6 Strategies to Maximize Space in a Small Bathroom

According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, more than 850,000 homeowners nationwide decided to remodel, and with Tampa homeowners alone spending $4.7 billion in home improvements in 2021, there’s a growing interest in home transformations. You’re not alone in wanting to upgrade your home.

So, if you’re feeling cramped in your tiny bathroom and your morning routine feels more like an obstacle course, it’s time to upgrade. Small bathrooms can be a total pain to navigate and organize. But with some savvy design tricks, you can transform your bathroom into a functional and breathable space.

Below, you’ll find ideas for taking your tiny bath from cramped to spacious. You’ll enjoy your morning routine again without the frustration of bumping elbows and tangled towel racks. 

Strategize Your Layout

When you’re working with a small bathroom, the layout is extremely important. You must plan where everything goes, down to the last inch, to take full advantage of the limited space. It’s all about creating a smart traffic flow so you can move around comfortably.

  • Optimize the traffic flow so no one gets stuck in a corner or has to do an awkward dance to get around. Think through the steps from shower to sink to toilet and place stuff in that logical order.
  • Scope out unused nooks, like the space between the wall and vanity. A few inches can be turned into a narrow shelf or cabinet for towels or toilet paper.
  • Rethink the door situation. Doors that open inward eat up precious real estate. Pocket doors or bifold doors save space.

Considering the average Tampa bathroom remodeling cost is 6-11% more economical than the national average, you can easily hire a remodeling company to help upgrade your layout and maximize space without breaking the bank. 

Add Items with Dual-Purpose

When space is tight, multipurpose furnishings are clutch. Look for pieces that pull double duty – they streamline your layout and let you get more use out of every square inch.

A few items to consider:

  • Storage benches – Benches with lift-up seats or drawers give you a place to perch while stashing extra towels and toiletries out of sight.
  • Mirrored cabinets – Medicine cabinets with mirrors on the outside add storage without hogging wall space. The mirror will make your bathroom look bigger, too. Win-win!
  • Shelving over the toilet – Add shelves above the toilet tank for tucking away backup toilet paper and other must-haves. Out of sight but still easy to reach.
  • Pedestal sinks – These take up less floor real estate than a vanity. For extra storage, choose one with built-in shelves or cabinets.
  • Towel racks with shelves – Install towel bars with an integrated shelf for toiletries and decor. More surface area for your stuff!

Take Storage to New Heights

One of the biggest complaints about small bathrooms is more storage space. Get creative with your storage solutions by utilizing all available vertical space from floor to ceiling.

  • Install tall shelving units. Floor-to-ceiling shelving is a space-savvy way to store towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.
  • Use wall space. Take advantage of narrow wall space with wall-mounted cabinets and floating shelves.
  • Add high shelving. Place shelves on the walls above the toilet or tub to display decor items.
  • Use stackable storage. Stackable shelving cubes and slide-out cabinetry maximize vertical storage.
  • Hang a wall cabinet over the toilet. This often-overlooked space is perfect for a recessed cabinet.
  • Opt for open storage. Open shelves and woven baskets allow you to utilize space while keeping an airy, open feel.

Rethink Your Tub-Shower Combo

Bathtub-shower combinations are space hogs in a small bath. With some creative thinking, you can still enjoy a relaxing soak without the tub taking over.

Some options to consider include:

  • Corner tub. A corner tub maximizes floor space. Oval tubs work especially well.
  • Compact tub. Shorter and narrower tubs provide a soaking option with a smaller footprint.
  • Tub-shower combo. A small tub with an overhead shower allows for both bathing and showering.
  • Walk-in shower. Eliminate the tub and install a roomy walk-in shower.

Strategic Use of Mirrors

Mirrors can help create the illusion of a larger, more spacious bathroom by reflecting light and images. Take advantage of this decorative trick by incorporating mirrors into your small bath.

  • Use a mirrored medicine cabinet. In addition to providing concealed storage, the mirrored front will make the room feel more expansive.
  • Install an oversized mirror. A mirror that stretches across a wall or takes up most of a wall adds instant visual space.
  • Add mirrored cabinets. Cabinets with mirrored fronts reflect light and create depth.
  • Use mirrored tiles. Tiles with a mirrored finish or opaque glass tiles add reflective surfaces.
  • Use reflective surfaces. Glass shower doors, polished stone surfaces, and metallics reflect light and add depth.

Let There Be Light

Proper lighting is key to making a small space feel open and airy. Incorporate lighting strategies to maximize brightness in your compact bathroom. 

Here are your options:

  • Add windows and skylights. Natural light prevents a cramped, dark feel. If adding windows isn’t possible, use solar tubes to funnel in natural light.
  • Install sconces. Wall sconces provide ambient lighting without taking up space.
  • Use recessed can lights. Recessed lights create a bright, open overhead lighting effect.
  • Incorporate task lighting. Install task lighting at the vanity and shower to provide directed illumination for daily routines.
  • Add accent lighting. Use accent lighting, like small LED lights above the tub or in cabinets, to create a spa-like glow.
  • Use reflective surfaces. Polished stone, glass, and mirrors will bounce and amplify light.


While small bathrooms can be challenging to design, they also allow for creativity and clever solutions. For a stress-free bathroom design tysons va, consider the bathroom remodeling cost in your area early in the planning process to ensure it fits within your budget. With the right approach, even the tiniest bathroom can be customized into your dream space. To help people love their bathrooms, 

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