wee-sized bathrooms with wood

We don’t quite understand the popularity of wood in smaller and wee-sized bathrooms. Is it about style or getting back to old ways? Nordic saunas might be an inspiration. Or Japanese soaking tubs. Or even life on boats.

It’s a natural thing.

From the coast of Maine, this all-wood bathroom is an inviting indoor retreat. We like the storage as well different wood shades selected here. (Christopher Campbell, architect)

From the coast of Maine, this all-wood bathroom is an inviting indoor retreat. We like the storage as well as different wood shades selected here. (Christopher Campbell, architect)

Who needs a metal horse trough when an extended, all-wood version can be used for a relaxing soak tub? It transforms this bathroom into a spa. (Building Scheme)

Who needs a metal horse trough when an extended, all-wood version can be used for a relaxing soak tub? It transforms this bathroom into a spa. (Building Scheme)

In a French country home, one tiny bathroom gets hidden and revealed. The space is defined by a plywood sliding door and particle board walls. (Jean-Baptiste Barache, architect)

In a French country home, one tiny bathroom gets hidden and revealed. The space is defined by a plywood sliding door and particle board walls. (Jean-Baptiste Barache, architect)

A used wine barrel takes up very little space as a rustic tub and shower floor. It works well for Minnesota parents who bathe their small children and also enjoy soaks. (Tiny House Nation)

A used wine barrel takes up very little space as a rustic tub and shower floor. It works well for Minnesota parents who bathe their small children and also enjoy soaks. (Tiny House Nation)

From Colorado, we found an elegant Thai-inspired bathroom that's just 20 square feet. Teak flooring is a practical and warm choice for this wet bath. (Joe Statwick, owner)

From Colorado, we found an elegant Thai-inspired bathroom that’s just 20 square feet. Teak flooring is a practical and warm choice for this wet bath. (Joe Statwick, owner)

how much hot water

You might be interested in some hot water for your bathroom and kitchen needs, right? It’s time to learn about water heaters and more.

One water heater fits a tiny house. (Suburban Manufacturing)

One water heater fits a tiny house. (Suburban Manufacturing)

Water heater needs

For houses on wheels, we suggest a 10 gallon minimum, tankless and on-demand water heater because it fits the limited space and supplies two showers before re-heating again. In slightly larger houses, consider installing a 12 or 16 gallon model for a little more hot water capacity.

One standard bearer, Suburban, works with propane or electricity and offers a safer, direct spark vs. pilot option. Once the hot water is depleted, it recovers at 10.2 gallons per hour which the maker claims as “fastest in the industry.”

The Suburban unit and cover seem to be sold everywhere. We would be remiss in not mentioning other popular makers, including Atwood and Girard, for comparison shopping.

Water in, water out

In — A small, legal home on a foundation usually connects into the property’s on-grid municipal water service or independent well. A house on wheels taps into these sources via a pressurized garden hose or may fill its fresh water holding tank anywhere. (Off-grid water deserves a separate post.)

Out — When plugged into a property’s sewage or septic system, the used grey water follows the same lines as toilet/black water. Otherwise grey water may get released immediately to nearby, agreed-upon grounds. Mobile tinies may also install a grey water tank, later emptied at an RV disposal or other site.

Our take? With planning, hot and cold water are a reality for your little home.

sliding doors fit inside tiny houses

In tiny houses, you will typically find at least one interior door. It might be for a pantry, closet or back room. Most likely, that door gets installed to create privacy for bathroom users.

Why not get door-creative? Take a look at these bathroom sliding doors, built into three homes under 227 sq. ft. They are sweet alternatives to standard swing-out doors.

One Georgia cottage, built on brick piers, features a pocket door which slides into the wall to reveal a flush toilet, sink and shower. (Youtube, Ben Hartel)

One Georgia cottage, built on brick piers, features a pocket door which slides into the wall to reveal a flush toilet, sink and shower. (Youtube, Ben Hartel)

In Louisiana, a tiny house shows off its sliding Japanese-style door that's very thin. The bathroom includes a Nature's Head composting toilet, fan and shower. (Tumbleweed Houses)

In Louisiana, a tiny house shows off its sliding Japanese-style door that’s very thin. The bathroom includes a Nature’s Head composting toilet, fan and shower. (Tumbleweed Houses)

In modern Massachusetts place, there's a heavy sliding door on tracks. It covers a wet bath containing a simple composting toilet, sink and shower. (Youtube, Relax Shacks)

In a modern Massachusetts place, there’s a heavy sliding door on tracks. It covers a wet bath containing a simple composting toilet, sink and shower. (Youtube, Relax Shacks)

pay attention to the poop

Are you looking into poop? Imagine a little house, complete with a flush toilet or two. It needs to be on property which legally accesses municipal sewage or a private septic system.

Poop flow:  Remember to examine poop flow! Where you place the house and toilets actually impacts flushing. If you are located downhill from the sewage lines, then pumps are required to get there.

Poop flow defies gravity

See toilets inside a home, using gravity to flush. Then notice the grinder pump, installed outside and underground. It is the key to flushing success, creating pressure that drives waste uphill and to a municipal sewage connection. (AA Public Works)

See toilets inside a home, using gravity to flush. Then notice the grinder pump, installed outside and underground. It is the key to flushing success, creating pressure that drives waste uphill and to a municipal sewage connection. (AA Public Works)

Poop pumped:  Fortunately, anti-gravity plumbing challenges have been met and solved. Make sure to install macerators or a grinder pump, for little house peace of mind. Check out these (clean) options below.

Poop gets broken up & pumped

Here's a macerator which connects to one below-grade toilet, while hidden behind a bathroom wall. (Saniflo)

Here’s a macerator which connects to one below-grade toilet, while hidden behind a bathroom wall. (Saniflo)

Here's a below-grade toilet with the macerator unit behind it. While not pretty, it gets the job done. (Thetford)

Here’s a below-grade toilet with the macerator unit behind it. While not pretty, it gets the job done. (Thetford)

Here's a cross-section of a grinder pump for home sewage. This unit typically gets buried in the ground. (Liberty Pumps)

Here’s a cross-section of a grinder pump for home sewage. This unit typically gets buried in the ground. (Liberty Pumps)

wow, small wall-hung toilets

For bathroom joy, we hunted around for more than simple low-flush toilets. Small wall-hung toilets captured our fancy and you might consider their minimalist appearance.

Here are cool pots from Laufen, a Swiss company with a memorable tagline: bathroom culture since 1892. They offer designer fixtures called the Palomba, Ilbagnoalessi, Living and Mimo, among others.

The Palomba fixtures recall small inlets or pebbles shaped by the eternal movement of the sea. (Laufen Palomba)

The Palomba fixtures “recall small inlets or pebbles shaped by the eternal movement of the sea.” (Laufen Palomba)

Ilbagnoalessi gets characterized by a timeless form, sparkling imagination and a hint of eccentricity. (Laufen Ilbagnoalessi)

Ilbagnoalessi gets “characterized by a timeless form, sparkling imagination and a hint of eccentricity.” (Laufen Ilbagnoalessi)

The Living design is styled on the graphical architectonic and slips into linear bathrooms lightly and sleekly. (Laufen Living)

The Living design “is styled on the graphical architectonic and slips into linear bathrooms lightly and sleekly.” (Laufen Living)

Mimo shows youthful exuberance, toying with curvaceous rotundities and shimmering surfaces. (Laufen Mimo)

Mimo shows “youthful exuberance, toying with curvaceous rotundities and shimmering surfaces.” (Laufen Mimo)

More info: Tiny House Joy simply admires these toilet fixtures from afar. Check out Laufen for bathroom designs and showroom details.

forged faucets for bathrooms

When bathrooms shed some square footage, they still require your special decorating touches. How about adding a little high art there?

Over time, it’s easy to forget that custom forging still exists. Some spectacular sink or bath faucets could be the focal point in a bathroom. Let’s look at these styles, from Sonoma Forge of Petaluma, CA.

Bathroom Faucet

Wingnut is “a little urban, a little country” and comes in rustic copper, rustic nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze. (sonomaforge.com)

Bathroom Faucet

An upscale artwork with “a taste for Gatsby” in rustic copper, satin nickel, antique bronze or special finishes. (sonomaforge.com)

Bathroom Faucet

Want a waterspout? This industrial faucet comes in rustic copper and nickel, satin nickel and oil-rubbed bronze. (sonomaforge.com)

Bathroom Faucet

See the blacksmith’s hammer marks, which took brute force, in distressed solid brass or stainless steel surfaces. (sonomaforge.com)