Remodeling a small bath has several challenges. Finding good small bathroom ideas, however, is much easier than many homeowners think. Whether the makeover involves a master bath, a powder room or any other smaller area, it is possible to find great ideas to make the space optimally functional and attractive.
Small baths present both typical challenges for remodelers and unique issues. The first issue in any remodel is cost. Regardless of the size of your bath, the basic plumbing fixtures must be included, as well as ventilation, lighting, electricity and accessibility, before exploring other ideas.
A second significant challenge is fitting everything into a small space. Fortunately, today’s remodeler can find a broad range of plumbing fixtures designed for small bathrooms. You might choose any of the following:
- Install only a shower (no tub)
- A tub that is smaller and deeper
- A lower toilet
- Smaller sink designs
- Pedestal or wall-mounted sink to open more floor space
- Spa shower designed on a small scale
- Combination toilet and bidet
A third challenge is to find good ideas for decorating. There are ways to decorate that will make the small space appear larger and more spacious.
A fourth challenge is to provide adequate lighting. Natural light is always to be preferred over artificial light, but it is often very difficult to add windows in a small area. Tube lights (which bring light through a tube from the roof to the ceiling admit a surprising amount of natural light. Skylights are also an outstanding choice if you are working on the top floor of the house.
Finding Small Bathroom Ideas
Most homeowners are relieved to discover abundant sources of small bathroom ideas for design and decorating. These include:
- Books on bathroom design or remodeling
- Home decorating and design magazines
- Books of house plans
- Visit model homes in new neighborhoods
- Ask your neighbors what they have done
- Displays at home improvement stores and kitchen and bath stores
- Talk with a remodeling designer or a home planner
- Check remodeling websites
- Explore websites for manufacturers of fixtures and other materials
Planning your Renovations
In working with a small area, planning each aspect of the remodel is critical. You will want to ensure every decision fits with all other choices and decisions. Any mistakes in choosing items you will use in your remodel or colors will be exaggerated in a small bathroom.
Begin with your budget. Know how much you can spend, because you will almost certainly need to compromise in selecting fixtures and other materials. Then, set priorities for your design and the materials. For example, is it more important to have a spa shower or to have a heated floor?
Shop carefully for every item you need. Shop the sales and compare prices carefully. Consider buying discontinued styles (if they fit your plan).
Small Bathroom Ideas for Design and Décor
There are many tips and tricks you will discover for decorating that make the space seem larger. Here are a few of the top tips…
- Use vertical stripes or borders at the top of walls to draw the eye upward
- Introduce as much natural light as possible
- Magnify the natural light with well-placed mirrors
- Use lighter and brighter colors
- Don’t install a vanity
- Put as little as possible on surfaces
Storage and Small Bathroom Ideas
A major challenge for the creativity of many designers is providing adequate storage. Once the vanity is sacrificed to spaciousness, storage is typically lost. Many homeowners find it helpful to call in a local cabinetmaker for help.
If you have no storage space inside a small bathroom and little or none immediately outside it, you must think creatively and find innovative solutions to your storage needs. A good cabinetmaker can help you with ideas like opening a second point of access to a hall linen closet or add open shelves over the tub or outside the shower for towels. Your cabinetmaker can also customize stock cabinetry to fit into recesses he or she cuts into walls for a variety of storage needs. Small niches also can be cut into the wall for decorative items.