Small Bathroom Remodelling

Remodelling or renovating a bathroom can do wonders for your home. It can make your morning routine more efficient, and make your bedtime wind-down much more relaxing. No one wants to struggle with outdated bathroom fixtures or a cramped and crowded bathroom space.

Remodelling a bathroom can also make your home more welcoming to guests, as it’s the one room in the house that almost everyone uses. There’s no doubt that updating a bathroom can add significantly to the value of your home.

Best way to remodel a small bathroom

We have three top tips on how to manage a small bathroom renovation yourself.

Invest a lot of time into the planning stage

You can’t over-plan a small bathroom renovation, but you can certainly under-plan. Many people mistakenly think that renovating a smaller room is faster or easier than any other room of a house. While this is sometimes true, the bathroom is the exception to the rule.

That’s because a great number of details go into a bathroom remodelling, and there are many tradespeople who need to be involved in a bathroom renovation. It doesn’t really matter what size your bathroom is; there is a long list of specialists required, including:

  • demolition team
  • builder
  • plumber
  • electrician
  • waterproofer
  • plasterer or jib stopper
  • glazier
  • wall and/or floor tiler
  • other flooring professional
  • painter
  • possibly an interior designer

Depending on the size of your bathroom, and whether it’s the main bathroom of the home or not, there are also a number of fixtures and appliances you may need to purchase:

  • bath, shower, toilet
  • sink/basin, vanity, cabinetry
  • towel rail, tapware, light fixtures, shelving
  • extraction fan/ventilation, lighting, heated floor
  • windows, blinds/curtains, paint, wallpaper
  • flooring, tiles

It’s incredibly important, then, to factor all of these things into your planning and budgeting. The more time you spend researching and planning upfront, the smoother the process will be.

Look into having a project manager

Another mistake we often see is attempting to “do it yourself” when homeowners have no prior renovating experience. People often think that if a bathroom is small, they can DIY it. Please don’t fall into that trap. Even if you have done a bit of home decorating or renovating before, know that a bathroom is like no other room in the house.

As you can see from the lists above, several components need to be purchased, installed, and checked before a bathroom will get consent or sign-off. Trust us when we say that the money spent on having a professional who has managed bathroom remodelling or renovation projects before will be more than worth it. In fact, it may cost you more if you try to DIY your bathroom renovation and manage the project yourself.

With a bathroom renovation, no matter how small the room is, all tradespeople are working in a relatively small space, and they all need to be coordinated so their work happens in the correct order. Your tiler can’t work until your waterproofer has done their job and it’s been signed off. Your painter can’t do their thing until the electrician and plasterer have finished their work. Your plumber and electrician need to coordinate their work. It’s a thing of beauty when it all comes together, and only an experienced bathroom project manager can do this without wasting anyone’s time. As you’ll discover when you get your labour bills, time is money, so use it wisely.

Look for ways to make the most of the small space

A few tips and tricks will help you remodel a small bathroom cleverly. Search online for small bathroom renovation tips, search through magazines or Pinterest, and see what inspiration is you can find.

Here are some of the ideas we’ve seen throughout our years of renovating small bathrooms in Auckland:

  • If the old bathroom has a separate bathtub and shower, consider combining them to save space. Try not to get rid of the bathtub if it’s the only one in the house; bathtubs add value to a home, especially for potential buyers with small children.
  • Choose a corner vanity if the space allows, rather than a rectangular one along one wall.
  • Try to make do with a slightly smaller shower stall. If you don’t need a 1-metre square stall, try installing one that’s 800mm instead.
  • Consider different shower shapes and styles before settling on one. Depending on the size and layout of the small bathroom you’re remodelling, a corner shower with an angled or rounded door opening may be less intrusive.
  • Make use of the height of the walls. Don’t be afraid to install taller shelving for spare towels, excess toilet paper and other items you need to store but don’t need to have easily accessible.
  • Look into vertical heated towel rails. These are relatively new, but they are quickly becoming popular. Unlike the traditional horizontal rails, they run vertically so you hang your towel on them like a hook.
  • Use the space on the wall above the toilet for a function shelf or mirror, rather than just something decorative.
  • Put hooks on the back of the bathroom door to hang towels or robes.
  • Decide whether mirror tiles will suit your needs better than a single framed mirror. If the bathroom is only large enough for one person to get ready at a time, install a single mirror and use the rest of the wall for shelving or towel rails. If the small bathroom is roomy enough for someone to shave while another person is doing their makeup, you may want to opt for mirror tiles instead.
  • See if a wall-mounted faucet and taps will work for your small bathroom. If you can install them on the wall between the mirror and the sink, you will free up a bit of space around the sink for toothbrushes, soaps, etc. Again, use the walls to free up counter space.
  • Choose open cupboards and open shelving wherever possible. Often small bathrooms don’t have enough for space cabinet doors to open. 

Talk to us at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage for more ideas and tips on how to make the most of a small bathroom remodelling or renovation.


There are a number of plumbing and drainage companies in Auckland, so why choose Sumich?

Founded by owner-operator Chris Sumich in 1991, Sumich Plumbing & Drainage has one of the most experienced teams operating in Auckland. Our team has a combined experience of over 100 years and we’ve seen a comprehensive range of scenarios and solutions over the years. Clients trust us to give honest, transparent advice and service.

As registered members of the New Zealand Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters Association, we are professional, licensed Auckland plumbers for all of your plumbing, drain laying, gas fitting and heating needs. Give us a call to see how we can help.