There are many tricks which can be used to make a small bathroom seem so much more spacious than it actually is. The planning of each detail is important. Little touches really can make all the difference to a small space. Spend your money wisely and you will never regret it. After all the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the whole house. It needs to be efficient when we are in a rush, and relaxing when we want to chill. It’s the one room our guests will always judge us on – no one likes an unstylish or shabby bathroom.
Some of the advice we are about to give may seem a little strange at first, but it’s all about tricking the eye. Keeping the design simple, stylish and uncluttered is paramount. Keeping the colours monochrome or having a strong feature colour can make a huge difference. And, believe it or not, using a large pattern rather than a small one will trick the eye into thinking the space is much larger than the tape measure would confirm!
We’re going to break each element of the room down in this blog so you can pick out the areas which will help you make the most of possibly the smallest room in your home.
Walls and Floors
Do you like the luxury hotel feel to a bathroom? If so, you need to tile rather than paint or wallpaper (yes, they really do make wallpaper suitable for bathrooms). If you do plan to tile your bathroom, using large tiles will always give the illusion of additional space. It doesn’t matter whether you have them laid brick effect or straight laid, the room will look larger if your tiles are BIG! And, if you use the same tiles on your floor and walls this will enhance the look of space further. Ask your tiling supplier the best way to lay the tiles you choose – they’re the expert after all.
If you do choose to paint your bathroom then we would always recommend buying paint specifically formulated for rooms which steam up! Most of the popular brands of paint offer Kitchen and Bathroom paints now. The paint contains elements to combat mould and will ensure that your walls and ceilings stay perfect for much longer than a normal paint will.
Wallpaper. You’re still wondering whether this is a good idea or not aren’t you from that previous comment! Wallpapers with large patterns in a select area of a small bathroom will trick the eye into assuming the room is larger than it is. Some wallpapers won’t be suitable due to the paper they’re printed on or the finish to the paper’s surface. But if your bathroom is well ventilated, then have a chat to your local wallpaper supplier or ask the question online. There really are some gorgeous papers out there which are suitable. The other alternative is to have any image of your choice printed up onto vinyl wallpaper by a sign company. It will be completely waterproof, they will offer to install it for you, and when you want to change it you simply peel it off.
Mirrors are not only functional in a bathroom, but they can dramatically change the way the space looks. Large mirrors in a small room increase the look and feel of light and space, as well as looking really expensive. Consider mirroring a portion of wall rather than tiling. Not only does it make the room look substantially larger, it’s a real stylish statement too. Think of bathrooms in large hotels and expensive spas. They have whole walls mirrored. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain to keep streak free, but it would be well worth the effort!
If one large mirror doesn’t feel quite right for you, mirrored tiles are an option. There are more and more coming onto the market. From small square, to brick effect.
If you can’t find what you want, then talk to your local glass company. They will be happy to cut a mirror to whatever size you want and possibly even fit it for you if you need them to.
As a rule of thumb for a small bathroom, the less on the floor the better. So, wall mounted furniture, fixtures and fittings are always beneficial to give the illusion of more floor space.
The first thing to consider is whether you actually need a bath. It would obviously be the largest item in the room and so if it can be removed and replaced with a shower unit, you immediately gain space.
However, if you do want to include a bath then there are a number of considerations and choices to make.
Do you also need a shower?
If not, then consider a claw foot bath. These can look incredibly stylish. They show the floor below them and so give the illusion of space, and also come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate all bathrooms.
If you do also need a shower and don’t have room for a separate shower cubicle then it would be worth considering a P-shaped bath. It’s a great use of space and glass shower screens are available, so you don’t have to block off light with a curtain.
Shower curtains are fabulous from the point of view of not requiring space for a screen or door to opened out into. And, they can add a wonderful splash of colour or pattern to the room. So, they shouldn’t be automatically dismissed. But they do block off areas of the bathroom and so make it look and feel smaller than a clear glass screen would.
If you are having a separate shower it is always worth giving consideration to its size, shape, style and positioning.
Could you have a walk in shower with a simple glass screen to divide it off from the rest of the bathroom? This screen becomes almost invisible and so the eye sees the whole of the bathroom.
If you do need an actual cubicle, would a corner tray with rounded screens and a sliding door provide extra room and eliminate the need for the space for a door to open out into the bathroom?
There are a huge variety of different size and shape shower trays on the market so there is bound to be one which would suit your room.
Wash Hand Basin:
Some bathroom designers recommend a corner basin for a small bathroom. And they certainly do save space. However, they do tend to be on the small side and so need consideration of how they will be used before selecting one.
Whatever size and style of basin you prefer, having a wall mounted basin, rather than a pedestal, will give the illusion of there being much more space in the bathroom. There are a huge number of styles to choose from … glass or stone bowls sitting on top of a shelf, right through to rounded cone shaped units.
If you are having the bathroom completely refurbished, then consider a wall mounted tap over your basin. The pipes can be hidden inside the wall and the right sink and tap combination can make a real statement. As with all of the elements we are discussing in this blog, tap design has come a long way over recent years, from the very traditional to contemporary waterfall. It really is well worth taking some time to research the style of tap to suit the basin of your choice.
We know there has to be one of these, well unless you have a separate one of course. Toilet design has advanced hugely to take into account small bathrooms and cloakrooms. A low backed toilet will give the illusion of more space, as would a wall mounted model which shows the floor right underneath. They allow storage to be placed on the wall above or behind them, in either the form of a shelf or wall mounted cupboard.
If your bathroom has room for a radiator, consider having this replaced with a heated towel rail. It will still heat your bathroom but also allow for towels to dry in the colder months – it also looks rather stylish too! If a heated towel rail isn’t an option for you, then consider having a hanging towel rail on the back of your bathroom door. These don’t have to be fixed, there are many on the market which simply hook over the top of the door. This will keep your towels out of the way, allow them to dry effectively and take up little of that precious space.
In general, keep all surfaces as clear of items as you can. The sleeker the bathroom is, the larger it will seem.
We have many years’ experience in helping our customers design their idea bathroom. We would be more than happy to discuss your requirements with you and install you the bathroom of your dreams, so get in contact with us on 01302 272 528 to get started.