Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas

For The Illusion of More Space

The difference between small bathroom remodel ideas and larger bath projects is more than cost. Its a matter of focus.

Think light colors, smaller fixtures, more illumination and a focal point. Small bathroom remodel ideas become big remodel successes with this in mind.

Illumination from the overhead ceiling fixture and even a bathroom window sometimes isn’t enough light to fill the room.

If so, your first remodeling thoughts and ideas might be upgrading or adding new light fixtures, replacing, enlarging or adding a window or a larger mirror or mirrored or reflective wall.

Expand your small bathroom remodel ideas to make this room not only look larger, but feel bigger, too! Remodeling a small bathroomdoesn’t have to mean tearing anything out or going into debt to get the illusion of more space.

The floorplans on the right show a small (7′ x 12′) bathroom/laundry combo as it was originally built in the sixties, and the simple remodel.

Changing the swing on the hall door, adding 3 sets of louvered bi-fold doors, replacing the vanity, reorienting the toilet (the floor flange had to be moved 9″), enlarging the shower stall, painting and adding a plant or two was all that was necessary to create amuch more open and inviting space. And, when you first step in, you see a nearly 8′ wall of eggshell colored louvered doors ending in an etched glass shower door at a 45° angle. The entire project cost less than $800.


1. Replace your big ‘ol out-dated toilet with a small eco-friendly, low flow toilet. You’ll recoup the cost in water savings and it will, actually, add visual space. See Low Flow Toilet.

2. Brighten up the place with paint and fabric. Use what’s called the “60-30-10 Rule” or 60% Dominant Color, 30% Secondary Color, 10% Accent Color. This works for all the rooms and areas of the home. Accent colors could be towels, candles, the shower curtain or rugs. Secondary color could be an accent wall, the vanity or even paint the ceiling something other than white.

3. Add a bit of wallpaper with simple lines or texture. Stay clear of busy patterns and keep it light. A 6″ to 8″ wallpaper border (right) around the top of the walls will add height to the room.

4. If you have both a shower stall and bathtub, consider taking out the shower stall and add a shower head to the bathtub. A clawfoot tub (some as short as 48″), corner baths and baths smaller than the one you have now physically, as well as visually, adds more room. Also consider removing the tub and have a shower only bath. This is one of the small bathroom remodel ideas that could make a huge difference!

5. Remove the opaque glass shower enclosure (or dark colored curtain) and put in a clear, frameless door or curtain. Use sheer or soft colored drapery fabrics for the curtain.

6. A pedestal or wall sink adds more floor space and a smaller vessel sink will add more counter space to your vanity. Check your local big box for the new really cool bathroom sinks. Some are almost art.

7. Leave out only what’s necessary. The bar of soap or dispenser, a hand towel, bath towel and a few essentials. Organize.

8. Use large or multiple mirrors. A mirrored wall, though a bit more maintenance than your other walls, visually nearly doubles a tiny space.

9. No wall to wall carpeting. Use runners to give length to the floor rather than rectangular bathroom rugs.

10. Light wood or tile floors will highlight the cool colors and make the space seem larger. A light vanity top, too, is a good idea.

11. If the bath is beneath a roof and not another room, a great small bathroom remodelidea is to install a skylight. An inexpensive tubular skylight (available for under $200.00) will really make a difference!

12. Add some art or a plant or two. There’s something whimsical or even extravagant about art and plants in a bathroom. And those things suggest that you have the space to be whimsical and extravagant.


Of course, always think “green” when you remodel. To add an Earth-friendly element to your remodel projects consider products and materials created with conservation and environmental impact in mind. Save Green. Live Green. Explore a variety of Eco Options only at homedepot.com!

Living green means conserving water wisely throughout the home. Find out how. And, if you have an idea or two, please send them to us. If we print your idea, we’ll give you credit. Click here.

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Updated: February 23, 2014 — 12:30 am

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