In this article, we’ll look at several tiny house and small bathroom shower ideas that will help you when designing your next small abode.
Table of Contents Hide
- Do tiny houses have showers?
- Tiny house bathroom dimensions
- Wet bathroom in a tiny house
- Sink in a tiny house shower
- Sink – Shower – Toilet Combo in a Small Bathroom
- Small bathroom corner shower ideas
- Small bathrooms with stand up showers
- Corner shower tile ideas
- Modern tiny house shower ideas
- Small and Compact Shower Stall/enclosures Design Ideas
- Narrow Shower Ideas
- Washer and dryer in your Small bathroom/shower
- Shower-bathtub Combo ideas for a tiny house or small bathroom
- Galvanized stock tank bathtub and shower ideas
- Rustic tiny house bathroom and shower ideas
Despite the allure of living in a tiny house, designing a bathroom or shower that is both functional and comfortable can be a big challenge.
More and more people are opting to downsize to tiny houses, and the United States is leading this revolution. The reasons are varied, with the main ones being affordability and sustainability.
As the home market continues to be out of reach for most people, many are opting for smaller square footage. These houses do not fall within the traditional definition of a tiny house, but instead lie somewhere in between a normal house and a tiny house.
One common aspects of both types of housing is the limited space reserved for the bathroom.
The bathroom and shower are not typically parts of the house where people splurge on, and are just built to be practical.
However in the age of Pinterest and Instagram, things are changing and people are investing more time and effort here.
Do tiny houses have showers?
Almost all permanent or semi-permanent tiny houses have some kind of bathroom. In most areas, it would be illegal not to.
However, some small RVs may not have enough space for a shower or bathroom. These are intended to be parked in camping sites or areas where such facilities are provided.
Now, if the question is between a shower and a bathtub, we’ve found that showers are more common among tiny home owners. This is because they occupy less space, and are just typically more preffered in general.
Tiny house bathroom dimensions
To imagine the design possibilities of your tiny bathroom, you need to account for the dimensions of the reserved space.
These will of course be different from one tiny house to another, but typically, the smallest ones should be about 0.8 meters by 0.8 meters (2.6ft X 2.6ft).
That is a very tight space by any measure, and is just sufficient for a shower.
If you need extras like a tub and sink, but still confined in a small space, you may be looking at a minimum of 3.8ft X 2.6ft (1.15 meters X 0.8 meters).
Once you have the dimensions of your small bathroom, here are some design ideas that can come in handy.
Wet bathroom in a tiny house
A wet bathroom, sometimes simply referred to as a ‘wet room’, is one contiguous room that contains the shower, sink and toilet, without any clear demarcations.
While in a normal bathroom you would expect a shower cubicle, glass or curtain dividing the space, that is not the case in a wet bathroom.
The whole space is designed to get wet, and is often entirely waterproofed with tiles.
Wet bathroom have their origins in the tiny house movement, but in recent years, they have been adopted in all types of housing. They bring a luxury feel and a modern touch to any space.
Advantages of a wet bathroom in a tiny house
- A wet bathroom transforms a small space giving the illusion of a much larger bathroom.
- Might be cheaper to build due to lack of physical demarcations like a shower cubicle or glass separator.
- One clear/unobstructed surface is a lot easier to clean.
- Easier to use, especially for those with some disability.
- A wet bathroom is more stylish than a traditional bathroom.
Disadvantages of a wet bathroom in a tiny house
- Can be messy: A 10 minutes hot shower can leave everything in the room wet, including towels and tissues.
- Mold grows easily: Since the moisure gets to all parts of the room, mold can find comfortable spots to grow, especially in hard to reach areas.
- Choice of waterproofing material can bring up your cost. Since the whole room must be waterproof, you are limited to the choice of material, and this can be expensive.
- Water drainage issues can arise if the wet bathroom is not properly designed.
Wet bathroom ideas for a tiny house or small space
Here are two beautiful examples of a wet bathroom in a tiny house.
Sink in a tiny house shower
When you are short on space, a bathroom sink is usually one of the first things to be sacrificed. In many small bathrooms, it would be impractical to include one without making the bathroom unusable.
A lot of clever designing goes into accommodating one. We’ve seen very small shower cubicles that somehow fit a full size sink right inside.
More often than not, you will have to make some sacrifices on the type and size of sink you’ll have in your shower.
Suitable sinks for a small bathroom
- A wall mount sink is your best bet for a small space. It has not column taking up space down below. On top of that, they look modern and stylish.
- A toilet-lid sink:- Not very common, but very practical for small bathrooms. As the name suggests, the toilet lid is converted into a sink, with the water draining into the cistern. This is great for space and also amazing for water conservation.
- A pedestal sink can be suitable as long as the column supporting it is narrow.
- A console sink can also work well if it is small enough. This will be your best bet if you need extra storage space.
Here are some examples of sinks fitted perfectly in small bathrooms.
Sink – Shower – Toilet Combo in a Small Bathroom
Most sink-shower-toilet combos (also called all-in-one shower toilet and sink) can also qualify as wet bathrooms (discussed above).
However, dividers like glass may be used to physically separate the shower area and the sink, from the toilet.
In some cases, the entire bathroom system comes as one piece and is simply screwed to the floor on site. It is an amazing fete of engineering and a true space saver.
This one from China for example would be perfect for a compact space.
Or this compact and complete tiny bathroom which would fit well in a camper.
For a more common look, there are unique ways of incorporating your sink, shower and toilet in the same room.
Like this design by interior designer Szymon Hanczar.
Or this trendy one..
Small bathroom corner shower ideas
The name of the shower is self-explanatory. These are simply shower cubicle(ish) installed in the corner of a bathroom.
While they can come in many designs, the most common ones are ‘neo angle’ or curved.
Corner showers are often contrasted with ‘Alcove Showers‘, which are basically showers installed in a recessed space in the wall. These are often rectangular.
Advantages of corner showers in a small bathroom
- Corner showers tend to be small and compact, which make them perfect for a tiny house, small bathroom or even an RV.
- Since they are enclosed, the water is contained and therefore they do not have the same problem as a wet bathroom.
- They are versatile and can be fitted in almost every bathroom.
- They make a small bathroom feel larger.
Disadvantages of corner showers in a small bathroom
- Installation can be a headache, especially in very tiny spaces.
- Drainage can be hard to design or modify, particularly if the shower is a later inclusion.
- They are more costly than other bathroom solutions, such as a wet shower.
Here are some examples of corner showers in small bathrooms.
Small bathrooms with stand up showers
The term ‘stand-up shower’ is quite confusing in that by design, all showers are stand up.
There is no agreed definition, but most people seeking information about ‘stand up’ showers are actually interested in walk-in or stand-alone showers.
If we were to find a middle ground, a stand-up shower is basically a shower compartment that does not have a bathtub in it.
We can even expand that to mean that a stand-up shower does not have a full-size door, screen, curtain or curb separating it from the rest of the bathroom.
That would then make it a ‘walk-in’ shower; which in itself is another ambiguous term. I mean, don’t you have to walk into every shower?
Anyway, here are some stand-up/walk-in shower ideas in small bathrooms and tiny houses.
Corner shower tile ideas
In recent years, we are seeing a renaissance of colorful tiles. The last couple of decades have all been about simplicity and neutral colors; more like the Scandinavian style.
Today however, more and more people are transforming their homes into the cozy places they have been for practically all of human history, rather than the museum style romanticized by celebrities and home improvement shows.
Tiles are a key part in this, and in particular bathroom tiles.
Pros of tiles in your bathroom
- Tiles are stylish and come in unlimited designs. Modern industrial processes mean that tiles of all types and designs can be mass produced cheaply. Whether you desire Greek villa-style tiles, Italian-style colorful tiles or modern plain ones, you will find them.
- Tiles are incredibly durable. Floors that are thousands of years old have been excavated and found with the tiles intact. Ceramic and porcelain are basically ‘install and forget’. They will outlive you and your children. On top of that, they maintain their shine and aesthetics incredibly well, compared to materials like paint.
- Tiles are very easy to clean. A simple wipe with basic household cleaning products will leave them sparkling as new. Try that with paint and the story is very different.
- They are cheap. While the initial installation cost may be higher than other materials like paint, tiles will outlast them many times over. Paint is particularly sensitive to water, and even the ‘water-proof’ paints will struggle in a bathroom environment after some years. That means repainting will be required regularly, adding to the cost.
Cons of tiles in your bathroom
- Compared to other materials, the upfront cost of installing tiles in your bathroom is high. The material itself is more costly per square foot, but also requires extensive and expensive labor.
- Long installation time: A lot of prep work goes into tile installation, and this drives up the time and price. For example, on average it can take 5 times longer to install tiles than it would an acrylic wall.
- Regular maintenance may be required to keep them in good shape. It is recommended that a tile sealer be applied regularly on some types of tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles however rarely need to be sealed.
Here are some unique corner shower tiles ideas for your small bathroom
Modern tiny house shower ideas
While some people feel comfortable in an old-fashioned setting, more and more are preferring to incorporate a modern feel into their tiny house.
Just a few decades ago, bathrooms were seen as a necessity; a place to clean up quickly and get on with other things.
Today, a bathroom can be somewhere to relax, drink some wine, read a book etc. all in the comfort of some warm water. A bath that took minutes can now go on for hours on end.
To this end, emphasis is being put on the design of these precious rooms.
Features of a modern bathroom
Some of the features that differentiate a modern bathroom from an old-fashioned one include:
- Modern tile designs. These tend to be of a single color, often neutrals like white, cream, beige, gray or black.
- The tiles are geometric, meaning they have regular lines and shapes. Old-fashioned bathrooms had all colorful patterns and an incredible variety of colors and shapes.
- An open design: The contemporary way is to make the room feel bigger than it is. This is achieved using bright colors, simple and fewer furniture etc. A wet bathroom is a good example, in that there is nothing separating the toilet from the sink and the sink from the shower.
- Clean lines: Whether on the walls, the floor, or the furnishing, there is an almost lack of bold curves.
Here are some examples of modern tiny house showers
Small and Compact Shower Stall/enclosures Design Ideas
A shower stall is a shower compartment designed for use by a single person at a time. They are self-contained and if properly installed, should not leak water to the outside.
They are also known as shower enclosures, shower cubicles or shower cabins.
Shower stalls are a favorite for many tiny home owners because they make good use of space, and reduce the need for strict waterproofing in the rest of the bathroom.
Some large shower stalls come with both tub and shower, but that is impractical in most small bathrooms.
Most shower enclosures or stalls have an aluminum frame that holds together the glass panel. Some modern ones however have frameless glass, which is held in place by hinges.
Advantages of shower stalls or enclosures in a small bathroom
- They provide clear demarcation between the wet area of the bathroom and the dry area. This means cleaning the bathroom is easy. Further waterproofing does not need to be stringent in other parts of the bathroom.
- They are stylish and look modern.
- They offer good use of space. A shower stall instantly makes your bathroom look cleaner, bigger and sleeker.
- Very little maintenance is needed over the lifetime of the shower stall.
- Since the shower enclosures are watertight, they reduce accidental falls in the rest of the bathroom, providing an added safety feature.
- They are durable. The glass is tempered, making it extremely hard to break.
Disadvantages of shower stalls or enclosures in a small bathroom
- While small and compact, they may still be too big to fit in an extremely small bathroom.
- In a tiny house where cost of construction is a key factor, a shower stall may be too expensive to justify. They are much more expensive than a typical shower installation.
- The glass on the shower enclosure can shatter. Although extremely rare, such an occurence can be a safety risk, and also lead to very expensive repairs.
- Transparent shower stalls do not provide privacy. Frosted glass can be much more costly than the clear option.
Here are a few small shower stall designs that can be useful as you build your small bathroom.
Narrow Shower Ideas
Sometimes the smallness of a bathroom can be more profound width-wise.
Depending on the design of the house, you may find yourself with an extremely narrow shower, and a complete lack of ideas on how to utilize it.
Narrow bathrooms are a common feature for most tiny houses, but they are also commonly found in small apartments.
One of the best ways of making a narrow shower feel a bit larger, is having a walk-in shower at the far end.
Working with a small and narrow space is limiting in a number of ways. For example, very few shower enclosures or stalls can fit, which rules them out.
Your best bet will be having a completely open shower with no glass or curtain. In short, a wet bathroom is the way to go if you have a narrow bathroom.
Here are some great examples of narrow bathrooms with beautiful and functional showers.
Washer and dryer in your Small bathroom/shower
It goes without saying that space is a big problem in tiny houses. In a normal-sized house, having a convenient place to put your washer and dryer is no big deal.
This can be a dedicated laundry room, the kitchen or the bathroom.
However when you are dealing with a tiny house, the mathematics changes completely. Some people simply abandon ownership of either, opting to use commercial laundry services instead.
Others choose to go without the dryer, instead hanging their clothes out in the open.
But is it possible to fit both machines in a small bathroom?
Well, we found some great examples of people who have worked around their tiny shower spaces and solved this problem.
As you will see, stacking them on top of each others appears to be the solution.
Instead of having two machines however, you can opt for one of those washer-dryer ‘all-in-one’ combos.
They have their drawbacks though. For instance, while the washing on a combo machine is perfect, the drying leaves a lot to be desired.
According to the New York Times, drying a half load takes hours longer than it would take a full load in a dedicated dryer. So yes, this is a machine of last resort.
On top of that, they are still very expensive with prices starting at around $1500.
Shower-bathtub Combo ideas for a tiny house or small bathroom
Picture this; You are a shower person, and your spouse is a bath person. Living in a tiny house does not exactly afford you the luxury of installing both.. or does it?
One recent trend that is picking pace is installing a shower head over the bathtub. That means both of you can enjoy cleaning up the way love.
This setup is called a shower-bathtub combo, and many tiny houses are taking this route.
Other than the more costly installation price, there are really few downsides.
Benefits of a shower-bathtub combo
- You get a taste of both sides. Whether you are interested in a quick shower, or a lengthy relaxing bath, you get it all in the same space.
- They are perfect for kids. Most tiny home owners are young couples with small kids. Until a certain age, kids cannot clean up in the shower, which means the tub will come in handy.
- A shower-bathtub combo can increase your tiny home resale value.
- It is cheaper if the other option is installing two separate units.
Cons of a shower-bathtub combo
- Accessibility may be an issue for elderly people or those with a mobility impairment.
- Cleaning may be a challenge. Unlike separate tubs which are only occasionally used, there is no escaping usage in a shower-tub combo. In a household with many members, this can be a big issue when it comes to cleaning.
- Installation can be a challenge, particular for modern ones that come in all shapes and sizes.
Here are some shower-bathtub combo ideas that can influence your own bathroom.
Galvanized stock tank bathtub and shower ideas
Trust Pinterest to set design trends and influence home décor decisions.
A few years back, a trend to transform stock tanks into clever DIY projects picked pace, guided by interest from social media users.
For the uninitiated, a stock tank is an above ground tank, common in farms. It is used to give food and water to livestock.
However, stock tanks are now finding uses as DIY backyard pools, and for the purpose of this article, bathtubs.
Galvanized stock tanks simply mean that the metal has been coated with a protective layer of zinc to prevent rust and corrosion; basically extending the lifetime of the tank.
These tanks come in all sizes, some of which are just the right fit for a small bathroom or a tiny house.
So popular have been these stock tank conversions, that there are now many manufactuers jumping on board with vintage and other clever designs.
Advantages of a galvanized steel bathtub
- Unlike ceramic, granite and other materials used to build tubs, steel bathtubs absorb heat fast, which means a person can jump-in almost instantly without experiencing the initial coldness.
- Galvanized steel bathtubs tend to be cheaper than other materials.
- Steel is more durable and easily repairable.
Disadvantages of galvanized steel bathtubs
- The fact that steel absorbs heat fast also means it loses it fast. Water therefore cools faster than in other types of tubs.
- Since most are not made with thick steel, they can be unstable under heavy weight.
- Design and color choices are limited.
Here are a few examples of some eye-catchy galvanized steel tubs-shower combos, including some stock tank conversions. Any of these will look amazing in your tiny house or small bathroom.
Rustic tiny house bathroom and shower ideas
Are you a lover of all things rustic?
You’ll be happy to note that the tiny house movement has caught the rustic bug. This age-old country feel and design is winning over new fans.
In some markets, tiny houses built in a rustic design have overtaken those built using modern designs.
Some have opted to go with this design throughout the house, including the exterior; but others have opted for just specific rooms.
Here we have a few examples of small rustic bathrooms and showers, from which you can borrow one or two features for your tiny house project.