Creative Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas with Shower

Small Layout Ideas

Remodeling a small bathroom brings a unique set of challenges. With limited square footage, every inch counts when considering layouts and storage solutions. The good news is that small bathrooms present ample opportunity for creativity and customization. Strategic changes can make a small bathroom both functional and beautiful.

When embarking on a small bath remodel, focus first on the shower. As a major focal point, the shower sets the tone for the whole room. Remodeling the shower in a small bathroom allows you to get creative with layout, niches, tile design, and high-end touches. Upgrading this essential part of the bathroom ultimately drives up value of the entire home.

Remodeling a small bathroom has many benefits beyond increased home value. A few key perks include:

  • Better use of existing space
  • Improved storage and organization
  • Updated, modern aesthetic
  • Enhanced brightness with new lighting
  • Higher resale value
  • Promotes relaxation through spa-like features
  • Increases overall home value

In Irvine, bathrooms continue to be a top priority for homeowners looking to remodel. Recent market research shows that 45% of Irvine homeowners plan to renovate their bathrooms in 2023. Of these homeowners planning bathroom remodels, 67% noted that better use of space was a top goal.

As many Irvine homes reach 10+ years old, homeowners want to upgrade original builder grade bathrooms. Top goals include opening up small, cramped spaces and adding modern elements like free-standing tubs, curbless showers, and smart home technology.

Now let’s explore some of the best ways to maximize space, functionality, and design when remodeling a small bathroom with a focus on shower features.

Small Layout Ideas

When dealing with a small bathroom, layout is key to creating an open, easy-to-navigate space. Some creative layout adjustments to consider include:

Moving Plumbing Fixtures

One of the best ways to save space is by moving major plumbing fixtures like the toilet and vanity. This opens up new possibilities.

For example, installing the toilet right beside the shower utilizes the often awkward space between these two fixtures. Floating vanities, sometimes called wall-mounted vanities, also save space by allowing more floor area. These vanities only require plumbing in the wall rather than below taking up floor space.

Corner placement also works well for both showers and vanities. A corner shower maximizes floor and wall space compared to traditional models. Using a corner for the vanity creates an interesting diagonal layout.

Vertical Storage

Standard bath vanities with cabinets below waste precious square footage. Consider a narrow tower storage unit instead of a broad vanity to save major floor space. These tall and slim storage units have a tiny footprint.

Tower units often feature pull-out drawers, adjustable shelves, and hidden storage behind mirrors. Bonus – they create a high-end, furniture-like aesthetic compared to bulky vanities.

Mirrors & Glass

Strategically placed mirrors visually double the space. They make small bathrooms feel instantly larger by reflecting light and views. Frameless glass shower doors also enhance spaciousness and sunlight.

Shower Ideas For Narrow Bathroom
Shower Ideas For Narrow Bathroom

Shower Ideas for Narrow Bathroom

When it comes to small bathroom remodels, the shower presents the most potential for customization. Creative layouts, niches, doors, tiles, and fixtures transform basic builders grade showers into spa-like oases.

Corner Showers

Tucked into corners, these spacious showers offer room for extra features without stealing space. Plus, two walls already have built-in tile backing making waterproofing easier. Creative ideas for corner showers include:

Glass Doors
Frameless glass doors enhance light and views while taking up minimal space. For easy cleaning, choose coated or treated glass like ShowerGuard.

Tile Patterns
From mosaics to large rectangular tiles, patterns add design flair. Horizontal stripes or stacked rectangular patterns draw the eyes up, enhancing height. Mosiac tiles create texture and movement.

Built-In Benches
Corner benches maximize function and form. Made from tile or marble, they offer seating space without cluttering the floor. Some corner shower kits come with built-in benches standard.

Freestanding Showers

A step up from basic corner shower kits, freestanding showers make a contemporary statement. The shower pan basically functions as a tub without taking up near the space. Benefits include:

Modern Style
These showers epitomize sleek, modern designs. Models featuring frameless glass and slim profiles fit perfectly even in petite powder rooms.

Low Maintenance
With easy access to all sides, freestanding showers simplify cleaning. No hard to reach corners or crevices for mold or mildew to hide.

Storage Solutions

Lack of storage space remains one of the biggest complaints in small bathroom remodels. Without room for bulky vanities, we must get creative with places to tuck away essentials. Storage solutions to consider include:

Shower Niches

Also called soap niches, these built-in shelves recess into the shower wall itself. Typically replacing standard tiles, they seamlessly integrate for storing shampoo, soap, razors and more.

Niches keep accessories off the floor while keeping them easily accessible. Waterproof finishes prevent leaks into the wall behind. For added convenience, look for corner shower kits with niches already included.

Medicine Cabinets

Surface-mounted or recessed medicine cabinets provide hidden storage without taking up floor space. Modern touches like built-in outlets, mirrors with anti-fog features, and internal lighting improve function and form.

For safety, choose cabinets with rounded corners. Ensure all electrical features meet building codes.

Undersink Drawers

Many modern floating bath vanities now feature drawers built seamlessly into the space below the sink. This once wasted space now provides discreet storage. It also removes all visible plumbing for a clean look.

Material Ideas

The materials selected for floors, walls, counters, and fixtures showcase personality while optimizing function. For small bathrooms, durability and easy maintenance should drive all product decisions. Trending material ideas include:

Tile Designs

Tips For Small Bath Remodeling Process

From sculptural mosaics to oversized subway tiles, patterns breathe life into plain shower surrounds. Glossy, matte, or textured tiles suit any style. Waterproof grout simplifies maintenance.

Mosaics: Tiny tiles lend texture and movement with less upkeep than intricate designs. Keep them below the chair rail as an accent.

Oversized Subway: These elongated rectangles draw the eyes up, expanding the feel of cramped spaces. Great for whole walls or shower surrounds.

Large Format: Spa aesthetics come throughOpened in August 2022, the newly remodeled Laguna Niguel Library integrates inventive features to enhance access and atmosphere. This includes a drive-up window dubbed the “Rapid Pickup Service” which allows contactless checkout and pickup for holds and temporary cards. The building also offers expanded children’s areas and dedicated spaces for teens and tutoring.

To accommodate these upgrades, the existing layout required extensive demolition and reconfiguration. Orange County Public Works headed demolition and construction. Total costs ran approximately $24 million according to city documents. Funding came primarily from Measure M tax dollars earmarked for facilities upgrading.

In driving community impact and redevelopment, Laguna Niguel city planners continue to invest in essential public spaces like libraries. As populations grow and technologies shift, remodeling and rehabilitation ensure community buildings can effectively serve residents. Similar library revamps continue across various OC cities.

Lighting Ideas

Proper lighting transforms dull, cramped bathrooms into bright oases. With darker palette materials trending, sufficient lighting proves even more crucial. Ideas include:

Overhead Lighting

Central ceiling lights provide overall ambient brightness. Pendants, flush mounts, and can lights all work, depending on ceiling height. Dimmer switches add further customization for setting moods.


Mounted on walls, sconces concentrate light right where needed most. Place on either side of mirrors for task lighting or in showers to highlight features.

Natural Light

Windows and skylights naturally brighten. Strategically placed, they bounce sunlight deep into small rooms. Just take care to diffuse direct light hitting tile or glass which can cause glare. Consider privacy as well with window placements.

Tips for Small Bath Remodeling Process

While exciting, remodeling also brings its fair share of stress. Careful planning and realistic expectations go far when creating bathroom bliss. Useful tips include:

Getting Permits: Depending on the scope, your city may require permits for electrical, plumbing, or structural work. Research permit needs upfront to avoid delays.

Finding Contractor: Thoroughly vet any potential contractors. Look for licensed professionals in good standing with a proven specialty in bath remodels. Compare several bids.

Setting Realistic Budget: Costs add up quickly with plumbing moves, tile, lighting, etc. Prioritize must-haves and leave wiggle room for incidentals. Most small bathrooms run $15k+.

Mapping Timeline: Schedule work strategically based on lead times for items like custom tile and vanities. Shooting for 3 weeks from demolition to finish is reasonable for small baths.

Remodeling a small bathroom comes with challenges from limited space to big budget constraints. However, opportunities abound for customization to both increase home functionality and value. Focus first on shower layout and design to create a luxurious spa focal point even in petite powder rooms. Creative use of lighting, mirrors, and high-end materials completes the aesthetic.

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