Remodeling A Small Bathroom Layout to Create A Larger Feel

Designing A Small Bathroom Layout When Remodeling

Nothing is more relaxing than a luxurious bath after a long hard day at work. Imagine unwinding in your soaking tub, or standing under the rainfall showerhead while the warm water washes away all the stress of your day. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a lavish spa-like retreat in their home. Chances are you live with a small bathroom, where you bump into the vanity when you undress to take your shower. What's even worse, getting ready in the morning with your kids clamoring to get out the door to school can be the first stress of your day!

Don't fret! Before you throw up your hands and spend a lot of money on expanding your bathroom, first take a look at its existing layout. Often, a well-planned layout can help solve some of these issues, but of course, you might have to make a few compromises, like tossing the tub.

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By simply rearranging a small bathroom layout, you can often make a big difference in usability, and even keep the same footprint! Here are a few small bathroom layout ideas that can take away, the stress, and keep you from skinning your knees on the vanity!

Small Full Bath

For this layout, we're going to include a sink, toilet, and tub/shower combo, or luxury shower enclosure.

The dimensions are 5' X 8' or 40 square feet.

This is the most common size for a guest bath or a master bath in a small home. If you have this standard-sized, there are two layout choices. Based on your needs, you can either have a sink, toilet, tub-shower combo, or a luxury shower complete with multiple heads. No matter which you choose, you'll have plenty space to towel off. Typically, All three fixtures are lined along the long wall to facilitate more straightforward plumbing and installation. Door placement doesn't matter in this design, but for aesthetic reasons, you may want to keep your toilet from being seen.

Small ¾ Bathroom

This layout includes a sink, toilet and standard shower.

The dimensions are 6' X 6' or 36 square feet.

Another common small-size bathroom is the 6X6. Although this meets the minimum requirement of a full bath, it's a more spacious approach to make it a ¾ bath. Here are a couple of reasons. A tub will take up too much space, and its large size will make this room feel much smaller. Creating a ¾ bath with a corner vanity and corner shower opposite and a toilet solves the problem. To open a small square bathroom position the vanity, shower, or both in the corners of the room.

Small Bathroom Layout With a Separate Tub and Shower

This layout features a sink, toilet, separate tub, and shower.

The dimensions are 9' X 5' or 45 square feet.

Having a separate tub and shower in a small bath seems difficult, but with a little planning a small bathroom layout, nothing is impossible! Of course to fit both and leave space to move around the ideal size of the room must be at least 45 square feet. Even with a space-saving corner shower, this plan is a little tight. A great way to open up the space is to get rid of the swinging door and use a pocket door or barn door to conserve interior space.

Narrow Small Bathroom Layout

The bathroom includes a sink, toilet, and vanity.

The dimensions are 3' X 9' or 27 square feet, or 4' by 8' for 32 square feet.

It's tough to arrange fixtures in a small narrow space, but it can be done. Most standard sized features will stick out too much (like the sink and toilet) and can interrupt the flow. Despite the dimensions, a long thin bathroom can work if you follow these tips.

• Outward Swinging Door, Pocket Door or Barndoor: No matter where you put the door, use one of these alternative placements to provide more interior room.

• Sink and Toilet Side By Side: Place the sink and toilet on the same long wall to free up space for foot traffic and storage.

• Use Wall Niches & Toilet Cistern: If your sink and toilet are getting in the way, consider adding wall niches for the toilet tank and sink, so they stick out a little less.

• Place the Shower on The Short Wall: To open up the space, place the shower against the short wall. This will also help you place the other fixtures.

And a couple of general tips for giving the impression of more space:

• Whenever possible, a pedestal sink or floating vanity can give the impression of more space.

• If you're placing just a shower in the space, consider a threshold-free shower and a lateral drain. By making the floor of the space continuous, it can give the impression that the space is much larger.

• Add storage niches in the shower space and walls for additional storage with no loss of floor space!

• Finally, A glass shower enclosure can make the space feel more open, and roomy.

Even a small bathroom can be a relaxing and functional space with a little pre-planning and a smart small bathroom layout. Speak with your design-build-remodeler about what options are available in your bathroom space. They can help you to create a beautiful, functional bathroom, in almost any space.


Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.