Ideas for Small Bathroom Remodels

A cramped small bathroom, half-bath, or powder room can literally put a damper on your day. Yet tight space, outdated fixtures, and limited lighting don’t have to be permanent. An experienced contractor can help update your bathroom. If you’re struggling to find a trustworthy remodeler, GreatBuildz can connect you with high-quality, pre-vetted bathroom remodeling contractors from across the Los Angeles area.

A small, hallway bathroom is a relatively simple remodeling project and can be accomplished in a matter of weeks. Most hallway bathrooms have similar dimensions…approx.. 8ft x 5ft. or around 40sf. And the elements are generally standard as well. A simple shower/bath combo, a toilet, and a single-sink vanity. This simplicity makes it reasonably easy to remodel this space. But to make it an inviting space, you’ll have to think about specific design ideas to make the space feel large, elegant, and stylish.

We have seen many effective small bathroom remodel ideas and great results. Whether you’re considering a full remodel or just a few updates, here are some ideas that can help you achieve your goals within your budget.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that personally matches homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we talk to homeowners every day about small bathroom remodeling projects and bathroom remodel costs – here are some key points to know.


New Bathtub/Shower

An old, oversized tub can take up a substantial amount of space. A smaller tub can free up more room. Just as there are compact sinks and toilets, compact tubs are available. They may look and feel less traditional but get the job done and allow for more efficient use of the space you have, especially in a small bathroom.

Another option is to remove the tub and install a standing shower. A walk-in shower can feature bright tiles and a sliding glass shower door to eliminate the space constraints of a swinging door. Other shower/tub ideas include:

  • Custom shower bench for convenience and style.
  • Space-saving shelves and shower niches.
  • Tray/caddie to store toiletries near the bathtub.
  • Floor tile pattern extended into the shower.
  • Shower curtain instead of a door.
  • Taller shower curtain to visually elongate walls.

Pocket Doors

If you have a swinging entry door, it can limit usable floor space and storage. A pocket door, which retracts into the wall, increases a small bathroom’s usable footprint. It only subtracts a few inches of space from the adjoining room. Reframing the wall and creating space for the sliding door is something any experienced remodeling contractor can do.

New Cabinets

There are many modern cabinet ideas to choose from. With limited floor space, you can try more vertical cabinetry, including that which utilizes your wall space for linens and other items. Bulky cabinet sinks are also not necessary. Floating basin sinks save space and create a unique feel, plus you can add a ledge for daily essentials.

Modern small bathroom interior with stylish mirror, vessel sink and glass shower stall

Tall mirrored cabinets, built-in cabinets, and open cabinetry, in which you can place wicker baskets and bowls, are all useful ideas as well.

No matter what type of cabinet you have, it won’t help unless you organize interior storage. It should be compartmentalized for storage of specific types of items. Smaller beauty and personal hygiene products can be put in trays, while large baskets can be used for brushes, flat irons, and hair dryers.

New Flooring

Keeping the floor clear helps, but there are times when replacing your bathroom floor is necessary. Old, worn floors don’t do the room any justice. Ceramic tile is more expensive but can be used for the shower as well. Some homeowners even extend floor tile up the walls!

Matching floor tile color to the walls, complementing their color, or creating a contrast can create the illusion of more space.

Larger Mirror

A small mirror might seem more practical. However, a larger one can make your small bathroom feel more spacious. A tall mirror over the sink will do, or you can install a wall-to-wall mirror. It can brighten up the space without much natural light.

Shiplap Small Bathroom Accent Wall

Nonetheless, a small mirror where there’s not much wall space can provide enough reflection to brighten up the room. If possible, you can add a few small mirrors. They allow light to reflect off more surfaces to expand the visual space.

More Lighting

Updating your lighting fixtures can help the small bathroom feel bigger, especially if you’re on a budget. Suspended ceiling fixtures call attention to the room’s smallness. Another issue is dull or limited lighting; it makes the bathroom feel tight and cramped. To address the space issue from this perspective, try the following:

  • Backlit mirror: Provides more light to reflect, not to mention improves visibility.
  • Recessed lighting: The lights are recessed into the ceiling, so take up no space.
  • Skylight: Delivers natural light directly from above.
  • Colorful bulbs: Are unique and save on paint.

To maximize available natural light, don’t block any windows. Shower curtains can prevent light from getting through as well. This is one reason to install clear glass doors.


Color is an important consideration in a small bathroom. Light colors are best. Your color scheme should be mainly monochromatic and avoid dark colors and starkly contrasting hues. If you have a white trim, you can add more color if you want; some popular choices include warm white, icy blue, and seafoam green. You also want to go with a lighter crown molding that matches the ceiling. If reflecting more light is the goal, choose high-gloss paint, which can amplify what little natural lighting is available.

Curved Shapes

A round mirror, while minimalist in design, can be a great addition to a small bathroom. Other small bathroom remodel ideas with this concept in mind include curved corner vanities, which can prevent bruises if you are constantly bumping into them, and small round tables for powder rooms. Corner sinks are very effective at saving space. They’re an excellent alternative when pedestal models won’t fit. Wall-mounted faucets are a cool idea too.


Many people overlook patterns as functional design elements. Neutral color schemes can be enhanced with rich color contrasts and cool tones. You can achieve a desired visual effect with ornate wall paper designed to contrast with simple lines, a patterned rug, and eye-catching shapes such as large squares and wide stripes.

classic small bathroom cabinet

Also, wood-style floor tiles provide various opportunities to add patterns and warmth to the room. They can also complement elements such as bright fixtures and glass showers.


Storing towels often seems to be a dilemma. If not properly designed, a small bathroom makes it even more difficult. However, this does not have to be the case. Limited space can be addressed by mounting a towel bar to the entry door or the shower door—towels always stay within reach—while a floating sink/countertop can feature a towel bar underneath. You can even attach a towel bar to the side of a cabinet sink.

Also consider the color of towels. White towels are best for brightening up the room. However, some people prefer bolder colors like red, so the choice depends on your taste or the specific design of your bathroom.


Getting rid of the furniture can certainly eliminate clutter in tiny bathrooms. Forgo the built-in vanity and use shelves instead. They can be quite stylish and just fine for arranging items where you need them. Floating shelves can be installed over a sink or even above the toilet. Opt for multiple small shelves to avoid needing a bulky cabinet.

Larger Wall Coverings

Wallpaper, as mentioned earlier, can be an effective visual element. Many people would opt for less coverage and smaller design features, but you should allow your motif to be big. Bigger patterns can change things so your bathroom feels larger.

Small Bathroom Remodel Costs

In Los Angeles and the surrounding area, the average cost to remodel a small bathroom is roughly $25,000. As you surely know, no two bathrooms or projects are identical. Costs for the same-sized area might vary greatly based on a variety of criteria, such as the types of materials used, layout modifications, and specific components. Small bathroom remodel costs can be as low as $15,000 if the scope of the project is limited to a bathroom ‘refresh’ or if you are willing to use lower-budget materials. The most expensive part will be redoing the floor and shower tile, so keep this in mind when doing your budgeting (link to bathroom cost blog)

Contact GreatBuildz to Find a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

We believe any renovation can be stress-free. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, we can match you with pre-screened, reputable general contractors and interior designers. Our ongoing support ensures your project goes smoothly, from obtaining small bathroom remodeling ideas to the successful completion of your project. Call 818-317-3567 to learn more.

When it comes to planning and coordinating a small bathroom remodel for your home, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened garage conversion contractors and provides project support from start to finish.


Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with our local team about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information:


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