Remodeling a Small Bathroom – Choose Fixtures Wisely

Remodeling a Small Bathroom – Choose Fixtures Wisely

A small bathroom remodel project can be a challenge because of the necessary fixtures required within a compact space. The sink, tub, shower and toilet are the large elements that must be fitted into a tiny bathroom. Start by choosing smaller versions of these fixtures in order to minimize the space they can take up in the bathroom.


Since there is no real “standard” size or shape for a bathroom sink, many options are available. A wall hung sink, corner sink or pedestal sink are all great choices. But make sure that the sink is large enough to allow a person to wash their hands. Also, a small sink requires extra attention to the faucet. The faucet must fit the size of the sink and not hang over too far. Another idea is to mount the faucet in the corner of the sink area to make the most of the small space.

Although a free standing sink can give the illusion of space, it also takes away the opportunity for storage with an under-sink vanity or cabinet. If storage space is a necessary element of the bathroom, a small vanity can be used either in a standard or a custom-made smaller size. A vanity provides the option of a vanity top with an integral sink, a drop-in sink or a vessel sink that sits on the countertop.

Tubs and Showers

A standard size bathtub is normally five feet long by 30 or 32 inches wide. Smaller bathtubs as well as corner bathtubs can be found but require some consideration as to the size of the user. A taller person will not find a smaller size tub very comfortable nor will the water level be at the correct height.

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Still another alternative is to eliminate the bathtub completely and use a stand up shower. A shower is very flexible because it can be custom-made to fit any dimension. Most codes require a minimum width of 32 inches but a larger shower, at least 36 inches square, would be preferable. A neo-angle shower can fit into a corner if space is really tight. Make the shower as large as possible so that there is enough space to comfortably turn and perform the necessary actions. Also, built in niches for soap and shampoo storage eliminate those items jutting from the shower wall, providing more space for showering.


How much space the toilet will take up is determined by the rough-in dimension, the shape of the seat, and the tank design. The rough-in dimension is the distance from the wall to the center of the toilet drain. Newer homes usually have a 12 inch rough-in while older homes can have 10 or 14 inch rough-ins. This rough-in drain dimension will determine how far from the wall the toilet will be placed. If the toilet cannot be moved closer to the wall, a one-piece toilet can create the illusion that it is smaller because of its low tank. The shape of the toilet bowl will be either elongated or round. Elongated bowls are more comfortable but take up more space.

Choosing the correct fixtures to remodel a small bathroom will help to create a larger-than life bath in any home.