit nicely in a corner! Oval tubs can be as small as 4 feet, 4 inches long. Even clawfoot tubs come in a downsized version! A 36-inch square shower stall is comfortable, though stalls as small as 30 inches square are available if needed. A knee wall on a shower provides a tuck-in spot for an adjoining vanity. Glass shower doors give an illusion of space. Bath and shower combinations can be found on a small scale.
- Storage – The secret to making great use of a small bathroom is creative storage ideas. “Climb” the walls by maximizing vertical space. Shelving can be high, yet within reach, with open shelves and attractive storage baskets. Nooks and crannies can hold all your bathing and beauty necessities. Freestanding shelves are available in almost any size. Hamper-size baskets are great for towel storage. Alcoves in shower stalls can hold shampoos and soaps. A ledge just above a standalone sink can hold an array of items within reach. Medicine cabinets are usually placed above the sink and their narrow shelves provide storage for medicines and other small bottled items.
- Windows, Lights, and Mirrors – Mirrors can make any room seem larger. A small bathroom can benefit from a large mirror to reflect natural and artificial light. No room for a window? Consider installing a skylight to provide natural light and a feeling of openness. Or, if the only place for a sink is under a window, a unique idea is to hang an oval mirror over the window. Natural light can still enter while the mirror provides that reflection needed to get ready in the morning as well as privacy.
Even if your bathroom is small, you can still have a beautiful, fully functioning space. Careful selection of fixtures and storage methods combined with plenty of light and pretty décor can result in an inviting, yet practical, room you’ll love to use.
Sovereign Construction Services is a full-service building and remodeling company. Owner Steve Rush can help with planning space in a new or remodeled bathroom of any size. Call Steve at 610-639-2986. He will consult with you to understand your needs and make the most of your small bathroom.