Small Bathroom with Shower Small yet Functional Bathrooms


Having a small bathroom can present some challenges when it comes to designing and functionality. However, with some clever planning and layout, small bathrooms can be just as beautiful and useful as larger spaces. The key is focusing on making the most of every inch and selecting fixtures and finishes that enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to create a small yet functional bathroom with a shower. From space-saving layouts and multipurpose fixtures to light colors and visualize tricks, we will cover everything you need to know to make your petite bath into a welcoming and practical oasis. Let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Layout

The layout of your small bathroom is crucial to make it feel open and easy to navigate. Here are some of the most effective layouts to consider:

Corner Shower

Tucking a narrow shower into the corner frees up the rest of the space for other functions. Look for neo angle showers that fit neatly into corners. Adding a glass door rather than a shower curtain makes the shower blend seamlessly.

Alcove Shower

An alcove shower has three walls and no door, creating an open feel. It can be positioned on any wall and combined with floating vanities or pedestal sinks to utilize the floor space.

Wet Room

A wet room has an open shower without enclosure, essentially turning the entire space into a shower. The bathroom is waterproofed and the shower drain positioned away from the door. Minimalist yet functional.

Combined Toilet and Shower

Installing the toilet within the shower area saves space. Use a tankless toilet and add a glass shield to contain water.

Barn Door Shower

A sliding barn door maximizes floor space in a tight bath. Mount it to slide across the shower opening.

Pocket Door Shower

Pocket doors slide directly into the wall, completely opening up the shower entry. Great for small spaces.

Consider plumbing locations and choose a layout that will function best with your existing bathroom setup. An experienced bathroom contractor can help optimize the plan.

Choosing Space Saving Fixtures

The right fixtures can make a small bathroom feel more spacious. Consider these space saving options:

  • Pedestal sink – Freestanding and takes up less space than a vanity.
  • Floating vanity – Wall mounted to create an airier look.
  • Vessel sink – Rims sit on the vanity surface, taking up minimal space.
  • Corner sink – Tucks neatly into an unused area.
  • Wall-mount faucet – Frees up countertop area.
  • Low profile toilet – Less bulky than standard models.
  • Glass shower door – More open than a shower curtain.
  • Recessed shelves – Built into the wall studs don’t take up space.
  • Mirrored cabinet – Reflects light and makes the room feel doubled.

Choosing Materials and Colors

The finishes and colors you choose for a small bathroom make a big impact on the feel of the space. Take these tips into consideration:


  • Use small, light colored tile to create a sense of increased space.
  • White, beige and light grey tiles reflect light well.
  • Runner subway tile patterns draw the eye up, making the ceiling feel higher.
  • Consider large-format tiles like 12×24 to make the room feel bigger.
  • Glossy tile adds depth and shine to enhance spaciousness.


  • Light, neutral paint colors work best. Try soft blues, airy grays and warm tans.
  • Paint ceilings lighter than walls to create height.
  • Semi-gloss sheen is ideal for reflecting light.
  • Paint built-ins and cabinets the same color as walls for a seamless effect.


  • Light natural stone, large-format porcelain or wood-look tile enlarges space.
  • Small bathroom patterns can make floors look choppy.
  • Glass shower floors visually open up cramped stalls.

Bathroom Storage Solutions

Lack of storage is one of the biggest complaints in small bathrooms. Get creative with these storage solutions:

  • Install shelving in wall recesses, over the toilet and on the backs of doors.
  • Use a cabinet instead of bulky vanity to hide plumbing.
  • Add narrow rolling carts or wall cabinets for towels and toiletries.
  • Try under-sink plumbing ceilings to use cabinet height.
  • Use stackable cabinets and floating shelves to go vertical.
  • Built-in medicine cabinets add storage and conserve space.
  • Use lidded bins and baskets to hide toiletries on open shelves.

Design Tricks for a Spacious Feel

A few simple design tricks go a long way in a small bathroom:

  • Extend floor tile into the shower for a seamless look.
  • Use wall-to-wall mirrors to double visual space.
  • Hang a large mirror opposite the shower to fill an empty wall.
  • Use glass partitions on showers and between spaces.
  • Install skylights or windows to draw in natural light.
  • Have separate task lighting at the vanity and shower.
  • Keep the color palette consistent throughout the room.
  • Repeat materials on floors, walls and counters for harmony.
  • Include vertical elements like stacked tile and pedestal sinks.
  • Visually lift low ceilings with light colors and tall, narrow mirrors.

Choosing Multipurpose Fixtures

Multifunctional fixtures streamline small spaces. Consider these solutions:

  • Storage benches offer extra seating and hide clutter.
  • Cabinet towel warmers free up rod space while warming towels.
  • Mirrored cabinets provide concealed storage.
  • Vanity-height toilets double as a chair and table.
  • Corner shower seats allow shaving legs or resting.
  • Curved shower rods maximize stall space.
  • Fold-down wall mounts for blow dryers save counter room.

Small Yet Functional Showers

Just because your bathroom is compact doesn’t mean you have to settle for an undersized shower. Use these tips to create a small yet functional stall:

  • Choose a narrow shower – Standard is 32″, but 24″-27″ works for small baths.
  • Use a hinged glass door – It takes up less space than a shower curtain.
  • Install a frameless door – Visually opens the shower.
  • Recess shelves – Built-in, wall-mounted units don’t impede.
  • Use a corner showerhead – Angled spray maximizes room.
  • Install a wand showerhead – Handheld function makes up for less space.
  • Add a fold-down seat – Sit while shaving legs or feet.
  • Use a small floor tile – Gives the illusion of more standing room.
  • Include a waterproof ceiling light – Makes the stall feel brighter.
  • Try a pocket door – Glass panels slide into the wall cavity.


Small bathrooms can feel just as luxurious and functional as more spacious rooms with careful planning and purposeful design details. Choose space-saving fixtures, multipurpose items, light colors and create visual interest with mirrors and glossy surfaces. Don’t be afraid to mix materials, patterns and textures. The most important rule is to make use of every inch and serve all your needs. With these small yet functional bathroom design tips, you’ll never feel cramped.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you arrange a small bathroom with a shower?

Some effective layouts for small bathrooms with showers include a corner shower, alcove shower, or a pocket door to save space. Positioning the toilet in the shower stall also maximizes floor space.

What type of shower is best for small bathrooms?

For small bathrooms, choose a narrow shower around 24″-27″ wide with hinged or frameless glass doors. Corner showers, wand showerheads, and pocket doors work well to maximize function.

How can I make a small shower feel bigger?

Use techniques like a light or glass tile, corner shelf instead of a full rack, a fold-down seat, small floor tile, recessed lighting and a handheld showerhead. Every inch counts in a small shower!

What flooring looks best in a small bathroom?

For small baths, it’s best to use light, plain porcelain, ceramic or stone tile to create an airier, more spacious look. Small tiles or patterns can make floors look choppy. Extend floor tile into the shower for a seamless effect.

How do you decorate a small bathroom with shower?

Use light, neutral colors on walls, tile and ceilings to reflect light and add the illusion of space. Floating vanities, wall-mount faucets, vessel sinks and pedestal options save space. Focus on multipurpose fixtures and vertical storage space.

How do you maximize storage in a small bathroom?

Built-in shelving, tall narrow cabinets, rolling carts, under sink storage, medicine cabinets and lidded bins help keep small bathrooms organized. Have a place for everything and keep clutter to a minimum.

What are some space-saving tricks for a small bathroom?

Some helpful space-saving tricks include using wall-to-wall mirrors, glass partitions for showers, skylights and task lighting. Keep the color scheme consistent and repeat flooring materials throughout. Vertical elements like stacked tile help too.

Should I get a shower curtain or glass door for a small bathroom?

For small bathrooms, a glass shower door takes up less space and makes the shower feel more open. Frameless doors work especially well to save space. Use a hinged design that opens away from the toilet area.

Where should you place shelving in a small bathroom?

Good places for shelving in small bathrooms include recessed wall units, corner shelving, narrow shelving above toilets, shelving on the backs of doors, and corner sink shelves. Keeping shelves built-in helps maximize space.

How do you make a small bathroom with shower look expensive?

Using luxury materials like marble tile, dark wood cabinetry, vessel sinks and stone shower walls make small bathrooms look more high-end. Detail tile, accent lighting, mirrors and shiny nickel or brass fixtures also help elevate the look.