How to Choose the Best Bathroom Layout for Your Home

No matter what size your bathroom is, the layout makes all the difference. You can have beautiful fixtures, perfectly coordinated colors, and a luxurious feel, but if your layout isn’t good, the whole space will be frustrating because it won’t be functional.  So how do you choose the best bathroom layout for your home? In this post, we’ll look at: 
  • Key components of good bathroom design
  • 5 essential bathroom layouts
  • Tips for choosing your bathroom layout
Whether you’re renovating your bathroom or building a new home, use this as your guide to creating a bathroom you love to be in.

4 Key Components of Ideal Bathroom Design

As you’ll see later in this post, there are some common bathroom layouts that work well in most bathrooms. But there’s room for creativity, and some bathrooms have unique dimensions, which makes the usual floor plans tricky to use.  That’s where the key components of good bathroom design come into play. When you consider these key factors, even the most unique bathroom layout will result in a dream space. 
  1. Space: Your bathroom needs room for each fixture, but you also need enough space to use those fixtures and do whatever you need to do in that room. You need space to open doors and drawers. You need space to move around, get dressed and undressed, style your hair, and dry off after a shower.
  2. Storage: Even a small bathroom needs storage space. There must be enough storage for towels, washcloths, toiletries, toilet paper rolls, and anything else you use in the bathroom. Maximize the space you have for optimal storage solutions
  3. Light: The ideal lighting scenario for a bathroom includes plenty of natural light combined with other ambient lights and task lighting. For more information about choosing lighting, see How to Choose the Best Lighting for Your Kitchen.
  4. Location: It’s best to have your bathroom in a relatively private spot in your home, ideally near the bedrooms. And you’ll make the plumber happy (and save on materials and labour costs) if your bathroom is above, below, or next to other rooms that require plumbing.

5 Essential Bathroom Layouts

These essential bathroom layouts will appear familiar to you. They are common for a reason – they work! Each of these floor plans is designed to allow room for opening doors and using the fixtures. Customize the look with the lighting and storage of your choice, and you’ll have a simple bathroom design that’s highly functional and a joy to maintain.

Small full bathroom with door on short wall

small-full-bathroom-with-door-on-short-wall This is a basic “3-in-a-row” bathroom design. You have the essential sink, toilet, and tub (in that order) along one long wall, with the doorway on the short wall across from the tub.  We recommend hanging a towel bar on the wall opposite the toilet and sink. It is a small room, but there are creative ways you can design it to make it feel more spacious A huge benefit of this bathroom floor plan is the efficiency of the plumbing because it’s all on a single wall. 

Small full bathroom with door on long wall

small-full-bathroom-layout-with-door-on-long-wall Here’s another small bathroom using the same “3-in-a-row” concept. The main difference here is that the door is on the long wall across from the sink.  The space across from the toilet gives you room to work with for storage, a towel rack, or decor ideas. 

Small three-quarter bathroom

small-three-quarter-bathroom-layout A small space works well for a ¾ bathroom. (A ¾ bathroom includes a toilet, sink, and shower, but no bathtub.) If you’re willing to give up the bathtub, this type of layout gives you a bit more space to work with. In this layout, the toilet and shower share a wall to allow dual sinks and mirrors, and extra counter space across the room. You have several options for the space between the two mirrors:
  • Fill it with more mirror, creating a full-wall mirror
  • Create more storage by adding a cabinet or shelving
  • Add a towel bar or hand-towel ring
  • Decorate it
Another variation of this layout is to stick with only a single sink in the corner across from the shower. This gives you additional space you can use in multiple ways, including additional storage. 

Long and narrow three-quarter bathroom

long-and-narrow-three-quarter-bathroom-layout A unique feature of this bathroom layout is a dividing wall that separates the toilet and shower from the sink area. You could modify this design by installing a full wall with a door to separate the spaces. This creates extra privacy and allows multiple people to make use of the bathroom at the same time. 

Three-quarter bathroom with water closet

three-quarter-bathroom-layout-with-water-closet Another bathroom floor plan that separates the space uses a water closet – a little room strictly for the toilet. A pocket door makes this layout even more functional by eliminating the need for space to open the dividing door. The only restriction on a pocket door is if there’s plumbing in the wall that would interfere.   This layout is an excellent option for an ensuite or a bathroom that will be shared by multiple family members. The water closet provides excellent privacy while giving others the freedom to use the sink or take a shower.  You can use this basic layout for any size bathroom. A small bathroom would stick with a single sink and a smaller shower. A larger bathroom can use the layout as shown above, or you could upgrade to a full bathtub instead of just a shower.

Tips for Choosing Your Bathroom Layout

You’ve explored some bathroom layout options, and now it’s time to choose the best bathroom layout for your own bathroom. How do you choose? Here are a few tips and things to consider to help you decide on an ideal bathroom design. Avoid positioning the toilet directly across from the door to the bathroom. It’s best to keep the toilet out of the line of sight from the door in case the door is left open.  Think of wet zones and dry zones in your bathroom. Few things are as annoying as walking into the bathroom to brush your teeth after someone has had a shower, and getting soggy socks. If you can separate wet zones (like the shower) from dry zones (like the toilet), the space will be more functional for everyone.  Before choosing your bathroom layout, consider the key principles listed at the beginning of this post. 
  • Space: Is there room to open cabinet doors and the bathroom door without crashing into the shower glass? Is there room to move around and do what you need to do?
  • Storage: What do you want to store in your bathroom? If you can’t incorporate enough cabinets or shelving, can you create niches in the shower or other spaces?
  • Light: Can you include a window? If there’s not enough wall space for a window, can you install a skylight?

Get the Best Bathroom Layout for Your Home

Whether you’re doing your own bathroom renovation, or building a new home, a professional bathroom designer can help you make the best use of your space. Your designer can help you create a bathroom floor plan that provides enough space, storage, and light for the needs of your family, no matter what size your bathroom is.  The designers at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations are here for you! Contact us today for a free consultation about your new bathroom design.
Picture of Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

SEO Content Writer & Strategist | I help small businesses attract more customers with a no-nonsense content strategy

Share this post

Stay Updated

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for design & renovation tips, promos, and more!