Small wet room: 7 compact bathroom ideas and designs 2023

We say it over and over again, but bijou spaces don’t have to be boring. Even with limited floor area, you can achieve designs that are practical as well as beautiful – and just as timeless (or as on-trend) as you want them to be.

This list of small wet room ideas is not only for those of use who are planning a full-blown renovation for 2023, though. No matter if you’re actively looking for inspiration, want to change only a few elements, or are simply window shopping, it’s always good to stay ahead.

All of these design ideas have one thing in common: they are ideal for compact spaces. Whether it’s a practical addition, such as a short-projection basin, or a stylish solution to show that your layout can have design impact, there’s something for everyone in here.

So, are you ready to take a look?

Small wet room ideas to get your design started

Bringing colour into the space is one of the key small wet room ideas – such as in this pink and green layout, which boasts personality and practicality
@upstylehourhome created a stunning pink and green space featuring the Brooklyn outdoor and bathroom globe pendant, £80, from Industville.

1 Bring colour into your space

You might feel as if brilliantly white walls are your only option – it’s a common myth that opting for colour can make a room feel smaller.

However, this isn’t always true. And it doesn’t mean you have to opt for pastel shades, either.

One of my favourite small wet room ideas is to drench the space in strong shades, such as a deep, inky blue or a rich forest green. Not only is it super stylish, it also creates an on-trend cocooning feel. This will make the room appear warm and welcoming – the ideal space to relax in after a long day.

A walk-in shower enclosure with contrasting black and gold wall tiles, a key idea to zone your small wet room
Recess walk-in shower enclosure, from £2358 including the tray, The Albion Bath Company.

2 Make your shower stand out

Whether you have it sectioned off with a glass screen or if the whole room turns into the shower when necessary, it’s time to draw attention to it.

Select contrasting tiles, whether they’re bright and cheerful or dark and moody, to create a dedicated zone. This will also help give your room more definition, which automatically makes it feel more elegant.

If you’re not quite brave enough, why not choose white tiles with a subtle pattern? It’ll achieve a similar effect, but still be more pared-back – a different way to create an elegant feel and still zone your space.

A blue shower underneath a sloped roof, which has been glazed to let in the maximum amount of light
Loom glass-effect porcelain tiles in Laguna, £79.20 per sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse.

3 Utilise every inch of space with small wet room ideas

We often speak about when talking about shower niches or recessed shelves next to your basin, which are one of the most popular small wet room ideas and help boost storage without taking up floor area.

But there’s more to it – because looking at ‘wasted’ space is just as important. A shower can work well placed underneath a ceiling slope, depending on your height. It can also make use of awkward corners, include those that aren’t quite square.

Who ever said an enclosure had to be rectangular?

Glass bricks are one way of letting light into your space and create a feature while still maintaining privacy
Fez ceramic wall tiles in Gesso Lux, £72 per sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse.

4 Let light and air into your space

We know, we know, a window takes up precious wall area and can potentially limit your layout choices. But hear us out – because it can also be a major benefit. Not only does this help bring in plenty of natural light, it can also help with ventilation.

As far as small wet room ideas are concerned it’s not the most attractive topic, I know, but it’s crucial. Not only is ventilation a legal requirement – whether it’s through a fan or an open window – it will also keep your scheme in ship shape for longer. You don’t want mould growing because the space is perpetually damp, right?

Plus, windows can be a striking design feature, whether you opt for a roof design, a classic sash style, or something else. And yes – there are ways to keep your privacy intact, too.

Clever furniture choices – such as rounded edges, like on this vanity – can make a big difference in small wet rooms
Glace Bottle green Kit Kat tiles, £108 per sq m, Porcelain Superstore.

5 Small wet room ideas: furniture to make a difference

As I said in the beginning, compact doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can still have plenty of style appeal while also being incredible practical, with heaps of storage.

Start by assessing what you need to find a home for – and then look at the options. Don’t be tempted to pick the first best vanity, either; look at what you really want.

There are plenty of on-trend solutions out there, from furniture with curved edges to doors with fluted fronts. Just make sure they don’t project into the room too much, so they don’t take up too much precious space.

A key tip is to opt for wall-mounted furniture, too. Keeping the floor underneath visible not only makes cleaning easier, it also creates the feeling of more space.

It's possible to fit a bath into your small wet room – for example behind the shower, such as in this white scheme.
Aegean bath, from £5247, The Albion Bath Company.

6 Add a bath (yes, really)

This is, hands down, my favourite among all the small wet room ideas. You might think there’s no way you can fit a tub into your space – but what if you could?

Just entertain the thought for a moment.

A full-size design could fit in a niche beyond your shower, for example, safely tucked out of the way. Or you could, of course, use it as a shower-bath combination.

Alternatively, why not opt for a soaking tub? Whether you opt for a traditional Japanese-inspired design or a more modern style, these baths are a good solution if you can’t give up your tub but are also limited on space.

Small wet room ideas don't have to be boring at all – this very compact space features a gold wall, gold brassware, and even gold accents in the flooring
Project by Shacklewell Architects, using a shower panel from Metal Sheets. Price on application.

7 Take a note from your cloakroom and go all out

We frequently tell you that your cloakroom is *the* space in which to experiment with design ideas. It’s compact ajd you’re not in there all the time – ideal to let out your wild side. You’ll probably spend more time in your wetroom, but the point still stands: don’t be afraid to be bold.

I’ve mentioned choosing colour before, but what’s stopping you from going even further? Opt for a metallic wall, mix colour and pattern, add striking brassware, paint the ceiling in a fun way… the only limit is your creativity.

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