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How To Get The Most From An Ensuite Bathroom

To most of us, an ensuite bathroom is more of a luxury than a reality. However, they are becoming more and more popular in homes around the country as people fall for the convenience that they allow. As they are often rooms that are added in after the house has been built, ensuites can be small and without natural light.

Also known as master bathrooms, in some cases, en suites are known to increase value to your property by as much as 5%. As with any structural work to your home, before you begin work on creating your ensuite, you should consider what the best way to use the space is.

Think about what you would use on a daily basis, for example, is it necessary to have a bath if there’s already one going unused in the family bathroom? A shower might be more convenient for everyday use and will save on precious space.

Read on to get an insight into our top ensuite ideas and master bathroom design ideas that will help you to decide how to plan your dream bathroom.

Making the most of small space

If you’re planning the bathroom completely from scratch, work out exactly how much space you need to make it work. Making an ensuite bathroom in most homes will often mean cutting down on space inside the bedroom, but if you’re lucky, you might be converting an airing cupboard or another pre-existing space.

You don’t usually have to ask for planning permission for an ensuite, but it may be necessary to apply for building regulations approval. This would mean that work you do would have to be compliant with building regulations – check with your local council about this before you begin the work. When the work has been done and approved, you’ll be issued with a certificate which you can show potential buyers if you come to sell your home.

As hot and cold pipes will have to be run into the new room, as well as pipework for new radiators and wastewater, adding an ensuite is potentially very disruptive which is another reason why you should plan ahead. The minimum recommended space required for an ensuite with a shower, basin, and toilet is 0.8m x 1.8m – any less than this and the space would be unmanageable.

Although windows are preferred (for ventilation and natural light), ensuites don’t need windows. Extractor fans are a more than viable option for making sure that mould doesn’t become a problem.

Ensuite bathroom design ideas

After the walls and floor are installed in the ensuite, the fun part begins. Decorating your new ensuite bathroom is a great opportunity to show off your design skills. Here are some of the best ensuite design elements you can make use of to maximise space whilst also creating a nice room.


One of the most important things to consider in a cramped ensuite is light and how it will reflect around the room in order to keep it feeling bright and airy. Consider a backlit mirror or spotlights controlled by a dimmer switch. There are both unconventional options but offer benefits over a regular ceiling light by eliminating the need for a shade protruding from the ceiling.


Make use of space-saving bathroom ideas when it comes to choosing your bathroom furniture to ensure that you maximise space in the right way. This can include using a wall hung toilet instead of a floor mounted one, getting tall tiered storage options, and avoiding a bath in favour of a compact shower cubicle. Another often overlooked idea to save space in an ensuite is to hang the door so it opens into the bedroom or install a sliding door instead.


When it comes to wall, floor, and furniture colours, you want to make sure that you’re making the most of the space and helping to open it up visually with light colours rather than dark. Although you might love the idea of a black or dark blue bathroom, in a small ensuite, it will only make the room look smaller.


To save the bother of individually tiling each wall behind the shower, choose to install shower wall panels – they’re 100% waterproof and won’t require regular scrubbing to keep mould away from the grout. For a modern master bathroom, these grey concrete wall panels are perfect, with an industrial feel. Add these wall panels in the shower area and paint the rest of the room in a soft neutral colour for a natural look.


Finally, make sure that you choose your accessories wisely to make the most of your ensuite. Thoughtful elements like a heated towel rail instead of a bulky radiator, matching storage pots for toothbrushes and shower toiletries, and non-intrusive toilet brushes and toilet roll holders can all add to a cohesive bathroom feeling, and will help to save more space.

Ensuite bathroom ideas
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