Narrow Small Bathroom Layout Ideas for More Function and Style Too

Narrow small bathroom layout ideas are valuable whether you live in a tiny urban apartment or a small country cottage. The bathroom is an essential space and maximizing its functionality is critical.

narrow small bathroom layout
Williams Burton Leopardi

You must have enough storage for your personal care necessities, a place to hang towels and decent lighting.

Narrow Bathroom Layouts

Many narrow bathroom layouts have a “three-in-a-row” linear design arrangement. This means that the three main fixtures line up in a row. The sink, the toilet and the bathtub or shower are in straight succession.

There are plenty of variations on this trio, in particular for a master bath. However, when the bathroom is narrow, in most cases you have no other option than to go long. When planning a bathroom remodel, it’s essential to know how much space each element needs, in general. On the other hand, if you have a very challenging narrow bathroom, space-saving fixtures and custom elements will be the best route.


A standard tub is 2’-6” by 5’-0”. For smaller spaces, you can buy tubs as short as 48 inches, which is four feet. Regarding width, available options are as narrow as 27 to 28 inches wide. Some freestanding tub styles can shave a couple more inches off the length.


A comfortable shower area is 3.5 feet square. In fact, most codes only require 2.5 feet square, but that can feel rather tight.


In a home, a space has to be 2.5 feet wide to fit a toilet. For better accessibility, increase the width to 3 feet. You can save extra floor space by choosing a wall-mounted toilet so it doesn’t feel cramped.


A typical double sink vanity is at least 6 feet long. But, they can be as short as 5 feet. Going custom and including wall-mounted faucets can make it shorter and narrower.


No, this isn’t a bathroom fixture but you need to allow space for doors to swing open. This goes for shower doors as well as the main door to the bathroom. If there’s not enough space, consider a sliding door or pocket door, along with a walk-in shower.

Narrow Bathroom Ideas

Of course, every bathroom has its own challenges. The more ideas you can gather, the more stylish and functional your narrow bathroom can be. Check out these options for narrow small bathroom layouts and designs.

Narrow Powder Room

Narrow Powder Room
Studio Frank

Long narrow bathroom designs for a powder room can also be challenging. This is especially true when you want it to look stylish for guests.

This bathroom is so narrow it is a tight squeeze indeed. There’s no way a pedestal sink would work. To make the layout work and look good, the vanity is very slim with a trough sink. In addition, the corners are rounded off and the faucet is mounted on the wall.

Tub/Shower Combo

Tub/Shower Combo
Dixon Projects

In a narrow bathroom, there might be no hope of fitting both a bathtub and a shower. If you can’t choose one or the other, consider a combination. This bathroom has plenty of natural light to make it feel like there’s more space.

Also, in a tight space, sometimes a shower curtain is more convenient and space-saving than a rigid stall. In this bathroom, the ceramic tiles go up more than three-fourths of the way to the ceiling, which also makes the space feel larger.

All-in-one Bathing Space

All-in-one Bathing Space
Andrea West Design

If you want both a shower and tub, another option is putting them both together into one tiled space. The area is glassed off and so that water doesn’t come into the rest of the bathroom.

This style of bathroom layout makes the narrow bathroom seem roomy even though it’s only as wide as the tub. The unique tile design also helps define the space.

Angled Ceiling

Angled Ceiling
Change Your Bathroom©

Some narrow bathrooms have other design challenges like this chic contemporary example. The angled ceiling could be an issue in some cases. However, here the designer kept all the essentials along one wall to save space.

The long vanity is off the floor, which makes the bathroom feel spacious and provides extra storage space. There’s also plenty of counter space. This design also features a walk-in shower and bathtub area behind a glass door.

Airy Powder Room

Airy Powder Room
Homesmith Construction

Although this bathroom is not the narrowest, it still presents some design challenges. The window means that no fixtures can go there. The toilet is set back into the end, slightly out of view from the window area. The saving grace is the alcove, which just fits the storage vanity with a vessel basin.

Because of tall the natural light, the darker wallpaper is not an issue. Its large-scale print is fresh but not overpowering.

Zen-like Simplicity

Zen-like Simplicity
Acadia-Architecture Davide Giannella

Opting for a simple, soothing design is a great way to make the most of a narrow bathroom. The palette is neutral and the floor tile and shower tile are the same. This makes the space feel even longer.

The floating vanity frees up floor space. However, there’s still built-in storage space for necessities in the drawers and enough counter space. Wall-mounted faucets and lighting emphasize the spa-like feeling.

One Big Space

One Big Space
Elizabeth Baird Architecture & Design

Small bathrooms can require some creativity and this example has plenty. Instead of sectioning off parts of the space, this is one big bathroom space. The floor is the same tile throughout and the bathroom walls are all concrete, as is the basin.

The lack of vanity is not a problem because there is a ledge on the mirror and one above the sink. The walk-in shower sits behind a sliding shower door. This is a very low-maintenance bathroom design.

Traditional Powder Room

Traditional Powder Room
Sarah Brown Interiors

Renovating a powder room in a traditional home means staying true to the style. Here, wainscoting and cane-print wallpaper set the stage.

The old-school toilet is paired with a small hand sink. Exposed plumbing underneath adds metallic accents to the lovely space. In this case, there is no storage, but in general, that is not a major problem in a powder room.

Minimalist Approach

Minimalist Approach
Williams Burton Leopardi

While not confined to one long, narrow space, this bathroom does have a narrow entry that is now functional. By taking a minimalist approach, this narrow bathroom looks very spacious. The all-white palette makes a big difference.

The vanity includes an undermounted trough sink and two faucets. Around the corner are the bathtub and shower. White walls and two sizes of floor tiles round out the airy vibe.

Colorful Distraction

Colorful Distraction
Studio Shamshiri

Sometimes there’s no way to make a tiny bathroom seem like a larger space. Instead, go with the layout and bring life to it with dramatic with color. This small one uses bold blue tile walls and a green door to distract from the narrow bathroom.

Save floor space with a floating basin and keep decor to a minimum. This is one of the more cost-conscious narrow bathroom ideas.

Gorgeous Tiles

Gorgeous Tiles
JDP Interiors

This bathroom is narrow and wide. There’s just enough space to open the door without hitting the toilet. The entire house is neutral and natural, so the patterned tile here is a touch of unexpected embellishment.

This powder room uses a few good techniques small spaces. These include the smaller sink, a large mirror, sconces and a wall-mounted faucet.

Dark and Dramatic

Dark and Dramatic
Frank & Faber

Narrow bathroom ideas don’t have to revolve around light colors. Choosing a dark and dramatic hue with contrasting elements is a wonderful way to dress up a small space.

This narrow bathroom is in a Victorian home that has deep teal walls throughout. In the bathroom, the white floating vanity creates dramatic contrast and the gold metallic accents heighten it.

Unique Design

Unique Design
Nefa Architects

Often a unique space challenge calls for a unique design. This Moscow bathroom has special modern elements throughout. From the large round mirror to the two-part wall-mounted vanity and minimalist faucet, the bathroom is a work of art.

Choosing an unexpected design can draw attention from the size of the bathroom and put it on the elements instead.

Modern Minimalism

Modern Minimalism
Elad Gonen

Long skinny bathroom ideas often trend toward the modern for good reason. The sleek minimalist look makes the most of the square footage in a tiny bathroom.

This narrow bathroom has all the elements along a single side. Moreover, the trough sink is super narrow and features a wall-mounted faucet. Even the storage shelf is long and narrow, perfect for a small space.

Tiny Bathroom

Tiny Bathroom

It doesn’t get any narrower than this tiny bathroom. This is a variation on the all-in-one wet room. The shower and toilet are next to each other while the towel bar is on the farthest side.

There’s no space for decor in a small bathroom like this one so the concrete-looking tiles have an etched pattern for visual interest. For obvious reason,s the only lighting is on the ceiling.

Shower with a View

Shower with a View
SA-DA Architecture

You’ve seen bathtubs with a view, but this shower has one. Instead of fighting the shape of the space, this small narrow bathroom turns the window end of the space into a showering area. In this case, it’s the only solution for including one in the layout. Otherwise, it’s too narrow to have it against a wall.

Go Custom

Go Custom
Paulo Martins Architecture & Design

Sometimes, custom narrow bathroom ideas are the only solution. This modern home is spacious, but the bathroom is very narrow. The entire bathroom is clad in stone and is in general an all-in-one wet room.

A backlit, frameless mirror provides lighting and the narrow trough sink and vanity are the only style that would fit.

Wet Room

Wet Room
Departure l Architecture

Quite popular in Asia, the wet room style of bathroom is gaining in other regions of the world too. This super stylish narrow bathroom has lovely tile and a sliding door to save space.

Having the toilet and the showering area all in one space makes it efficient to clean as well. You can just scrub and then rinse down all the surfaces.

Pack It In

Pack It In

When it comes to narrow bathroom ideas, some people prefer just to pack everything into the space. This modern bathroom is narrow but manages to have a spacious shower and a bathtub. The space sacrifice is that the bathtub is partially behind the shower.

Get Creative

Get Creative
Creative Spaces

Bathroom ideas don’t have to be boring. In fact, they can be artsy like this example. Natural stone surfaces on the walls and floor, and unusual custom shapes for the vanity and mirror really elevate the narrow bathroom. This design also puts the focus on the wall space.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do you arrange a long narrow bathroom?

When you have a small narrow bathroom, the best practice is to put all your elements on one side. This is the vanity wall in most cases. In general, it should be the one with the most wall space. By leaving one side open you create a walkway.

How do you make a small narrow bathroom look bigger?

Some of the ways to make a small bathroom look bigger are the same for any room. Take a minimalist approach, let in more natural light, get a slim vanity and use the same materials throughout. You can also install a larger mirror and opt for an enclosure that does not have a frame.

How much space do you need between toilet and shower?

Most local building codes require a minimum of 21 inches in front of the vanity, toilet and tub. Of course, that is the absolute minimum and most people will want more space. Most codes also call for at least 15 inches from any side wall or obstruction and a minimum of 30 inches measured center to center to any other fixture.

What is the narrowest shower?

You can find compact shower units as small as 32 inches square. These are designed to install in a corner or against one wall in a tiny space.

Do small tiles make a room look bigger or smaller?

In general, bigger tiles will make your small bathroom seem bigger. Using small tiles will do the opposite.

How do you optimize space in a small bathroom?

Adding shelving is the best way to add more storage to a narrow bathroom. You might not have the space for more cabinets, but you can often use vertical space for open shelves and extra storage.


Don’t despair if you have a long narrow small bathroom. It might be a challenge when you don’t have much extra space. However, there are plenty of very narrow bathroom ideas to inspire your renovation.

Think beyond the standard layouts and you can devise something that’s super functional and look cool too.

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