Small bathroom: optimizing space

Small bathroom: optimizing space


  • Install a built-in shower

  • Make the most of your walls

  • Use optical illusions

  • Get a hanging cabinet

  • Choose a compact sink

  • Make built-in wardrobes and niches

  • Priority to suspended plumbing

  • Install wall-mounted mixers

  • Get rid of excess

  • Should the walls be moved?

Average bathrooms are not very large, so their owners do not always manage to accommodate everything they would like. Often, owners have to break their brains to find plumbing fixtures and make the room comfortable and beautiful. Our tips will help you plan your dream bathroom.

Install a built-in shower

Replacing the bathtub with a shower cabin saves a lot of space. Experience shows that as soon as you take the bath out of the room, it will appear more spacious. It is best to make a built-in shower, rather than buy a ready-made one, since industrially manufactured structures look more bulky and, moreover, are short-lived. A shower room in a building design is created from scratch, can have any geometric shape and is rebuilt in size, based on the size of the room.

  A fragment of a bathroom from a project of an apartment in Copenhagen.  The author of the project is Emil Dervish.  Photo:

Of course, in this case, you will have to equip a special drainage system, but the result is worth the effort. The drain can be hidden in the floor or in a low tiled pallet. Both options are convenient for the elderly and for people with disabilities, and they look stylish. You will be able to install wide glass doors that open in the desired direction. There will be more room in the room and no water splashing all over the bathroom.

Make the most of your walls

Using walls in your bathroom is another great way to save space. Not only can hooks be hung on free walls or over the toilet, but shelving can also be made to create more storage space. Wall mounts for toothbrushes, soap, and other toiletries are also a great option and help keep your space clean. Be sure to only save what you need. Otherwise, your bathroom will look cluttered.

Bathroom from the Sant Antoni Apartment project in Barcelona by Colombo & Serboli Architecture.  Photo:

Use optical illusions

Choosing light colored wall tiles or installing a large mirror can help create the impression of a spacious bathroom. Using only one type of wall and floor tiles in the shower (with no obvious separation between the two) will also help make the room more luxurious.
A good option is to glue the mirror directly onto the wall above the sink. The main thing when installing a large mirror is to drown it into the wall tiles so that the wall surface is absolutely flat.

A fragment of a bathroom from an apartment project in the Norwegian city of Trondheim.  The author of the project is Emil Dervish.  Photo:

Bathroom from Bagnoli architects project.  Photo:

Since most bathrooms do not have windows, good lighting needs to be taken care of. Ceiling spots are usually used, but in order to achieve an optical magnification of the room, we advise you to add backlighting. You can mount the LED strip under the dressing table, behind the mirror, or embed it in the ceiling. Architectural lighting can help transform the bathroom into an oasis of relaxation.

Get a hanging cabinet

A vanity unit with a sink is often the most expensive item in a bathroom. To make the room seem larger, experts advise choosing a suspended version. This will free up space on the floor, which will make cleaning easier and the room will appear freer. While there will be as much storage space as in the floor-standing version. Choose a cabinet equipped with drawers, this is a more convenient and spacious option. They take up less space and are positioned to better organize their content.

A fragment of a bathroom from a project of an apartment in Copenhagen.  The author of the project is Emil Dervish.  Photo:

Choose a compact sink

There are a large number of standard sizes of sinks on sale. It is logical that if there is not enough space in the bathroom, it is most advisable to choose narrow, rectangular models. They do not take up much space, allowing the room to look larger than it really is. If you don’t need a lot of storage boxes, you can purchase a round wall-mounted sink or a pedestal sink. This will help maintain a sense of large space. If the room configuration allows, you can choose the corner model.

Bathroom from the Font 6 Apartment project in Barcelona by Colombo & Serboli Architecture.  Photo:

Detail of a bathroom tiled with Living Ceramics

Make built-in wardrobes and niches

A niche allows you to make good use of the space that usually remains unused: for example, above the bathroom or above the toilet. If the room has built-in plumbing equipment, all the connections to which are hidden behind a plasterboard wall, the wall niche will be an excellent solution that saves space in a small bathroom.

Detail of a bathroom from Beata Hoyman's project.  Photo:

If you carefully think over the location of niches in the room, you can get a universal storage system and, thus, do without cupboards, dressers and shelves that clutter up the bathroom. In addition to its main purpose, a niche in the wall can be used to organize spot lighting, since it is convenient to install built-in lamps in it.

Priority to suspended plumbing

Despite the fact that the installation system of such models takes up space in itself, their installation saves space in a small bathroom. Hanging models also make cleaning easier. Plus, wall-mounted toilets are generally environmentally friendly and water-saving.
If the technical cabinet is not deep enough, the installation can be hidden behind a low plasterboard partition, and shelves for storage can be made higher.

Bathroom from the Font 6 Apartment project by Colombo & Serboli Architecture.  Photo:

Install wall-mounted mixers

Another great way to save space is to install a wall-mounted mixer. This will free up space on the sink and add style to your interior. However, this option is good if you plan to overhaul the bathroom and the eyeliner can be drowned in plaster or hidden behind a false wall.

Bathroom from the T111 Apartment project in Barcelona by Colombo & Serboli Architecture.  Photo:

Get rid of excess

To make the bathroom seem more spacious, get rid of unnecessary elements. For example, you can opt for handleless furniture or even ditch the radiator and opt for underfloor heating. A minimalist approach ensures that the space appears larger. Choosing simple furnishings will also help in this regard.

Should the walls be moved?

If you want your bathroom to be actually bigger, and not just look like that, you will have to break down existing walls and build new ones. Here you need to take into account the existing building rules. For example, it is permissible to expand the wet zone by means of a corridor, and such redevelopment can be agreed upon. But expanding the room at the expense of living quarters is not recommended. When redeveloping, you need to take into account not only what is in your apartment, but also the layout of the apartment below. In any case, before starting work, redevelopment must be agreed with the appropriate authorities.

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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