A small bathroom is a common problem in apartment buildings. But even these 3-4 sq. it is quite possible to turn it into an oasis of comfort and relaxation, if you use design techniques. Choosing the right finishes, plumbing and furniture, you will see that it was not the narrow area that caused the cramped space, but just the illiterate placement of things. Our recommendations will help you correct mistakes and make your bathroom comfortable and tidy!
The first thing you need to decide on at this stage is to make the bathroom combined or separate.
By removing the partition between the toilet and the bathroom, you can slightly expand the area and save on finishing materials. But, firstly, this will require permission from special instances; secondly, important communications (water or sewer pipes, ventilation ducts, electrical wiring) may be located in the partition; and thirdly, for a large family, a shared bathroom will be very inconvenient from a practical point of view.
As for a separate bathroom, in this version the only drawback will be that both rooms are often very tiny and there is simply no room in the toilet for a separate washstand. In this case, you can use a compact sink, positioning it, for example, in a corner, just above the cistern.
You can also add a little extra “squares” to your small bathroom by reducing the hallway or corridor.
Finishes and materials for the bathroom
While taking a bath or shower, everyone can observe how much steam and condensation is formed in the air. This means that absolutely all materials for finishing a small bathroom must be waterproof and resistant to temperature changes.
At first glance, it may seem that it is enough to tile the concrete base in the bathroom and it will be finished with its repair. But this is far from the case – it would not hurt to carry out some more work under the upper decorative layer. So, the “warm floor” system will provide a comfortable temperature, and a dense layer of waterproofing will save you from the visit of angry neighbors in the event of a flood.
The ideal structure should look like this: a concrete slab is covered with a bituminous primer, a polymer waterproofing film is glued to it (its edges rise to the walls at a height of at least 15 cm, and the seams must be overlapped and firmly fused together), fine-grained quartz sand is poured, heating elements, and then ceramic tiles are attached to the concrete tile adhesive. It is desirable that it be large and light, but at the same time slightly rough, because on wet glossy glaze it is easy to slip and get injured.
For wall decoration in a small bathroom, you can use ceramic tiles, plastic panels, paint, artificial stone or moisture-resistant wallpaper.
The first step is to properly plaster the surface and apply a quality primer. You can also level the surface with water panels.
Of paints, it is desirable to use non-toxic water-based emulsion (acrylic, silicone) and water-dispersion compositions. It is better to refuse traditional oil oils – as they dry for a long time, give off the smell of acetone and quickly crack under the influence of temperature.
The optimal choice for decorating the ceiling in a small bathroom is a stretch film with a mirror effect. It is absolutely resistant to water vapor (you only need to wipe it with a sponge sometimes) and will serve for at least ten years without losing its original aesthetic appearance. In addition, such a ceiling will help minimize the unpleasant consequences of flooding.
If you need a budget repair, then you can stop at painting, but it will have to be updated every year.
Another good way to decorate the ceiling in the bathroom is plastic paneling (siding). Only a stainless steel profile should be used for the frame under them.
In a small bathroom, where it is difficult to allocate space for a spacious bath, you should undoubtedly give preference to a shower cabin. Moreover, there are models equipped with deep trays with a Jacuzzi, so lovers of romantic bathing with candles and rose petals will not be offended.
Besides the significant space savings, the booth reduces water consumption. Considering rising utility bills, this is a big advantage.
Ventilation above the shower room will quickly remove moisture and minimize the ingress of condensation on the finish outside.
And if you still want to lie down in the water to your full height, then the owners of small bathrooms should pay attention to the corner and curved bathtubs.
Arrangement of furniture, appliances and accessories
The thoughtful placement of plumbing fixtures and furniture will make even the smallest bathroom comfortable and practical.
To save space, it is advisable to choose a washbasin not semicircular, but small rectangular or square, but with high sides. This sink can be built into a cabinet.
If possible, the toilet tank should be hidden in the wall, leaving only the flush button outside. If this option is not possible, you can buy an angled or high narrow tank.
The compact side-loading washing machine can be built into any free niche: under the sink, boiler, in the corner between the bathroom and the wall, or above the toilet. One has only to provide an insulated outlet nearby and hide the pipes discreetly.
In order not to spoil the expensive plumbing, it is better to drain the dirty water directly into the sewer hole.
To store things in a small bathroom, you should make the most of the vertical space – put tall pencil cases, hanging shelves, towel dryers.
For shampoos, gels, foams and other hygiene products in the side parts of the bath, you can equip door shelves with brackets that open at an angle of 45-60 degrees, or you can make narrow horizontal shelves with sliding screens.
Another great idea is a pull-out shelving unit. Clean towels can be folded in it and will be well protected from moisture.
In a small bathroom, you can get by with one or more light sources, but in no case should it be a hanging chandelier.
It is also worth abandoning conventional incandescent lamps – they heat up very much during operation and can burst if splashed with water. LED lamps are best suited for these criteria.
To create a more romantic atmosphere in a small bathroom, you can use neon ribbons, spotlights for shelves and niches, and fluorescent elements on the floor.
Choosing an interior style
To make the interior look harmonious, before starting the renovation in the bathroom, you need to choose the style that the owners like most. It will promote relaxation and improve your mood every time during water procedures.
Clear symmetrical shapes, no unnecessary details, monochrome tones, chrome or glossy finishes will create an impression of laconicism and completeness.
Shades of ivory, sparkling porcelain and shimmering gold floral designs – a royal bath for true aristocrats. The abundance of light and brilliance will do an excellent job of increasing the space.
This decor blends French romance with rustic freedom and simplicity. Pastel shades are used – lavender, greenish, blue, pale pink. From drawings allowed – small dull flowers. Furniture should have a slightly vintage look, such as scuffs on light paint.
The loft is characterized by bare walls, imitation of stone or brickwork (preferably grayish-white), high whitewashed ceilings, and lack of decorations. Suitable for free artists, bohemians, as well as those who despise the ordinary and value freedom.
Space-saving and compact forms are the ideal solution for a small bathroom. Everything you need is hidden in the cabinets, creating an atmosphere of lightness and spaciousness.
The snow-white color with small splashes of gray and black reminds of northern mountain rivers or ice-covered peaks. This setting is great for refreshing and energizing. Decorating in unobtrusive colors and without any bright details will visually increase the area of the room.
Color solutions for a small bathroom
To ensure the integrity of the interior, for finishing a small bathroom you need to use no more than three colors that are close in saturation. It is advisable to leave dark, contrasting, voluminous things and patterns for some spacious halls or outdoor pools.
This is the traditional color of sanitary ware – clean, clear, maximum reflective light. It is easy to relax in such an environment and, moreover, it can be easily combined with any other shades.
The shimmering overflows resemble a clear stream running from the tops between the stones. Surrounded by mirrors and chrome-plated metal, the light gray color will help relieve stress after a hard day’s work and restore vigor in the morning.
The shade of sky and water is the most soothing. It makes you breathe deeper and seems to fill the entire space with fresh air. It is the perfect setting for a white bathtub and sink. It is a real crime to break up such a magical duet with “spots” of other colors; in extreme cases, you can add a little silver accents.
When foliage is reflected in the river, the water appears greenish. In the same palette, you can find shades of sea waves, shimmering bluish-turquoise with golden reflections from the depths. A similar design in a small bathroom will give rest to the eyes and relaxation to the body.