Small bathrooms don't just feel claustrophobic; it is also hard to make them functional. If you're doing renovations to your home, you may come across this problem, especially if you're trying to add a bathroom space where there previously was none. It really comes down to making smart choices with the space you do have. Smaller bathrooms can work quite well as long as they're renovated properly. The following tips can help you make the most of your tiny bathroom.
Tip #1: Consider a half bath.
You need considerably less room for a half bath than you do for a full bathroom. A half bath is a room that has a toilet and sink, but no bathtub or shower. Typically, these bathrooms are found on the first floor where short-term guests can use them. They can work in other areas of the house as well, such as in a basement, near a garage workshop, or in an area of the house where you entertain often. By deciding not to install a bathtub and shower, you can really expand the space to actually make it full large. This makes it possible to add more counter space as well, so members of your family can get ready for work or school in different places of the house. Although a half bath won't raise the value of your home or be quite as function as a full bathroom, this is a great compromise when you're low on space.
If you want to go a step farther than a half bath, try a bathroom with a shower stall but no bathtub. Bathtubs take up a lot more floorspace than small shower stalls, and because they're typically a rounded shape, there's a lot of wasted space. Showers can be flush to the corner of the room, giving you as much empty floorspace as possible. Having only a shower does pose some problems, especially if none of the other bathrooms in your home have bathtubs either. If someone in your family should get injured or if you have an older or disabled guest, they may not be able to use a shower. Consider all of the household needs when making the decision to remove the tub.
Tip #3: Install a pocket door.
You typically don't want a door to swing out into a hallway, though if the bathroom in question is part of a master suite, this may not be a problem. In order to avoid the cramping an inward-swinging door causes, install a pocket door for your bathroom. This kind of door slides into the wall, like you'd find on an RV. It prevents function problems, as a door that swings into the bathroom can sometimes bump into fixtures or make it impossible for more than one person to be in the bathroom at a time.
Tip #4: Keep the walls light and simple.
Although many homeowners choose to use dark colors or printed wallpaper in bathrooms, this simply isn't a good idea when it comes to small spaces. Bold colors and large prints can feel overwhelming when the door is shut, and even smaller prints and medium-dark colors can make the space feel cramped. You don't have to use sterile white paint on your walls, but if you choose to paint the bathroom a color, stick to very like neutrals. You can also use a clear shower curtain or glass doors to make the bathroom look bigger, since this will visually add at least three feet to the room when you walk in.
Tip #5: Move things from the floor.
In a regular bathroom, you might find towel racks, magazine holders, trashcans, and more on the floor, but in a small bathroom, this can make the space feel even smaller. Instead, move these items to the walls using shelves as much as possible. You should also take advantage of wasted space when possible. Use a pedestal sink, and keep your trashcan underneath, where it is out of the way, even though it still takes up floor space.
Tip #6: Use the "hotel" layout.
It isn't a coincidence that many hotel bathrooms look the same. This is typically the most efficient layout for a bathroom space, and although it may not be the most eye-pleasing, it is the most practical. Also take a cue from hotels and put shelving for towels above the toilet, as this space is otherwise wasted in the room.
Sometimes, no matter how much you try to make it fit, a space just isn't big enough for a bathroom. Don't forget, however, that you can consider removing walls to make the room larger, and as long as those walls aren't hiding pipes or bearing the load of the house, re-framing a small area isn't very expensive. Sometimes the only way to make a small space work for a bathroom is to make it larger.
Key Hiring Tips
Hiring a contractor is an important decision so it is best to get all the information you can on each company. This includes checking references, insurance and licensing information. On a larger project a designer or architect is required in order to get the permits. Smaller projects still require a plan and the job will turn out great with the a little organization.