Small Bathroom Layout Tips

When renovating a small bathroom you want to try and give the illusion of space. Consider the following.

  • The illusion of height
  • Vertical lines add height to a room by drawing the eye upwards. Tiles that are extended to the ceiling can make a small bathroom feel larger. Painting a vertical stripe or using a similar wallpaper pattern is also a good idea.
  • Another way to draw the eye upwards is by lining the edge, or ‘crown’ of the ceiling with a border; perhaps a cornice, or a patterned tile around the top of the walls.

Lights and mirrors

  • Mirrors are a great way to add depth, width and length to a small room but be careful not to over do it, one mirror is generally enough. The mirror will also help to distribute light throughout the room.
  • Clear shower screens as opposed to opaque gives the illusion of more space and light. A fully frameless shower screen doesn't create any visual barriers at all and can work brilliantly in a small bathroom.
  • Make use of natural light. A skylight will solve problems if the room is oriented away from the sun.
  • Illuminating the perimeter of the room will make it seem larger, and also get rid of dark corners. A good idea is to place shelves on the walls near the ceiling and fit lights underneath them.


  • The key word is ‘simple’. For example, don’t use a busy wallpaper pattern, as the room will seem smaller and more cluttered.
  • Light coloured walls, floors and décor can make a room seem larger. We suggest using pastel tones, neutrals or whites.


  • Larger tiles create a sense of space, as do rectified porcelain tiles. Because of the way they are made, rectified porcelain tiles are identically-shaped, meaning narrower grout lines and less visual fuss.
  • The feeling of space can be generated by more visible tiled floor. This can be produced with floating cabinets and a pedestal or wall mounted sink. The vanity unit on the other hand, takes up a lot of floor space and is best avoided.

Storage, sinks and baths

  • Pedestal basins are a great way of adding space, as they don’t sit atop a bulky structure. However, when choosing one of these basins, keep in mind your storage needs, and look for one with a bench.
  • Make sure you include adequate storage as clutter only exacerbates the problems of a small bathroom. Exposed shelving, recessed cabinets and floating cabinets are a good option, with the latter leaving more exposed floor space.
  • Placing your windows near the ceiling will free up wall space for your storage needs.
  • Placing the toilet in an alcove will make efficient use of a small bathroom, and above the toilet is a great place to fit a shelf, too.
  • If you want to include a relaxing bath then head for a small but deep model.


  • A sliding door gives more room than a normal hinged door, and can be hidden in an in-wall cavity for a clean look.
  • If you are using a hinged door, don't clutter your walls with towel racks. Hang them on the back of the door instead.

Consider adaptations for the disabled - fitting grab rails to walls and fixtures will make bathrooms safer for disabled persons wishing to stay in the comfort of their own home. Ensure the floor is safe - slip free. Reposition accessories such as mirrors, towel rails, etc so that they can be reached from a wheelchair. Add grab rails close to the toilet. Bath chairs and shower chairs are available; alternatively you may wish to make a hinged slatted seat that can be fixed to the shower wall.