5 Tips for Remodeling a Small Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom with a small footprint is more difficult to do well than bigger bathrooms. A small bathroom is easily overwhelmed with busy designs and clutter. The smaller the space the more important it is that all the design elements work together seamlessly. Here are five tips for getting the most out of your small bathroom.

1. Maximize Storage

Nothing makes a small space feel more claustrophobic than clutter and mess. When designing your bathroom, make sure to include plenty of storage space.

  • Euro style vanities combine the small footprint of a pedestal sink but still offer plenty of under sink storage.
  • Wall cabinets or shelves can make good use of the often neglected space above the toilet or in a corner.
  • Recessed shelves in the shower can be built between the wall studs and provide a dedicated place for body wash and shampoo.

2. Brighten Things Upsmall bathroom design

Good lighting in the bathroom isn’t just about getting a good shave or applying makeup; the right lightscape can make the room feel bigger.

  • Vanity lighting needs to be bright enough to catch that stray whisker or smudge, but not so harsh that it casts shadows.
  • Overhead lights should be bright enough for most tasks. The ambient lighting should also brighten up the shower so that there aren’t any dark corners.

3. Consider Scale

Just like any other room in the house, bathrooms require attention to their decor’s proportions.

  • Larger tiles minimize grout lines and can trick the eye into seeing more open space.
  • Smaller fixtures not only take up less floor space, but combined with larger tiles they emphasize the impression of open space.

4. Keep It Simple

The smaller a space is, the more impact each design element has. Adding too many elements risks overwhelming the room.

  • Monochrome rooms with minimal contrast feel open and airy.
  • Repeating shapes or colors keep the eye moving round the room and make the bathroom feel cohesive. Try echoing a square cabinet handle with square wall tiles and angular fixtures or repeating the color of the accent tiles in the towels and soap dispenser.

5. Use Mirrors and Glass

The extra light opens up the bathroom and extend the field of vision.

  • An oversized mirror above the vanity not only visually expands the space, it also adds a high end touch. A large framed mirror adds polish to a small bathroom.
  • Glass shower doors instead of a shower curtain opens up the room and allows more light in the shower. The glass doors can also be outfitted with sleek towel bars for a tidy place to hang towels.
  • Sliding shower doors are useful in smaller bathrooms when there just isn’t the floor space for a swinging door.

Small bathrooms offer unique remodeling challenges, but the end result is well worth the effort.


Contributed by: Aaron Gruenke author and foremost expert on bathroom fixtures and bathroom design. Aaron is a writer for and other online and offline venues.


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