The bathroom is often an after-thought when people plan out their dream home, with it being relegated to just another functional area where you spend an hour or so a day. But the bathroom area is more important than this, and hence it should be planned out and designed accordingly.
The bathroom in your tiny house can achieve everything you want it to do, even when space is very limited – you just have to be smart and careful with how you use the available space.
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Tiny House Bathroom
Did you know that many professional tiny house builders design the whole house around the bathroom? It’s the place where you spend the least amount of time, but it’s critical to the overall design of a tiny house and to your wellbeing. The layout of the bathroom will determine where the plumbing goes, the types of materials you choose, and whether or not you can fit a tiny bathtub or not. Not everything needs to be square in a tiny house bathroom. Fixtures, storage, and sinks that fit into corners can help you use every square inch of space.
Tiny house bathrooms pack a lot of style into a small space and it’s important to maximize every square inch. Tiny house bathroom layouts can be narrow and rectangular or a small square where everything is in one space. Some layouts don’t even include a sink, with the assumption being that the tiny house owners will use the sink in the kitchen – this is especially the case for smaller (20’ or shorter) tiny houses. Some longer tiny house bathrooms become multipurpose spaces and owners put the washing machine in an impromptu ‘utility room’ within the small space.
Tiny House Toilets
You won’t be able to use a conventional toilet in a tiny house. Many tiny house toilets are similar to the style you’d see in an RV. They are more compact and don’t have a large water tank. The toilet can even be in the same space as the shower if the drain is in the right spot on the floor. One of the best tiny house bathroom ideas for living off-grid is to use a composting toilet. These are very popular because they don’t require water to flush and can be easily cleaned. Most tiny house toilets are setup either next to the shower or across from it depending on the layout.
Composting toilets can cost anywhere from $200 to over $1,000 and they essentially create compost. This is because the liquids (urine) that go into the toilet are mixed with the solids (i.e. poo) and a carbon additive (such as sawdust), which triggers off a microorganism process that ultimately creates disposable compost. This might sound like a weird – and smelly – idea, but it is fairly common and there are no smells due to the negative pressure that the composting toilets work under. The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet below is the most popular type of composting toilets among tiny house enthusiasts, costing around $1000 new. You can learn more about toilet options when your house is off-grid in our specific and more detailed post (as well as our overview of the best composting toilets for every budget).
Bathroom Sinks And Faucets
If you decide to use a separate sink for your tiny house bathroom, there are many great low-profile options on the market. Below is an example of an inexpensive sink on Amazon which would be the perfect space-saving solution. Because it’s narrow and shallow, it doesn’t take up too much space. We mentioned above that you could skip the bathroom sink altogether. This gives you more room for other storagefor towels and laundry or even a tiny house tub. Another alternative is to use a combined toilet-sink: these are starting to grow in popularity and there are actual faucets on top of the toilet where you can wash your hands, a nice space-saving idea – even if some people will be creeped out by the idea of washing their hands in the toilet! But honestly, it’s actually on the toilet 🙂
This is actually also a great water saver as the ‘dirty’ water from washing is collected in the toilet tank and then re-used for the next flush. While special toilets with included sinks are often quite expensive as they are often priced as ‘designer pieces’, you can get a very inexpensive separate toilet sink here on Amazon. This great space and energy saver can easily be fitted on most toilet sizes.
Alternatively, one of the best tiny house bathroom ideas for faucets is to use ones that have a little more height. They give you space to wash your hands and face. Additionally, some faucets are designed for small spaces that have more attractive pipes and parts in case they need to be visible. You can find attractive faucet designs built for small spaces over at Amazon or at Pinterest.
Showers, Bathtubs And Tiles
Often the most challenging part of designing a tiny house bathroom is deciding on showers or tubs. It’s typically the largest bathroom item in a regular bathroom, which creates unique challenges when you work in a tiny space. A standard sized shower surround is usually too large for a tiny house. One option is to buy shower fixtures and then tile the shower area. Get a shower curtain to keep the rest of the bathroom dry. There are also small glass doors that can be used to separate the shower from the rest of the bathroom.
Bathtubs are even more challenging than showers and most tiny house owners forgo them altogether. But if you’re insistent on getting dunked, there are tiny tubs for tiny bathrooms. Choose from tiny ones designed to fit in the corner, deep ones, or make your own. These can be especially helpful for parents of small children who take baths instead of showers. Alternatively, consider getting a portable or foldable bath for small children, such as the this one on Amazon. Whilst not the cheapest if you also have to pay for a full shower (and the rest of the bathroom!), a foldable bath that you can hide away once it’s finished with can be a nifty idea.
The nice thing about tiled bathrooms is that you can use it to create a waterproof surface virtually anywhere. This comes in handy for building custom tubs and showers in a tiny house. They can cover the ceiling, walls, and even the floor.
Tiny House Vanity Ideas
Storage in a tiny house is about as rare as finding an affordable flat in NYC. But creativity goes a long way. If you find a narrow enough vanity, look for ones with drawers, shelves, or cabinet doors. Look for one that can also be a storage space. One of the best tiny house bathroom ideas is to pair a low profile sink with a low profile vanity, before adding a touch of your style with fixtures, paint, wood stain, or even tiles with different colors and patterns. Additionally, there are corner vanities to help you maximize every inch of your bathroom.
The All-Important Bathroom Mirror
Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it needs to be bland. Dress up a bathroom mirrorwith a gorgeous frame, mini shelves, or even get one with hidden storage. You can get a medicine cabinet to pull double duty for storage and aesthetics in your tiny house as well. One of the unique aspects of tiny house living is all the hidden compartments. Put a mirror on the bathroom door to save space. You could also put one in your shower, but that may be a little more challenging. Alternatively, keep it simple and just add decoration around the bathroom mirror and you will end up with an understated yet stylish bathroom and mirror surround:
Bathroom Storage Ideas
There’s not a lot of storage space in a tiny house bathroom. But there are some unique ways to store the most important bathroom items. A wall-mounted toothbrush holder is a great way to keep your toothbrush off the counter and out of the way. It also suspends the toothbrush so it can dry more easily after each use. You can also get a wall-mounted soap holder if you prefer liquid soap or use small bar soaps that you store on the sink.
Aside from suspending everything in the bathroom from the wall, another option is to create a narrow shelf from the floor to ceiling and build it into the wall. You can store your towels, toiletries, and makeup and leverage nooks and crannies that might otherwise be wasted space.
While you are here, also check out our great guide on the tiny house water and sewage guide and our tiny house kitchen guide or find an overview of all our tiny house posts here.
Tiny House Bathroom Layout Ideas (Photos and Videos)
Here are some photos and videos of tiny house bathrooms and toilet that you can get inspiration from while planning or building your tiny house (click on the photos to zoom in):