Small Bathroom

lappeJuly 2, 2006


I also have a small home, roughly 1200 sq ft, 1960's type. We have remodeled all of it but the bathroom. It still has that yucky green tub etc. it is only about 6 X 7. Does anyone have any ideas, was thinking vessel sink, don't really like the pedestal sinks. If you have pics. of your small bath, I would love to see them. Other than the bath I love my home.


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Mine are as old as the house, about 13 years old. I want to redo them both. I'd really like to take the wall out and make one big bathroom but can't afford it. I bought ceramic tile last Winter but my handyman never came back to do the work. I want to eventually get rid of the tub surrounds and put in porcelin tubs, not sure I'll ever be able to afford it, though. The sinks and fixtures need replacing, but the cabinets the sinks sit in are fine the way they are. Even the top counter isn't that bad, a nuetral fake marble.

I would love to see other people's baths too.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 2:50PM
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The bathroom in the house is currently under renovation. It is very small, too. I think a vessel sink will be nice. I put in a pedestal sink in order to give little more space and there is a "stand-in" (a closet that one can stand in) linen closet in the bathroom anyway. I will post a picture soon of the bathroom.

I know some people put in a pocket door to have little more space.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 3:51PM
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My bathroom is small and used to have a pedestal sink, but we desperately needed some counter space! We bought a vanity and sink off the shelf at Lowe's that's smaller than the standard ones. Front to back, it's two or three inches shallower than normal. Those few inches make all the difference when it comes to being able to walk into the bathroom! And it wasn't expensive or custom made.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:06PM
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Just finished putting in a 6x5 basement bathroom. Potty in one corner, corner pedestal sink in another corner, corner shower opposite that, door in last corner. Just enough room to put 2 towel racks (with shelves) and a one foot by one foot 6 foot high shelving unit. About all that is left it just enough room to spin around in the center. But it works. The trick with these kind of baths is to actually use a slightly funky theme or bazzar color. The goal is not to make the room look bigger, but to flaunt its petite size. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:20PM
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dainaadele, that is amazing - a sink, toilet AND shower in a 5x6 bathroom! My downstairs half bath is the same size. I was doing some touch up painting on the beadboard in it earlier and trying to imagine how you got a shower in such a small space. I hope you post pics of it. And I agree about flaunting its small size. A great paint color or theme can make a small space very inviting.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:24PM
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The only real bathroom in the house is 6' X 6'. In there is a toilet, a 5 foot tub with shower and a wall hung sink and a radiator. The space behind the shower wall has shelves just the width of a plastic shoebox, so that's where "stuff" gets stored.

There is, in the basement, what we affectionately refer to as the outhouse (toilet & sink), but no one ever goes there because they want to, just because the other one is occupied. LOL

I can't photograph it due to it's small size, I'll try once my camera recharges, but here is the plan I did for it when we pulled out all the green fixtures (everything was green, just different shades - YUK)!

Here's a 3D view with the wall to the stairwell removed.

The door opens out into the hall, when it's open, our guests can't get out of the guest room, but fortunately we have no permanent guests, and we keep the bathroom door closed.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:45PM
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I just happen to have a photo of our old house's small bathroom. The realtor took it. I am posting it to show the nice vanity and sink on the right. See how the sink bowl is rounded and sticks out past the vanity? This worked very well for us. We could share the small bathroom because the curve of the sink allowed both of us to use a side. The cabinet was not deep enough to lose anything in but did provide for a place to keep things. I recommend this style for those with small bathrooms who do not want the pedastal sink option. It also tends to prevent stubbed toes, since the toes never get close to the cabinet. We got this set a number of years ago at Home Depot. I am seeing more of them everywhere now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Bath

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Okay, I tried the photo thing, hopefully it will show up on the message. Yes, it really is 6x5. Our door is only 24 inches wide and the shower is the smallest one they make at 32 inches square. Like I said, we just put it in so it is still "rough" without trim yet, but we are using it since the rest of the house is getting a complete overhaul. It's a golf theme to make my hubby happy. Yes, that is astroturf on the floor. Grin. It actually works great, it's plastic, yet keeps the feet off the concrete. I was actually dissapointed after we put it in, I was hoping for a more kitch/tacky look. I am thinking of glueing some more astroturf down to the toilet seat cover. His old golf clubs carry the theme, along with a plaid sheet gathered and tied to the drain pipe to dress up the sink. I will probably add a few more golf/tacky things as I find them. It is so funny, every guy that has seen it, really really likes it.

A couple of ideas for other folks. Don't try to have room for vanity/primping in such a tiny place. It is not that hard to wire up a vanity mirror with electrical outlets in a bedroom or a large closet. In our case, this will be the kids bathroom and it will keep the bathroom occupancy time shorter if all primping is to be done in the bedrooms.

Okay, now it is someone else's turn to stand on top of the potty and take photos......

Oh how I wish it was easier to put pictures in this forum. Grrrr! You all can use the link below to the image test site where I put the pics.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 11:19PM
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Here is the album of the house's only bathroom.
It is not done yet, still have small details to take care of before it is completed. We have been working on it for 2 weeks now. More information can be found in the bathroom forum under the subject of "So Excited!!!! Almost Done". I would like it to be little bit larger but it is a trade off for a tiny mortgage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small bathroom

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:51AM
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Great job, Sunrochy ! I really like your E Bay hardware and will be scooting over to the Bathrooms Forum for more info. Partial bathroom renovation starts here in aprox. 2 wks. The room is only 7x 4 1/2 ft. It's currently windowless and dark during the day. I'm having a window put in over the tub for ventilation and light. I talked to the contractor about building shelving over the toilet and he said he could do an 8 inch larger. Even though that's not very deep, I thought I could use it for handtowels and get some small, pretty baskets for storage. I'm material and color-challenged and will continue to check back here for ideas and inspiration.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:57AM
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Wanted to share an interesting updated bathroom. The link is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Designing for Dollars

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 11:03PM
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sunrochy, I actually like that bathroom better in the 'before' pictures!

dainaadele - I am going to start a new thread about posting pictures.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:13AM
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Has anyone tried the idea if a banjo vanity top? They can be made of your favorite composite, marble, or granite (most expensive. If you small bathroom is a regular size they can be gotten for less than $700 in NY at Home depot. They essentially extend your vanity surface from your sink vanity to over your toilet. The portion that sits over the toilet is narrower hence the "banjo" name and has enough hight that you can still pop off the toilet tank cover for maintanence /repair. You need to use a vanity type arrangement though, not a pedestal sink type. My Banjo had a precarved scallop shell sink as part of the whole piece and was easily installed my my husband. We used it in a rental of ours and it still looks good! Also, we added a big tryptich mirror (also from home depot for about $200) over the vanity that had a cabinet in the middle and 2 mirrors that swung out for that perfect 180 deg visibility (for the ladies) and we are talking about a 5x7 foot bathroom here folks!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:32AM
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sunrochy - just to be clear, I was referring to the bathroom makeover you linked in your last post, not YOUR bath!! Yours looks wonderful. I especially like the flooring.

rhodie - I have seen those types of vanities and I really like them.

I also only have one bath, and all things considered, it's ok. Small, but not tiny. The worst thing about having only one is when it's out of service....two weeks after I moved in the toilet had major issues and was out of commission for 4 days! Luckily my sister lives on the next street so I could use hers.

I haven't done much to my bathroom, but there are pics on the link below...scroll down, they're the last pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: pix

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 9:31AM
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Weed30- Don't worry, I understood quickly what you were referring to :o)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Banjo! I had no idea that's what they were called. My college dorm had those in the bathrooms, and we loved them. There wasn't a medicine cabinet, so my roomie and I bought one and just set it on the counter over the toilet.

I'm totally impressed with the golf-themed bathroom! What fun!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 8:42PM
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I am so intrigued with the we all have the same bathroom! It will be fun to share when I get mine finished and post some photos. Biggest problem I have right now is repainting beadboard....actually all the wood in the house. Previous owner must have used some fool paint and mine can be scraped off with a fingernail. Repainting with Kilz and repainting again...kills my enthusiasm, but no choice.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:24AM
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I just found this site while surfing for ideas on small spaces for bathrooms. I'm in the process of turning a shed-style poolhouse into a larger building so it can serve as a B&B, partyhouse, or kid hangout. I want the bath to take up as little space as possible because my total bulding is only 16x34.

I put together every combination of baths I could think of and then tried to plug them into my plan. If any of you are good at knowing space requirements, I'd love to have you look at my bath options and tell me any won't work.

Also, I discovered this great idea for a temporary divider in the building. Johnson ( makes a three-panel multi-slide unit that can handle doors up to 48" each. The panels look like normal door or glass panels. This way I can leave the layout open for everyday use but have a dividing wall ready to pull out to create a separate bedroom. I'd love to have someone give suggestions on my plans on that as well. I'm torn on two plans. One give me two separate entrances. The other doesn't. I gave up on having outside access to the bath. I'm just going to tile the whole house non-slip tile so it can get wet.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 11:55AM
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When we purchased our home 7 years ago our only bathroom was just off the kitchen. It measured 4.5' x 5' exactly and had an old tub (no showerhead), a toilet and a sink. The people who lived here had to notch out a little semicirle from the door swing so it would go past the toilet bowl. Then the back of the door would (bang!) hit the sink. Then another tile would fall from the wall. Yes I remember well getting ready for work, dumping a bucket of water over my head in the bathtub, crying. It was just an awful scene. The neighbors don't know how the guy got in it because apparently he was a very large man...Of course we took the whole bathroom out and created one upstairs. We are still in the process of renovating the tiny kicthen, which originally was 10' x 10.5'. Now it's 10.5' x 15'. I will share some of these pics when I get around to taking some.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 12:45PM
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Wow! That must have been some tiny bath! We owned a 1924 home (until last year) that had a very small 7x8 master bath with a clawfoot tub. I loved that tub... especially with the hand shower that was perched on top of the front. We had a house fire and had to redesign the whole house. My kitchen went from a 7x10 odd-shaped space to a fabulous 12x24 kitchen with a huge pantry off from it.

You must be enjoying that new kitchen. I miss mine and plan to redo this kitchen as soon as the poolhouse is finished. Don't forget to post the pics.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 2:53PM
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Can we keep going on this thread? I really enjoy seeing the layouts and surprise creativity.

My bath had already been redone when moving in. The size/shape is so identical to the ones shown. There is a pedestal sink, beadboard and wood floors....all of which I just don't care for. I have a habit of putting my washcloth over the sink edge and can't do this due to the wood floor. Actually, wet towels on a towel bar are up for grabs with wood.

Put a 3 drawer dresser beside the sink (cut the back off to shorten the depth) and tiled the bath surround. It is getting there, but I agree that "funky" would make these baths more fun rather than trying to create the best we can get.

And I would put an actual cabinet in, but the electrical outlets are a foot from the floor rather than counter height. They closed off the ones on the wall. Being an old house this could be a problem or electrician money trying to reuse them.

Years from now someone is going to redo this bath. I can hear it now....why would someone cover up that historic plastic surrounding the entire room? I found the stuff when thinking I'd get rid of the beadboard and go back to the original wall. This plastic whatever is 1/2" thick and will never go away unless the room is gutted. It wasn't until I tiled the bath that I realized it was also there and had been painted. I tiled over it....may not last, but neither do trends so it can be changed some day in the long future.

Yes, do start a thread on posting pics. Why is this so difficult to do? Lots of people post easily, but I haven't figured it out.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 7:13AM
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Great thread. Kathiky, our bathroom layout is almost identical to your second 6 x 8 picture. The only difference is that we have a large tub so there is not room for shelves. I find it very squishy. We're a family of four. The kids are little but I'm just not sure about this bathroom going forward. If we make it any bigger, we'll be taking from the already tiny bedroom next to it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:54AM
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That's the bathroom I think I've settled on. Is is sufficient if it isn't the master? What size sink do you have?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 5:55PM
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Well, I guess it all depends on how much space you have. This is our master, but we can't make the bedrooms any smaller. We have a vanity that is 24 inches wide. We haven't renovated yet. We'll be doing soon. I've been toying with replacing the tub, but I don't think we'll go that route.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 10:32PM
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I have a vanity top w/ banjo extension over the toilet and backsplash to match. it's 37 yrs old an needs to be replaced. I wanted to use granite, but salesperson at tile store says it's too heavy--needs to be anchored to wall. I also need a seam to get to the toilet, which is problematic. They say just to put a rectangular top and 4" backsplash-- but that's not the look I want. Any other suggestions?? Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Erma Bombeck once said that she would love to have a bathroom big enough where she could fall down and not hit her head on anything. For those of us in smaller homes, that's not going to happen! Here in FL, our 1600 sq ft house is pretty average, and most bathrooms run about 7X5. My mother's house in CT has one about 4X5. The toilet is very small, and fits in the corner. The sink is one I've never seen before- a tiny wall-mounted porcelain, it's only about 12" square. A 30" square sheet metal shower stall completes the room. When we redo our master bath, I want to go up, with a built-in corner cabinet all the way to the ceiling to keep all our necessities in.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:26AM
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SBK...I saw this pic accidentally after reading your post. Know it isn't the banjo design, but they did put the granite over the toilet. Must be a way to support this, even if it were two pieces flush together.

Here is a link that might be useful: granite over toilet

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 11:29AM
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flgargoyle - I'd love to see a picture of a cabinet like that!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 9:42PM
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We're just finishing up a brand new home, with kind of a "smaller is better" theme. We've got two bathrooms, one of which is 5x7. Some of the things we did to make the most of the space:

- Used a floating vanity to give the illusion of more floor area
- Used a banjo top (mentioned above), made of Richlite
- Large mirror over the vanity, paired with recessed medicine cabinet over the toilet
- "Stacked bond" pattern for shower tile, horizontal lines also add to the illusion of extra space
- Very large skylight, flush with walls on three sides

Here's a photo from before the mirror was installed:

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 1:32AM
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I don't remember what the size of our bathroom is, but i do kno w it's 5' wide. We've just refinished it with a shower instead of the tub cause of balance problems.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 7:33AM
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