With approximately one hundred square feet each, here are four bath renovations that made the most of the space.
Considering a master-bath overhaul and wondering what it takes to fit in everything you want?
“A hundred square feet can be a nice sweet spot,” says San Diego designer Corine Maggio. It allows for the classic four pieces—a double-sink vanity, a tub, a separate shower, and a toilet—while meeting the minimum standards for comfort and usability. That means allowing for a 3-foot-square shower, 30 inches of clearance alongside a tub and in front of a commode, and a 60-inch-long vanity.
Is going bigger that much better? It depends. Not all square footage is considered equal, since design decisions are also dependent on room shape and window and door locations. “A narrow space can be quite efficient, since most fixtures go along a wall, while a square lends more flexibility,” Maggio says. “Whatever the shape, clever design can mitigate layout restrictions.” Consider, too, that this size space can also enable higher-end finishes that could break the bank in a larger bath.
Small Bathroom Layouts
Of course, not everyone wants the classic four-piece configuration, even when there’s room, opting instead to ditch a seldom-used tub in favor of a bigger shower, extra storage, a toilet enclosure, or even a laundry closet.
To illustrate the point, see how two designers, an architect, and an ardent DIYer made the most of a master bath in—a bit more or less than—a 100-square-foot space.
Clean, crisp four-piece
CASE STUDY 1: 94 SQUARE FEET
Talk about a tight squeeze. The long, narrow master bath in her clients’ 1951 house in La Jolla, CA, was “closed-in and compartmentalized,” Maggio says—in part because a large linen closet to the left of the entrance was squandering square footage. Removing it and replacing dated fixtures in their same locations opened things up. Though the door and window couldn’t move, “We were able to tweak things enough to make a big impact in the same general layout,” she adds.
With a curvy soaking tub, square tiles instead of subways, and a mix of brushed-nickel and antique-brass hardware, “the bath hits just the right note between playful and sophisticated,” says Maggio.
Maggio bath plans
1. Reshaped shower Squaring off an angled shower narrowed it slightly but added length, enlarging it by 4 square feet overall. Axing the angle created the opportunity to utilize the full length of the vanity wall.
2. More open space “The linen closet was too deep and heavy-looking when you walked in the door,” Maggio says. A bulky sunken tub abutted both it and the shower. Removing the closet freed up floor space, creating breathing room between the shower and a new freestanding tub. “The more floor you see, the bigger the space will feel,” the designer points out.
3. Vanity revamp A larger custom sink cabinet 6 feet long now lines the wall opposite the tub. The toilet stayed in its recess.
4. Sleek storage On top of the vanity, just inside the door, a ceiling-height cabinet boosts storage, and a built-in hamper below collects laundry that might otherwise hit the floor.