Design Detailing

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How To Make A Small Bathroom Feel Bigger

How To Make A Small Bathroom Feel Bigger

When renovating a bathroom, here on the Sunshine Coast sometimes our clients quickly discover that either their budget or their properties’ limitations does not allow them to create their ultimate space. However, there are several savvy design tips and tricks for consideration which can help you achieve your design dreams. Let’s discuss how you can make a small bathroom feel bigger:


With space at a premium in a tight bathroom, every millimetre of space must be utilised effectively. A well-planned, hardworking layout will prove to be a winning strategy. The ultimate bathroom layout will have the sink close to the door, then the toilet and at the furthest point from the entry, the bath and/or shower. Tip: for aesthetic reasons, the toilet should not be the first thing you see as you enter the bathroom! Make sure you allow at least 50cm between the rim of the seat and any basin unit or wall so there is sufficient space for even the tallest user’s knees. Also, when planning your bathroom layout, consider high ceilings in a small space, where possible. Opt for 2.7m high over standard 2.4m heigh ceilings. High ceilings will enhance the sense of existing space.

Fittings and Fixtures

There is a multitude of space-saving fittings and fixtures available on the market today. For instance, wall mounted taps can create even more room. Opt for a neat, rectangular sink bowl over a round vanity bowl- these usually take up more space. A compact, space saving toilet cistern plumbed into the wall can give more room then a standard toilet. This last option though requires thought though, as plumbing issues with a built-in/ wall mounted cistern usually require opening up the wall cavity.

Doors and Windows

A simple solution for a small bathroom is to use a cavity slider instead of a standard door in your bathroom renovation. Windows will bring in natural light which will open up the room too. If you can’t install /include windows, consider a skylight. The more light you can introduce, the more spacious and open your small bathroom will appear.

Clever Tiling

Good tiling advice can help your small bathroom feel bigger. Floor-to-ceiling tiles will make the space feel larger, as will using large tiles. The larger the tile, the larger the room will appear due to the scale and proportion of large tiles tricking the eye into believing the space is bigger. If you can’t execute floor-to-ceiling tiles, match the wall paint colour to your tiles to keep it tonal.


In terms of colour, lighter colours make small spaces feel bigger, so favour a lighter colour palette over a darker one. Also, use one colour for the whole room so there is less visual distraction which may cut up the small room visually. Extra points if the colour and whole room is white! Our favourite white is Dulux Lexicon Quarter.

Design Tips

Using a few key styling tips can elevate your space saving renovation techniques. A mirror is a great way to enhance a small space, as it reflects natural light around and opens up the room. Opposite a window is a good spot as it will double the amount of light. As with the tiling, again play with a sense of scale and go big with the size of your mirror. A frameless shower screen will have less lines and consequently open up the room visually. A tiled wall niche in the shower cleverly creates extra storage while looking contemporary.

Consider All options

Although moving any plumbing in a bathroom is generally avoided as it adds significant cost to the renovation, sometimes freeing up space in a small bathroom is worth the extra cost if it adds valuable floor space. Options may include relocating the toilet to its own separate room elsewhere in the house, or, if the washing machine and/or dryer is in the bathroom, possibly moving them into a cupboard nearby.

A combined shower/tub arrangement is another smart solution that can provide the household with a bath and a shower, (a strong selling point for buyers with children) whilst optimising valuable floor real estate.