Tired of your old bathroom and the bland white walls, outdated fittings and basic fixtures? It’s a good time to remodel now and get everything done ahead of cooler weather. But what can you really do to make a Toronto bathroom different? The standard seems to be a matchbox-sized room with a bath, toilet, washbasin and vanity with cabinets below, a basic plumbing installation and little spare space to be creative. Here are some ideas for increasing your space – or making the most of what you have.

#1: Extend the Space

The best way to make a small bathroom bigger is obviously to extend the space. Whether this is possible depends on the location of the bathroom in your home. It’s easy enough with a main floor bathroom at the back of the house, but not so simple for an upstairs bathroom in a townhouse or duplex. Consider building a covered patio to serve as a base for a bathroom extension. With clever planning you can do this without moving your existing plumbing installation, which will save on remodeling costs.

#2: Hide the Toilet Tank

Wall-hung toilets are making an appearance in all sorts of elegant places these days. The concept does away with the need for a pedestal and the tank is hidden inside the wall behind the toilet seat. This saves around 9 inches of space in the center of the room.

#3: Use Lots of Glass

Most older Toronto bathrooms are completely enclosed and have no windows to the outside. Open a window to the outdoors if possible by breaking through an exterior wall. Use transparent glass shower walls and basin surrounds to give the impression of open space and light and to make the room seem larger – or at least less cluttered. A huge mirror wall doubles perception of the room size and brightens it up.

#4: Make Smart Storage

Storage is necessary, but it doesn’t have to take up space. Some options for smart storage include:

  • Ladder towel rails that store up to six towels in one vertical section
  • Hidden medicine cabinets set into the wall behind the mirror
  • Sliding panel access to a hallway linen closet from the bathroom
  • A fold-down vanity slab that clips out of the way against the wall when it’s not in use

Add a “rail-type” storage shelf that runs around the wall of the entire bathroom half-way up. It only needs to be about 2 inches deep to hold multiple bottles of bath goodies, candles and other small items.

#5: Under-Floor Heating

It gets pretty cold in winter in Toronto, and especially if you add windows to your bathroom you might need some help keeping it warm. Fit radiant-type under-floor heating when you replace your bathroom flooring. Whether you use it or not is up to you, but it’s a costly process to pull up a floor just for installation purposes. Make sure you partition it well apart from your plumbing installation to avoid complications later on.

Consult with your Toronto plumber before you finalize your bathroom remodeling plans. For best results, he will need to be involved from the start if you plan to move existing pipes and drain outlets.