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Have A Small Bathroom? Luxuriously Remodel It Using These 9 Steps

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Even in a small bath, you can do a lot. So, if you’re looking to remodel a small bathroom so it looks luxurious, our tips in this article will help.

Generally, most small bathrooms with a shower, a tub or a combination of the two, a toilet and a sink average 30-40 square meters while the smallest powder rooms average 15 square meters.

For such a small space, you want to design it with strategies that maximize storage whilst saving water, energy and enhance the beauty of the space.

Therefore, before designing your small space, rank your priorities, and let the ones that fl oat to the top guide your makeover.

Because space is definitely at a premium in a small bathroom, be prepared to make compromises.

For instance, if your room is simply too small for a double-sink vanity, consider a wide single sink that may accommodate two people when necessary. At the end of the day, it is what you do with the space that matters more than worrying about its size.

Steps To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

While it may be tempting to act as your own general contractor, we recommend using our guide for informational purposes and hire a contractor to do the remodeling work for you unless you have technical knowledge.

Although it costs more to work through a general contractor, you have a better chance of getting the job done properly and on schedule.

Scroll below to learn now…

Work a Functional Layout First

Whether remodeling your bathroom or designing one for your new home, the right layout is key to functionality and beauty within your space.

To pull it off, a functional floor plan must be designed considering the space-planning requirements, that is, how you would like your dream space to function.

Important questions to answer during this phase include:

  • Who will be the users of the bathrooms i.e children, pets, an occasional guest or a couple?
  • How will the bathroom be used i.e. soaking in a tub, quick showers, makeup, laundry also?
  • Where will you store items ie. toiletries, towels, and other items? This will impact the storage solutions you consider for your small bathroom.

With answers to the questions above, your bathroom remodeler or designer can help you create a functional small bathroom.

Because plumbing takes a bigger remodeling budget in the bathroom, a rule of thumb to follow is to have all the plumbing is on one wall. This will lower your spending making it an efficient project.

Below are some of such bathroom layouts, often referred to as ‘three-in-a-row’

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
Courtesy: Room Sketcher

Another common layout for small bathrooms is to have the plumbing in two walls. While it costs more, it provides more space to move about within the bathroom.

If you have quite a larger space and the budget for a more costly renovation, you can have the plumbing cover three walls.

This hotel-inspired design has the vanity take up one wall, the tub or shower on another and the WC on the other wall.

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
Courtesy: Room Sketcher
How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
Courtesy: Room Sketcher

The compact master bathroom is another layout if you’d like to create a multi-purpose space. Usually includes two sinks, a tub, a shower stall, the WC, and even laundry space.


Most small bathrooms tend to be limited in space, there, the toilet is in the open However, if you have a generous amount of space, create a separate compartment for the toilet.

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
Courtesy: Room Sketcher

You could place the toilet out of the direct line of sight i.e. use a privacy panel made of tempered glass to block the view, place the toilet off to one side of the doorway or protected by the vanity. 

This enhances privacy and comfort when using the toilet.

Apart from the floor plan layout, you will need to consider the building code. Adhering to these laws ensures your bathroom design is up to standard.

Common bathroom codes include:

  • A clear door opening of at least 34 inches wide. But because this is not the standard door size, a 36″ door is also recommended.
  • Ensuring the entry door does not slam into the vanity, shower door, cabinet doors, or drawers. Guarantee this by designing an entry door that swings out into the hall rather than into the bathroom.
Basic Code Requirements For Bathrooms
Source: Blog

  • At least 21 inches of clear space in front of the toilet or sink or between the toilet or sink and any opposite wall or other fixture. This may look too cramped, however, therefore, NKBA recommends at least 30 inches of clear space. However, a wall-hung toilet can help free more space.
  • At least 24 inches of clear space in front of the shower entry.
  • A minimum distance of 18 inches according to the NKBA from the centerline of a toilet  to any bath fixture, wall, or other obstacle. However, if you have a very small bathroom and can’t accommodate the extra distance, 15 inches should be fine.

You May Also Like: Residential Bathroom Code Requirements & Design Tips

With the above considerations in mind, you can go ahead and remodel your small bathroom to look luxurious and organized. Continue with these steps:

1. Use Light Colors

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

The challenge in designing small bathrooms is finding ways to make these rooms seem larger than they really are while incorporating features the owners want.

Using a low-key, light color palette is one strategy to help small spaces feel larger.

Here, a simple range of soft and warm colors and materials like wood unites the whole space so that it flows smoothly.

Favourable small bathroom colors include a fresh, warm, and buttery white that works well with nearly any design palette, a soft, cozy white with a drop of warm gray in the hue, a crisp, clean, bright white with a subtle hint of warmth, a soft dusty blush pink , a light green or a watery blue.

NOTE: The success of such a bath is the limited number of colors that work together.

When paired with natural materials like wood and marble, and a generous amount of daylight streaming in, you have a small bathroom that is super cozy.

2. Maximize the Daylight

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Natural light is abundant in this small bathroom thanks to the window.

The reflective wall surfaces made of tile and terazzo finishes respectively also help bounce the light around the room.

To maximize the daylight, other bathrooms will have an overhead skylight, a wall of glass block, and even use frameless glass panels around the tub. Such glass-block panels transmit light without sacrificing privacy.

You May Also Like: How To Maximize Natural Light In Your Bathroom

3. Add Layered Lighting

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Another important step to creating a perfectly appointed small bathroom is making sure you have ample lighting from multiple sources. Call it layered lighting.

A combination of lighting is best including ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting plus a tasteful inclusion of natural light in your bathroom remodel wherever possible. 

In this bathroom, a fixture over the vanity directs light both up and down, enhancing the volume of the room.

The pendant lights hung above the vanity not only provide task lighting but also supplement the general lighting in the bathroom.

You May Also Like: How Do You Light A Bathroom Properly?

4. Install a Shower-Tub Combo

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

If you prefer a little luxury, then worry not if you have limited space.

A tub-shower combo might just be the design element your small bathroom is missing.

It simply combines a bathtub and a shower fixture that allows you to take a bath or a shower in the same area.

This is the most efficient way to save space in a small bathroom. It is also budget-friendly and increases the resale value of your home.

5. Or Replace the Tub with a Walk-In Shower

20+ Over-The-Toilet Storage Ideas To Optimize A Small Bathroom
Courtesy: Cohesivelu Curated

If space does not allow for a tub-shower combo, then a walk-in shower would make a complete bathroom.

This one gets extra light from the window set high enough in the wall to preserve privacy.

You May Also Like: How To Upgrade Your Shower In The Next Remodel

6. Float the Vanity & Sink

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

A bathroom instantly looks larger when the vanity is floated, also allowing the flooring to reach the wall and lighting to be included underneath.

Additionally, a wall-hung vanity provides more space beneath that can be used to store items like a basket for storing your towels.

A little extra space beneath the sink is quite helpful.

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

A bathroom sink can be a centerpiece of the room’s design or simply a basin for washing and brushing your teeth.

Where both functionality and beauty is appreciated as in a small bathroom, a floating vessel sink creates a clean, minimalist look and makes a strong visual impact.

Floating the bathroom sink is clearly another to create more space in the bathroom.

NOTE: If you do not have a generous amount of storage, you can opt for a wall-mounted sink that also leaves a clear space around and beneath the basin, giving the room a more streamlined, minimalist feel whilst making a feature out of your basin.

7. Build a Shower Niche

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Recessed into the shower wall, a niche can incorporate one or more shelves and tile or stone that contrasts in color or texture with the rest of the shower.

With a little forethought, a shallow niche built into the wall offers a convenient place for storing bath products including your shower gels.

8. Free Up Space with a Wall-Mounted Toilet

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Wall-hung toilets make it much easier to keep the bathroom floor clean, and freed-up.

For space-efficiency, go for models that come with tanks that are concealed in the wall, so the toilet doesn’t project into the room as far as a standard toilet.

While plumbing a wall-hung toilet is somewhat more complex because waste lines have to be roughed in differently and because the wall must carry the weight of the fi xture, they are worth the investment if you have the budget for it.

Wall-mounted toilets deliver a completely clear and open floor area because they are less bulky than conventional designs.

9. Verticalize Your Storage

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious
How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Because space is at a premium in a small bathroom, the best way to ,maximize on storage is to go vertical.

Whether wall-hung or built into the wall between studs, cabinets and multiple shelves are a practical necessity for a bathroom with limited space.

They all provide ample storage for towels, soap, and other supplies.

How To Remodel A Small Bathroom To Look Luxurious

Apart from cabinets and shelves, utilize the wall space around the bathing area to introduce more storage solutions including a heated towel rail above the tub.

TIP: Make your small bathroom look luxurious by using hidden storage to ensure most of the items are closed behind doors. For items on shelves, always have them neatly arranged so they are not an eye-sore.

You May Also Like: 20+ Good Storage Options To Cut Clutter In A Small Bathroom

Have A Small Bathroom? Luxuriously Remodel It Using These 9 Steps

TAKEAWAY: Whether you’ll be working through new construction or a renovation, a good place to start is by making basic choices on how the bathroom will be used, how much space it needs, and generally what kinds of fixtures and materials are most appropriate for its intended purpose.

Unless the construction budget is unlimited (a rarity these days), the answers to those questions will have a lot to do with a successful small bathroom design.

*Disclaimer: The photos are courtesy of Marina_Ky on Instagram