11 Tips To Remodel Your Small Bathroom

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Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by acechapman

The goal of a small bathroom remodel is to make the most of the limited space available and create a functional and visually appealing bathroom. Some common small bathroom remodel ideas include updating the tile, installing a new vanity or sink, and adding storage shelves or cabinets.

When a Full Bath Feels Like a Half Bath

When a full bathroom feels like a half bath, it can be due to a few different factors. Some possible causes include:

Lack of storage

A bathroom with limited storage space can feel cramped and cluttered. Adding more storage options, such as a medicine cabinet or shelving, can help make the space feel more organized and open.

Small size

A small bathroom can feel cramped and cramped even though it is a full bathroom. Expanding the size of the bathroom through remodeling can help make it feel more comfortable and functional.

Poor layout

A bathroom with a poor layout can make it difficult to move around and use the space effectively. A redesign or remodel can help improve the layout and flow of the space.

Lack of natural light

A bathroom without much natural light can feel dark and gloomy. Adding a window or skylight can help bring in more light and make the space feel more open and airy.

Outdated fixtures

Old, outdated fixtures can make a bathroom feel dated and uninviting. Updating fixtures such as the toilet, sink, and shower can help give the space a fresh, modern look.

Simple Tips To Remodel Your Bathroom

Decide Between a Tub or a Shower

When remodeling your bathroom, one important decision to make is whether to include a bathtub or a shower. Both options have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the choice will depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding between a tub or a shower:

  • Space. Bathtubs take up more space than showers, so if your bathroom is on the smaller side, a shower may be a better option.
  • Frequency of use. If you enjoy taking long, relaxing baths, a bathtub may be a better choice for you. If you prefer quick showers, a shower may be more suitable.
  • Resale value. Bathtubs can add value to your home when it comes time to sell. Many buyers consider a bathroom with a tub to be more desirable than one without.
  • Age and mobility. If you have young children or plan on having them in the future, a bathtub may be a more practical choice. If you or someone in your household has mobility issues, a shower with a built-in seat or grab bars may be more suitable.
  • Design and style. A bathtub can be a stylish and elegant addition to a bathroom, while a shower can create a more modern and minimal look.

Upgrade Your Toilet

Eco-friendly or low-flow toilets help water conservation. If you’re looking for ways to help protect the environment and spruce up your space, replace your old model. Low-flow toilets save water (and money) every time you flush.

Alternatively, a toilet with a hidden tank is a space-efficient bathroom solution that fits modern and contemporary bathroom designs. However, routine maintenance on these types of toilets can be challenging, so work with a plumber to design an aesthetically pleasing access door or valve.

Upgrading your toilet is a great way to improve the overall look and feel of your bathroom while also increasing its functionality and efficiency.

Keep It Light

From wall paint to furnishings, it’s best to avoid dark colors and contrasting hues in a small space. “Stay with light colors—a monochromatic color scheme is best—so you don’t feel like you’re in a cave,” Maykut advises. Soft gray walls, for example, are very popular right now. If you’d prefer a bit more color, consider other trendy options, such as icy blue, seafoam green, warm white, and butter yellow. All of these colors work well, paired with white trim and cabinetry, for opening up a tiny bathroom. 

By sticking to the lightest shades within a single color family for paint and furniture, you’ll avoid the strong contrasting hues that can make a small room seem even smaller. Matching your choice of floor tile to the wall color can also be a good idea—this will make the corners of the room disappear, creating a feeling of more space. Avoid putting any color on the ceiling, though; a basic white is the best choice here.

Get the Lighting Right

Proper lighting is essential to creating a functional and attractive bathroom. Here are a few tips to consider when planning the lighting for your bathroom remodel:

  • Layer your lighting. A combination of ambient, task and accent lighting can create a well-rounded and functional space. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting focuses on specific areas, and accent lighting highlights decorative features.
  • Consider natural light. A window or skylight can provide natural light and make the space feel more open and airy. Be sure to consider how the natural light will change throughout the day and plan accordingly.
  • Use dimmable lights. Dimmable lights allow you to adjust the light level depending on the task or mood. This can be especially useful in a bathroom, where different lighting needs may arise.
  • Plan for the right fixtures. Different fixtures can provide different types of lighting. Recessed lights provide ambient light, while sconces or pendants can provide task or accent lighting. Be sure to choose fixtures that match your bathroom’s design style.
  • Think about the color of the light. The color of the light can affect the mood of the space. Warm, yellow light can create a cozy atmosphere, while cool, white light can make a space feel more modern and crisp.
  • Consider energy-efficient options. Consider using LED lights, which are energy-efficient and have a long lifespan, to save money on your energy bill.

A bathroom remodeler can help you plan and execute the lighting for your bathroom remodel to ensure that the space is well-lit, functional, and visually appealing.

Add a Splash of Color

Adding a splash of color to your bathroom can be a great way to update the look and feel of the space. Here are a few tips to consider when incorporating color into your bathroom remodel:

  • Choose a color scheme. Decide on a color scheme that complements the overall design style of your bathroom. You can choose a monochromatic scheme or a complementary scheme with two or three colors.
  • Use paint. A fresh coat of paint on the walls or cabinets can instantly update the look of your bathroom. You can choose a neutral color for a calming effect or a bold color for a statement.
  • Incorporate tile. Tiles are a great way to add color and pattern to your bathroom. You can use tiles on the floor, walls, or as a backsplash.
  • Add color through accessories. Accessories such as towels, rugs, and shower curtains can add a pop of color to your bathroom.
  • Don’t be afraid to be bold. A bathroom is a small space, so it can be a great opportunity to use bold colors without overwhelming the room.
  • Consider the natural light. The natural light in the bathroom can affect how a color appears. Be sure to view the paint or tile samples in the bathroom to get an idea of how the color will look in the space.

Create the Illusion of Height

Creating the illusion of height in a bathroom can help make the space feel larger and more open. Here are a few tips to consider when trying to create the illusion of height in your bathroom remodel:

  • Use vertical lines. Vertical lines, such as stripes or a chair rail, can help create the illusion of height.
  • Install tall fixtures. Tall fixtures such as a high-mounted toilet or a tall cabinet can help draw the eye upward and make the space feel taller.
  • Use a large mirror. A large mirror can make the space feel taller by reflecting the ceiling.
  • Use recessed lighting. Recessed lighting can help create the illusion of height by illuminating the ceiling and making it appear taller.
  • Keep the flooring simple. Avoid using busy or dark-colored flooring, as it can make the space feel shorter. Instead, opt for light-colored or neutral flooring to help make the space feel taller.

Try to strike a balance between functionality and design when remodeling your bathroom. A bathroom remodeler can help you plan and execute the remodel to ensure that the space is both functional and visually appealing.

Better Reflection

Using reflective surfaces, such as mirrored walls or shiny tiles, can help to create the illusion of more space and make the room feel brighter and more open. 

Additionally, incorporating reflective surfaces can also help to enhance the overall aesthetic of the bathroom, making it look more modern and sleek. Some examples of reflective surfaces you can use include:

  • Mirrored walls
  • Shiny tile
  • Chrome or stainless steel fixtures
  • Glass shower enclosures
  • High-gloss paint
  • Polished stone countertops

It’s important to remember that while reflective surfaces can help to create the illusion of more space, they also have the potential to make the bathroom feel colder or harsher, so it’s important to balance them with warmer elements such as wood or natural stone.

Reorganize Your Storage

A cluttered bathroom can make the space feel smaller and more cramped, so finding ways to maximize storage and minimize clutter is essential. Some ways to do this include:

  • Installing floating shelves or wall-mounted storage units to save floor space.
  • Utilizing the space under the sink by adding pull-out drawers or organizers.
  • Replacing a traditional vanity with a pedestal sink to open up the floor space.
  • Incorporating built-in storage into the shower or bathtub area, such as recessed shelves or niches.
  • Using clear storage containers or baskets to keep items visible and organized.
  • Investing in multi-purpose furniture, like a storage ottoman or a bench with hidden storage inside.

It’s important to remember that the key is to make the most of the space you have, by finding smart and creative ways to store your items while keeping the bathroom looking neat and organized.

Opt For Glass Shower Doors

Instead of using a shower curtain, which can make the space feel smaller and more enclosed, glass shower doors can help to open up the bathroom and create the illusion of more space. Some benefits of glass shower doors include:

  • Transparency: Glass shower doors allow light to pass through, making the bathroom feel brighter and more open.
  • Minimalism: Glass shower doors have a sleek and modern look, which can help to make the bathroom feel more spacious.
  • Easy to clean: Glass shower doors are easy to clean and maintain, which can help to keep the bathroom looking fresh and new.

When choosing glass shower doors, you can opt for either frameless or framed doors, depending on your preference and budget. Frameless doors are sleeker and more modern, but they can be more expensive. Framed doors are more budget-friendly and have a more traditional look.

Don’t Forget to Ventilate

Proper ventilation is essential for a healthy and comfortable bathroom. Here are a few tips to consider when incorporating ventilation into your bathroom remodel:

  • Install an exhaust fan. Exhaust fans help remove moisture and odors from the bathroom, preventing mold and mildew. Consider installing a high-efficiency fan that is specifically designed for bathrooms.
  • Use a window. If possible, include a window in your bathroom remodels. A window can provide natural ventilation and bring in the fresh air.
  • Incorporate a ventilation system. A ventilation system such as an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) or ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) can help bring fresh air into the bathroom while also removing stale air.
  • Choose moisture-resistant materials. Moisture-resistant materials such as tiles, grout, and paint can help prevent mold and mildew from growing in your bathroom.
  • Consider the use of a dehumidifier. If your bathroom is particularly humid, a dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture from the air.

Proper ventilation is an important aspect of a bathroom remodel, not only for health and comfort but also for the longevity of the materials in the bathroom. Consult with a bathroom remodeler to help you plan and execute the remodel to ensure that the space is well-ventilated.


Remodeling a small bathroom can be a challenging task, but with proper planning and design, it can be transformed into a functional and stylish space.

Remember, while there are lots of options for remodeling a bathroom, the most important thing to keep in mind is how entering that space every day (multiple times a day) makes you feel. If you’re planning to flip a guest bathroom or a first-floor powder room, channel the mood you want guests to have when they leave. This might mean setting aside your favorite color or trend in favor of a more universally appealing look.

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