Small Bathroom Layouts
Explore your options for small bathroom layouts, and get ready to create an efficient and comfortable bathroom in the smallest of spaces.
"We were interested in a slightly punk rock approach, while still using a traditional language," says Robin Standefer, one of the two designers who created the Ace Hotel's distinctive look. "When we deal with materials and languages that are historical in nature, we try to approach them with a new originality, a new life," she told Wallpaper magazine. Here, they've combined classic white subway tile with black wooden trim, dark grout, a claw-foot tub with brass faucets and period furniture to give the feel of an Edwardian-era men's club.
Redesigning or installing a bathroom in a small space can be a challenge, but luckily, a wide variety of small bathroom layouts can be found to help guide your design.
The first suggestion when it comes to small bathroom layouts is to build up, not out. Use as much wall space as possible for shelves and storage cabinets. This way the small amount of available floor space won't be infringed by necessary storage elements.
Be Consistent With Patterns
Don’t be afraid to add dimension to small spaces by using a graphic wall covering. This black-and-white pattern adds depth to a small powder room designed by Jennifer Jones. The simple sink adds visual space to the room, without distracting from the statement of the wallpaper. Photo by Hale Photography
Take Tile All the Way
Floor-to-ceiling tile can help a space feel larger by adding continuity, like in this design by Joseph Pubillones. The floating vanity gives a light feeling and frees up floor space visually, while keeping the colors neutral further expands the space. Photo by Daniel Newcomb
Be Bold Yet Simple With Color
Textures Add Interest
The textured tile used in this small bathroom by Amelie de Gaulle adds depth and impact to the space, while the reflective quality of it tricks your eye, making the space feel larger. Taking the tile floor to ceiling again unifies the room, creating even more visual space.
Mix Textures Within a Color Scheme
Mix and match tile choices to add visual interest to small spaces, but keep elements monochromatic like in this bathroom design by Erica Islas. Keeping the color consistent makes the space feel unified.
Add Reflective Surfaces
Use reflective materials such as mirrors and stainless steel to visually expand small bathrooms, like in this design by Belmont Freeman. Using frameless glass for the shower divider helps merge the areas and make it feel roomy.
Building shelving into the wall can add a charming detail, while adding ultimate functionality like in this design by Gail Drury. Using a reflective, textured wall treatment adds sparkle; moving light around the space tricks your eye into thinking it is larger.
Free Up Floor Space
Using a wall-mounted vanity and sink frees up floor space, making a small bathroom feel spacious while remaining functional. In this design by Marie Burgos, the frameless glass shower door again helps to make the space feel more continuous.
When planning for a sink, scrap the idea of a floating pedestal sink if space is an issue. While this design technically takes up less space than a sunken sink in a cabinet, you'll be wasting precious storage space on an airy design.
Focus on storage in a small shower, as well, by adding hanging racks wherever possible, so shower accessories can be easily stored and accessed.
Let the light in—consider adding a skylight if possible, to create the illusion of more space and ensure that the bathroom will always receive adequate natural light.
Finally, stay on top of lighting. When it comes to light fixtures, go low-profile and elegant instead of big and bold so the light fixtures don't overwhelm the small space.
- NKBA 2013 "People's Pick" Bathroom Winner: The Petite Sophisticate
- Newest Bathroom Makeovers by Candice Olson
- HGTV Green Home 2011: Master Bathroom Pictures
- Bathroom Fixture Styles and Trends
- Savvy Apartment Bathrooms
- Bathroom Looks We're Loving