Small Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Small bathroom with claw foot bathtub

Astronaut Images / Getty Images

Making a small bathroom look and feel bigger is all about smart fixture selection, storage solutions, and styling. The first thing you need to do is think outside the boxy, standard versions of vanities, tubs, and even toilets. There are many compact alternatives out there, and they offer a custom look to boot. The other place to look for room is all around you...maybe even up to the ceiling. Where can you steal a little space for your eyes (that is, visual space) and your stuff?

  • 01 of 05

    Pop Up the Ceiling, Cantilever the Sink

    Bathroom with Cathedral Ceiling and Cantilever Sink
    Mark York / Getty Images

    Believe it or not, this is a small bathroom. It doesn't seem so; it looks fairly spacious, in fact. Yet, if you look at the floor tiles you will see that it can't be more than about 50 square feet (5 feet wide by 10 feet long).

    Is it the window that does it? The lovely matrix of 48 glass blocks, a perfect way to allow light in while maintaining privacy? That helps, of course, but what truly creates the illusion of space is the high ceiling. Even if you've left mullets, McGyver, shoulder pads, and other trappings of the 1980s behind, you might agree that a cathedral ceiling (gasp!) in one room is a welcome thing. Especially when that room is a cramped 50 square feet.

    For a truly modern small bathroom idea, you can't do much better than setting this double sink arrangement on a cantilevered bathroom counter. These clean lines emphasize the crisp geometry of the deep basin sinks and their unique fixtures.

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  • 02 of 05

    Show Off a Stylish Tub

    Modern bathtub
    Image Source / Getty Images

    Bathtubs have come a long way over the years. No longer are they limited to the boring, casket-like tubs you see so frequently in tract homes. While a standard wall-mounted tub would seem like a space-saver, it needs walls on three of its sides, and walls take up space.

    So why tuck the tub away? When you spend a bit more for a stylish tub, the tub becomes the focus of the room. This one is called a double-ended tub, with fixtures located in the middle. At night, you can lie on the left side and view the stars through the skylight. During the day, recline in the other direction so that light coming through the windows shines on your book or magazine.

    Another small-bathroom strategy at play here is the minimal treatment. Except for a wall cabinet and generous windows, this bathroom has little other adornment.

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  • 03 of 05

    Use Mirrors Strategically

    Wardrobe Installed in Bathroom
    Jake Fitzjones / Getty Images

    Almost every bathroom has a mirror over the vanity, for obvious reasons. But mirrors can also expand the visual space in a bathroom, just like they can in other areas of the house. Here, one end of the tub is against the wall--effectively hiding supply and drain pipes. But that leads to the issue of the bather also facing the wall. This is solved by adding a mirror on the wall, so bathers can view the open space behind while soaking in the tub. The mirror also brightens the room by reflecting light.

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  • 04 of 05

    Hide the Toilet Tank

    Wall-Hung Toilet in Modern Bathroom
    Toto / Getty Images

    Wall-hung toilets have an almost impossibly sleek look, but what's the secret? If you look at the back of the bowl, you'll notice something missing: the tank. There's a tank, alright, but it's actually built into the spaces between the wall studs and is completely concealed by the wall finish. The best part—for small bathrooms especially—is the reclaimed space that would otherwise go to the toilet tank. Wall-hung toilets also have no floor base, so the fixture takes up even less visual space.

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  • 05 of 05

    Don't Fear the Medicine Cabinet

    Medicine Chest Made of Wood / PriceGrabber

    Most people's preconceived notions about medicine cabinets are not good. They think of antiseptic white (possibly rusty) 1930s-era units full of expired pills, not to mention the thin, punched-metal interiors. But fear not, and look upon this modern medicine cabinet with joy. It's made of dark wood and has three shelves and sleek, linear styling. Notice how the glass nearly reaches the edges of the cabinet. No oak-wood framing, no doo-dads.

    This model is a surface-mount. To save even more space, there are recessed medicine cabinets that have shelf compartments that go into the wall so all that's on the surface is the mirror.