Would you like to know how to design small bathrooms?  Small spaces can be a challenge to design for, but there are benefits to designing small bathrooms as well.  In a small space you must be cognizant of your needs and limitations.  However, because you will have less square footage to purchase materials for, you can splurge more than you would have, had you been designing for a larger space.  So if you’d like to learn how to design small bathrooms, read on.

Prioritize.  Decide what you must have in your small bathroom.  Most likely it will need a commode and sink.  However, do you require a bathtub?  If not, a shower only will take up less space.  Is there a nearby linen closet for towels?  If so, you might not need built in cabinetry, and you could select a pedestal sink instead of a vanity to save space.  The bottom line is you want a “less is more” approach without sacrificing the things you expect and need for your small bathroom. 

Learn where the existing plumbing is, or else determine where it will be.  You need to find out about where the pipes are coming from, and where they are leading to.  In this step it’s best to consult with a plumber or contractor.  Ask him or her what the most feasible option is.  Then ask what the additional cost would be if you moved it to a different wall.  In a house most plumbing can be changed; it’s just a question of how much it's going to cost you.  If you live in a condo, contact your association to find out what restrictions they have before planning changes to the pipes.

How to Design Small Bathrooms(52935)Credit: Amberdawn 2011Determine a layout.  Now that you know what you need and where the plumbing is, create a configuration that works for you.  If you have some flexibility about moving pipes and you have options regarding where the commode, sink, and shower/tub will be, consider your entry point as well.  Would you rather see the toilet when you first open the door, or would you be more comfortable with seeing the sink instead?  See the photo for a possible layout that works well for my small bathroom in terms of the empty space that gives me easy access to the sink, commode, and bath. 

Measure the length and width of each area so you know the sizes you need to shop for before you purchase your sink, commode, and shower or tub.

Splurge a little on the tile.  In a small bathroom you will pay much less for tile since it’s purchased by the square foot!  Choose the type (ceramic, porcelain, or stone) that you like.  Just keep in mind that having all dark colors in a small bathroom can make it feel closed in.  If you love dark tile, keep the wall color light.  If you love dark walls, keep the tile light.  The actual colors you choose, as well as the style of the fixtures is truly up to you; you don’t need to feel confined when you are learning how to design small bathrooms. 

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