Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (2024)

Room Design

Bathroom Design


Sarah Lyon

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (1)

Sarah Lyon

Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and home decor enthusiast, who enjoys sharing good finds on home items. Since 2018, she has contributed to a variety of lifestyle publications, including Apartment Therapy and Architectural Digest.

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Published on 01/06/22

While 5 by 8 feet may seem like a small size for a bathroom, it's actually the most common floor plan that can still encompass a sink, a shower and tub, and, of course, a toilet. That said, the limited square footage does mean that those designing such a space from scratch may struggle with layout. We spoke with experts who shared 10 tips to successfully craft a 5 by 8 foot bathroom.

Meet the Expert

1. Keep All Plumbing on the Same Wall

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (2)

Joseph Tsedaka, principal at NOMI, a Dallas-based company that specializes in bathroom remodels, suggests laying out a 5 by 8 foot bathroom using the following method: "The most efficient way to design a 5 by 8 bathroom is to have your vanity first (which is three feet) then your toilet (two feet), and thenyour tub or shower (three feet) for a total ofeight feet," he notes. Allie Mann, designer and senior interiors specialist at Case Architects & Remodeling, agrees that this setup is a winner. "It is an effective use of clear floor space, cost effective, and most people don't want to see the toilet first thing when they open thebathroomdoor," she says.

This way, all plumbing can be on the same wall, too. "It's not just to keep the cost down, but also allows us to create more walkingspace across the bathroom," Tsedaka explains.

2. Determine Whether You Need a Tub

"Your bathroom layout should be designed based on your needs and the function of the bathroom on your own property," says Tsedaka. He also says that a child's bathroom should feature a combination tub and shower, but if the bathroom will only be used by adults or guests, just a shower is fine. To maximize space further, Tsedaka advises utilizing a glass panel rather than a door.

3. Think About Sink Options

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (3)

Whether or not you choose to incorporate a tub will decide whether you have space for a large sink area or not. "Depending on if you are installing a tub or shower, then you can determine the space left for the vanity or pedestal sink," Mann explains."You could start with the width of the tub/shower, then allow 30 to 36 inches of width for the toilet, and then the rest for sink space."

4. Try These Space-Saving Storage Tricks

Storage is ultra important in the bathroom—there are certain items like bandaids, shampoos, and medicines that will need to be kept within reach, after all. "Create a shampoo box on the center wall of the shower or tub," Tsedaka suggests. "Also, have a shelf and not a full-size cabinet above your toilet; it will make the room look larger and wider."

5. Incorporate a Pocket Door

Designing a bathroom so that it features a pocket or sliding door will be critical in such a small space, says Cathy Purple Cherry, founding principal of Purple Cherry Architects. "It provides for the most extensive wall area for towel bars, robe hooks, etc," she explains. "A door that swings into abathroomeats up wall space."

6. Add Features That Will Make a Space Appear Bigger

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (4)

There are a few simple ways to make a 5 by 8 foot bathroom appear much larger, Purple Cherry notes. For one? "Providing as much ceiling height as possible and utilizing lighter colors will help the room to feel more expansive," she says. Additionally, "Utilizing a mirror beyond just behind the vanity –above the toilet, for example–expands the scale of the space."

7. Try These Shower Hacks

On a similar note, there are a few upgrades one can make to the shower area to allow the bathroom to feel larger. "Using full wall-to-wall glass in the shower helps expand the visual feeling of spaciousness," Purple Cherry says. Additionally, a small window is also key. "If you can get a small window in the shower—opposite of the shower head—or above the toilet area, it will further help the space to feel spacious," Purple Cherry adds. "Natural light will help thebathroomfeel more airy and open, and views of outside will help distract from how small the space is."

8. Correctly Install a Shower Bench

And if you wish to install a shower bench, do so on the same side as your plumbing, Tsedaka notes, "doing it otherwise will block your shower entry."

9. Keep the Shower Flush to the Wall

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (5)

This is another hack for maximizing space, according to Purple Cherry. "When a shower floor is flush with the rest of the bathroom floor, it helps with maximizing how spacious the shower feels," she notes."

10. Note This Difference Between Toilets

When selecting a toilet, you will want to keep sizing in mind, as it varies among models, Purple Cherry says. "Understand that there is a three to four inch length difference between round toilets and elongated toilets. Round toilets will provide a more spacious feel in the floor area."

Experts Share 10 Layout Tips for 5 by 8 Bathrooms (2024)


Is 5X8 too small for a bathroom? ›

While 5 by 8 feet may seem like a small size for a bathroom, it's actually the most common floor plan that can still encompass a sink, a shower and tub, and, of course, a toilet. That said, the limited square footage does mean that those designing such a space from scratch may struggle with layout.

What are the rules of bathroom layout? ›

Plan a clear floor space of at least 30 inches from the front edge of all fixtures (lavatory, toilet, bidet, tub, and shower) to any opposite bath fixture, wall, or obstacle. Code Requirements: A minimum space of 21 inches must be planned in front of the lavatory, toilet, bidet, and tub.

How to correctly design and build a bathroom? ›

Designing your bathroom layout

Make sure you include elements that will affect your design, such as window positions and heights, external walls – and therefore drainage – and door openings. "Then, create the main elements – a bath, shower cubicle, toilet, basic storage.

Is 5 feet too narrow for a bathroom? ›

Is a 5X8 bathroom too small? No, a 5×8 bathroom is the minimal size for a full bathroom, which includes a shower and a bathtub. Although the space might seem cramped, 40 square feet is still a good size for a bathroom.

What is the perfect bathroom size? ›

Common Dimensions for a Full Bath

While 40 square feet (8×5) is the minimum size for a full bathroom, it is fairly small and most layouts make it seem cramped. The average size for a full bathroom is around 60 square feet (6×10), which is considered the most efficient size for a bathroom.

What pattern makes a small bathroom look bigger? ›

It tends to create an illusion of a taller space - hence, making those small, cramped bathrooms look enlarged. This way, the bathroom wall tiles draw your eye up to the bottom of the ceiling. You can style with subway tiles, mosaic tiles, herringbone patterns, or even large format square tiles.

Should a toilet face the door? ›

Tuck the toilet behind the door or place it to the side where it's not in full view when you open the bathroom door. When planning the position of your toilet, allow at least 20cm on either side for elbow room.

Should the toilet be next to the shower? ›

Clearance: At least 24" of space is needed in front of a shower or tub entry. Leave at least 15" of space between the shower and toilet or other obstacle. If you have a swinging door, take into consideration nearby fixtures.

What comes first in bathroom remodeling? ›

1. Remove Bathroom Fixtures. Assuming you're partially or totally renovating your bathroom, you'll need to start by removing drywall and any fixtures you're replacing.

How far should a toilet be from a shower? ›

When it comes to fitting a shower, a space of at least 24 inches is required in front of the door by codes to enter and exit the shower safely. What's more, it is also mandatory to have a minimum distance of 15 inches from the center point of a toilet or bidet to any other bath fixture or wall for plumbing access.

What order do you build a bathroom? ›

How To Build A Bathroom From Scratch
  1. Step One: Gather the required supplies.
  2. Step Two: Remove all the fixtures.
  3. Step Three: Install the shower or tub.
  4. Step Four: Lay the flooring.
  5. Step Five: Hang the drywall and paint.
  6. Step Six: Install the vanity and cabinets.
  7. Step Seven: Light up the space.
  8. Step Eight: Do the plumbing work.
Feb 8, 2022

Is a 5 by 7 bathroom too small? ›

A 5×7 bathroom provides you with 35 square feet, which is considered small because you can't fit all amenities of a full bathroom. However, the space is large enough to fit a shower/bathtub, a sink, a toilet, and a small vanity, although the space will feel fairly cramped.

Is 6X6 too small for a bathroom? ›

In order to accommodate a shower, it is best to have a surface area of 36 sq. ft (6X6). This size of a bathroom can accommodate a shower, toilet, sink and if the area is available, storage.

What size is a master bathroom? ›

In newer homes, a typical master bathroom occupies an area ranging from 115 to 210 square feet. The master bathroom in older houses was considerably smaller and used to occupy a modest 75 to 100 square feet. A typical master bathroom design has room for the toilet, a bathtub, a shower stall, and a double sink.

How small is too small for a bathroom? ›

Minimum Bathroom Size Dimensions

As a general rule, the minimum bathroom size is 15 square feet for a powder room that only has a toilet and a sink. If you also want to include a shower, a tub or a combination of the two, you will need to look at allowing 30 to 36 square feet.

What is a good size for a small bathroom? ›

The minimum size of a small bathroom ranges between 35 and 40 square feet. Note that these bathrooms are just enough for incorporating a standard-sized sink, commode and shower area. The most prevalent dimensions of small bathrooms are approximately 6x6 feet and 8x5 feet.

What is the smallest legal bathroom size? ›

While minimum size is 15 square feet, you need 20-25 square feet if you want your bathroom to be wheelchair accessible. 20-25 square feet allows for full accessibility and turning, although this can be changed if your bathroom is either circular or t-shaped to allow for easier access.

What is the smallest width for a bathroom? ›

The minimum accessible bathroom size is 60 inches wide by 56 inches deep, and extra space is required for clearance and fixtures. Most half baths are linear, with the sink facing the toilet or shower.

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