Seven renovation ideas for small bathrooms

white bathroom with plant and bath

Natasha Perera

Posted March 23, 2021

If you’re renovating a small bathroom, one thing you’re probably keen to do is make the room feel bigger. This may sound challenging, but it’s a lot easier than you think. All it takes is some thoughtful planning and a few clever design ideas and your tiny bathroom will be transformed with a spacious new look.

We asked some experts to share their tips to get you started.

Seven renovation ideas for small bathrooms



When it comes to choosing tiles for a tight space, designer Kate Walker, of KWD, recommends steering away from large-format designs because they can make the room look smaller.

“When you have a lot of lines in the room, which you do when you choose smaller tiles, it can make a room seem a lot larger,” she explains.

Kate recommends floor-to-ceiling tiling where possible, to help draw the eye up and emphasise height, while gloss tiles will provide a reflective surface that helps bounce light around the room to give it a bright and open feel. 


Opt for a freestanding bath instead of an in-built design. “This way you can see the floor material extending beyond the bath,” says Kate, “which is a good design hack to make the room look bigger and packs a lot of punch in a small space.”

Setting the bath behind a glass pane together with the shower to create a wet room is another clever way to make the space feel larger. This will avoid interrupting the flow of the room, Kate says. 


RACV Trades Training Manager Andy Anderson recommends using a frameless glass shower to visually open up a small bathroom, rather than a bulky framed design that will visually encroach on space.

“A clear glass frame allows you to take the whole room in and see every corner, instead of defining the shower as a box in a corner that you focus on, and that intrudes into the room,” Andy says. 


spacious white bathroom with bath and wooden shelves with towels

Freestanding baths, frameless showers and smaller tiles can all make a small bathroom feel bigger.

Removing walls

So, you’ve designed a striking new layout for your cosy inner-city terrace to give it an open-plan living room at the rear, but there’s a pesky wall in the way. Put down the sledgehammer, because that wall you want gone could be load bearing, and one fell swing could bring the house down, literally.   


An undermount basin set into the benchtop is less intrusive than one that sits on top and won’t disrupt your sightline, says Kate, and choosing a smaller basin will free up bench space.  

“With a benchtop basin you can’t use the space behind it, whereas with an undermounted one, you can still put your soap pump and toothbrush holder behind the basin.”

Natural light

Never underestimate the power of natural light in helping to make a closed-in room feel more spacious.

Andy says a skylight is a smart and relatively easy way to bring in light from above. “Some people don’t have the option to add windows and it can be quite costly to put in a bigger window,” he explains.

“A skylight is a fairly inexpensive way to attract natural light, but it can really make a huge difference to the space.”


Consider positioning the doorway so it creates a more spacious view as you step in. Kate says moving a door is not an expensive exercise and will often be one of your best decisions. 

“Entering front-on to your vanity creates more circulation space,” she adds. “I’d also encourage having the longest shower possible, preferably a walk-in shower, to really open things up.”


Need to find a professional for your bathroom maintenance? RACV Trades can help.
Discover RACV Trades →