6 design tips to make a small bathroom better

Trying to make everything fit in the available space is like doing a giant crossword puzzle.
Among the challenges: configuring the toilet and sink to code, allowing enough clearance for a shower and, of course, where to put the towels and toilet paper. Despite the challenges, in most cases it’s still better to squeeze in an extra bathroom where one is desperately needed, even if it must be small.

Here are 6 tips for designing a small bathroom.

1. Install a corner sink.

Sometimes even a piedestal sink can disrupt the only available traffic lane in bathroom.

Vintage Nouveau Home
2. Use a shower curtain.

A shower curtain that moves back and forth saves space over a glass door that moves in and out. Shower-tub combos actually can fit into small spaces, with some tubs coming in at 60 inches in length.

Family Shelter


3. Float the vanity.

Besides just visually helping the bathroom appear bigger, mounting a vanity above the floor frees up a little space for small items.

East Village Studio


4. Round the vanity.

Tight spaces can make sharp corners hip hazards. If the corners of a vanity would get in the way, opt for a rounded style. Yes, a round vanity can work in a square space. No more bruised hips!

Peter S. Balsam


5. Extend the counter over the toilet.

This banjo-style arrangement can be done with stone or a wood slab. The extended counter creates just enough space for a few needed items. Toilet placement is not affected, and the look is minimalist and clean.

Kate Cummings


6. Use a large-scale pattern.

A large-scale pattern, like this wide stripe, can trick the eye into seeing expanded space. The square footage might stay the same, but the bathroom will feel bigger.

Powder Room