Renovating a Small Bathroom – Frequently Asked Questions

Renovating a Small Bathroom –FAQ

How can I make my small bathroom look better?

Make your small bathroom appear larger by keeping it open and airy, free of clutter. Use light colors on the walls. Bring natural light into the space or use LEDs to light it up. Install vanities, cabinets and sinks that suit the size of your bathroom. Mirrors add dimension and increase the illusion of space. Have your mirror reflect light or a design feature. Install a glass shower door or remove the shower door to create a seamless look.  

What is the best vanity to put into my small bathroom?

Bathroom contractors in Ottawa can help you find a vanity that fits into your existing space and meets your goals. Freestanding or wall mounted vanities fit well into smaller bathrooms. Choose white or light-coloured vanities to make the bathroom appear more spacious. Custom-made vanities can fit into awkward spaces and provide adequate storage. Give yourself more floor space by relocating the laundry basket and other items that add clutter to your bathroom.  

What tile size should I use to make my small bathroom look bigger?

Although smaller tiles allow for greater design creativity in a small bathroom, it’s often recommended to go with large, plain-coloured tiles that give the illusion of a large floor space without lines. Use the same tile in the shower and on the floor to create a seamless transition, also creating the impression that the floor covers a larger space. Paint the walls the same shade as the tiles. The fewer colours you use, the less you break up the space, which makes the bathroom appear larger.
 

What colour should I use to make my small bathroom look bigger?

Lighter shades give the impression that your space is larger than it is. Avoid very dark colours, even as accents and trim. Natural light colours appear airy and open. Paint the ceiling and the walls the same colour to keep the seamless appearance throughout. Use a lighter colour on the ceiling if you do want some contrast. The ceiling will appear darker because of the way the light is reflected, so you offset that effect.


How can I add storage to my small bathroom?

During your bathroom renovations in Ottawa, there are many ways to add storage space. Custom design can help you maximize your usable space to get more place for storage. Utilize the space above your toilet or other vertical space that is often wasted. Open shelves with neatly folded towels give the impression of a larger space. Built-in cabinets set into the wall space, giving you more storage without taking up floor space.


Is a shower better than a tub in my small bathroom?

In small bathrooms, showers take up less space than tubs. If you’re designing a bathroom for an elderly person, a shower is often the best option. A custom shower stall can be a great option to keep valuable floor space for accessibility. If your heart is set on a tub, you may be able to find a modern option that fits your needs, for example, a freestanding tub.

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Can I fit a freestanding tub in my small bathroom?

Bathroom manufacturers have introduced many innovative products to fit in small spaces. You can work with your bathroom contractor to find a freestanding tub to fit your bathroom space and style. When combined with other elements that suit smaller bathrooms, you can make your bathroom work for your needs.

How much will the labour cost to renovate my small bathroom?

Bathroom installations in Ottawa vary in cost. You can expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 to $25,000 to remodel a small 5-foot by 7-foot bathroom. A professional bathroom renovation done by an experienced and reputable contractor will probably run between $12,000 to $13,000. It’s worth the investment to know that your bathroom is installed correctly.

cost to renovate my small bathroom

On the low end, you can use an efficient handyman or plumber and perhaps DIY some parts of your renovation if you have the experience. Keep in mind though that even a few costly mistakes can make your renovation a stressful experience. Hiring a bathroom renovation contractor is the best option.

How much will the materials cost to renovate my small bathroom?


For an average 5×7 bathroom with a 48″ free standing vanity, acrylic shower base with tiled wall and sliding glass door, tiled floor, toilet, trim and paint, the cost of materials usually starts from $4,000 and can easily climb upward. On average, people will spend $5,000 to $7,000 for finish materials.

What are the most common problems in small bathroom renovations?

The most common problem in small bathroom renovations is that standard size vanities, tubs and other fixtures don’t fit well in the space. Bathroom contractors often turn to custom work to fit the available space to make the most out of the bathroom. There are solutions to many of the problems plaguing small bathroom remodels. An experienced bathroom renovation contractor in Ottawa will recommend what’s best for your lifestyle and the available space.  
 

Do small bathrooms cost less to renovate?

Contrary to what most people expect, small bathrooms can often cost more to renovate than a larger bathroom. Custom fixtures usually cost more than standard vanities, tubs, and showers. The cost of labour is not calculated on a per square foot basis, but instead dependent on the scope of work and effort involved. So, labour costs can be the same, if not more, than a standard bathroom. 

How long will it take to renovate my small bathroom?

Typically, a small 5×7 bathroom with acrylic shower base and tiled walls, tiled flooring, free standing vanity, toilet, trim and paint will take between 1.5 to 2 weeks to complete. The timeline can change if there is remedial work or if you are moving plumbing or electrical components. When assessing the scope of work, your bathroom renovation contractor should be able to estimate the project timeline and help you plan accordingly.    

Will renovating my small bathroom be a good investment?

Renovating a bathroom modernizes it for your own comfort and functionality. Your investment can also increase the value of your home. Canadian Mortgages, Inc. estimates that bathroom remodels can bring up a return on investment (ROI) of 75% or more when you sell your home. Keep the design clean and functional for best results.

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