7 Big Ideas for a Small Bathroom Remodel

Colorful Large Floor and Wall Tile in a Small White BathroomTypically, bathrooms in apartments endure a lot of wear and tear. What may have been a satisfying space only a few short years ago, may now need some major TLC.

If you don’t want to do a complete bathroom remodel, which can cost $20,000 and up, there are a number of less expensive, but effective updates you can do, that will enhance its look and feel.

Remember, your bathroom’s tiny size shouldn’t deter you from creating a stunning space that will be the envy of your friend’s and neighbors.

Here are 7 great ideas to masterfully renovate your bathroom!

1. Add Style with Gold and Brass Hardware and Accessories

One of the fastest and easiest updates you can do is replace the old hardware and accessories with ones that have a bit more glamour. Consider installing a new faucet, shower head, towel holders, cabinet knobs, etc. There is a wide variety of materials to choose from, but metals are usually the top choice. Stainless steel and chrome look very sexy and modern; they pair well with dark color wall paint or tile. Brass and rose gold hardware are made to impress, and look particularly stylish in an all white bathroom.

Rose Gold Hardware in a small all white bathroom

As you can see in the image above, a plain looking white bathroom with subway tile comes alive with the addition of rose gold shower head, faucet, and door handles.

Cost: depending on what you are looking to replace, and whether or not you want designer brands, expect to spend $300-$2,000

If you want to splurge, consider this gorgeous, brushed rose gold, Icon bathroom sink faucet by Hispania Bath. The price is steep: $792, but the design is ideal for a luxury contemporary space.

Rose Gold modern bathroom faucet

2. Show Your Imagination with Tile

Even the dullest space can be elevated with smart and creative tile installation. If you are on the budget, you don’t need to install new tile all over the entire bathroom (walls and floor). Instead, you can insert visually appealing tile accents, such as a backsplash behind the sink, a single tile wall, or a tile accent just in the shower/tub area.

Eclectic Backsplash tile in a small bathroom

Take a look at this captivatingly colorful, Mexican style tile backsplash. With it, this tiny bathroom can never be called “boring” again!

There are endless color and design possibilities, allowing you to create anything from the most chic and modern looks to rustic, traditional or country-style bathrooms. Materials also about, with ceramic and clay tile, being the most versatile and budget-friendly options. If you are looking for something more special and upscale consider stone, metal or mosaic glass tile.

Cost: sky is the limit when it comes to tile material and installation costs. Ceramic tile starts as low as $1.5 for a standard size piece, and designer/specialty material tile can cost as much as $50 a piece. Installation prices also vary, depending on the size of the job and complexity of the pattern you would like to have. Custom mosaic tile installations cost at least $1,500 and go up significantly.

3. Invest in Great Lighting

Good lighting is a must for any bathroom, but all the more so, when the space is tight. Make sure that there is plenty of light, as a poorly lit space will seem even smaller than it actually is. There are a number of key areas that may greatly benefit from some additional lighting: under cabinet/mirror, overhead, above the shower area.

Moreover, purchase some lighting accessories that will attract attention and bring in a unique personal touch. Take cue from the image below, where a beautiful crystal chandelier becomes the focal design point in this cute small bathroom.

Small bathroom with crystal chandelier

Cost: depending on which lighting accessories you want to install, expect to spend between $400-1,500. If you will need electric work done, you should budget for an additional $500-2,000 depending on the complexity of the job you are looking to do.

4. Go for Built-In Storage

I need storage in my bathroom, yet there is no space for the extra shelves! This is a typical complaint and dilemma for most people who have a small bathroom. There is one simple yet effective solution: built-in storage. Granted this is a custom remodel project, and therefore may cost more money than just purchasing some regular cabinets and shelves. However, you will save some precious square footage, and create a very organized space for all your towels and accessories.

Notice how in the bathroom featured below, the storage shelves are seamlessly integrated into the overall design. You don’t even really notice them.

Small bathroom with built-in storage

Cost:you should budget $600-1,000 at the lower end, and prices will go up depending on the complexity of the job.

5. Install a Wall-Mounted Toilet

If you have a truly tiny bathroom, you might want to consider a great space-saving idea, that is highly popular in Europe – a wall-mounted toilet. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this type of toilet has a flimsy, unsafe design. With proper installation, it is just as durable as any other toilet. On the up side, you save a lot of space by not having the center pedestal and the upper tank. We love this minimalist-looking, wall-mounted toilet by TOTO.

Wall-mounted toilet

Cost: depending on the brand and model you choose, expect to spend between $180 – 1,200.

6. Replace the Tub with a Walk-in Shower

One of the accessories that eats up most of precious space in a bathroom is the tub. If you don’t use it very often or hardly at all, do yourself a favor: replace it with a walk-in shower. You will be amazed at how much space you will gain, and your bathroom will go from being old-fashioned to super modern. For a more designer, high-end look install a shower with frameless, sliding glass doors. This will also create an illusion of more space.

You can also use these planning guidelines set out by the National Kitchen and Bath Association to increase the functionality of your bathroom.

Small Bathroom with a walk-in shower

Cost: shower enclosure designs vary, and you can expect to spend $1,500-5,000 for a brand new walk-in shower.

5. Add Unique Wall Decor for the Wow Factor

One of the most budget-friendly and easy ways to update the look of your bathroom is to add unique wall decor. True, you may not have a lot of free wall space, but you should make the most of it. You can get really creative with mirrors, frames, photos, and other objects to design a “wow” worthy space.

Wall Decor In a Small Bathroom

Notice, in the bathroom above, photos and replicas of animals and insects in dark frames, set against bright green walls, create a unique and very personal look. I bet you will not find a second bathroom quite like this one.

Cost: depending on the accessories you already have at home, you can spend as little as $50 on wall decor, or hundreds of dollars if you want to splurge on some really cool, one of a kind accessories.

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