By Meg Escott
So let’s dive in and just to look at some small bathroom floor plans and talk about them.
All the bathroom layouts that I’ve drawn up here I’ve lived with so I can really vouch for what works and what doesn’t. If you have a bigger space available the master bathroom floor plans are worth a look.
Here's two standard bathroom layouts that work well as a small family bathroom (5ft x 8ft). They work well with a shower bath or a luxurious shower size. The position of the door is also flexible. There’s enough room in them for someone to get dressed and undressed but there might be a bit of a clash between the wet zone of someone getting out of the shower bath and the area in front of the toilet – but hey you can’t have everything in a small space.
The storage can be improved by using a built in cistern arrangement. This creates a shelf which runs behind the basin and toilet. The dotted line illustrates a storage cupboard on the wall.
The only difference in this bathroom is the position of the toilet. See how it's right in front of the door - well just imagine the view when the door's left open. I just think a view of the vanity is preferable.
Another mistake with this layout is that the door swing isn't ideal. It would be better with the door swinging so that it opens against the wall rather than into the bathroom.
Here's two 5ft x 8ft layouts with the bath / shower going longways. In my opinion these layouts feel less spacious than with the bath/shower placed along the short wall.
If having the toilet in a separate room so that multiple people can use the facilities at the same time then this design fits into the 5ft x 8ft space. Be aware though that this is right on the limit of being functional. These spaces will work but they will feel small.
If we extend the dimensions slightly to 5ft x 9ft then there's room to alter the layout slightly to provide slightly more room in the shower part of the bathroom.
This is another standard layout - a square 6ft x 6ft bathroom that accommodates a washbasin, toilet and a standard shower.
Another possibility is to change the dimensions slightly to say 6ft 6in x 5 ft 5in and use corner fixtures.
Some people don't want to 'have a bath on the floor of the shower' but don't want to let go of the bath. Here's a bathroom layout for fitting both into 5ft x 9ft. It's tight and there's only just enough room for dressing and undressing. This design will accommodate a swing door but a pocket door would also work well.
This 12ft x 6ft bathroom floor plan has the bath and shower in their own separate wet zone room. It's an efficient use of space because the clearance area for the bath is used as the shower. It's a layout often found in Japanese bathrooms.
Here's another version of this layout.
One of the main challenges with small bathroom floor plans is to make the space as functional as possible. In this 10ft x 12ft layout the bath (or it could be a shower) and toilet are in their own private room. This allows someone to wash or bath and use the toilet in private while at the same time someone can use the washbasin.
Here's a 11.5 x 6ft bathroom layout where the washbasin is on the wall of the shower.
If your space is long and thin rather than rectangular here's a small bathroom layout to consider. It fits especially well at the end of a rectangular bedroom (say 3ft x 9ft). The washbasin shown here is small. A standard sized one tends to stick out too much.
The door here is shown swinging out of the room just to make getting in and out easier. A pocket door would also work well with this layout.
Here's one with the door at the thin end at 4ft x 8ft (122 x 244cm). A door opening outwards helps things along, as do shallow sinks. Another tip is to nestle the sink and toilet cistern into niches in the wall which means them stick out less into the room. The minimum width you can get away with is about 4ft (122cm).
Here’s an arrangement with the toilet in a separate room (a water closet I guess). If you want, or if building codes dictate, there would be room for a small washbasin on the wall of the WC. The shower room section has a good size shower and room for a seat – a little luxury to my mind which fits comfortably in the small space.
If you have a really small bathroom space (5ft x 4ft) the answer might be to have a small room big enough for a toilet and a washbasin and for this space to do double duty as a shower cubicle. You’d need to get a drain installed straight into the floor and get the room tanked. I’ve seen this arrangement in apartments in Japan and in camper vans and while it does fit it's wet!
Here's a few real life small bathrooms along with a few comments on their design.