Fernando Pages Ruiz | June 10, 2017

Photos // Kitchens & Baths

I've Seen Tiny Bathrooms, But This is Ridiculous!


Design inspiration in a nutshell


In Ecuador people tend to be slight and short. Some even tiny. None as large as Anglo North Americans, many of whom could not even fit into some local bathrooms.

This bathroom may provide some design inspiration for casita bonita, but it is so tight, it’s impossible to show you with a picture from my smartphone, even standing the toilet. Ridiculous!

I may have to get a wide angle lens to show you just how small some bathrooms can be.


— Fernando Pagés Ruiz is ProTradeCraft's Latin America Editor. He is currently building a business in Ecuador and a house in Mexico. Formerly, he was a builder in the Great Plains and mountain states. He is author of Building an Affordable House and Affordable Remodel (Taunton Press).



How much room do you need to drop a deuce and wash up?

Not Much

My dad actually built a bathroom that was only big enough to fit under a stairway. The toilet was installed on the end that the stairs went up over so a person who had to use it was forced to slowly sit down so as to not hit their head. The sink was at the other end so when washing hands you didn't have to squat too much. The door had to have a triangle cut out of the top so it would fit the profile of the steps. Oh and it was under 36" wide. So no heavy hitters allowed. That was in the wonderful city of Whitman MA. My aunt was very happy. My uncle didn't fit...

Nice story, Eric. Thank you for sharing it. Your would feel totally at home in Ecuador. 

My problem with the tiny baths is leg room. I hate to sit diagonal to the bowl, or having to spread my legs wide because there's no room for my knees between the bowl and the wall. Then there's the toilet paper. Often installed OUTSIDE the bathroom, with the expectation you grab enough of it on the way in, before you sit down. If you're not used to this arrangement, it can catch off guard, and in an akward position to step outside the bathroom to pull off a few sheets. :-) 

Ultra-compact bathrooms are also common in Tokyo. They have cool high-tech toilets, too.

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