Help & advice

I only have a small bathroom, what can I do to make the most of the space?

When space is limited in a bathroom renovation, whether it's your main bathroom or a smaller en suite, secondary bathroom, or compact cloakroom, there are lots of smart ways to design a bathroom to make the most of the space that also make it feel larger.

  • Clever storage solutions like wall-mounted cabinets or recessed shelving maximise storage without encroaching on valuable floor space
  • Space-saving fixtures like wall-hung toilets or compact vanity units
  • Sliding doors or pocket doors
  • Tile layout
  • How you use colour
  • Types of materials you choose

By making strategic design choices, even a tiny bathroom can feel more spacious and functional.

Fixings & sanitaryware

When it comes to choosing sanitaryware for your bathroom, there's a wide range of designs and sizes available to suit different needs and preferences.

Concealed wall hung toilet

  • Opting for a cloakroom style basin can free up space
  • Slimline concealed cisterns are your friends! Toilet depths can vary, but in particular if there’s space behind the unit in a wall or cupboard, or under a shelf that you can hide a cistern, that will take away a lot of visual clutter and save space
  • Anything wall-hung - basins, vanity units, toilets - create the illusion of a larger bathroom because you free up valuable floor space

Visit a local bathroom showroom to try out smaller sinks and toilets to gauge their size and suitability. Basins can be too small, so finding the right balance is key. Adding wall mounted taps or side taps to your sink can help get the most out of the smaller bathroom.

Combination units that integrate sink, toilet, and storage, as well as corner sinks and toilets might help you use otherwise wasted space. Wall hung bar or ladder towel rails, also reduce the amount of space needed and can fit into most nooks and crannies.

Are there things I can do without?

Transitioning to a shower or wet room can be a fantastic way to maximise space and create a more spacious feel in your bathroom.

Shower room

By removing baths and screens, you not only gain physical space but also eliminate visual barriers, making the room appear larger and more open. Wet rooms offer a seamless and contemporary look, with the entire floor typically being tiled and a drain installed to handle water runoff. This design choice can be particularly beneficial for smaller bathrooms or those with awkward layouts.

Wet rooms are likely to consume more water, and in our experience get colder faster than an enclosed shower, so the enclosed shower is the more water and energy efficient option. Waterfall style and power showers typically waste the most water so opt for a water efficient, aerating shower head to save water and reduce energy bills. Read more on choosing the right type of shower.

Create new storage spaces

Knowing the type of walls in your bathroom could help you when optimising storage space. If you have stud walls, consider incorporating cubby holes or alcoves / niches into the wall cavity for additional storage without sacrificing floor space.

Wall cavity shelving in bathroom

For concealing water pipes or cisterns, building out instead of boxing in could be an effective solution to create recesses, shelving, or alcoves for storage, while maintaining a streamlined look. If you're building from scratch, including these considerations in your brief upfront can save both time and money.

Keep clutter at bay by concealing excess shampoos and beauty products. Explore options for storage under a bath, such as bath panels with sliding doors, magnetic closures, or drawers.

Create more light

Enhance the feeling of spaciousness by increasing lighting with additional fixtures or even a light tunnel to bring in natural daylight.

Daylight coming through light tunnel into bathroom

Incorporating mirrors, whether large or illuminated, can visually expand the room by reflecting light and creating the illusion of depth. Choose metallic fixtures and high gloss finishes for surfaces such as tiles to bounce light around the space.

Tiling, walls and floors and colour

Incorporating strategic tiling techniques and use of colour can greatly enhance the perception of space in a bathroom.

Tiled shower room with the same tiles on the floor and wall

  • Tile the side of the bath to match the wall tiles
  • Run the same colour from the floors up the walls, even the ceiling!
  • Lay rectangular tiles vertically to elongate walls, creating a sense of height
  • Use large floor tiles to minimise visual breaks
  • Commit to your colour choices - colour drenching or working to a limited colour palette can make the room feel larger!


FAQs

What alternatives or design strategies can be employed to maintain or hold on to a a bath in a small bathroom?

Maintaining a bath in a small bathroom will take a few strategic design considerations. Opt for a compact or space–saving bathtub that accommodates the available space without overwhelming the room. Freestanding or corner bathtubs can be considered to utilize corners efficiently. Integrating a shower–bath combination provides dual functionality while saving space. Creating a built–in or alcove bathtub with clever storage solutions around it also helps maximize the use of available space. Exploring creative layouts, and looking for smaller than standard baths can help you to hold on to a bath in a small bathroom without compromising functionality.

What innovative storage solutions or design elements can be implemented to address the storage needs of a small bathroom?

To address the storage needs of a small bathroom layout, various innovative solutions and design elements can be applied. Use vertical space through wall–mounted cabinets or shelves to maximize storage without occupying valuable floor space. Compact and multi–functional furniture pieces, such as combination units integrating sink, toilet, and storage, are also an efficient use of space. Built–in niches or cubby holes within stud walls offer additional storage without sacrificing space. Concealed storage under baths or behind bath panels, alongside creative use of mirrors reflecting light around the room further optimizes storage in a limited bathroom space.

What are some specific lighting fixtures, placements, or techniques that can be employed to enhance the perception of space in a small bathroom?

Enhancing the perception of space in a small bathroom can be achieved through thoughtful lighting choices and placements. Incorporating additional fixtures, such as wall–mounted sconces or ceiling lights, helps distribute light more evenly. Strategic placement of mirrors can reflect light, creating an illusion of increased space. Opting for fixtures with translucent shades or diffusers softens the light, contributing to a more spacious feel. Recessed lighting in the ceiling reduces visual clutter, and making the most of any natural light enhances the overall brightness. These lighting techniques work together to create a well–lit and visually open atmosphere in a small bathroom.


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