5 Ways With an 8-by-5-Foot Bathroom

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The most common bathroom size measures 8 by 5 feet — enough room for a single sink, a toilet and a shower or shower-bathtub combination. You may think there isn’t much you can do with an area of this size. But you’d be wrong. Here, five projects within these dimensions showcase clever ways to create virtual and literal space, and how to make big style statements on budgets small and large.

Related: How to Remodel Your Bathroom

1. From Retro to Whoa

Location: Los Angeles
Cost: About $15,000
Designer: Carlos Forteza of CCForteza

BEFORE: Everything in Carlos Forteza’s house was in good shape but “frozen in the 1970s,” he says. In this hall bathroom, vinyl covered almost everything, while an unnecessary “wing” wall made the space feel too compartmentalized.

CCForteza

AFTER: Removing the wall opened up the space, while Carrara marble tile on the walls and floor brought the room into the current decade.

Forteza replaced the plumbing, electrical and insulation, things he always recommends for homes built in the 1940s and ’50s. “These homes have seen their time,” he says. “Ninety-five percent of the time when you gut out, you will see dry rot, termite-infested wood — you want to fix that. Putting new tile down won’t fix what’s wrong inside the walls.”

But while newer homes won’t have these kinds of problems, Forteza says you should be wary of past remodel projects too. “You never know what quality a previous homeowner instituted,” he says. In other words, always build a 10 to 20 percent contingency into your budget, no matter what the size of your bathroom.

Wall tile: Carrara marble, 4 by 12 inches; floor tile: Carrara marble, 12 by 12 inches (browse tile); sink: Stinson undermount in white (442007-U-0), Sterling, Kohler; faucet: Grandera widespread low spout lavatory (20418000), Grohe; bathtub: Villager in white, 32 by 60 inches, Kohler; tub spout: Grandera, 9¼ inches, Grohe; thermostat trim with diverter: Metris C in chrome (15753001), Hansgrohe; showerhead: Movario 5 (28444000), Grohe

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