Cladding A Small Bathroom

The majority of bathrooms in the UK are not large. In fact most of them are very small. With this in mind you need to choose your decoration wisely when cladding a small bathroom.

Your choice of wall covering is therefore very important as it has the biggest influence on the overall look of the room as it covers the largest area.

The two most popular choices when it comes to wall coverings are tiles or bathroom cladding.

We would always advocate using bathroom cladding rather than tiles because of its many advantages. There is no grout, no mould, so there is no maintenance. And there are many designs that are perfect for this application.

But which designs are most suited to small rooms? This guide will help you decide.

small bathroom wall panelsc

Keep It Light

This is a basic rule of design. Darker colours will make a small room feel smaller. Large rooms have less of a problem with dark colours but still benefit from keeping things light.

Back in the 70s many bathrooms not only had dark or highly coloured tiles they also had dark and highly coloured bathroom suites. Neither of these developments leant themselves to inclusion in bathrooms of restricted size. There was also another problem with choosing dark colours – they showed up dirt and soap residue really badly.

So lighter colours are the way to go.

Luckily, the cladding manufacturers appreciate this issue so a large proportion of their range is given over to colours at this end of the spectrum.

Here some examples of bathroom cladding that are perfect for use in smaller settings.

A shower bath fitted with Vicenza bathroom cladding

sparkle effect wall panels

spaceline silver grey

All White?

There are those that opt for an all white scheme in a small bathroom. This works well in creating a sense of space and openness in the room but it can leave the room feeling a little clinical and soul-less.

If you do choose an all white scheme then you need to introduce a touch of colour into the room. This is achieved by including highly coloured blinds, rugs or towels.

If you want to keep it to a minimum, then smaller items can add a dash of colour. A vase of flowers, ornaments or decorative glass jars with coloured soaps and shampoos all work.

Here is an example of an all white design using cladding for the walls and ceiling of the room.


Labo Ultra White Bathroom Ceiling


Add A Feature Wall

One way to introduce strong or darker colours into your design is to include a feature wall.

With this design method you keep three of the walls very light (or white) and then select a darker colour for the fourth.

This way you get the visual impact of your chosen feature colour while keeping the majority of the walls light and reflective.

A variation on this is to just select one particular area of a bathroom for this treatment. Commonly the area above a bath is selected or the inside of a shower cubicle. This has the added advantage of defining “zones” within the room, splitting the functional areas from the rest of the room.

Ideally, your feature wall colour choice should not bee too dark as it detracts from any light enhancing moves you have made in the rest of the room.

corner shower door

Cladding Size

This is more of an installation issue than a design issue but it is still relevant.

The amount of room you have to manoeuvre in a small room is relatively restricted. The larger the panels that you work with the harder this task becomes.

Our bathroom cladding is available in two different widths. The majority of the panels are 250mm wide which are small and easy to handle in confined spaces, Our larger shower panels are 1000mm wide so are much more cumbersome. That’s not to say they should be disregarded it’s just that they are by they very nature somewhat harder to work with in small spaces.

We have an article on panel sizes here that has more information on this.

Don’t Forget The Ceiling

A white, reflective ceiling will also help enhance the sense of space in a room.

A large proportion of bathrooms use a painted plaster finish in this area but it is not the ideal covering – especially above a shower.

Luckily our cladding is perfect for bathroom ceilings as well. There are matt finish panels that emulate the look of painted plaster. There are gloss finish panels that are even more reflective and provide a smooth wipe over surface.

If you want to make a feature of your ceiling we have panels that have chrome strips built into them or maybe a wood-grain effect would suit your room. There is plenty of choice.



More Tips For Small Bathrooms

These are just a few ideas for the walls of a small bathroom. We have a whole article dedicated to the design features you must incorporate in your room to maximise effect. See our article Design Tips For Small Bathrooms.