You would think that coming up with ideas to remodel a small bathroom would be easier than coming up with ideas to remodel a large one. However, because of the limited space, every tiny decision has a much larger impact on how guests will perceive the space. That’s why it’s important to sort through a fair number of remodeling ideas before you make any decisions.
If you’re looking for some ideas to get your small bathroom remodel project going, we’re here to help. Below we’ve gathered 15 of the best ideas to get your remodel off the ground. We will explore how you can give the illusion that the bathroom is larger than it really is, and how you can make the most of the space you actually have.
How Can I Get the Most Out of My Small Bathroom?
Before we jump into some ideas for your small bathroom’s remodel, we should first address what you’re aiming to improve and how you can get the most out of your small bathroom.
To get the most out of your small bathroom you should organize its design in a way that expresses openness, and creates the illusion of more space. Ideally, the design itself will take into account the limitations of a small bathroom and ensure no wasted space. Even places that are left empty should serve a purpose for the overall feel of the room.
Additionally, you need to think about color and lighting in the room. Color and lighting play just as big a role in how big and open the room feels as the placement and selection of items within. It also will play a big role in the overall tone and mood of the room.
The following 15 ideas for remodeling should help you get the most out of your small bathroom, both in style and in practical use:
Create Space With a Glass Walk-in Shower
Walk-in showers are great because they’re both easier to get into and more spacious than most traditional shower/bath combos. Because there is no need for a bath beneath you, all of the space leading to the drain is yours to stand in while you get clean.
Using clear glass in particular, will help to make your shower look like it takes up even less space. Your ability to see through the glass creates the illusion that there’s more open space in the room than there really is. If you were to use foggy glass on the other hand, the space would appear more cramped and the room might feel overly stuffed–especially in a small bathroom.
Save Some Room With a Small Bathtub
While a large bathtub can make a bigger bathroom look more luxurious, it can choke the space out of a smaller one. If you have a larger bathroom with a bathtub in your house already, you should consider opting out of one in your smaller room.
That said, a small bathroom can look good with a bathtub in it if care is taken to select the right one. It should be proportionate to the room. A great option would be to use what is called a “drop-in” bathtub. Drop-in bathtubs don’t take up a large amount of surface area, but they make up for it by being deep enough that you can sit in them the way you would in a small hot tub.
Free Up Space With a Compact Toilet
Compact toilets can open up the space in your bathroom even more. Further, if you have other pieces like a small bathtub or small shower, you can create the optical illusion that the pieces are all standard size. This will both make them look bigger as well as the room itself, leading to a win-win for you.
Of course, you want to consider who will be using the bathroom you’re remodeling. Some people may find that a small toilet is not suited to their needs. People with limited mobility for example, often need larger toilets that are easier to transition onto. If you or anyone who is likely to use the toilet may have that problem, the additional space may not outweigh the functionality.
Expand Your Bathroom With a Large Mirror
A lot of the elements of bathrooms we’ve reviewed, like showers, toilets and baths, need to be small to create an illusion of more space. This is not the case however, with mirrors. In the case of mirrors, the bigger the better.
Large mirrors reflect a lot of light, adding to the same “openness” effect that happens when you use lighter colors. They also reflect back the entire room. While we consciously know that the reflection isn’t actually extra space, our subconscious minds process it similarly and leave us with the impression that there really is more space.
Open Up Your Bathroom With Light Colors
Another way to make the bathroom pop and feel bigger simultaneously, is to paint it with a lighter color palette. Lighter colors further expand on the illusion of extra space you can create with a large mirror and a glass shower. This is because more light bounces off of surfaces to make everything feel brighter. Our brains confuse this for being more open and thus bigger.
Make Your Bathroom Cozy With Warm Colors
If you would rather your small bathroom have a cozy feel instead of a more open one, you’ll want to use colors on the warm end of the spectrum. Colors like golden yellow, brown or light beige, can give the bathroom a cozy feel that turns its small size into an asset rather than a liability.
Accentuate Your Bathroom’s Colors With Contrast
If you really want to make the color design in your bathroom come alive, you should use contrasting colors. The most basic way to do this is with black and white designs, however any combination of colors that accentuate each other without becoming distracting, will do.
The use of contrast can also break up the monotony of the room and make it more exciting to look at. There’s nothing wrong with a small bathroom in one plain color, but it doesn’t exactly stick in the mind either. If you want guests to really appreciate the work you put into remodeling, you need something that grabs the attention.
Add Depth To Your Bathroom With Graphic Tiles
When you have the bathroom tiled, you should consider using graphic tiles. Graphic tiles are tiles that have patterns printed on them. Some of them are simply black and white, while others can get more vibrant and varied in what they display.
Whichever you choose, it should add some interesting texture to the look of your bathroom.
Modernize Your Bathroom With Matte Tiles
Another option for tiling is matte finishes. Matte finishes not only provide a rustic yet modern look, but they also come with a slew of practical benefits as well.
Because of their darker coloring and rustic look, matte tiles will not show stains as readily as traditional ones. That way even when the floor could use a little cleaning, it won’t look awful to any surprise guests.
On top of that, they don’t require as much maintenance in that they don’t have to be cleaned as often. With glossy tiles, little watermarks, dirt and debris can reduce the shine overtime if they aren’t regularly cleaned. Matte tiles on the other hand do not have that same shine to constantly maintain.
Further matte tiles are the safer option, in that they provide your feet with more traction. You’ll be far less likely to slip and fall on matte tiles than you would on slick glossy ones.
Illuminate Your Bathroom With Smart Lighting
If you don’t want to have to stumble your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you can get ahead of the curve by having smart lighting installed.
With a smart lighting system, you can have the lights come on automatically when you wake up or use motion detection to pick up when you walk in. You can also save a considerable amount on energy costs with some systems that will automatically turn off the light if no one is in the room. This comes in handy when you accidentally leave the light on.
Freshen Your Bathroom With a Fan Switch Timer
You can more efficiently improve the ventilation of your bathroom by using a fan switch timer. Similar to smart lighting systems, these timers free you up by allowing you to choose how long and when the fan is running. Once they’re set, they perform their function and then turn off on their own. In fact, many of these timers can be integrated directly into smart lighting systems.
Having your fan on a timer can also cut down on your energy costs. Gone are the days when you turned on the fan to air out the room, only to realize a few hours later, you forgot it was still on.
Of course, not only is this reduced energy consumption good for your wallet, but it’s good for the environment as well. That’s why as we move forward you will likely see technologies like this becoming more standardized. Don’t get caught behind the times!
Add Extra Space With Curved Pieces
While they aren’t a necessity, curved showers, baths and countertops can provide you with a little extra space in your small bathroom. They can also contribute to the overall feeling of openness.
Increase Efficiency With Your Storage Options
When you’re designing a small bathroom, you want to make sure that there is a decent amount of cabinet, drawer and shelf space to store things without creating clutter.
Remember, in a small space it takes less objects sitting out to make everything look cluttered than it does a large one. That’s why it’s recommended you go with something like a medicine cabinet or a set of drawers to conceal most of the stuff you’re storing. Be very mindful of what things you put out on shelves, and make sure they add to the overall aesthetic you’re aiming for.
Boost Convenience With Shower Shelves
Another place you can put shelves is in the shower itself. It will save you space and make getting everything from your shampoo to your towel more convenient.
Just make sure that if you plan to use some of the shelves to hold towels, you put them out of the range of the shower head. Having them handy as soon as you turn the water off is great, but if they’re too close you’ll be drying off with a damp towel.
Enhance Your Bathroom Design With Coordinated Accessories
When you’re planning the design of your remodel, it’s important you don’t just think about the room itself, but what you’re going to put in it. Everything you place in the room, down to the hand towels, will add to the overall visual aesthetic you’re striving for.
Coordinating the towels, window curtains (if there are any) and potential artwork you hang up can elevate the design of the small bathroom you’re remodeling. Just remember, coordinating doesn’t necessarily mean making everything match and look the same, but rather making it look as though it goes together.
So Really, What are the Best Home Remodeling Ideas for Small Bathrooms?
There are many things you can do during your remodel to make your small bathroom look more open and stylish. For example, a stand-in shower with a glass slide door is a great way to show off all the space you have in the room. You can even install smaller pieces like a compact toilet or a sit-in bathtub.
To really make the room stand out and have a sense of greater depth, you can use graphic tiles or patterned wallpaper. If you like a more rustic look you could go with matte tiles. The possibilities are really endless. If any of these ideas appealed to you, feel free to take them and make them your own!
Ready to start your bathroom remodeling project? Element Home Remodeling East Bay is an Oakland, CA based home renovation contractor specializing in bright and modern bathroom designs. We can create your dream bathroom no matter the size. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.