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If you're looking for some great small bathroom ideas, you need to think outside the box--figuratively and literally.
Small Bath, Defined
A small bathroom in the eyes of Donald Trump will probably be different in the eyes of you or me.
So, for one thing, small bathrooms are small in relation to the overall size of the house. Generally, we can say that a small bathroom ranges from 16 square feet to 50 or 60 square feet.
Secondly, small bathrooms do not all have the same functions. A small bathroom... can be:
- Half-Bath: A toilet and sink, just a place for guests to take care of their basic needs and wash their hands.
- Three-Quarter Bath: Toilet, sink, and either shower or tub. A fully-functioning bathroom to take care of all of the residents' needs.
- Full Bath: Toilet, sink, shower, and tub. It's difficult to shoehorn a separate shower and tub into a small bathroom, so these tend to be combined as one unit.
In this photo, peaceful colors give bathroom feeling of spaciousness. Wainscot-fronted shelf behind sink provides storage space.
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- Paint: Wainscot is Valspar Sparkling Sage (5005-3B ); Wall Main Color is Woodlawn Promised Land (5007-6C);
- Bathroom console sink 35 1/2" x 23 1/4" x 36 1/4" high. Shop Direct - St. Thomas Console Sink
- Wainscot board
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Cabinets Forever and a Day
Let me come straight out and admit that the point of this picture is the bathroom cabinets. It's a small bathroom idea from my friend and yours, JCPenney.
But there is a reason for this, and it's to illustrate that almost every well-designed small bathroom makes great usage of bathroom cabinetry. Since you've got to store those towels, toiletries, and such somewhere, the best place is in smartly-placed cabinets.
Shown Here: Creative types and placement of bathroom cabinetry give this space tons of... storage space.
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- The two door tower (left) brings storage nearly up to the bathroom ceiling. Don't neglect high-up spaces in your small bathroom.
- The raised-panel space saver (otherwise known as the cabinet over the toilet) takes storage to new heights.
- The tiny pull-out hamper (20 x 12½ x 30"H, just to the left of the toilet) makes a place for dirty clothes without eating up floor room.
- Best of all is the raised-panel floor cabinet, a mere 21½ x 11¾ x 23¾" H (right below the window). Remember earlier we said that it's a fight between either windows or storage? Here the bathroom designer manages to stuff some storage below a very tall window.
- JCPenney website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Frameless Shower?
Who says that a small bathroom has to be style-less? This is a genuinely awesome small bathroom idea that I need to break down for you in two words: Frameless shower.
While usually a fixture of high-end bathrooms, the frameless shower works well because valuable floor space is not eaten up by the thickness of a shower/tub unit. Most frameless shower walls are a mere 3/8" thick.
This frameless shower's thin walls give extra room. Nifty wall-mounted vanity holds one sink plus counter space, or... even two sinks. Wall mount design of sink gives extra room underneath for wastebasket or just open room.
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- Kohler Chord® Wading Pool® lavatory - K-2331-8
- Purist® wall-mount vanity - K-3081
- Kohler website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Space-Saving Toilet and Pedestal Sink
Diagonal placement of toilet and sink pull together this bathroom corner, and the rich paint colors give the room a depth that you can't get with the lighter shades.
What works: the compact toilet; pedestal sink (always great for small bathrooms); and solid paint colors. Also, notice how the small windows placed high up on the wall bring in light but don't compromise storage or fixture placement?
- Kohler Wellworth Toilet. As the Kohler site says about small bathrooms: "To give yourself more... room to operate, consider replacing your old model with a compact toilet. It's the same size as a round-front model and still provides the comfort of an elongated seat."
- Kohler Wellworth Pedestal Sink
- Solid and soothing paint colors.
- Kohler website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Shower/Tub Unit
Classic way to layout a small bathroom. This small bathroom idea revolves around the American Standard tub/shower unit which is "acrylic-capped ABS reinforced with fiberglass."
In the small bathroom, you can rarely afford to break up the shower and tub. So, if you're intent on having a full bath (toilet, sink, tub, and shower), a combo shower/tub unit is the only way.
Here, the space-saving shower/tub unit neatly occupies one wall. Within the unit, long shelves hold every kind of soap and shampoo... imaginable.
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- American Standard Cadet 3 toilet.
- American Standard Acrylux Shower/Tub.
- American Standard website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Sometimes You Just Gotta Have Natural Light
Windows are the wild card when you're working with any small bathroom or plan--keep it or not?
Many small bathroom plans just toss out the whole idea of windows, and go with the window-less look. Other small bathrooms shrink the windows and/or place them high. Finally, other small baths go full bore ahead and let the long/tall window take the number one spot--with everything else working around it. It all depends on what your priorities are.
This bath design sacrifices sink counters and storage... for natural light.
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- American Standard Tropic Cadet 3 toilet and faucet.
- American Standard Brook Console and mirror.
- American Standard website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Tear Down the Shower Walls Entirely
Here you go, the naked shower. The trick is to think of the entire bathroom as the shower. The whole bathroom floor receives ceramic tile, half of which is sloped drain-ward. A low-flow shower head prevents the water from splashing everywhere.
Come on, be bold. You know you want to do it!
In this bathroom, absolutely zero shower walls or unit to suck up space. The bathroom is a shower. But you need expert tiling to make this work.
- American Standard Reliant 3 Flowise Shower.
- American Standard Tropic... Cadet 3 Flowise Toilet.
- American Standard website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Cantilevered Sink
A cantilevered sink has no vertical supports: no pedestal, no legs, no cabinet, nothing. It's the ultimate space-saving small bathroom idea.
Here, the cantilevered sink gives ample space and injects a feeling of airiness and modernity into your small bathroom.
- Toto Ryohan Suite of Bathroom Products.
- Toto USA website
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Pure and Natural
An Asian-inspired look, these ideas remarkably come from that standard of American bathroom fixtures and design--American Standard.
Natural stones and woods complement the rattan wall covering. American Standard's slim toilet, along with the sink cabinet, provide ample space for moving around in this down-sized bathroom.
- American Standard Tropic Collection products.
- American Standard website
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A Small Bathroom That's the Picture of Grace
Soft and feminine colors work wonders for this small space.
- Olympic Paints: Lacy Lilac and Moonshine
- Chair rail trim dividing the two paint colors.
Tips and Tricks
- Use pedestal sinks rather than large vanity cabinets to save space.
- Be mindful of the "door swing." In a small spaces, the door swing can take up as much as 25% of the room.
- Windows, while always welcome, can take up valuable space and make it harder to place large units (shower, tub).
- Place toilet, sink, and shower/tub along one... wall to mitigate costs.
- Lighter paint colors make the room feel airier, larger.
- While it might not seem logical, laying ceramic or resilient tile at a diagonal makes small bathrooms feel less cramped.
- How do you feel about linen closets? If you have closet space just outside of the bathroom, this is the place where you should store towels--instead of taking up valuable space inside the bathroom.
- Don't overload the senses with wide trim. Keep the trim proportional to the size of the bathroom itself.
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A Small Bathroom Ablaze with Color
Who was it that said small bathrooms had to play it safe? Comforting Peach, from Dutch Boy, wakes you up better than a stiff cup of coffee.
- Dutch Boy: Comforting Peach, Bamboo, and Ultra White.
- Mullioned, double-hung window for traditional look.
- Economical stacked, double-rod towel rack.
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A Bright and Cheerful Small Bathroom Idea
The paint color in this image is from Dutch Boy: In the Limelight, Fisherman's Cove, and White C3-4. Light, sherbet-y colors work well in more confined spaces.
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Put In a Shower, Not Bathtub
What's this? A small bathroom without a bathtub? Why?
Basco Shower Doors reminds us that showers give small bathrooms a bit more space, because you don't have the thick tub-wall taking up room.
- Shower--no tub and not even a shower/tub.
- Diagonal tile makes room appear larger.
- Natural light from skylight.
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Small Bathroom Ideas - Elegant Tile Design
Who said that tile design for small bathrooms had to be mousy?
Visually open up your small bathroom with a bold tile design.
- White and black tile colors to keep small bathroom feeling fresh and airy.
- Staccato design infuses interest into monochromatic tile.
- Cantilevered counter gives bathroom even more room by doing away with bulky vanity.
Shown here from Eleganza Tile, a matte porcelain series called Fusion.
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Small Bathroom Ideas - A "Compact" Master Bathroom
A master bathroom, yes. But still a small master bathroom benefited greatly by the hand of Interior Designer Lori Gilder.
Lori Gilder, award winning Architectural Interior Designer to Hollywood’s elite, tells us, "This timeless master bath blends both traditional and contemporary elements by implementing cool wall tiles in a soft palette of whites, grays and greens, to create a refuge from the daily hustle and bustle. Minimal furnishing and luxurious amenities keep rejuvenation the focus of... the space."
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Manhattan Retreat From Noted Design House
A cozy small bathroom design by id 810 Design Group:
- Bronze glass tiles and cream colored porcelain tiles.
- Large standing shower.
- Thermostatic system in shower.
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Design Tricks of The Bathroom Remodeling Trade
Dawn Falcone, of Dawn Falcone Lifestyles, gives us three tips about designing for small bathrooms.
- Open up the room with glass.
- Choose smaller vanities.
- Place floor tiles on a diagonal.
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Can You Believe This? 60 Sq. Ft. of Small Bathroom Awesomeness
You'll notice that the photographer had to snap on a super wide-angle lens to catch all the amazing details of this small bathroom. The density of this space, yet combined with a feeling of airiness, only serves to illustrate the skill of the bathroom designer.
But what really stands out is the natural stone--marble--in the shower. Real stone's random veins and textures immediately injects life into the look of your bathroom.
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Clean Lines and Aqua Touches In Designer's Small Bathroom
Wonderful bathroom ideas from Kevin Sharkey, Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, at Martha Stewart.
Previously, I spoke to Kevin on the topic of interior house painting. Be sure to check out his great tips.
In his own home, he kept the style modern, clean, and minimal. Tile provides requisite texture and warmth and serves to "create a visual transition between the dark stone floor and the white Corian shower and sink," according to the Martha Stewart site.
The undersink shelf provides tons of... bonus storage for towels and personal bathroom items.
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Tiny Bathroom Transom Window Allows Light, Saves Wall Space
One of the more intriguing bathroom ideas highlights the Martha Stewart Paint collection: a gray band set off against the lower white tile. Red bursts prevent the bathroom from looking bland.
The transom window provides light but maintains privacy and saves wall space for bathing facilities and sink.
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Intriguing, Unique Towel Rack Saves Space In Small Bathroom
One question with small bathrooms is always: where do you hang the towels? With limited wall space dedicated to the bathroom vanity, shower/tub, and door, it is tough to find a place for your towels.
Solution: a rack for hand towels is cleverly built into this bathtub's pony wall.
The dark, rich, wood-simulation flooring is Armstrong's StrataMax Best: sheet vinyl flooring that comes in rolls of 12 ft. & 6 ft. and has a low gloss that is perfect for modern bathrooms.
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Opaque Glass Privacy Screens Give Small Bathroom Greater Utility
Tight confines call for inventive bathroom floor planning. In this small bath, faux Japanese rice paper screens (actually, opaque privacy glass) shield the bathtub from the toilet and sink areas. Result: in a pinch, two people can share the same bathroom at the same time.
American Standard's popular Tropic Collection infuses an Asian style into your bathroom remodel.
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Enliven Your Small Bathroom With Round Tiles
Small bathrooms need at least one element to make them stand out. Nothing says "different" more than penny-round ceramic tiles from ModWalls.
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Glossy Surfaces Make Small Bathroom Look Bigger
Big bathroom? Look again. This small bathroom just looks big due to visual tricks:
- Frameless glass shower
- Large mirror on back wall
- Spacious window
- Glossy marble walls provide reflected light
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Elegant, Classically Styled Bathroom With Frameless Shower
Who said that small bathrooms had to be Spartan? This bathroom comes equipped with a double sink, bathtub, and large frameless glass shower. The trick: clever floor planning pushes these facilities together, all without limiting access.
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This Small Bathroom Is Big On Style
These bathroom designers managed to pack plenty of value into a small space with a few simple tricks:
- Bathroom vanity cantilevers from the wall, providing more visual space.
- Faucet extends out of the wall, not through the vanity.
- High ceiling for airiness.
- Transom window.
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Ultra-Modern + Small?
Modern design works well for small bathrooms. Bloated, over-wrought style (can anyone say "Tuscan"?) would so overload a tiny bath. Straight lines and clean planes are just the solution.
Cantilevered sink vanities free up floor space. To go even a step further, even the toilet is cantilevered.
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Gray Subway Tile Graces Small Bathroom
Keep your small bathroom design calm and orderly with gray glass subway tiles from Bedrosian's marching up the wall.
For homeowners who want to avoid the bulk of bathroom vanities, yet are not ready for cantilevered sinks either, vintage-look chrome stanchions give a feeling of openness.