Tiny House Bathroom Ideas & Inspiration

by Tessa Hobart | LAST UPDATED August 10, 2021

Tiny House Bathroom Ideas & Inspiration
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A tiny home is a great way to keep construction and maintenance costs at a minimum while also ensuring that you (and maybe a partner) can have enough space to live snugly but comfortably.

In addition to the low costs, smaller houses are much easier to convert to green energy. While you’ll still be subject to weather changes, the smaller houses require smaller wind or solar panels if you want to power them sufficiently.

The key point when it comes to small houses is the floor plan. Since you don’t have all that much space to work with, you’re going to need to find a few innovative interior design ideas.

And our topic today is all about optimizing the square footage of your tiny home bathroom and ways to make them seem bigger than they are. 

Compromises

Tiny house living is all about getting rid of all the clutter and unnecessary items and figuring out what you really can’t live without. In all honesty, all you’ll need to do is “scale down” the items you own. 

For example, you can get a futon instead of a large couch for the living room, you can get a bed with storage drawers for the bedroom instead of a dresser, and you can get a TV that’s a bit on the smaller side. If you’re taking your home off-grid, then you might also like to cut down on all electronic items aside from the bare essentials.

The items in your bathroom are no different, and there are plenty of options when it comes to how you can maximize the small space you have to work with. This is good news since it means that you’ll have plenty of options to work with, and you won’t all that be limited by the exact dimensions of your tiny house bathroom.

Of course, there’s a limit to how small a bathroom can be and still have enough space for you to use it for everything that you need. However, you should be just fine as long as your tiny home builders have made something that’s at least 6 feet in length and 4 feet in width.

Implementing a few space-saving tiny house bathroom ideas is pretty easy, but actually expanding the walls of your bathroom is going to require a lot of work, time, and money. We’d recommend not making your bathroom too small and simply going with the professionals’ dimensions.

Planning Stages

Planning / sketching

Speaking of tiny house builders, the one thing you’ll need to figure out pretty early in the planning stages is the pipe hookups to your small bathroom.

You might have a home that sits on a trailer, or you might have gone for one of the models that are built on a solid foundation, but you’re going to need to designate spaces for all of the pipe connections all the same.

This means that the locations of the faucet, the flushing toilet, and the walk-in shower can’t be changed later on unless you spend even more money on contractors and refit most of the pipes.

A lot of the ideas that we’ll offer in our article will freely allow you to change the layout of your bathroom because many of the items are self-sustainable and won’t need any piping to work.

While the simple comforts of a flush toilet and full shower can’t be understated, if you don’t have space or any utility line hookups, these are definitely the best choice for your bathroom. 

It’s up to you to decide if you’d prefer to hold on to a flush toilet but modify the shower, go for a standard sort of corner shower but replace the toilet, or replace them both if you’re planning to take your home off the grid entirely.

Bathroom Sink

In all honesty, there isn’t all that much that we can say on the topic of sinks. A simple faucet that’s connected to a slim sink base with no drawers or cabinets to the side is the best way to go for small bathrooms.

You’ll be cutting down on potential storage space by cutting out those drawers, but as long as you have a stand for your toothbrush, a towel rack, and a place to put the toilet paper, then you should be good. However, if you lack bathroom storage, you can also get a vanity mirror with shelving on the inside where you can store all of your toiletries. You’ll also have a vanity mirror; vanity mirrors are cool.

Additionally, if you find that even this is taking too much space in your bathroom, then you can simply remove the whole thing and use your kitchen sink to wash your hands, teeth, and so on, but we doubt you have that little room to work with.

Toilet Options

A standard flush toilet isn’t all that big, so the primary issue isn’t the amount of space it takes up, but instead that it needs to be connected to a steady water source and a sewage line to function.

In any standard home, this wouldn’t present much of a problem, but if your home is mobile or if you don’t have access to a sewage line on your property, then you might be interested in either getting a composting or an incinerating toilet.

Composting Toilets

A composting toilet can be secured to the ground by drilling in hooks on the floor, but one of the most distinguishing features of a composting toilet is the portability, so we wouldn’t recommend making them stationary.

Composting toilets like Nature's Head have three basic components: the greywater container, the blackwater container, and the top of the toilet.

The greywater container is a small receptacle at the front of the toilet containing all the urine. The blackwater container is the bottom portion of the toilet, and it’s meant to serve as both the receptacle for solid waste and the connecting component of the toilet as the other two parts are bolted onto it.

The top of the toilet is the toilet seat and the switch lever. The lever controls the hole at the bottom of the toilet seat, and turning it will either direct the hole towards the greywater or the blackwater container.

If you’re interested in learning a bit more about composting toilets, then you can check out our in-depth guide on sanitary toilet solutions. But if you want a summary, these toilets are easy to set up and use, not that difficult to clean, don’t need to be connected to any pipes, and can be set down and used virtually anywhere private.

Incinerating Toilets

An incinerating toilet is essentially a toilet seat on top of a furnace. While this may sound dangerous, the toilet can’t be turned on until you close the lid and manually press the engage button, so there’s no immediate danger.

The toilet incinerates any and all human waste inside, and it expels the fumes and ash through a connector in the back. This setup is undeniably more complicated than the composting toilet, but it has its advantages. 

Creating an outdoor toilet on your property is a pain because you need to set up an entire piping infrastructure that’s placed outside of your house. On the other hand, all you need to do to set up an incendiary toilet is make a simple wooden outhouse, set up the toilet a few feet above the ground, make a hole at the back for the fumes, and place a pipe that goes behind the outhouse to funnel the ash out into a container of sorts. That might seem like a lot, but—compared to the hassle of getting pipes underground—it’s a breeze.

A composting toilet requires some setting up, and while the cleaning process is pretty easy, you still need to do it regularly. However, incendiary toilets are more troublesome to put in (as you saw), but they’re always ready to go. Cleaning them boils down to disposing of the ash after it’s piled up.

Shower Options

We don’t think that there’s a person alive that could be able to live without being able to take a nice relaxing warm shower after a busy day at work. 

The good thing about tiny house shower options is that they allow you to keep all of the comforts of a standard shower by implementing only a few simple alterations to the standard sort of bathroom design.

No Base

The best way to save a few square feet of space in your bathroom is to avoid putting in a shower with a base simply. This means that you won’t be able to put in shower walls either, but you don’t need them, in all honesty.

All you need to optimize space is to get yourself a shower curtain. This will ensure that the entirety of your bathroom doesn’t get sprayed when you turn on the showerhead, but it’ll also get rid of the need to install a cumbersome shower base as well.

The only thing we’d say that you should pay attention to is the placement of the bathroom drain. So cleaning still can get rid of the water on the floor even if it’s placed inconveniently far from the shower, but you probably still want it somewhere close to where the water is falling in the first place.

Portable Water Heater

If you’re trying to save on water or have no connection for your shower, then the best thing you can do is get yourself a portable water heater like the Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater.

You can find plenty of similar products on Amazon. Still, this particular model appeals to us the most because it can be placed virtually anywhere on the ground next to you, whereas many other models need to be hooked up on the wall somewhere. 

The advantage to these types of DIY showers is the ease of use. All you need to do in order to have enough water to take a shower is fill the container, turn it on, and wait for a short period for the water to heat.

This item is also a great idea if you’re doing a bit of camping and you’d like to take a shower outdoors. You’ll probably also need a privacy tent for something like that, but those are pretty easy to come by and take up very little space in your luggage.

Washing Machines

Socks drying outside

A tiny house toilet doesn’t have nearly enough space for you to fit in a full-sized washing machine inside. The most obvious solution that many people come to is to put the washing machine somewhere else in the home simply.

While it’s true that you can probably manage to free up enough space in your tiny house kitchen to be able to fit a standard washing machine, you’ll still need to make sure that you have a water connection and water drainage for it to work properly.

Your own tiny house might be big enough to accommodate such an appliance, but in general, the better option is to go for the off-grid alternatives since they’re much cheaper, require virtually no setup, and don’t use any electricity.

We have an entire article on the many different off-grid washing machines that you might be interested in, but if you don’t feel like reading all that information, then we have an abbreviated version all ready for you.

Hand Washer

The old way of washing clothes when you didn’t have a washing machine was to fill a bathtub or water container with water and detergent and get a clean plunger. 

You place your clothes in the water and use the plunger to submerge them repeatedly until the water turns soapy and you’re relatively sure you’ve broken down most of the stains. You’ll leave them to soak in the tub for around 20 minutes, then drain the water and rinse them.

This method requires a bit of guesswork since you don’t know how much effort or time you’ll actually need to wash your clothes initially correctly, but you’ll develop a bit more sense for it as you do it repeatedly.

This method still works, but items like the EasyGoProducts Washing Wand make the whole process a lot easier. This simple product has an ergonomic handle for a good grip and strategically placed holes near the head for better water flow and ease of use during the washing process.

This is by far the cheapest and simplest way to wash your clothes without a washing machine, and all you need to do is put in a bit of physical effort.

Manual Washing Machines

These types of washing machines are only a fraction of the size of their electrically powered cousins, making them small enough to fit on the countertop of your kitchen. The most popular types of manual washing machines that you can find are probably the hand-crank models, but there are a few other alternatives that you can choose from as well.

Products like the Wonderwash and the Laundry POD work on a hand-crank basis. All you need to do to operate them is to fill them up with water, put in the laundry detergent and your clothes, and then simply spin the handle and turn the device to wash the clothes.

Other manual washers like the Lavario Portable Clothes Washer consist of a tub and a basket. The tub is filled with soapy water, and the clothes are placed in the basket. The basket is then plunged repeatedly into the tub to break down the stains and wash the clothes.

Most portable washing machines are lifesavers for tiny house owners since they can allow them to do their laundry without taking up all too much space in the home. Of course, the smaller size of the devices means that you’ll be able to wash fewer articles of clothes at one time than a standard machine, but that’s a small price to pay for an off-grid laundry solution.

Conclusion

As we mentioned before, the items you choose to add to your own tiny house bathroom are entirely up to you. Our main purpose was to point out that there are plenty of off-grid and storage solutions for tiny homes that don’t require you to remodel your entire bathroom completely, and we hope we’ve achieved that.

Tessa Hobart
Tessa Hobart moved into her first tiny home (a trailer in her uncle's backyard) when she was 19. Without giving away her age, she now has many years of tiny home experience and is currently designing an A-Frame as a second off grid home. She lives with her husband and enjoys card games and mountain biking.

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