Tips for Small Bathroom Design

Tips for Small Bathroom Design

by Sherry Gossett,
Designer for Showcase Kitchens and Showcase Baths

Showcase Kitchens and Showcase Baths is Long Island’s premier product and design location for professional design partners working on custom kitchen design and bath projects.  

Senior designer, Sherry Gossett, designs luxury kitchens as well as bathrooms.  Here, she delves into how to assure that small bathrooms can still be luxurious spaces that are practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. With real estate at a premium on Long Island, a small bathroom can still be a show-stopper. After working on hundreds of bathrooms, here are a few easy ideas to make your small space a real asset.

Tip #1 - Design a wet room
Combine elements such as the tub and shower into a single wet room to save space and create a luxurious design. Some tricks in a wet room include a linear drain, elimination of a threshold, two shower heads, or a rain head and a hand-held shower which may be used in both the tub or shower. Thus, the space is used more efficiently.

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Tip #2- Know your customer
I once had a client who was 6’4” and his master bath was 4’ x 8’. Some of my tricks to accommodate his size included the use of a tall vanity, vault the ceiling, an elongated comfort height toilet, extra tall shower doors and a hand-held shower placed on a slide bar so that it could be readjusted when his wife took a shower.  The niche for shampoos and other showering needs was placed at a high level for easy access.

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Tip #3 - Don’t hold back the design

Think borders — like this Greek key framing on the floor or chair rail on the wall — a border infuses depth and length.  You may consider placing a mural on a wall, inlay a tile “rug” on the floor, create a focal wall with tile or wallpaper, sculpt a waterfall, or design a mosaic niche. Wood porcelain tile on the wall creates a spa feel.  Mosaic pebbles on the floor and cement patterns add interest. Small spaces can be bright, creative, have impact, and create a lasting impression. So, go big or go home, even in a small space.

Tip #4 - Learn from experience
When possible use a pocket door, a barn door or reverse the door swing to eliminate the door inside the bathroom. A steam radiator can be recessed in the wall with a Sunrad cast iron heater, or use radiant heat in the floor.  Hide a medicine cabinet on the side of a vanity when there are vent pipes that cannot be moved. Avoid side sconces to gain space, and use high hats or a sconce above the medicine cabinet. Hanging vanities offer more floor space and may make a space appear larger. Most of all, be sure you are taking the height of shampoos and personal care products into account when creating niches.

Tip #5 - Better safe than sorry
Common sense rules in the bathroom:

  • Always use a matte finish tile on the floor or one with a lot of grout lines to offer traction.

  • Grab bars are helpful for everyone, but make sure it is secured behind the wall.  

  • Put a vapor light in the shower, and a night light on the toilet.

  • Avoid slide bars in the shower and towel bars on the shower doors; if used for support, these can cause damage or injury.  

  • Use a shower curtain when bathing a young child so you have more flexibility.

  • Select a cast iron 14” tub for easy access.  

Blow dryers and flat irons should be used in a safe area away from the wet area.

Call to make an appointment to meet with one of our custom kitchen designers custom bathroom designers today to assist you.

Showcase Kitchens – (516) 869-8585
Showcase Baths – (516) 869-0030

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Suzanne Sokolov