How to maximise space in a loft bathroom

In a well-planned layout, it doesn't matter how small the bathroom is, says consumer expert Jennifer Newton

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Nowadays, bathrooms need to not only be functional, but also a sanctuary, creating a spa/hotel experience at home.

The latest research from Barratt Homes also states that an en suite bathroom is the second most desirable feature for potential buyers after off-street parking, so it’s worth investing in and making the most of every inch of space.

Planning and space

Every inch of the room is crucial, so speak to loft conversion and bathroom companies to understand the different product options available. Key considerations are:

  • Floor space

‘Use wall-hung fittings such as basins and WCs to reveal the floor, as it gives the feel of a larger room,’ says Sally Cutchie, designer at CP Hart. ‘Also, a compact wall-mounted WC pan won’t project into the room as much as a standard pan.’ There are many options available, such as the WC S-frame from Bathstore, £149.

  • Mirrors

These are the easiest way to bounce light around the room and make the space brighter; consider heated mirrors as they don’t fog up. Try Victoria Plumb, from £210.

  • Tiling and decorating

?Monochrome schemes are currently on trend, but use lighter colours on walls to maximise the light,’ says Sally Cutchie. White, rather than patterned, tiles also make the room feel bigger, and a dark floor will give the illusion of a taller room.

  • Paint

Not only does painting walls save on tiling costs, but Dulux Ultra White is washable and contains LumiTec lparticles to help reflect light, £24.99 for 2.5 litres.

  • Think laterally  

Can you reverse a door so it opens outwards to create more space in the bathroom? Or could you create recesses in existing walls for handy additional storage?

Small shower areas

‘A frameless or semi-frameless shower enclosure will create the illusion of space,’ says Emma Foster, marketing manager at Mira Showers. ‘A quadrant shape is designed to take up minimal space, but as it bows out into the centre of the room it still offers a generous shower area.’

David Osborne, managing director of Roman Showers, agrees: ‘Many quadrant enclosures are only (W)80x(L)80cm. Or, if you have more available wall space but little space in the centre of the room, then a shower with an inward-opening door will be a good option. A bi-fold door is perfect, particularly as they are now design-led and not just practical.’

Spa-style or wet room?

Combine a large drencher head with a compact corner-fitting digital shower. The Aqualisa Quartz Digital Divert shower has an optional remote control, and a button to switch between showerheads. Alternatively, a modern wet room is ideal for small bathrooms, but will have to be ‘tanked’ to make it waterproof. A glazed shower panel will act as a water deflector, stopping the rest of the room getting drenched.

Underfloor heating

As well as adding warmth to the space, underfloor heating avoids having to find room for a radiator. It can be laid underneath most floor coverings and connects up to standard central heating boilers. Find out more at