The smallest room in the house can often be really tiny. Even an average-sized UK bathroom is smaller than a couple of king-size beds pushed together. So, it’s no surprise that fitting everything you want into a space this size can be problematic. Here’s how to maximise this space with our budget small bathroom ideas.
How do experts plan the layout of a small bathroom?
They often find inspiration in hotel bathrooms. These small bathrooms provide great inspiration for a bijou blueprint. Taking snaps and doodling a floor plan is invaluable. Find space at home to mark out your plan on the floor to see how it might work. Always check there is space to open doors and drawers.
It’s a good idea to speak to a professional, some things are best left to them! We can help you find a tradesperson in your area who can be trusted to get the job done – get a quote below.
How to maximise space
One of the best small room ideas is to make the space feel as light and open as possible.
You could even ditch the toilet, if you have another one in the house. You’d be surprised at the surprising amount of floorspace this can free up. It can also make the bathroom more of a relaxing pamper-suite.
Another great way to squeeze additional storage into your space is by fitting a toilet and sink combination unit. This can come complete with concealed cistern, basin, back-to-wall toilet and handy cupboard all in one, that can be fitted quickly and easily.
Don’t assume the only way to create space in a small bathroom is to opt for just a shower. You could choose a smaller bath. Modern baths start at around 100cm long, which can, technically, be used for bathing. This is especially useful in small family bathrooms. Opt for a glass screen – not a shower curtain – to protect walls and floor (it will make the space feel bigger).
Play with scale
A wall-hung toilet will save on floor space in a small bathroom. Scale the sink and towel radiator down. If the sink is only being used to wash hands and brush teeth, choose the smallest practical one possible.
Top tip: always check taps are compatible with a smaller sink. Try to find taps where water heads directly down the plug-hole rather than fountain-style faucets.
What is the best colour scheme for a small bathroom?
Colour scheme often depends on the lighting. Harsh white walls and sanitaryware in a small bathroom (with one overhead light fitting) can look harsh and clinical.
Interior designers take two distinct approaches to colour in a small bathroom. Embrace the intimate proportions and choose a deep, rich shade – even black – to create a cosy space. Or opt for white, neutral or pastel shades to open up the room and reflect all available light.
We’re becoming far more adventurous with colour in the bathroom. One of the most popular home improvement trends is bathroom renovation, with certain colours increasing in popularity, such as burgundy.
In a small bathroom, you could bring in a rich tone as an accent colour, perhaps through towels or a rug.
Consider light-reflecting properties of colour too. A gloss black cabinet in a small bathroom will bounce light around the room, making it appear larger than it is.
Is it better to use small or large-format tiles in a small bathroom?
Large format tiles create a seamless backdrop that will help to visually open up the space available. If you can use the same tiles on walls and floor, so much the better.
Choose grout (the thin border applied in between each tile) in a complementary rather than contrasting shade.
This ‘blurs’ the edge of each tile and avoids the overall space in a small bathroom looking too disjointed.
You could also try the trick of laying tiles in a diagonal or herringbone pattern. This breaks up the space, tricking the eye to make a small bathroom appear larger than it is. Brick bonds (the way ‘metro’ tiles are laid) can help to expand the proportions horizontally.
How to add ‘height’
To add an illusion of height in a small bathroom, orient tiles vertically so that the eye automatically travels upwards towards the ceiling. Timber-effect ceramic planks would be especially effective.
Avoid tiles with elaborately-embossed patterns. The raised surface will create the effect of reaching out into the room. Every centimetre counts in a small bathroom scheme.
Some experts advise against bringing mosaics into a small bathroom scheme. Use carefully however, for instance as a splash-back frame around the sink, these can create a much-needed focal point for the room.
What are the best small bathroom storage ideas?
Start with strict limits
Avoid cramming your small bathroom with beauty products, candles and cleaning paraphernalia. Store as much as possible ‘off-site’ – in your bedroom perhaps – and only keep out items in regular use.
In a small bathroom, vertical bathroom storage is key. You can even find shelving units to fit around the loo. Utilise the space above the door for a shelf.
Look for ‘low-projection’ bathroom storage units which don’t jut out too far into the room. If you have a pedestal sink, invest in a wrap-around bathroom storage unit to maximise the space. Pop bits and bobs in jars and storage boxes to avoid things getting too messy.
Keep as much as possible off the floor. Consider incorporating wall-hung designs and all-in-one furniture units as not only are they incredibly space-saving but are also perfect for hiding away bathroom essentials.
Utilise unused space
Hang a laundry bag on the back of the door instead of a free-standing bin. An over-door rack is a useful place for towels and robes. Avoid stand-alone toilet roll holders. Put towel shelves or racks on the wall for storage.
A bath tray or bath bridge keeps clutter off the side of the bath. If you remodel your bathroom, include built-in recess shelves in the shower cubicle to hold toiletries.
How can I make my small bathroom look luxurious?
This is the easy bit!
Mirrors, being both useful and beautiful, are the best dual-purpose feature in any bathroom – but this is especially true in a small bathroom. Choose the largest mirrors you can. Hang strategically to reflect the room back on itself, making the space instantly look twice bigger.
Combine glamour and practicality by choosing a mirror-fronted storage unit. And look for mirrors with automatic demisting features to keep everything clear.
Bring in a sense of opulence with a stand-out tiled feature. This could be a shower wall in a rich hue, even gold, or tiles in an intricate hand-painted pattern. Even if you’re adding a downstairs toilet, the room can still feel luxurious!
Deep shades of nature and lush greenery with lots of plants – real or artificial – will make a small space bathroom feel wonderfully exotic. For example, mint green subway tiles on walls or green patterned mosaic tiles on floors complement a classic white suite beautifully.
Bring in sumptuous textures with soft towels. Don’t overload your small bathroom with scented candles and diffusers. Instead, choose one gorgeous scent and carry it through the space to help create that all-important enveloping sense of luxury.
Need a home improvement loan?
Bathroom renovation costs vary, depending on a number of factors. There are many ways to pay for your renovation project, but a home improvement loan might be your best option. Get a quote for free below, without affecting your credit score.
Last Updated: March 14th, 2023