Updates: Small bathrooms may not be ideal for accommodating that sunken whirlpool tub you’ve always wanted, but an extra bathroom in a family home or a convenient guest bathroom on the main floor is an excellent addition to any house. Having a smaller bathroom doesn’t mean you have to compromise too much; it just means you have to get creative! There plenty of ways to make a small bathroom work for you, with great storage ideas and compact plumbing fixtures.

When you start calling around to contractors to get a quote on remodeling your “small bathroom,” you might be surprised by the small number of responses you receive. On the other hand, you might get a large response from contractors who think you have a small, quick project. The key to successfully remodeling a small bathroom is to think creatively and to think primarily about space.

There are enough types and styles of fixtures and accessories available today to enable you to have a fully-functional, even luxurious small bathroom. There are also abundant ideas about how to use limited spaces to the maximum. If you are willing to think creatively about how you use space, design and color, a small bathroom can actually “feel” spacious and luxurious.

To remodel small bathroom spaces for maximum spaciousness and functionality, you must first learn to think small.

  • Choose either a tub or a shower; if you choose a tub, select one that is smaller but deeper.
  • Choose a taller but more compact toilet
  • Eliminate cabinets and vanities
  • Choose a sleek pedestal sink or a wall mounted sink — the smaller the better
  • Use towel rings rather than rods wherever possible

Next find ways to position items so as to use the smallest amount of space within the room:

  • Put in a behind-the-mirror cabinet for toiletries
  • Cut a niche or two into the wall for decorative items or such things as towels, etc.
  • Use small shelves under the sink (attached to the wall) for towels, washcloths, etc.
  • Consider recessed into the way shallow cabinets instead of deep free-standing ones
  • Add shelves above the toilet for decorative items or for storage
  • The less you have protruding from the walls, the bigger the space will look

Now use color, design and light to make the room look bigger.

  • Use lighter and brighter colors or cool colors
  • Use vertical stripes (wallpaper or paint) to draw the eye upward and create the feeling of spaciousness
  • Choose a wallpaper design with a vertical pull
  • Add a border at the top of the walls
  • Use larger, unframed mirrors to reflect light
  • Don’t use dark or bulky fabrics for curtains
  • Use only a valence-type curtain at windows
  • Use glass block or other types of windows and don’t use curtains, blinds or shades
  • Position light fixtures where they will reflect the most light from mirrors and other items
  • Use very few small decorative items
  • Use a tube light to brighten the room with sunlight
  • Use a clear glass tub or shower enclosure

Finally, add the luxury of a home spa:RemodelOrMove.com: Bathroom Remodeling Workbook by Dan FritschenChoose a whirlpool or spa tub

  • Install a multiple-head shower massage and steam insert for the shower
  • Use fogless mirrors
  • Install radiant heat in the floor
  • Buy a tub with an in-line heater to keep the water warm longer and save energy
  • Add an instant water heater if the bathroom is some distance from the water heater
  • Add sound board to contain sounds

With these tips you should be able to make design decisions and purchasing choices that will allow you to remodel a small bathroom that feels larger and offers all the comforts and pleasures of a larger room.

In small spaces, simplicity is generally best if you want to create a feeling of spaciousness and elegance. Clean simple lines, lots of light, no clutter, and an eye to the necessary will help you create a very comfortable and luxurious small bathroom remodel.