7 tricks to make your small bathroom bigger

19 January 2015


You've bought a new place, and the bathroom looks like it was designed and built by an agoraphobic, photosensitive drunk at some point around the lowest ebb of the great depression.

A tiny, crappy bathroom's an opportunity - as long as you've got the right ideas and the basic means to pay for some changes, there's usually a whole lot you can do to liberate some space.

Opening up a tiny bathroom is one of the easiest, most satisfying and biggest bang-for-buck changes you can make to your home...

Here's a few ways you can do it:

1. Knock out a wall

Not enough space? Why not just add a bit more house? If you've got yard space to spare, extending your bathroom to create an outdoor portion could be a really cool addition to your home.


2. Join the bathroom and toilet

If your bathroom's tiny and you have a separate room just for the toilet, you can 'share' the space better by joining the two rooms. You might have to move some plumbing, but the precious extra space it'll give you will probably be worth it.



3. Install a concealed cistern toilet

A concealed cistern can be a big improvement on a couple of different fronts. Firstly, it lets you set the toilet bowl in closer to the wall, which gives you more floor space. The second advantage is that it reduces the clutter in the room. More open, unbroken spaces, fewer unwanted shadows etc. - it's a far cleaner look.



4. Let the light shine in

Bringing some light into your bathroom - especially natural light, and maybe through a window that gives you a line of sight out of your bathroom (even through frosted or textured glass tiles). A window or skylight / roof lantern will make a small bathroom feel far more open, airy and spacious.

(n.b. If you can't install a roof lantern, you can buy 'simulated' solar LED roof lanterns - they'll even mimic birds flying overhead.)

Source: (River House)


5. Get rid of the bath

In some bathrooms, no bathtub's a more sensible choice than having a miserable, undersized tub that won't let you get your knees wet and nobody ever uses anyway...

What'll you appreciate most - a bath that's a foot and a half too short plus a claustro shower stall? A combined bath-over-shower sort of setup? Or... a massive, wide-open shower area - maybe with multiple shower heads?



6. Put in a frameless shower

Frameless (or semi-frameless) shower stalls are pretty popular these days, because they allow a feeling of openness and let the light through when you're having a shower. Far more streamlined than the blocky, tiled up roller-door jobs of yesteryear.



6. Get rid of the shower stall too

A frameless shower stall might be a popular way to get the 'appearance' that the room's more open, but you can't beat a wet-room for real wide-open space and the freedom that brings. As a bonus, wet rooms are ideal for lots of people with mobility issues.



7. Floating vanities or cabinets

Mounting your vanity so that it's floating from the wall will show more of the floor and give the impression that the room's a bit more spacious. Depending on how you do it, you can also free up a bit more space for storage too.



Any other suggestions? Share them below...


Related articles:

5 ways to revive a bathroom

How to hire a bathroom designer:


David Stanley's picture
David Stanley

Not a trick but a smart thing to do in a small bathroom is to get a Hand Bidet Sprayer. Better than a Bidet it requires no new plumbing and can fit in any size bathroom while providing superior hygiene. See

I'm the editor of BUILD. Big fan of efficient housing and new technologies, still dreaming of one day living in a very elaborate cave...