There is no shortage of bathroom vanity units out there, but many of these are not particularly attractive. Here we uncover our favourite bathroom vanity units with storage
Stylish basin vanity units with hidden and open storage
To get the most out of your bathroom basin, you need to put some sort of storage area underneath it. Before you start searching, think carefully what you want to use it for. Do you want it to conceal toilet rolls or personal toiletries and if so will it need to be able to take tall bottles? Do you want to be able to stack towels beneath it or do you want a mix of hidden and open storage?
The Milano Henley Traditional vanity unit, shown above from the Big Bathroom Shop and Best Heating, has a mix of hidden and display storage areas. Being able to see the wall behind the unit, even with those fluffy towels piled there, helps a bathroom that's on the small side feel more spacious. The drawer is useful too for hiding away those less attractive, but necessary items, such as toe-nail clippers and deodorant.
By having the basin sitting on top of the vanity counter top, instead of beneath it, you get more storage space under the vanity unit as well.
You also need to think about what space you need around the basin too. This unit comes with a choice of countertop basins, all give you some space around the sides for soap and toothbrushes.
Contemporary basin vanity unit on raised legs
The more floor space you can see in your bathroom, the larger it will feel. This Phillipe Starck-designed contemporary Cape Cod vanity unit from Duravit, shown above is raised up high on tall legs, but it still has a roomy hidden storage area beneath the table top and open shelving to each side for display pieces.
Wall-hung basin vanity units
A wall-hung basin vanity unit really optimises the feeling of spaciousness in a bathroom, because you can see the entire floor area beneath it. It makes it easier to clean the floor beneath it too.
This Milano Oxley Golden Oak wall-hung vanity unit is handleless. This will help your bathroom feel that little bit larger as well. Handles are only little, but every inch matters when you have a few of them jutting into a small space. This unit is also made from moisture-resistant engineered wood. Always opt for moisture-resistant materials in a bathroom, you don't want furniture warping in time.
Extra small basin vanity units
If your bathroom is really tiny, or if you're furnishing a little cloakroom, you will find that you can find extra small basin vanity units too. You can even get ones designed to fit snugly into a little corner. This NRG wall-hung vanity sink unit, shown above from Amazon, measures just 44cm wide, yet there is still room inside for a couple of toilet rolls and some toiletries. The handle can double up as a little towel rail too.
Basin vanity unit incorporating a child's step
Those of you who have young children will be constantly lifting them up to wash their hands or clean their teeth. Alternatively, you will be forever tripping over their mobile plastic step. If so, this Cooke & Lewis Kiddie Step Basin Vanity unit could come in very useful. It comes with an integrated pull-out step and a roomy storage cupboard too.
Want to make your radiator work that bit harder? Check out this radiator that comes with built-in storage
In a small bathroom, you need to make the most of every inch of space. So a radiator that doubles up as towel storage and a clothes airer is a winner.
The Niva Bath steel radiator from Vasco is positioned about a ruler's width, 325mm, out from the wall, to enable space for fitted shelves that are ideal for storing towels and toilet rolls, plus a hanging rail where you can air or warm your clothes before dressing.
If white isn't your thing, the Niva Bath radiator comes in 54 other colours and you can choose whether to have the shelves in black or white.
Economical to run radiator
The Niva Bath radiator is economical to run too. It only uses four litres of water and still manages to quickly and effectively heat your bathroom.
Incorporate these tips into your bathroom design and you will really maximise space in a tiny bathroom
Raise your bath
The more floor space you can see in a room the larger it will feel. Opt for a bath that is raised up on feet, like the roll-top bath shown above. By giving a glimpse of the floor beneath your bath, you will make your bathroom feel that little bit more spacious. You can get raised baths in both modern and traditional styles and even ones that you can paint to your own specification, just like the gorgeous azure one above.
Opt for a wall-hung basin
By keeping your basin clear of the floor, again you will be able to see all the floor space underneath it and again help make a small bathroom feel bigger.
Your wall will need to be strong enough to support the basin and you will need to conceal the pipework within the wall, which may necessitate building your wall out slightly, but overall you will still find the whole space feels more airy.
Opt for a unit with storage underneath too, like the unit above, and then you can keep most of your clutter hidden away. Less visible mess will enhance the feeling of space too.
Lift the toilet off the floor too
You can get wall-hung toilets as well and again by showing more floor area you make a small bathroom feel bigger than it is. Plus, all this raised sanitaryware makes the floor easier to keep clean too.
You will need to conceal the plumbing in the wall again, but what you lose in inches by moving the walls slightly in, you gain in visible floor area and spatial optical illusions.
Combine mirrors with storage
In a small bathroom you don't have much room for storage, so you need to incorporate it where you can. Look for a bathroom vanity unit that doubles up as a mirror. Not only will it hold storage, it will also reflect your space back at you, helping to maximise space in a tiny bathroom and bounce light around, so that it will feel brighter too.
In the basin vanity unit and mirror combo above from B&Q, there is also a light and a shaver socket.
Bring in reflective surfaces
Bring in reflective surfaces. Just like mirrors, all reflective surfaces, be that the surface of your bath, like the copper tub shown above, or your taps or glossy tiles will reflect your room back at you, making it feel deeper and more spacious. They will also make your bathroom feel brighter too.
Combine baths with showers
If you've no room for a separate bath and shower, you may not need to sacrifice either. Opt for a combi shower bath that allows you to have a quick shower before work and a more relaxing bath at the weekend. You can also get smaller than standard baths, if you don't have room for a full-size tub.
Read on to discover more fantastic shower baths for small bathrooms
Go for single-mixer taps
Selecting, a single-mixer tap to fill your bath or basin, not only gives you more room on your basin top and around your bath, it also means less visual clutter in your bathroom, which again serves to make a small bathroom feel bigger and the whole space feels clearer and cleaner.
Choose large and light floor and wall tiles
While tiny patterned and colourful tiles are cute, large scale light-coloured floor and wall tiles are what really maximise space in a tiny bathroom. They are also cheaper to install, as there is less fiddly grouting to do.
Get your radiators multi-tasking
Choose a radiator that doubles up as a heated towel rail, so that it dries and stores your towels too. Select one with a built-in shelf, such as the Aquaworld heated towel rail and shelf, as shown above, and you can store fresh towels on it too.
Tiny bathrooms are particularly susceptible to mould triggered by condensation, but there are a number of ways that you can keep this unsightly and unhealthy blight at bay
As small bathrooms often only have small windows, or even no windows, condensation quickly builds up after a hot steamy shower or bath, creating the ideal climate for mould to grow. And, if the energy crisis means that you are putting your heating on less making it harder for the room to dry out, mould will find it even easier to grow.
Clean off mould naturally
Your first task, is to remove any mould that is growing around your bathroom. Those little black spores are prone to making themselves at home on tile grouting, bathroom walls and along sealant.
There are several toxic cleaning agents available that promise to clean away mould and keep it from returning, but for the sake of your household's health, it's better to use natural products for cleaning it away. Although they may require a little more elbow grease and effort to make up, they should work equally as well.
White vinegar is great for all sorts of cleaning tasks and it's particularly adept at tackling bathroom mould. Fill a clean spray bottle with white vinegar, spray on to the mould, leave it for about an hour to do its thing then wearing gloves, use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to wipe away the mould. A toothbrush can work well on grout. If you don't like the smell of vinegar, don't worry the aroma should disappear as soon as it dries, so you won't get left with a house smelling like a fish and chip shop.
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda as it's called in America, is another great mould buster. Add one teaspoon of bicarb to half a litre of water in a clean spray bottle, seal it and shake until mixed, then spray on to the mould. Leave for an hour then, using gloves, wipe away with a damp cloth, sponge or toothbrush.
To supercharge your bicarb mould attack, put one teaspoon of bicarb in a spray bottle with 250ml of white vinegar and 250ml of water, shake it up and apply as before.
To leave your bathroom smelling really pleasant after going into battle against the mould, opt for teatree oil. This natural fungicide will wipe out those black spores in no time. Reach for a clean spray bottle once more, fill it with one teaspoon of teatree oil and 250ml of water and shake it up, spray onto the mould, leave for an hour and remove as before.
How to stop bathroom mould returning
Once you've rid a bathroom of mould, you want to stop it from returning. There are a number of steps you can take to stop mould from reoccurring. If you have a window in your bathroom, open it whilst your bathing and leave it open for while afterwards too. And make sure that it is fitted with a trickle air vent. If you're not shy, bathing with the bathroom door open will help as well.
After you have showered or bathed, use a bathroom squeegee to rid the walls and shower screens of as much water as possible.
If the mould problem is really serious, however, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier.
Finally, fill your bathroom with houseplants. They will help to absorb some of that excess water. Plants4Presents has a range of affordable houseplants in lovely containers.
Plants that thrive in moist conditions include snake plants, peace lilies and palms. Put them on the floor, the window sill, a shelf or hang them from the ceiling.
Discover why wall-hung sanitaryware makes a bathroom appear more spacious
Wall-hung units optimise bathroom floor space
The more floor space you can see in your bathroom, the larger the room will appear. So, a wall-hung basin is what you want to opt for. You don't have to miss out on storage either, there is a wide variety of wall-hung basins available that come with wall-hung vanity unit options too. In the photo above, the basin comes with a useful storage drawer beneath it.
Wall-hung toilets make cleaning easier
A wall-hung toilet that lets you see the floor beneath it, will also add to that illusion of space. And, all this wall-hung sanitaryware makes cleaning the floor easier too.
You will need to lose a little wall space to hide the wall fixings with any wall-hung sanitaryware, however, so you need to decide what you prefer, more floor space or more wall space.
Keep the floor clear where possible
To make your entire bathroom or cloakroom feel larger, you want to ensure that you can see as much of the floor as possible. So, go for wall-hung heated towel rails, standard towel rails, toothbrush holders and toilet-roll holders too. And, while bath tubs can't be wall-hung without going to huge expense, you can raise them up on feet to give a sneak peak of the floor beneath.
You don't need to sacrifice your dream of a stunning bathing space, just because you have a small bathroom. Check out these stylish small baths for small bathrooms
If you've always loved the glamour associated with a stand-alone slipper bath or traditional roll-top bath, but never thought you'd fit one in your tiny bathroom, think again. There are dozens of stylish smaller than standard baths out there, designed for smaller than average bathrooms. The Albion Bath Company's range of Tubby and Torre baths, for example, might be shorter than most baths, they start from 1,200mm, but they're extra deep, so you still get to soak yourself in a decent volume of steamy water, even if you're on the tall side.
Bath tap position
If possible, place your taps in the centre of your bath. Not only will this make your bathroom look a little more spacious and balanced, it also works better with a shower head and curtain combo too, as shown above.
And, if you have your taps positioned in the middle of the bath tub, it, also means that you can lie with your head either side of it, for a change of view from time to time or double bathing; the bathwater temperature should spread more evenly throughout the tub as well.
These wee Albion Bath Company bath tubs come in a range of finishes, from bang-on-trend metallic burnished finishes in gold, iron and bronze, to a host of Dulux Trade and Farrow & Ball colours.
Away from the bathroom, a cute and colourful compact tub could also look lovely placed at the foot of a bed .
Fed up with throwing your toothbrushes into landfill? This fully recyclable electric toothbrush helps make your home more sustainable and it frees up space on your basin top too.
Suri electric toothbrush review
Anyone who has tried one will know that electric toothbrushes do tend to clean your teeth better than manual alternatives. Wipe your tongue around your teeth after an electric clean and your teeth will likely feel smoother and shinier than when brushed with a manual brush.
Electric toothbrushes, however, are typically made out of plastic, and while, in theory, the manufacturers may say that the product is largely recyclable, it practice it won't be, as most recycling facilities fail to pull apart a product and remove the different component plastics and metals for recycling. That's where the Suri electric toothbrush is different. It is fully recyclable.
Recyclable toothbrush heads
Once the electric toothbrush head has reached the end of its life, the plant-based heads can be returned in the freepost compostable bag that comes with the product and returned for recycling. And, if there should be a problem with the product, Suri will try and fix it or recycle it. So it's a pretty sustainable solution. They just need to make the brushheads in a selection of colours, however, to make it easier to share with the household. If you live in a small home you don't have the space or perhaps the money to buy a whole electric toothbrush system for everyone living there, plus it's much more sustainable to share.
I'm taking the manufacturer's word for this, but the Suri electric toothbrush also claims to be one third the size of a standard electric toothbrush, so it takes up less space in your bathroom. Plus, it fixes with a little magnetic sticker to a mirror or wall tiles, so it frees up space around your basin too.
It comes with two settings and cleans the teeth and tongue beautifully. It charges with a USB charger and when you place the electric toothbrush in the travel case, which doubles up as a charger, a UV light cleans the brush head, so it's extra hygienic.
*This product was gifted to us, but this doesn't impact on our review process.
Here we uncover the best shower baths for small bathrooms, do your homework and you can find the perfect bath shower combo for your compact bathroom
You might have a small bathroom, but that doesn't mean that you have to choose between a bath or a shower. There is a time and a place for a shower - first thing in the morning when you're rushing to get ready for work and school. There is a time and a place for a bath – a lazy weekend morning, when you can pamper yourself and have an indulgent soak in the tub.
Your lack of floor area needn't mean that you have to sacrifice either of these fantastic experiences. A bath incorporating a shower is your answer to both these needs. Here we highlight the best shower baths for small bathrooms.
There are two types of shower bath, both of which look great in the right setting. There is the type where the screen is almost invisible and there is the type where the screen becomes a feature of the bathroom.
Above, the striking Crittall-frame style shower screen from Victorian Plumbing, makes a window feature out of the shower screen and subtly mirrors the tiles behind.
An invisible shower screen
Here, the shower screen is almost invisible, so as not to detract from the period features of the bath and the marble patterned tiles behind. An almost imperceptible shower screen is ideal when you want your bathroom to have a spa-like feel and for the shower element to fade into the background.
If you really want your shower screen to be inconspicuous, look for one like the one above from Waters Baths of Ashbourne. It folds back on itself and can be neatly tucked away.
Stylish shower curtains
There are hundreds of stylish shower curtains on the market. You can get stylish shower curtains that fade into the background and those that are a work of art in themselves. There are comedy ones, colourful ones, glittery ones and even personalised ones. They look particularly lovely when combined with a roll top or rounded tub.
The Artscope shower curtain, shown above from Amazon, is mildew resistant and as mould can be a problem on shower curtains, particularly in a poorly ventilated bathroom, this is a useful feature.
Remember to always make sure that the curtain is placed inside the tub when the shower is in use. Forget to do this and you end up with a puddle on your bathroom floor or, worse still, a minor flood in the room below.
Shaped shower baths
If you like a roomy showering area and your floor space allows, look at a P-shaped or L-shaped shower bath that bulges out at the shower end. This Abacus P-shaped shower bath with glass shower screen bulges to the right, but you can also get left-handed versions and more angled baths in an L-shape.
Whichever shower bath combo you opt for, if your budget affords it, go for the full shower experience, with a separate power shower head that doesn't just run off your bath taps.
Thousands of plastic soap and shower gel dispensers and shampoo bottles are thrown in the bin every day, and many of these are not even recyclable.
While giving up flying is too big of a sacrifice for most of us going about our day-to-day lives, there are some easy and cheap changes we can make that will help to reduce our carbon footprints a little bit. And if everyone does a little bit, we will start to see results.
So, next time you run out of shower products, make your home a little greener by switching to shampoo bars and bars of soap. They take up less room in your bathroom caddy too, which is another space-saving bonus! These are the best shampoo bars I've tested to date:
I have tried quite a few shampoo bars. Some have left a soapy residue in my hair or irritated my scalp. The best shampoo bars I've found are the Faith in Nature shampoo bars. They lather up really well, leave no residue, is kind to the scalp and have a lovely soft scent – as well as Lavender and Geranium, there is also a Coconut and Shea Butter offering – plus it's 100% natural origin and is free from SLS and parabens.
They last a good few weeks too and, at just under £6, are pretty good value and to top it all off, there is no bottle to throw away at the end. They are the best shampoo bars I've tried so far.
As well as shampoo bars, go back to buying good old-fashioned bars of soap as well, pop them by the sinks in the kitchen, bathroom and cloakroom and use them instead of shower gel in the shower and bubble bath in the bath tub. I haven't tested any, but you can also get hair conditioner bars too, so you can make your bathroom shelf completely plastic free. More environmental brownie points for you.
If you've no space for a basin within a vanity unit or a standalone basin with plenty of room up top for toothbrush holder, soap and beaker, wall-hung accessories are what you need. Keep your toothpaste and brushes in a beaker fixed to the wall.
Install a small shelf for any additional toiletries that you use regularly. One that doubles up as a towel rail is particularly useful.