Make the most of your small bathroom remodel with our top design tips!
We’d all love an at-home spa experience in our bathroom, but realistically, not everyone has the space for a luxurious bathroom renovation. More popular for smaller spaces are wet rooms; those rooms that have been fully waterproofed to provide an open-plan shower with no screens or enclosures. This approach maximises space usage and offers good accessibility but in truth, the term ‘wet room’ is now used considerably more flexibly than for designs of this exact specification.
If you do have a small bathroom space and are open to a wet room concept but a little more tailormade to suit your property and those living within it, read on for our best ideas of space utilisation and usage optimisation.
Although wet rooms traditionally are designed to withhold water and moisture everywhere, it’s often more practical to have a designated dry area within: for towels, clothes, valuables and products that aren’t necessarily for shower use. A single screen can be used to easily ‘zone’ off a dry portion of the room and using a frameless option keeps the open-plan free-flowing aesthetic that a wet room presents.
Curves work well to zone off different areas in a wet room without the need for specific barriers. One half of the curve could be used for a basin and dry area, with the other end featuring the shower. Both mosaic and vertical strip tiles work well for curved shapes and the feeling of being cosseted can help you unwind and relax while undergoing your evening or morning washing routine. Curved walls soften the boundaries of a space, and, if designed cleverly, you may be able to fit some storage into the curve, too!
Pattern, design and colour has a huge impact on how large or small a room feels; and that includes the decoration of a bathroom. For a wet room, this is usually reflected in your choice of tiles. Monochromatic patterns can elongate a space and distract the eyes from compact proportions, and strategically placed mirrors can further give the impression of more room. If a statement wall is chosen and decorated in an eye-catching manner (perhaps with different tiles, or the same tiles in a different colour), this too can create a new focal point with a visual illusion.
A partition between a wet area and the dry area/toilet facilities is a common way to zone out a bathroom, albeit not necessarily quite true to a vigilant wet room design. This avoids the risk of items and fittings that need to be kept dry getting wet and can be cleverly constructed to hide pipework or offer extra storage. A stud wall can often be built as a DIY job and won’t impact on the structural features of the room.
While you do need to be considerate of inadvertently creating a trip hazard, raising the shower up above the rest of the floor in a wet room can help you accommodate waste and pipework, as well as add interest through depth to your small space. Of course, you do need to ensure that the boundary is marked clearly to avoid accidents and you’ll need a decent ceiling height above for anyone using the shower to be able to stand comfortably below the hardware.
In particularly small rooms you need to keep decoration to minimal fuss to avoid the space feeling more cluttered. Frameless glass and screens are perfect for this as when transparent, they maintain an open aesthetic and don’t segregate or zone areas unnecessarily.
If you’re not looking to install a stud wall, a room divider can make for a great solution to zone the room without blocking out too much light or taking up too much space. Use the same tiles for floors and walls to give a flowing feel and ideally keep them large (smaller tiles can look a little cluttered). Room dividers work well at half-height and if wide enough, can be used as a shelve for items too.
You don’t have to tile a wet room, although it is the most conventional method for floors and walls in spaces of this type. Instead, a neutral plaster (that is, polished plaster, Microcement, tadelakt or plaster painted with specific waterproof products) can make a small room feel brighter and bigger. These materials all add a modern and warming finish but remain easy to clean and protected against moisture.
What’s critical with smaller spaces is that the internal layout is carefully and cleverly planned from all angles in order to best optimise the room’s usage. The placement of all fixtures and fittings need to be considered, for space purposes but also to keep dry items out of the way of spray and moisture. There are a variety of specifically-designed wet room products available on the market to help conceal and protect the rooms from overt water splash. The key is all in smart planning!
Refresh Renovations work on bathroom redesigns and refits of all types – and contrary to popular misconception, you don’t need to have a large room to involve the experts. Get in touch with your local Refresh office to arrange for a free, no-obligation visit from a renovations expert who can help you work on a design concept that best utilises your space and creates the illusion of more. We put together a team of specialists based on the requirements and idiosyncrasies of every job and can so can create exactly the right group of tradespeople to give your project the perfect finish.
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.