5 Ways to Give Your Tiny Bathroom More Space

5 Ways to Give Your Tiny Bathroom More Space

Having a small bathroom can be a frustrating experience. On the one hand, not having to walk down stairs in the middle of the night is a great luxury. On the other hand, if the space is difficult to maneuver and offers no storage it can feel like a disorganized mess on the best of days.

While there are some “standard” bathroom sizes, in older homes people will squeeze bathrooms in where they can, leading to some tiny, tiny spaces. If your bathroom is tiny, you might dream of expanding it and turning it into the primary bathroom of your dream—but if that’s not in your budget, there are some more modest approaches you can take that will make your tiny space a lot more comfortable—and a lot more usable.

Rethink the door

If you have a door that opens into the tiny bathroom, you’re losing a lot of space to the door swing. It’s not just that you can’t install anything there or use it for storage (or any purpose, really), you also have to wrestle with the door to get in and out, especially if there’s more than one person in the bathroom at a time.

Changing the door’s swing direction so that it swings out of the bathroom gives you back that space to some extent. You probably still can’t plop a storage cabinet in the middle of the floor, but the space will feel bigger, it will be easier to get in and out of, and you’ll have more space for a vanity or other furniture.

Another option is to remove your traditional swinging door and install a pocket door instead. This is a little more complicated (and expensive), but if you can do it, you get back the space inside the bathroom without sacrificing the space outside the bathroom for a win-win.

Creative storage

One of the most challenging problems with a small bathroom is where to put all the stuff a modern human requires to be considered acceptably groomed. This is especially difficult if you’re shopping in bulk for your family—24 rolls of toilet paper might be necessary for your household, but where in the world will you put it?

To avoid making your tiny bathroom feel like a storage closet with a toilet, you can get a little creative:

  • In-floor storage. If you’re handy or can hire someone who is, creating some in-floor storage cubbies can hide away a ton of stuff and maximize what we’ll generously call the “space” in your closet-like lavatory.
  • Window shelves. If you have a window in your bathroom, sacrifice some of that natural light and stick some shelves in there.
  • Over door shelves. Over-the-door organizers can hold a lot of stuff, but they also require the door to be shut in order to access them, and can look a little janky. If you have some space over your bathroom door, installing a simple shelf can give you a place for extra storage that looks nice and is always accessible (assuming you can reach it, of course).
  • Medicine cabinet. A medicine cabinet hides away a lot of stuff. You can either install an over-the-wall version with a bracket, or make use of the void between your studs with a recessed version that will look a bit sleeker.
  • Corner shelves in the shower. Installing a few corner shelves in a small shower can give you plenty of places to store all your products, sponges, and implements. This is especially useful if your shower lacks a wall niche.
  • Bath tray counter. Bath trays are useful in any bathroom with a tub, but if you’re short on counter space they can also be used as storage for anything you would normally keep on a larger vanity.

Folding shower doors

If your small bathroom is blessed with a small shower or shower-tub combo, traditional glass doors can offer the same problems as the bathroom door itself: The swing. You can switch that with a bifold shower door with the fold aimed into your shower to maximize the space a bit.

If that’s not your jam or is too much project for you, replacing shower doors with a traditional shower curtain or simple glass panels will also free up that space outside your shower.

Wall-mounted everything

Floating your sink and vanity, toilet, and other fixtures is a bit of a project, because you’ll often need to run plumbing in the wall. But if you’ve got the budget and patience to do it, the result is a cleaner look. Keeping the floor clear can make a small space feel a bit larger, and it also means you’ll have some extra storage options if you need them.

Go airplane size

Finally, if you’ve got a small bathroom, you can make it more workable by installing downsized fixtures. Choosing a compact toilet can give you back some crucial inches, and choosing a sink that takes up a tiny slice of space (and skipping the vanity altogether) can turn a crowded bathroom into a more open space. You can even choose a small freestanding tub for the space to avoid the feeling that your bathroom is really just a tub room with some shelves.

A small bathroom is usually better than no bathroom at all, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer claustrophobia every time you step into it. Some clever storage, some thoughtful fixtures, and you’ll have that tiny bathroom feeling larger in no time.

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