Small bathrooms can be a real challenge for homeowners, but there are a few clever tricks you can use to make the most of your space, maximising the impact without compromising on functionality. Given that, on average, the cost of refitting a new bathroom can cost anywhere up to £6,000, homeowners will want to make sure the design and layout are correct first time. It’s easy to redecorate, but far more costly to alter layout, so if you’re thinking of installing a new bathroom, but struggling with the challenges of a ‘compact and bijou’ space, don’t despair, here are a few handy tips to help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams:
- Use every available space
When removing old fixtures and fittings, you may well uncover recessed spaces that had previously been boxed in, so make sure you investigate every nook and cranny. These ‘hidden’ spaces can make a marked difference to a bathroom layout, as well as offering additional areas for shelving or storage.
- Think about corner fixtures
Many bathroom showrooms will have clever corner fixtures on display, including sinks, toilets and shower units. If your room is tight on space or an unusual shape, this could be a good option for maximising functionality.
- Install floating fixtures
The greater the visible floor space, the larger a room will appear. Bathroom designers use tricks such as installing floating sink cabinets and toilets to give the illusion of a larger room, you’ll often see this feature used in hotel bathrooms.
- Shower versus bath
If this is your main bathroom, you should ideally incorporate a shower as well as a bath, to ensure it appeals to the largest demographic at resale. However, in a tight space, think about installing a bath with an overhead shower. If it’s an ensuite you can save space by just installing a shower. Make sure your shower has a glass door, or clear shower curtain, to visually open the area further.
- Maximise your lighting
In a bathroom, natural light will not only make the room look brighter, but having a window will also help keep the room fresh and dry. If your window is small, consider installing a skylight. Also, plan the lighting carefully. Use LEDS and mood lights, positioning them above thresholds, steps and sinks. LED’s will not only consume up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, they also emit less energy as heat and can last 25 times longer. Additionally, install wall lights as well as ceiling lights – as light from the sides is far more flattering than light from above. Ensure all lights in shower enclosures are vapour-proof, with a minimum IP rating of IP65.
- Magnify with mirrors
Mirrors are the easiest way to create an impression of space, not only enhancing light but also adding depth, especially when placed opposite a window. Mirrors with built-in intelligent lighting not only add a touch of luxury, but also provide high-tech functionality including demisters, shaver sockets and even Bluetooth speakers.
- Get clever with colour
Install white fixtures, to reflect light around the bathroom. White walls will make any room look larger, but maybe add a touch of pastel to ensure the space doesn’t become stark. If you choose dark colours, go for a high gloss sheen to bounce light around the space.
- Use tiling to create an optical illusion
The tiles you choose and their layout can have a big impact on your bathroom. A diagonal layout from the doorway is a clever way to make the floorspace appear wider. Likewise, floor to ceiling tiling will create an illusion of space. Using the same tiles on bath panels and a back wall will also not only add a touch of glamour, but it will again make the room appear larger.
- Keep it simple
When dealing with any small area, it’s important to keep the look simple and clean. Using large tiles with less grouting will help the bathroom look less busy. Large sheets of marble are costly, but ideal, for not only adding a touch of glamour but also keeping the lines as simple as possible.
- Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise
Finally, shop around for the best bathroom accessories, to fit your space. Use shelving and shower racks to declutter the space and install a towel rail to store and dry your towels.
Hopefully, following these simple tricks of the trade will help you achieve a bathroom that you can be proud of, no matter how small and challenging the space may once have appeared.