Design Ideas for a Galley Bathroom
A long, narrow bath is a common design, though not always the most convenient—especially for sharing. However, the floor plan is compact and efficient. The space is just wide enough for a tub/shower combo at one end, with the other fixtures aligned on one wall. Think of it as the bath version of a galley kitchen.
1 – A curtained tub/shower combo anchors one end.
2 – Basic vinyl or ceramic floor tile forms a grid.
3 – A big wall mirror spans the length of the vanity.
4 – Two sinks are mounted in a long vanity cabinet.
5 – The toilet tucks between the tub/shower and vanity.
In a long, narrow bath, you want to avoid a claustrophobic tunnel or dead-end feel. So create openness where possible. The glass shower enclosure (with bench) makes a big difference, as does swapping out the vanity cabinet for a pair of pedestal sinks, which creates more space around the toilet.
1 – Replace the curtained tub/shower with a more open glass-enclosed shower with bench.
2 – Lay a new floor—oversize tiles in a staggered pattern stretch the room visually.
3 – Put a recessed, mirrored medicine cabinet above each sink.
4 – Swap out the bulky vanity cabinet for sleek pedestal sinks.
5 – Install a light fixture above each medicine cabinet.
6 – Stretch storage by installing a cabinet above the toilet
These upgrades on surfaces add luxury, comfort and functionality to the basic galley design. A designer look is achieved with a stone or stone-look countertop, a new vanity and faucets, sinks, and hardware. A whirlpool tub doubles as a shower/spa bath. A heated floor and towel bar add to the spa feel.
1 – Trade a standard tub/shower combo for a whirlpool tub that has a curtain, ceiling-mounted showerhead and hand-sprayer attachment.
2 – Add the comfort of a towel warmer near the tub.
3 – Warm the new, elegant tile floor with radiant heat.
4 – Add dimmer switches to the lights.
5 – Buy a furniture-style vanity or refresh an existing cabinet with new hardware and organizers.
6 – Upgrade to a stone or stone-look countertop.
7 – A new countertop calls for a sink and faucet replacement.
8 – Brighten the vanity with new light fixtures above each sink.
9 – Stretch storage by hanging a handsome cabinet above the toilet.
Design Ideas for a Full Bathroom
This design is popular because it provides the essential elements of a full bath—tub, shower, sink and toilet—in a modest-size space. The tub and shower are combined, the vanity offers two sinks and there is a linen closet for storage. With basic fixtures and finishes, it’s an affordable, functional bath.
1 – A small linen closet provides modest storage.
2 – A built-in tub/shower combo offers basic bathing options.
3 – Two sinks make the vanity area easier to share.
4 – A single fixture lights the vanity.
5 – The toilet is squeezed into a tight corner.
6 – Flooring is vinyl or basic ceramic tile.
A few design changes make a modest-size bath seem larger without altering the basic layout. The key is creating openness and reducing visual clutter: A shower curtain gives way to a glass enclosure, a linen closet door disappears and a weighty vanity cabinet morphs into a pair of slim pedestal sinks.
1 – Remove the door from the linen closet to create open storage.
2 – Replace the curtained tub/shower with a glass-enclosed walk-in shower and bench.
3 – Open up the vanity area with a pair of sleek pedestal sinks.
4 – Trade the big wall mirror for two smaller mirrored and recessed medicine cabinets.
5 – Add more storage above the toilet by installing a cabinet.
6 – Pick a window treatment that will control light and privacy.
7- Choose a larger-size tile in a light color to visually expand the floor.
Upgrades like the whirlpool tub and separate shower, fashion makeover for the vanity and new floor tile pack additional comfort, convenience and style into this bath without changing the layout. If you choose to change the layout, expenses for moving or adding utilities would make the project more expensive.
1 – Trade the linen closet for a stand-alone shower.
2 – Choose natural stone or stone-look flooring and add in-floor radiant heat.
3 – Upgrade from a standard tub to a stand-alone whirlpool model.
4 – Add a towel warmer for post-bath pampering.
5 – Install dimmer switches for lighting flexibility.
6 – Boost storage above the sinks with recessed, mirrored medicine cabinets.
7 – Bathe the grooming area with flattering light from elegant new fixtures.
8 – Treat your vanity cabinet to new hardware and interior organizers.
9 – Replace a plain vanity with a furniture-style piece and a stone or stone-look countertop.
10 – Add a vanity-matching cabinet above the toilet.
Design Ideas for a Master Bathroom
The master bath is the largest bath in the home and is typically connected or adjacent to the master bedroom. Offering a tub and separate shower, two sinks, generous mirror and countertop space, and a private toilet area, this design allows two people to use the room at the same time. Basic fixture and surfaces make it affordable.
1 – The built-in tub is a bit longer than the standard 5 feet.
2 – The shower is roomier than normal.
3 – A wall mirror spans the width of the vanity cabinet.
4 – The flooring is sheet vinyl or basic ceramic tile.
5 – Two sinks are mounted in the vanity cabinet.
6 – The toilet sits in a separate compartment.
This open design makes a modest-size master bath look and live larger. If you don’t use your tub much, replace it with a large shower that has a glass enclosure and bench. Create open space below the sinks with a console-style vanity. Use large-scale floor tiles, open storage and more lighting to increase the sense of spaciousness.
1 – Trade the tub/shower combo for a large glass-enclosed walk-in shower with bench.
2 – Turn space from the old shower into a sit-down makeup area.
3 – Swap out the long vanity mirror for mirrored medicine cabinets and add more lighting.
4 – Replace the solid front vanity with an open shelf design; add rolling storage below the sinks.
5 – Use large floor tiles in a staggered pattern to make the room look expansive.
6 – Add open shelving above the toilet.
Even if you don’t change the layout of your bath, you can upgrade a few or several elements to make the space a better fit for your lifestyle and taste. Faucets, fixtures, flooring, lighting and storage features are all good candidates for change. If you do change the layout, moving or adding utilities will make the project more expensive.
1 – Upgrade to a glass-enclosed shower with bench and add body sprays.
2 – Splurge on a built-in whirlpool tub with a deck.
3 – Add handsome cabinets at the foot of the tub.
4 – Install a towel warmer next to the whirlpool.
5 – Choose elegant finishes for sinks, faucets and hardware.
6 – Install cabinet organizers to maximize bath storage.
7 – Replace the countertop with a stone or stone-look surface.
8 – Step up to more sophisticated lighting, such as sconces or pendants.
9 – Set the mood and save energy with dimmer switches.
10 – Add hooks for robes or towels for a decorative touch.
11 – Pamper feet with elegant new tile flooring—and radiant heat underneath.
You’re not limited to following anyone’s idea of a perfect master bath. When you redo your space, it’s an opportunity to choose the features that are most important to you and place them where they work best. Here, that means an oval soaking tub that also works as a shower, a compact laundry area and extra storage.
1 – Like to soak? Splurge on a freestanding tub and add a curtain, a ceiling-mounted showerhead and a hand spray.
2 – Add a towel warmer.
3 – Choose a toilet with the features you need—dual-flush, chair-height, one-piece design, or high-efficiency.
4 – Create more personal space by separating the two sinks. Use the middle as a makeup area.
5 – Add a convenient stacking washer/dryer combo.
6 – Boost storage with a bank of linen cabinets. You can fold clothes there.
Bathroom Planning Guide: Manage Your Project
Good to Know
Try to plan your bathroom project so that it’s not taking place at a really busy time of year—or life. Consider work and school schedules, children’s activities, holidays, travel plans and visits by friends or relatives. For example, if you’re having guests for the holidays, that could be a great motivation to start planning a bathroom refresh early in the year.
6 Months to Start
Research local building regulations and find out which permits and rules govern your DIY project plans. Some communities require homeowners doing their own work to pass tests before taking on renovation projects.
4 Months to Start
Draw an accurate floor plan of your bathroom, or hire a professional to do one. Make copies and carry it with you. Make a list of all the things you need to buy or secure, project-by-project, including tools and equipment.
3 Months to Start
Decide on materials and products, and place orders
1 Month to Start
Find a secure place to store materials, tools, products and equipment. Make an audit of what is stored. Arrange for a dumpster if needed. Set up a bathroom contingency plan.
BATHROOM RENOVATION GUIDE
The Bathroom Renovation Guide is packed full of expert advice to help you through the renovation process from start to finish. Make your way through each of the stages, and use the active reno toolbar to access downloadable checklists, tips and plans to help you work through it at your own pace. No matter where you’re at or what kind of project you’re working on, we’re here to help you create a bathroom you love.
Every project starts with a dream. You may have lots of ideas, or need some extra inspiration. Here’s some advice from others who have done it before, and tips to help you turn your dreams into a bathroom that meets all of your needs.
What you will learn:
Advice from the pros and everyday bathroom renovators
How to choose your colour palette
How to make an impact with tiling
How to bring it all together to create your look
Long-term friends and thriving entrepreneurs Three Birds Renovations are a powerhouse trio taking the renovation world by storm. Partnering with Reece for their House 9 project, the birds took on a 60s style renovation upgrading the tired house to create an inspiring, welcoming home.