Whether you have a large or small bathroom, layout makes a big difference. Even a small bathroom can be luxurious if it is well designed. If you're tired of your current bathroom, then it may be time for a remodel. The good news is that when it comes to laying out your new bathroom space, you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
In this article, I'll share some of the most common bathroom layouts. There's a reason these basic bathroom arrangements are so popular: because they work! Use them as a starting point to design your dream bathroom space. Careful bathroom planning goes a long way toward your enjoyment of your home.
1. Small full bathroom with door on long wall
If you want a full bathroom layout, you're probably going to need at least 36 to 40 square feet. This usually translates to a 5' x 8' foot footprint, which is a standard-sized small bathroom that is common in older homes. Check the size of your small bathroom to get an idea of your dimensions. For this size, you can choose two standard options.
If the door opens up on the 8' side, place the door directly across from the sink. The toilet should be next to the sink and the shower or tub can be placed against the 5' wall. Directly across from the toilet, you can place a towel rack or shelf. This layout provides space and doesn't crowd you.
Here is a small bath with the door on the long wall in real life:
2. Small full bathroom with door on short wall
The next design is when the door opens on the 5' wall. Along the 8' wall, install the sink, toilet, and shower in that order. Once again, place the towel rack directly across from the toilet.
The goal for both of these designs is being able to move freely without hitting the toilet or door. If you have a bathroom with these or similar dimensions, these are really the only full-bath layouts to consider.
3. Small three-quarter bathroom
Another common size for a smaller bathroom is a 7' x 7' foot design. Although you'll find that this super-tiny size can accommodate a full bathroom, it often works better as a third-quarter bathroom. A bathtub simply takes up too much space in this size. Additionally, its bulky look will create a cramped feeling. If you choose to have just a toilet, sink, and shower, the space looks much less cluttered.
This design works reasonably well, despite its small size. A common layout for production builders is to install a corner shower with the sink in the adjacent corner. I'm not a fan of this layout because it makes the sink feel cramped and doesn't provide a good space for a mirror or medicine cabinet.
A much better approach is the layout shown above, with the toilet and shower positioned side by side. This affords ample counter space and room for a mirror.
4. Long and narrow three-quarter bath
What makes this design great is that the space is broken up, with the sink separated from the toilet and shower by a door. Not only will this give you some privacy, you'll also be able to have multiple people in the space without feeling crowded.Some bathrooms have a long construction that you can use to subdivide the space. When you walk into this bathroom, a door to the left leads to the toilet and, beyond that, the walk-in shower. Opposite of this section, you can install a single-sink vanity and a large mirror.
5. Walk-through shower
Everyone is familiar with the combined tub-shower. For people without a lot of space who prefer the luxury of a large freestanding tub (or a built-in jacuzzi-style tub) and a separate shower, here is an interesting option. A separate tub and shower are combined into one space. To access the tub, you walk through the shower area. This is certainly a polarizing approach to bathroom layout. Critics point our that the shower isn't going to get very warm and steamy because it shares such a big space with the tub, but that obstacle can be overcome by adding a full or partial glass partition between the tub and shower.
6. Perfect square
If you have a bathroom that's a medium-size but in a cube shape, you may be struggling to find a good design. The floor plan above makes good use of the space, with small wall sections that visually separate the toilet and linen storage area. A double vanity opposite the walk-in shower stall makes this a good master bathroom layout for two people to share.
7. Spa-like master bath
Bathrooms with a larger footprint open a world of possibilities. After all, you have more room to play with. Adding doors and partitions can customize it to your preference, but you can also elect to leave the space relatively open, for an airy, light-filled look.
The highlights of the design above are the luxurious freestanding tub and the glass-enclosed walk-in shower. For a more economical approach to this layout, just wall off the side of the shower that faces the tub and use a standard glass shower door.
8. Combo master and guest bath
Interior designers have to think creatively to maximize available space. A not uncommon scenario is for the master bath to share a wall with a guest bath. If both are designed as rectangles, then they would each feel more cramped. But by allowing the master bath's walk-in shower to use some of the space of the guest bath, both rooms feel larger and are more functional.
Here's what this layout looks like built out:
9. Full bath with WC
I am a fan of bathroom layouts with a water closet (WC for short). Adding a pocket door or even a standard door between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom doesn't take up very much space, but it does wonders for imparting a sense of privacy. Just don't attempt this layout if the footprint of your bathroom is too small. An 8' x 8' space is probably as small as you would want to go.
10. Separate sinks
Here's another way to separate the bathroom space, making it easier to share. The sink or sinks can be placed in a sort of vestibule area, with the toilet and tub behind a door. If two partners (or two kids) are sharing one bathroom, this layout provides excellent versatility. If I were to design this as a compact master suite, I would consider removing one door and making the sink area partially open to the room.
Putting it all together
Bathroom design and space planning is often not given the thought it deserves. If you are planning to remodel your bathroom or add a bath to your home, these ten common bathroom layouts are a great place to start. But don't stop here. I encourage you to speak to an experienced interior designer to truly dial in your new bathroom space. It's amazing how much a thoughtfully planned bathroom can add to your enjoyment of your home and quality of life.
My interior design colleagues and I here at CRD Design Build would be happy to discuss your bathroom remodeling plans. Please feel free to drop us a line to discuss your dreams for your bathroom space. We would love to be of service.
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