Designing a small bathroom can be a challenge, but with some planning and clever layout techniques, you can create an efficient and stylish space. This guide will provide tips for maximizing a 100-square-foot bathroom, from layout ideas to storage solutions.
Assess Your Needs
Before starting the design process, take time to consider how you want to use the space. Make a list of must-haves like a shower, tub, toilet, and sink. Also note desired features like storage, a mirror, lighting, ventilation, and accessories. This will help inform the layout.
Consider who will use the bathroom and how often. Will it be a powder room or a more heavily used family bath? Understanding usage can help determine the best layout to accommodate different needs.
Choose the Right Layout
With a 100-square-foot bathroom, layout is key to creating a functional space. Here are some common layout options to consider:
This simple layout puts fixtures along one wall. It works best in a narrow rectangular room.
- Pros: Efficient use of space, easy to clean
- Cons: Limited storage, tight access between fixtures
Fixtures follow two adjacent walls in an L shape. This adds some space between fixtures.
- Pros: Privacy, room for storage, accessible
- Cons: Wasted space in corners
In this linear layout, fixtures run along two facing walls. It works well in long, narrow baths.
- Pros: Efficient, flexible, easy access
- Cons: Traffic flow can be tight
The shower fits diagonally into a corner, opening up floor space.
- Pros: Space-efficient, allows room for furniture
- Cons: Tight squeeze in corner shower
Once you choose a layout, mark it on a floor plan to visualize traffic flow and access. Tweak as needed to optimize usefulness and comfort.
Select Space-Saving Fixtures
To maximize room in a small bath, choose compact yet functional fixtures. Here are some options:
- Round bowl toilets take up less space than elongated bowls.
- Wall-mounted models save space and easy cleaning.
- Shorter toilets like 13-15” high fit under windows.
- Vessel sinks don’t require counter space.
- Pedestal sinks are narrow and stand alone.
- Corner sinks optimize triangular spaces.
- Wall-mount or floating sinks are space savers.
- Corner showers utilize wasted space.
- Neo-angle showers can fit into tight corners.
- Frameless glass doors provide an open look.
- Curbless showers offer roll-in access.
- Short tubs (48-60”) work for small baths.
- Corner tubs efficiently fill a triangle corner.
- Slipper tubs have one short, space-saving end.
Measure the bathroom and research options to find pieces that will fit. Look for multipurpose pieces like a vanity with built-in storage.
Maximize Vertical Space
In a compact bath, utilize all available vertical space through floor to ceiling storage and mounting fixtures higher on walls. Consider these vertical storage ideas:
- Tall narrow cabinets for linens, toiletries, first aid.
- Floating shelves over the toilet for decor, candles, baskets.
- Medicine cabinets with mirrors for storage and light.
- Wall-mounted bathroom organizers and roll-out shelves.
- High mounted rods for hanging towels or robes.
Place often-used items at reasonable heights. Store lesser-used items up high or down low.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
Look for vanities, cabinets, and shelving that perform double duty in small bathrooms.
- Vanities with drawers, cabinets, and open shelving provide abundant storage.
- Wall-mounted cabinets over the toilet add space for towels and toiletries.
- Shelving unit under a window can hold towels, decor, and plants.
- Slim rolling cart holds extra towels and cleans up easily.
- Mirrors that double as medicine cabinets gain storage space.
Optimize every piece of furniture with baskets, trays, and organizational compartments.
Use Space-Saving Materials
Strategic material selection can also maximize space in small bathrooms:
- Glass shower doors maintain an open look.
- Wall-mounted faucets and fixtures keep counters clear.
- A pedestal sink is less bulky than a vanity.
- Mirrored walls visually expand the space.
- Glossy subway tile reflects light to create spaciousness.
- Radiant heated floors warm without bulky radiators.
- Floating wood or laminate flooring avoids floor trim.
Gain Storage Solutions
One major challenge in a petite bath is finding a place for all those toiletries, towels, and cleaning essentials. Get creative with storage to keep necessities accessible but out of sight.
Tuck storage into unexpected spots:
- Recessed cubbies into the wall for rolled towels.
- Narrow niche behind the door for grooming tools.
- Mirror storage cabinets for medicine, cosmetics.
- Base of pedestal sink for cleaning supplies.
- Space under a window bench for extra toilet paper.
Use furniture that pulls double duty:
- Vanity with drawers and cabinets for toiletries.
- Wall cabinets over toilet with baskets for rolls and spray.
- Towel ladder that adds shelving or hooks.
- Slim hutch for folded washcloths and hand towels.
Keep a cluttered look at bay with caddies and racks:
- Hanging shower caddy for shampoo, soap, razors.
- Under-sink organizer for cleaning supplies.
- Over-toilet shelf with baskets for spare items.
- Drawer organizers for makeup, medicines, tools.
- Towel bar with built-in shelf for creams, soaps.
Choose Multi-functional Fixtures and Furnishings
Since space is at a premium, look for fixtures and furnishings in your 100-square foot bathroom that can serve multiple purposes. Here are some ideas:
- Vanity cabinet – Choose a vanity with drawers and cabinets for concealed storage. Open shelving can hold rolled towels and toiletries on display.
- Medicine cabinet – Mount a mirrored medicine cabinet to gain storage and add lighting.
- Towel ladder – A slim ladder style towel rack can hold rolled towels on rungs and provide a shelf up top for decorative items.
- Storage ottoman – Use a small storage ottoman in place of a bulky vanity. It provides a spot to sit when getting dressed.
- Floating shelves – Wall mounted shelves over the toilet or above the bath can hold toiletries, candles, and small decor.
- Sink skirts – Skirts under a pedestal or wall-mounted sink can hide cleaning supplies or a small trash can.
- Shower niches – Built-in shower niches provide space for shampoo, soap, and razors so they don’t clutter up ledges.
- Robe hook – Install a hook on the back of the door for hanging robes and towels.
Choose Space-Saving Materials
Using the right materials can help you maximize every inch in a small bathroom. Consider using these space-saving materials:
- Glass shower doors – Frameless glass shower doors open up a small space and allow light to permeate.
- Mirrored walls – Strategically placed mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of more space. Avoid making the space feel cramped.
- Radiant floor heating – Heated floors provide warmth without bulky radiators or venting.
- Pocket doors – Pocket doors slide into the wall to save space over traditional swing doors.
- Pedestal sink – A pedestal sink provides an open look without vanity cabinet bulk.
- Vessel sink – Vessel sinks sit on top of the counter, which can be narrower than a traditional vanity top.
- Barn door – A sliding barn door maximizes floor space in a small bath.
- Space-saving tile – Use rectangular tile vertically to make ceilings appear taller. Small tiles help floors look larger.
Create Clever Storage Solutions
Finding places for towels, toiletries, and other necessities is tricky in a tiny bath. Use these clever storage ideas:
- Build out a recessed niche in the wall for rolled towels or toiletries.
- Install cubbies into the wall behind the toilet for rolls and spray cleaner.
- Use the space under a window bench or ledge for neatly folded extra towels.
- Tuck a narrow drawer under the sink vanity for tools like tweezers and razors.
- Choose a sink vanity with built-in drawers and cabinets for ample storage.
- Opt for a medicine cabinet with mirrors and shelving behind the door.
- Use a ladder style towel rack that also provides a handy shelf.
- Place a slim storage cabinet or shelving unit over the toilet area.
- Use caddies and organizer bins that tuck into cabinets and drawers to corral items.
- Install sliding organizers under the sink to access cleaning supplies.
- Attach a hanging shower caddy on the shower head pipe for easy access.
- Add removable baskets to open vanity shelving for a tidy look.
Make Smart Lighting Choices
Proper lighting is essential in a small bathroom where natural light is often limited.
- Windows – If possible, add a window or skylight to allow natural light to fill the space.
- Overhead lighting – Install fixtures like recessed cans and track lighting overhead to brightly illuminate the room.
- Task lighting – Use targeted task lighting like pendant lights over sinks and vanities where grooming tasks occur.
- Ambient lighting – Include ambient lighting like wall sconces or undercabinet lights to provide a soft glow.
- Dimmers – Use dimmers to adjust light levels for different tasks and activities.
- Night light – Install a low-level night light to safely navigate nighttime trips without harsh overhead lights.
- Mirrored medicine cabinets – Position mirrored medicine cabinets strategically to reflect and amplify lighting.
Accentuate with Color
Color choices can make all the difference in a petite bath. Here are some tips:
- Stick with light, bright, neutral colors like white, off-white, light gray, or beige on the walls, ceilings, and floors to reflect light and create spaciousness.
- Add pops of color with towels, shower curtains, and accessories. Focus on one color like blue, green, or yellow for a soothing accent.
- If using a dark color, use it sparingly on one wall as an accent. Dark colors can make a small space feel closed in.
- Use high-gloss tiles or paint to reflect light and make the room feel larger. Matte finishes absorb light and can feel cave-like.
- Paint the ceiling bright white to make it visually recede. A dark ceiling will feel oppressive.
- Horizontal stripes visually widen walls. Vertical stripes emphasize height. Keep stripes thin to avoid busyness.
Include Clever Touches
It’s the little things that can make a small bath feel special. Include personal touches like:
- Floating corner shelves for plants and meaningful objects
- Narrow vertical mirror placed strategically to widen the look
- Painted wainscoting or chair rail molding to add interest
- Frame around the mirror to create a focal point
- Curtain over the window for texture and softness
- Gallery wall with photos, art, or framed prints
- Closed cabinet doors to conceal clutter
- Hooks on the door for hanging robes and towels
- Slim hutch for neatly folded washcloths and hand towels
- Woven basket under the sink for organic storage
Make it Multifunctional
Embrace multi-use spaces and furniture to maximize function.
- Use a corner shower with built-in shelving for shampoo and shower necessities
- Add a slim storage cabinet above the toilet for extra towels and toilet paper
- Choose a vanity with a cabinet to store appliances and a drawer for organization
- Use the vanity counter space for folding laundry in a pinch
- Opt for a medicine cabinet with mirrors and shelving behind the door
- Install shelving above the toilet to hold decorative baskets
- Use the windowsill for storage or a place to hold toiletries while in use
- Include a mirror on the wall, in addition to the medicine cabinet mirror
- Add a storage ottoman or bench by the vanity to hold blankets, towels, or a plant
While a 100-square-foot bathroom presents some challenges, it certainly can provide a comfortable, convenient, and beautiful space with proper planning. Focusing on a space-saving layout, compact fixtures, storage solutions, multi-functional features, and light enhancing elements are the keys to success. With clever and creative design choices, you can produce a small but mighty bathroom that makes the most of every inch.