Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bathroom Remodel Complete...how to maximize a small space

Over the summer I was working on a master bathroom remodel. After about six weeks, a couple of damaged pipes and gushing water, a torn out living room wall, and hammering pipes the job was finally completed.
The existing bathroom was from the 1970's complete with carpet and fiberglass shower. There was one sink in the bath area and one in the adjacent dressing room. The dressing room also housed two closets hidden behind bifold doors.
This bathroom is only 9' x 7 1/2'. There is another bathroom backing up to it and the toilets share the same waste pipe. Also, a heating vent is located under the window next to the toilet. These elements made it impossible to expand the space and unpractical to move the toilet. A larger shower with a seat was a must have for this bathroom.
Keeping these things in mind and with the realization that we didn't have much space to work with made this project a challenge, but in the end, the bathroom has all of the elements needed for a very functional bathroom plus a few extras.

The objective was to upgrade the bathroom and dressing/closet area, make it more functional, use materials that would look nice for years to come, and to make the space feel larger.
The walls that housed the old shower stall and the linen closet were removed to open up all of the existing floor space. All surfaces are the same or close to the same color. A frameless shower enclosure was installed to keep with the open feeling and the floor tiles were set diagonally to draw the eye outward and further visually expand the space. It's the details that were used to add interest and to make this bathroom not just functional, but, also add a little luxury.
The dressing room/closet area was gutted and a closet system by Closets by Design was installed. A mini chandelier adds a little elegance to the space.

Dressing area

Small multi colored tiles on the shower floor add interest

Shower seat, wall cubbies and grab bar

Two shower heads...one stationary and one hand held on a slide bar

"Her" vanity has two recessed medicine cabinets. The inside of the cabinets are mirrored so that when they are open they create a three way view.

A large piece of artwork will be placed on this wall to act as a focal point and add some color to this small space

You'll notice this vanity is on an outside wall. Not a common practice because of the vulnerability of the pipes to the weather. The pipes were wrapped with pipe insulation and then packed with regular insulation for protection.

12 x 12 floor tiles placed diagonally to move eyes outward and visually expand the space

Heating cable under the floor will provide a toasty feel in cold months

Thermostat for heating cable

Bun feet add another detail to the vanity

Single lever faucet with European styling

Cubbies help keep fluid lines on the wall

Pull out shelf for convenience

Drop down false panel with added trays to maximize storage options

Other details include dimmers on the vanity lights, a light over the shower, and a unit installed in the center of the ceiling that houses an exhaust fan, a heater with fan, a light and and a night light. Also, listello (a decorative border tile) was installed around the entire perimeter so there would be a continuous line around the room to further enhance the idea of open space. And small decorative medallions were placed randomly through out the wall tile just as an added touch.


  1. Hi Connie,

    Loved the before and after photos. What a transformation! Well done!


  2. Thanks, Caren. There were some glitches, but, all in all it turned out pretty well. Connie

  3. Brilliant ideas.A simple way to conserve space is to do away with a tub and just use a shower. Smaller tubs, however, are available, although most cannot handle whirlpool faucets.


  4. Glorry,

    Thanks for commenting. Most tubs in master baths don't get much use. I think a shower with "extras" such as duel shower heads, seating, and steam (if the budget permits)make more sense.


  5. What a difference. Clients must be thrilled; it looks beautiful Connie. Love the vanity you chose and the heated floor tiles are awesome!

  6. Thank you. I chose the light mushroom colored vanities over a woodtone to keep a monocramatic look so the space would feel larger. I was very please with how it turned out.

  7. Connie, you did a great job! Your bathroom looks so organized now, especially the dressing area! This part of the home is actually a bit difficult to manage because you have a lot of stuff going on in it! 2 Thumbs up for you!

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