If you have a small bathroom like I do then you may be wondering how you can remodel it to get better use out of it. This is where I found myself not so long ago when I was trying to figure out how to spice up my own tiny bathroom. I needed to find a small bathroom design idea that included a shower enclosure that I'd never had before and give the whole room a facelift at the same time.
At first I thought that it was impossible because my small bathroom seemed to be cramped as it was, how would I ever make room for a new shower cubicle? Well after a lot of thought and many visits to showrooms and friends bathrooms I set about designing small bathroom plans and eventually came up with a solution.
The difference between physical space and the illusion of space
There is a big difference between a bathroom that has plenty of physical space and one, which simply looks big. If you have a bathroom with lots of physical space then you are able to fit pretty much whatever you like into it.
Some bathrooms are designed to give the illusion of space but this does nothing to help you to fit new fixtures into the room. Such illusions are very important however because they affect the way that you feel when you use the room. A room with a cramped feeling will never be as nice as a room that feels open and airy.
Illusions are very powerful things. A large bathroom with lots of physical space can still feel cramped while a small bathroom designed with the illusion in mind can feel open and relaxed. Bear this in mind when you design your new bathroom.
Decorate a small bathroom with ceramic tiles
Light coloured ceramic tiles from floor to ceiling on every wall can help to give you the illusion of space. This effect will be more pronounced if you use large tiles.
I did this with my bathroom after spending a long time deciding on how much of the bathroom should be tiled and how much should be painted. I am more than pleased with the result and I'm confident that you will be too.
A major influencing factor in this decision was the cost of the ceramic tiles, which can be quite high. By sticking to standard, light coloured tiles and shopping around we were able to find something that looked great for a very reasonable price.
Use mirrors but don't overdo it
Using mirrors to give the feeling of space is simple yet very effective. Don't be tempted to install too many mirrors though because the effect can become overwhelming if you're not careful. Never put mirrors on opposite walls.
Use a shower enclosure with clear sides
Always use shower enclosures and shower screens with clear sides. This gives the illusion of more space in the rest of the bathroom.
Use simple light colours
Dark colours will make your bathroom feel dull and lifeless so stick with light pastel shades to give it a warm inviting atmosphere. I used mostly white with a sky blue design which worked very well.
Use natural light if you can
Natural light is great if you can get it. If you are lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom then make the most of it. If you have a skylight in your bathroom this is even better. Providing natural light only gives the illusion of space but it can make the bathroom very inviting.
Pedestal or wall mounted sink
Using a washbasin mounted on the wall or on a pedestal will save a lot of floor space in comparison with a built in vanity unit. This can be very useful space but you may have to compensate for the lack of a vanity unit by providing adequate storage elsewhere.
A floating cupboard is one that is mounted to the wall and doesn't take up any floor space. You should aim to have adequate storage space to ensure that there is no excuse for things to clutter up the bathroom floor or other surfaces. This is especially important if you don't have a vanity unit with storage space.
High windows and skylights
It isn't always practical to start moving windows and adding skylights but if you do have that option you should make sure that the windows are high so that they don't get in the way of fixtures you might want to put below them.
Go deep with the bathtub not long
Depending on how small your bathroom is you might want to design in a bathtub that takes up less floor space. If you go that way make sure that you get a bathtub that has some depth. That way you can still have a relaxing soak even if you can't stretch out in it.
Steer clear of corner bathtubs because they are likely to take up more room rather than less
A toilet shelf
The wall behind the toilet is often unused space so it's the perfect place to put a shelf or a cupboard. This should help with the storage space problem.
A door that opens into the room will deprive you of some floor space because you have to have room to open the door fully. Using a sliding door can solve this problem. Doors can slide against the wall or better still, inside a cavity wall, which will recover all the space lost to the door opening.
I was unable to use this approach in my small bathroom remodeling because I didn't have a suitable wall but I did look into it.
Curved quadrant shower enclosures
In any small bathroom design shower arrangements must be thought about very carefully. If you are including a shower cubicle then consider a curved quadrant design. These cubicles are flat on 2 sides with a curve to complete the enclosure. They save a lot of useful space in the rest of the bathroom because they eliminate the fourth corner of the enclosure, which often gets in the way. A curved quadrant shower cubicle worked well in my small bathroom design.
Use the door for hanging towels or robes
If you still have a conventional door in your new small bathroom design then make the most of it by putting a towel rail or a robe hook or both on it. This could save you wall space elsewhere.
Lift the radiator off the floor
Radiators are often found taking up floor space when they don't need to. Move it to a higher position. I moved mine over the end of the bathtub, which was a good compromise.
Combine the radiator with a heated towel rail
If you choose the right type of radiator then you can also use it as a towel rail. Not only will you save space by eliminating the rail, you will also get lovely warm towels to use.
Shower screens that fold away
If you have no other alternative than to shower in the bath then you might want to use a shower screen rather than a shower curtain. If you do, look for a shower screen that folds away when it's not in use.
I hope that the tips provided here have been of use to you and that your small bathroom design is as successful as mine has been.
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