Does your bathroom feel a little snug? It’s probably not your imagination. Although the average size of bathrooms in new homes has almost doubled, bathrooms in many older houses have remained at their original 5- by-8-foot size due to lack of space or budget for remodeling.
If you’re stuck with a small bathroom, don’t despair. You can increase the physical space – and the perception of space – thanks to these tips from Kohler Design Center designer Diana Schrage.
1. Keep it cornered.
Small bathrooms need to make use of all available space, so install shelving or build your storage units into the corner. Corners provide extra inches, and allow you to create unique design solutions.
2. Downsize your toilet.
Consider replacing your old toilet with a compact elongated model. It's the same size as a round-front toilet but provides the comfort of an elongated seat. Plus, newer toilets use less water, making them friendlier to the environment.
3. Stick with solid colors.
In a small bathroom, busy patterns can overpower and appear to shrink the space. Light, natural tones lend an open, spacious feel. If you want to get creative, play with textures rather than patterns. Keep prints light and to a minimum. If you really yearn to go bold, the powder room is a better choice for showing off your style.
4. Maximize your bath.
Consider installing a bathtub that’s designed to make the most of small spaces. The Expanse® bath has a uniquely curved basin, while its standard size makes it perfect for easy updating and renovation. There’s even a coordinating curved shower rod available in three styles.
5. Choose a smaller faucet.
Change your sink faucet to a space-saving, single-hole model.
6. Streamline the shower.
Choose a sliding shower door or shower screen. Sliding doors don't require space for door clearance, and the clear glass acts like a window, creating the perception of even more space.
7. Downsize the vanity.
Save real and perceived space by installing a smaller vanity, a pedestal sink or a wall-mounted sink. Even if they're not particularly small, console tables help expand the perception of space thanks to their slender legs. If you choose to forego a vanity, you'll want to add shelving to make up for lost storage.
8. Take the tub down a notch.
Consider replacing your old tub with a lower-walled model to help open up sightlines and make the bathroom look more expansive. Try a 5-foot tub with a flat bottom. They're perfect for showering, but still deep enough for a pleasant bath.
9. Adjust your view
Consider hanging your cabinet at a more comfortable height (around 34 or 36 inches) to avoid unnecessary bending. If possible, use niche shelving and a mirrored medicine cabinet to remove bulky furniture.
By using some imagination and a few simple tips, you can turn your cramped bathroom into a cozy retreat—without having to move any walls.