How to Design a Small Bathroom


We all want that perfect relaxing bathroom no matter the size but when creating a bathroom in a small space it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we have created this handy guide on the best space-saving solutions for a small bathroom.

The key to designing a small bathroom is measurements. Always measure up the space before purchasing. If in doubt measure twice or even three times, you can never check a measurement too many times. The last thing you want to find when you come to fit out your bathroom is nothing fits. The humble tape measure will become your new best friend.

Nooks and alcoves

We know bathrooms aren't always completely symmetrical in shape, so keep reading to find out the best ways to make the most of the nooks and alcoves in your bathroom.

One of the easiest ways to make the most of small alcoves is to find furniture that fits perfectly, but we know this isn’t always possible so finding something a bit smaller than the space is a perfect alternative. Heated towel rails, toilet and basin combination units, and storage units are all perfect for fitting in smaller spaces.

If you have a particularly small alcove, then why not make the most of it by storing items such as a pedal bin or toilet brush, or if you want to get creative you could make your own shelves to fit perfectly into the space.

Recessed wall shelf


In recent years recessed wall shelves have become extremely popular in the bathroom, with space to store your shampoos and bubble baths. They’re especially popular for displaying more expensive, luxury body washes and shampoos in stylish bottles and containers.

However, if you have space for a larger recessed shelf, they're also perfect for storing rolled-up towels, making them easily accessible after showering or bathing.

Toilets and basins


When it comes to designing a small bathroom, toilets and basins can sometimes be the most difficult items to choose from but let’s face it, we can’t live without them. That’s why a basin and toilet combination or vanity unit might just be your new best friend.

Not only massively space-saving but also eco-friendly, a basin and toilet combination unit uses recycled water from the basin to fill the cistern.


A basin and toilet vanity unit, however, doesn’t have the same eco-friendly qualities but they do include handy storage spaces, perfect for storing toiletries and towels.

For more information read our post on Small Toilet Ideas.

Showering and bathing

When designing a small bathroom one of the first questions to ask yourself is, do you need a shower, a bath or both?

If your household uses both the shower and bath regularly then a shower bath might be the best solution for a small bathroom. If however, you're set on installing a bath but a standard size is slightly too big for your space, then why not consider a shorter than usual bath? Still providing adequate space for a long soak, but perhaps not suitable for those over 6ft.

Another clever option is a shower bath. Incorporating both your shower and bath into one is a perfect space-saving solution in a small bathroom. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, with P and L shape varieties being the most popular, you're guaranteed to find the best fit for your small bathroom.

Shower enclosures, however, are perfect for households that can live without a bath, saving lots of space. Be sure to choose a sliding enclosure door though as this won’t impact on the space in your room.


However, if you don’t want a bulky shower enclosure taking up precious space then why not consider a wet room, with built-in underfloor drainage. Pair with a glass wet room screen, to increase the feeling of space in your small bathroom.

Can you fit a shower to a sloped ceiling?


Can you fit a shower to a sloped ceiling? The short answer is yes, it is possible, but this all depends on both the height of the ceiling and the height of the intended user.

Some small bathrooms might feature the issue of a sloping ceiling which poses a problem when trying to install a shower. If your small bathroom has a sloping ceiling, then installing your shower handset or fixed shower head at the highest part of the ceiling is your best bet.

However, if you don’t have the ceiling height for this then why not consider installing a bath and a bath shower mixer tap. A bath shower mixer includes a mixer tap for filling your bath as well as a shower handset, allowing you to bathe or wash your hair in the bath with more freedom.



Even in a small bathroom, you’re likely to need some storage space, whether you’re looking for a large or small amount of storage keep reading to find out the best hints and tips.

If you’re looking for a smaller space to store cosmetics and toiletries, then a mirror cabinet is perfect. Especially if you’re looking for somewhere to apply makeup or shave as you can combine two practicalities into one!


If storage isn’t an issue, then choosing a wall-hung countertop and countertop basin is a wonderful solution for a small bathroom, keeping your bathroom clutter-free while creating the feeling of more space.

Keeping your bathroom light and bright


The key to preventing a small bathroom from looking even smaller is to keep it light and bright. Steer away from black and other dark tones for big areas like a tiled wall or wall panel and stick to lighter whites and creams. You can, however, easily add a touch of colour through soft furnishings such as towels and bath mats.

If your bathroom doesn’t have a window, then create as much light as possible through good quality lighting and the use of a mirror to reflect any light, natural or artificial that you do have around the room.

Mirrors are perfect for creating the illusion of more space by bouncing light and reflections around the room.

If you found this post useful, you may also be interested in - Best Showers for a Small Bathroom - 7 Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms - Complete Guide to Making the Most of a Small Bathroom.

We love seeing your bathroom and kitchen makeovers and sharing them on our Instagram page - if you've had a Plumbworld renovation, tag us in your photos to be featured!

We would love to see, so why not share your favourite designs on social media with us?

Find us at:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Pinterest

Alternatively, sign-up to our newsletter for the latest offers, newest product launches and advice.

Are you planning a new bathroom or kitchen makeover? Shop online with Plumbworld for guaranteed lowest prices and next day delivery options.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom and kitchen advice.