Small Bathroom Remodel – Expand Without Moving Walls!

A small bathroom remodel can live large if you know all the tricks! I’ve always wished for an expansive bathroom and never really thought we could achieve a spacious feel without actually enlarging the space, but we did just that! And all without moving a single wall. 

Renovating a bathroom gives you the ideal opportunity to maximize the space you have. And you can even achieve more of a spa-like feel! Today, I’m showing you a renovation we recently completed and what we did to gain both storage and a feeling of spaciousness.

Small Bathroom Remodel

Some new home builders cut corners when it comes to maximizing space. Instead of building in storage solutions, they tend to drywall up valuable real estate. That’s usually the case when it comes to 5 foot bathtubs. Can you see that vertical piece of wall at the end of the bathtub run below?

It was just begging for some built in cubby holes.  See how easy it is to reclaim space you had all along? Now there’s plenty of space in the bathroom to store towels and washcloths in those cubbies.

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Bathroom Vanity

When replacing a vanity, look for a style that has drawers so you can reclaim the vertical storage beneath. When one has cupboard doors, so much of that space goes to waste. Drawers are so much better to organize the things you need to store.

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Maximize drawer space for additional storage

Bulkheads / Soffits

Builders also love to install bulkheads which can make a bathroom feel even more enclosed:

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When you’re renovating, it gives you the perfect opportunity to remove bulkheads and expand the ceiling height over the tub. Take full advantage of the space you gain and brighten up the shower area. Consider a water proof LED potlight (shown below).

The vertical placement of the white tiles also helps with the illusion of more height (even with a horizontal accent stripe running through it).

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One area to gain space is with a shower niche; it gives you somewhere to put the soap and a bottle of shampoo. I find it best to use a solid surface material – at least along the bottom, if not around the entire niche – so that soap scum and spills can be easily cleaned away. Using the glass and marble accent tile along the bottom of the niche will allow soap to pool in the grout. Over time it will just look grungy!

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Bathroom Fan

Another area where builders cut corners is with ventilation. If there’s a window in the bathroom, they rarely bother to install a fan – but who wants to open a window in the winter and let out all that valuable heat along with the steam? Since you’re renovating anyway, why not take the opportunity to install a new bathroom fan (you’ll be glad you did)!

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Speaking of bathroom fans, check out our tutorial on how to replace a bathroom fan.

Small Bathroom Remodel Tub / Shower

To gain a sense of spaciousness, consider the style of bathtub you choose. Here the bathtub is a standard 5 feet, but it bows out at the front. It’s still the same footprint as the old tub, but more spacious inside.

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The curved feature on the front of the tub gave us the opportunity to repeat that feature with the installation a curved shower rod to replace the old glass door (which was always a pain to keep clean).

Have you ever been in a shower and the liner gets sucked in with the heat and just sticks to you? A curved rod should help keep that situation under control (another trick is to buy a curtain liner with suction cups).

Overall, I find a shower curtain and liner much easier to maintain than a glass door as they can simply be tossed in the washing machine to clean them up!

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Small Bathroom Remodel Finishes

Finishes can have a big impact over how spacious a room feels.  The lighter colour scheme we chose with hits of black and grey to contrast tends to open up the space and makes it feel airier. The bevelled mirror – with mirrored frame – also helps to bounce light around and adds sparkle to the bathroom.

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Light colour scheme with hits of dark contrast

Next time you’re renovating a bathroom, think about all the possibilities there are to reclaim additional storage and work it into your plan! Because of a well planned bathroom, we gain more storage – and are better organized for it.

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For more bathroom ideas, check out two more of our renos:

Pin Small Bathroom Remodel

At Birdz of a Feather, we’re feathering the nest… one room at a time. If this project has inspired you, please pin and share on Facebook.

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One thought on “Small Bathroom Remodel – Expand Without Moving Walls!

  1. Another fabulous Sara remake. I love the elegance of the bathroom, and agree with you on the efficiency of drawers. It’s nice having higher counters, too, isn’t it? I’m tall, so for me that is especially a plus.

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