Small Bathroom Remodeling – Thinking Outside the Box

Many articles and websites offer small bathroom remodeling ideas, but few think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is what it takes to truly make some noticeable changes in a smaller bathroom.

The standard suggestions of

  • Using lighter colors, which helps make the space seem larger and brighter.
  • Use shower curtains or clear glass to open up the room.
  • Using mirrors to give the feeling of space.
  • Install a pedestal sink, instead of using vanities or cabinets.
  • Doors that open outward or sliding doors.
  • Putting in a smaller toilet

work well, but often time, they only give the illusion of a larger bath. While these suggestions should be strongly considered, I would like to go further and think a little outside the box. What you really want is more room, not just the illusion of more space. Small bathrooms are usually in smaller homes, where square footage is in great demand. On the same token, homeowners who would spend $50,000 to create an addition, would simply rather move into a new home where a large bathroom already exist.

Adding More Space

1. If you have a closet located next to you small bathroom, consider creating a bathroom entrance and closing off the existing doorway. Depending where you fixtures are located, you could possibly install a sliding mirror door, which once again, adds the illusion of more space. In adding an bathroom entrance to your closet you have created more elbow room.

2. You could raise the ceiling if you live in a single store house (or the bathroom is located upstairs). Climb up into the attic to double check there are no major units to move or a wall is not a load bearing wall. If free and clear, you could create a higher ceiling by removing the original ceiling (sheetrock and wood studs) and raising the ceiling up to the inside of the roof.

While you are at it, consider adding a sunlight. Natural lighting increases the feel and look of any room.

3. If you have a window in your bathroom, consider taking out the window and putting in a small bay window. They have some that include a window seat and others, where you can put plants in.

4. If one of your bathroom walls are located on an outside wall, you could cut out the wall and install a single door or even a small French door. This new door would take you outside. Surround the outside with a small privacy fence, put down stepping stones and plant a garden. When the weather is right, you could even open up the doors to let fresh air in or step into your miniature garden area.

Be sure to install an exterior door (weather proof) and make sure the door opens outward.

5. Buy and install a new shorter tub that will save space. Tub manufacturers still make short tubs that fit in the corner. Normally, these tubs are deeper, so you still will be able to soak away those aching muscles. Some homes are taking out the whirlpool and installing claw foot tubs. These tubs too, come in deeper and shorter styles.

6. Remove the tub all together if your family never uses the bathtub. Once again, corner showers save space and can be bought in easy to install shower modules.

A new wave, are showers without walls or doors. The shower head points down and comes out of the ceiling and a shower head causing a rain shower is used. This reduces the splash out circumference area, which keeps water from splashing onto sinks or toilets. You would need to tile the walls and surrounding areas and make sure that the area is waterproof, but once done, it really increases the space. Since this is a custom shower, you would need to contact a tile company to discuss feasibility and cost.

7. Widen the bathroom entry door, this way when it is not in use, it will look larger. The doors you could consider, would be a larger entry door, French doors, bi-fold doors and even double bi-fold doors.

8. Look at the adjoining walls of the bathroom and if possible move the wall a foot or two out. A couple of feet is all it takes to dramatically make increase the size. If you would like, only move the wall the length of the bathroom. This way you would create a large niche that is also becoming popular.

Whatever you choose to do, get those creative juices flowing and start thinking outside the box. Remodeling a small bathroom can be a fun and exciting project, that will increase the value of your home.