Even though the bathroom is usually the most compact area inside a tiny house, tiny home owners have to dedicate extra attention when building their commodes. It’s challenging to fit all bathroom components into limited square footage and this is why smart design is crucial to building effective, functional tiny house bathrooms.
So how can you make the most of your tiny house bathroom? You have to recognize what you actually need most when using a bathroom and choose the best accessories and appliances from there. You can also apply certain design hacks like using multipurpose fixtures to make your bathroom as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
Shopping Guide: Choosing the Best Accessories and Appliances for Tiny House Bathrooms
Building a tiny house requires an in-depth understanding of your actual daily needs. For example, you may love having a bathtub around but only use it a few times each year so it might not be the smartest option for a tiny home.
And even though tiny house bathrooms are only used for a short time each day, it’s still a space where you prepare for the morning ahead or relax in the evening. Figuring out what you need will help you choose each appliance carefully and know what you’re willing to compromise on.
Here is our shopping guide on how to pick the best tiny home bathroom appliances and accessories for you:
The big question: If you have a kitchen sink, do you really need another one in your tiny house’s bathroom?
Many people feel the need to have an additional sink in their bathroom but it’s important to note that sinks designed for a tiny home use are really tiny, mostly used for washing hands or maybe brushing your teeth. So having another sink that isn’t versatile could be a waste of precious bathroom space.
If you really need one for your tiny house bathroom, don’t choose one that takes up more space than necessary. Anything with a tap and a small drain that can be slotted into a narrow area will work well. Some of the best choices are wall-mounted sinks, vessel sinks, drop-in sinks, or undermount sinks.
Toilets are a favorite topic among tiny homeowners and a frequent subject of debates.
There are many options for a tiny home toilet available in the market, including standard flush toilets, RV flush toilets, incinerating toilets and chemical toilets. However, each of these toilet options can be complicated because you might need a direct hookup to a septic system, a space-consuming tank for black water, or additional materials like detergents, dyes, and deodorizer to complete the process -- which can be far too much work each time you go.
A commercially-made composting toilet is a favorite among the tiny house nation for a reason. Composting toilets don’t smell and are eco-friendly, saving around 6000 gallons of water per person yearly. Your waste stays on site and gets composted on site so you don’t need to install additional plumbing, but you do need to set up a ventilation system for it. As composting toilets can be a bit expensive, you should take time to read online reviews and think about this purchase.
Shower or Tub
One big question amongst the tiny house community is whether a shower or a bathtub is better for a tiny home. Most tiny homes use showers because a tub will be a significant additional weight to the house, especially if your tiny house is moveable.
Showers tend to be cheaper, more compact, and use less water than a bath. Some tiny homes may have a camping shower or a fold-out shower, but the most common solutions are installing a shower insert, transforming the bathroom into a wet bath, or having a custom shower built from the ground up. A glass door (or one made of fiberglass) can keep the rest of your bathroom dry while making the shower look more spacious.
If you would really love a bathtub, keep in mind that standard bathtubs take up too much space. A pedestal tub or a freestanding tub are much better options. You can also buy a fiberglass tub if weight is a consideration. Another creative option is using a horse trough made from plastic or galvanized steel, as it would be cheap, practical, and fit-to-size.
Poor ventilation will turn tiny house bathrooms into a moldy mess as moisture builds up quickly in a cramped space. There are two options for tiny home ventilation:
- Installing a range hood in the kitchen and a fan for the bathroom to carry air outside your tiny house
- Installing a whole air-exchanger ventilation system throughout the tiny home that carries bad air outside and brings fresh air in
It doesn’t really matter which option you go for as long as you set-up a ventilation system for your tiny house. If the moisture in your bathroom gets too severe, you can also use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air and keep your home smelling fresh.
8 Ideas to Maximize the Space of Your Tiny Home Bathroom
The secret to a well-functioning tiny house is building the rest of the house around the bathroom area to avoid mistakes. If you really want to maximize the space of your tiny home bathroom, here are a few ideas that can help you design its layout, organize storage, and choose decor that will make the space feel large and luxurious:
- Combine your bathroom as a laundry area so you can cut plumbing costs and skip the big laundry basket, since all used clothes go directly into the washing machine. Some tiny homes have the washing machine beneath the bathroom counter so it doesn’t feel cramped.
- For storage, take advantage of all empty voids in the bathroom. Place a shelf above the door, build nooks inside the walls, and have drawers built around the drain of the sink for extra space in your tiny house bathroom. Every extra space you find for storage will matter in the long run.
- If you’re planning to install a shower, you should also consider walk-in showers or corner showers to save space. A corner shower can really maximize one corner wall and look like a fantastic interior design choice. On the other hand, a walk-in shower can open up the space of a tiny house bathroom since it isn’t separated by an unnecessary partition.
- Utilize hooks, hanging racks, and rings for towels as these are especially minimalist and cost-efficient. You can hang at least three towel racks behind your bathroom door so each towel can dry without being in the way. Hanging buckets or baskets along your wall is another creative way to store toiletries.
- A bar cart or individual bathroom caddies can help save space in your tiny home bathroom since you can bring these in while you’re getting ready and store them out of sight once you’re done.
- Mirrors and good lighting can help make tiny home bathrooms feel bigger and more inviting. Utilizing both can really brighten up the room, especially in the absence of natural light. If you’re not planning to go mobile, you can even put up a tile wall with a unique mosaic or pattern.
- You might not realize it but the color of your bathroom wall does have an effect on how you perceive the space. A white bathroom will feel large and spacious while adding neutral or light-colored finishes will make it more beautiful. If you don’t want to use the color white, another option is to secure wooden planks to the wall for a rustic vibe. Just be sure to seal the wood properly to prevent water from damaging your home.
- If your tiny house bathroom doesn’t smell as nice as you want it to be, scented candles are a simple solution to fix the problem. Choose natural, refreshing scents over heavy ones to avoid creating an overwhelming smell. Hanging plants in rustic baskets or placing tiny succulent pots along your wall can help absorb smells and add color to the bathroom.
Build a Functional Tiny House Bathroom You’ll Love
The tiny house philosophy really focuses on what works best for you and your family. Find a design you love and work your way around it so you can be sure to relax and enjoy your tiny home’s bathroom to the fullest.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.