A room with a sink and a mirror

20 Tips to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

May 6, 2017

Making the most of a small bathroom is a design challenge. Trying to find workable space for the toilet, basin, shower and bath can feel like grappling with a giant jigsaw puzzle. To help you solve the problem, here’s our guide to making the most of a compact bathroom.

1. Try a bath/shower combination

If you’re short on space but enjoy bathing, install a bath/shower combination. Try positioning the shower on the horizontal longer side of the bath. You will be able to spread out more, making it feel more luxurious.

2. Use space-saving suites

Many manufacturers now make space-saving bathroom suites and furniture. These can save you inches on the standard models and help to create a great room without too much compromise.

3. Choose a trough sink

A group of glass bottles on a table, with Room and Bathroom

A trough sink can be a stylish solution to a long narrow bathroom. When wall-mounted, the overall look is sleek and minimalist. It is also possible for two people to use the sink at once.

4. Wall mount the taps

Try wall-mounting taps for the basin or bath. If using smaller suite sizes, this can allow extra space for washing and bathing.

5. Embrace curves

If the room is tight on space, angular corners can be a hazard. Using curved shaped fittings and furniture can save on the bruising.

6. Use the corners

A room with a sink and a mirror

To maximise space, install a corner bath, shower, basin, or even toilet. If there is a window where you want to position the shower, use a frosted glass back or side panel to protect it without losing the light.

7. Consider the shower door

To save on space, consider just having a walk around glass panel as a shower door. Alternatively, a

shower curtain, which just pulls across and back, saves space over a glass door which needs room to open and shut.

8. Install a wet room

A room with a sink and a window

If your space really is tiny, consider installing a wet room rather than a full on bathroom. A good extractor fan is essential to prevent a build-up of moisture. Underfloor heating will also add warmth and luxury.

9. Create recessed shelving

Recessed shelving and small niches are perfect for storing towels and toiletries. Build shelves into stud walls built to conceal any pipework.

10. Float furniture and fittings

Mounting furniture and storage units on the walls makes the room appear bigger, as the floor space is left clear. It also makes it much easier to clean.

11. Choose fixtures with storage

A double sink and large mirror

Choose a basin set within a storage unit which can house spare towels. Or, have an opening bath panel that can be used to store toiletries. A mirrored cupboard can also be useful for medicines and smaller items.

12. Put up ledges and shelves

Shelves and ledges positioned over a bath can be handy for storing toiletries and towels. They can provide effective storage without taking up precious floor space.

13. Use a portable wire storage system

If you are really short on space, invest in a standalone wire storage system which you can pick up and move. It only needs to take up bathroom space when in use and could have a permanent home in a bedroom.

14. Choose a large mirror

A room with a sink and a mirror

A large mirror will help to create the illusion of space. It also has the practical benefit of bouncing light around the room making it appear lighter and brighter. Mirrored tiles can also be used to great effect in small bathrooms.

15. Try a towel rail on shower door

Make the shower door work harder, by placing a towel rail on it. Useful for easy access and for allowing it to dry out once used.

16. Be clever with colour

A piece of food, with Bathroom and Shower

Using neutrals with a pop of colour injects personality and fun into a small bathroom. It can also stop it looking too clinical. Using coloured glass for a shower door is an effective way to achieve this. Coloured towels and accessories can also enliven the room.

17. Use both direct and indirect lighting

If possible, use both recessed lighting over the bath and shower and slimline wall lights alongside a mirror. This type of lighting will not overwhelm the room but will still give you a chance to create different mood effects.

18. Continue floor tiles into shower

If possible, continue a tiled floor through into a shower cubicle. It leaves the floor space uninterrupted and gives the impression of being a bigger space.

19. Continue wall tiles on the side of the bath

A room with a sink and a mirror

Trick the eye by using the same tiles for the walls and side panel of the bath. This creates the illusion that it is all one area, making the room appear larger.

20. Establish a focal point

Keep the room uncluttered but introduce one striking element to act as a focal point. This could be a piece of art, an interesting light or an unusual mirror. One bold or intricate feature will have a big impact on a small space.

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