Despite what you might see on network television, the modern American home actually has a moderately-sized to smaller bathroom setup. This is due to several reasons, but mostly that this is how the typical home is laid out, preserving more room for bedrooms and other more frequented areas.
There are a few types of bathrooms found in the modern home, and each generally falls into a typical size range. These include half baths, three-quarter baths, full baths, and master baths. Even if you are working with something that is technically considered a master bath, it can still be of a smaller size, and require different fixtures to maximize the space.
However, the bathrooms that most commonly require alternative sink sizes are half and three-quarter bathrooms. Here is a breakdown of the typical bathroom layouts, and how large they tend to be:
Half bathrooms consist of a toilet, sink, and perhaps other organizational features, but do not have a shower or bathtub. They are extremely valuable in family homes where multiple people might require bathroom usage at the same time. If the home does not have enough space to accommodate two full bathrooms, a half bath is a great option, and many spaces (such as a nicely sized closet) can be converted into one. The average half bath is about 20 sq. ft., generally ranging between 18 and 32 sq. ft.
A three-quarter sized bathroom, as the name would imply, is between a half bath and a full bath. These bathrooms contain a vanity, toilet, and a shower stall or in some cases, a tub. The difference between a three-quarter bathroom and full bathroom, then, would be in the size. A three-quarter bathroom is typically somewhere in the 35 sq. ft. range, sometimes nearing closer to 40 sq. ft. depending on how much space the home has.
A full bathroom is the typical bathroom situation, consisting of a shower, tub, vanity, and toilet. These bathrooms are generally used by everyone in the home, and in many cases, the square footage is somewhere close to a three-quarter bathroom, but does not compromise on any amenities. Overall, the average full bathroom can range between 75 and 110 square feet, but it depends on the overall size of the family home.
Typically found directly attached to the master bedroom, the master bath is a private bathroom in which the home’s owners can have their own space to bathe and relax at their leisure, without having to walk far, ascend or descend stairs, or share with children and relatives. The typical master bathroom is 115 to 200 sq. ft, on average 160 sq. ft. These bathrooms will often have Jack-and-Jill style vanities (two sinks for dual-use) soaking tub, shower, and other amenities.
Sink Styles For Smaller Bathrooms
A ‘smaller bathroom’ could generally be considered anything below 50 sq. ft., but it is very possible to have a three-quarter or full bathroom that is still cramped for space and requiring a bit of creativity to make it more functional.
Fortunately, there are a few different types of sinks that best suit a smaller bathroom layout. However, you can still utilize any of these styles of sinks in any size bathroom, you just want to make sure that the items you choose match one another in stature. (You wouldn’t want to pair a super small corner mount sink with an oversized soaking tub, it simply wouldn’t flow correctly.)
Here are the top sink styles for smaller bathrooms:
This type of sink attaches directly to the wall (as the name would imply) but the real space saver here is that it foregoes one of the largest items in a bathroom next to the tub, which is the vanity. You can save a tremendous amount of space (and money) by doing this, but you will have to sacrifice storage space, making it more ideal for half or guest baths.
If your bathroom is cramped for space, consider a corner mount sink. This is also attached directly to the wall but is installed in a caddy-corner type of style, where the sink is actually situated directly in the corner between two walls. This maximizes space, but limits the size of the sink itself.
Similar to a wall mount sink, the pedestal also foregoes the vanity, but features legs or a pedestal on which the basin can rest. This option is largely for aesthetic benefit.
Prioritizing Mobility And Function
When you are designing a small bathroom space, the priority needs to be the mobility and functionality of the room. A person needs to be able to move around while using the bathroom in a way that ensures their arms are not hitting certain items, or they do not feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable.
This is why smaller accessories and installations can make a lot of sense in a small bathroom. Other ways to capitalize on a small space are to forego a tub in lieu of a standing shower, to get creative with storage and organizational space (the use of shelves or drawers can come in handy here), and a smaller sized toilet.
Overall, though, the layout of the bathroom is what’s going to provide the most room possible. By changing the location of the shower, sink, or even the toilet, you can maximize as much room as possible. This is where corner sinks or standalone sinks come in extra handy. If you’re going to be moving water or electric lines, consult a professional if needed.
Our Favorite Small Bathroom Sinks
This classic wall mount is as straightforward as it comes: with an installation that allows it to sit freely on the wall, there’s no exposed pipes, plumbing, or even a pedestal to hold it up. While this does require a specialty installation (a professional can help, and directions will show you how) the look can be very chic and minimalist, if not a bit vintage. This sink also has a single opening for an all-in-one faucet, making it as streamlined as they come.
This single vessel sink is reminiscent of a farm sink, but a little thinner, a lot smaller, and a bit easier to work into your bathroom design. With a rectangular shape but curved edges and no cutouts for faucets or temperature valves, this sink requires you to have something on which it can rest, which you can get creative with. A small stand or cabinet can be placed beneath this sink to create an upscale, but still space-conscious look.
This wall mount is where minimalism meets space-conscious design. This sink is square and very sleek looking, making it the perfect addition to a smaller but still streamlined bathroom design. It is installed directly to the wall, eliminating the need for any exposed pipes, shelves, vanity, or even a countertop, and thereby maximizing space. However, this design is so elegant it could fit right into any upscale design.
This sink has one of the smaller basins, but comes with the aesthetic preference of being atop a pedestal. This is great for certain bathroom designs, particularly for half baths where individuals or families do not need to store large quantities of toiletries underneath a vanity or sink space.