13 outdoor bathroom ideas for a stylish, tranquil space

Elevate your outside space with these outdoor bathroom ideas. From small yards to spacious schemes, there's a design to suit every style and space

Outdoor bathroom ideas hero
(Image credit: West One Bathrooms/Adele McNab Architecture/Bert & May)

If you want to bring function and style to your backyard, outdoor bathroom ideas are a wonderful choice. A practical way to clean up after a day in the pool and introduce a focal point in your space, it’s no surprise outdoor bathrooms are becoming increasingly sought after.

Although there are a few extra things to consider, such as durability for outdoor use and privacy, you can still introduce bathroom ideas and designs that fit your interior style.

From statement tiles to luxurious freestanding bathtubs, we’ve asked interior designers to share their favorite outdoor bathroom ideas that are as stylish as they are practical.

13 outdoor bathroom ideas

Like any water feature ideas, practical features such as piping water to your outdoor bathroom and draining it away again must be considered from the outset, but there are plenty of stylish features to decide on, too. From layout and materials to color and tiles, you can create an outdoor bathroom that showcases your design style.

1. Install a wall-to-wall outdoor bathtub

Outdoor bathroom with large shower

(Image credit: Studio Andrew Trotter)

A simpler and more affordable way to create a tranquil outdoor bath nook is by installing it next to the wall of your home. Connecting an outdoor bathroom to indoor utilities, such as the existing hot water supply, will help keep installation costs down.

This simply executed outdoor bathroom in Puglia, Italy, is plumbed directly through the exterior wall of the property, so the hot water has less far to travel. From a style perspective, this wall-to-wall tub feels calm and tranquil, an idyllic space for relaxing during the warmer months.

‘Using seamless traditional finishes, such as pink-tinted cocciopesto plaster on the bath and lime-washed sandstone walls, achieves an outdoor bathing space that connects quietly with the home and its surroundings,’ says interior designer Andrew Trotter.

2. Integrate your outdoor bathroom with the natural surroundings

Outdoor bathroom featuring natural materials

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms)

Wherever you choose to locate your outdoor bathroom, ensuring the materials you use feel in keeping with its natural surroundings will help create a cohesive scheme. With the right finishes and colors, your outdoor bathroom will feel right at home in your backyard space.

'Consider elements like natural stone, wood accents, and greenery to seamlessly blend the space with its environment. Opting for earthy tones and organic materials helps maintain a seamless connection to the outdoors,' says Harrison Greenslade, of West One Bathrooms.

3. Use nature as a privacy screen

Outdoor bathroom with large concrete tub

(Image credit: Kitchen Architecture)

Privacy is a key factor to consider when designing your outdoor bathroom. While some gardens have sheltered spots, not everyone benefits from private spaces, so introducing plants and greenery is a natural solution.

If you're not sure where to start, look to the best privacy hedges, best privacy shrubs, and careful selection of trees for privacy to create a natural privacy screen that doesn't feel out of place. And don't forget, it's not just about privacy within your yard, but privacy from neighboring spaces, too.

4. Find a space sheltered from the wind

Outdoor bathroom / shower room

(Image credit: Adele McNab Architecture)

An internal courtyard offers the perfect suntrap for an outdoor bathroom, protected from prevailing winds. Here, direct access to an indoor bathroom provides extra facilities and privacy when required.

‘The shower is outside the bathroom for enjoyment under the open sky, and the courtyard is designed to be kept open to the internal living spaces to allow free movement throughout,’ explains architect Adele McNab.

This layout not only creates ease of flow between your inside and outdoor bathroom, but the protection from the elements means you get much more use out of it throughout the year.

5. Sink a bathtub into a deck

Outdoor bathroom with tub on deck

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms)

If pool ideas are too vast for your space, how about a sunken bath, which channels a spa-style hot tub feel without the need for harsh chemicals? This not only helps your outdoor bathtub to feel more integrated, but it makes it much easier to hide the unsightly plumbing.

‘We love the luxury look of a sunken tub. Include a pull-out spray to make it easier to rinse the bath clean after use,’ suggests Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One Bathrooms.

This scheme proves a sunken bath works wonders in a small yard, adding a sense of luxury to a bijou space. It's perfect for a courtyard garden, too.

6. Opt for a covered outdoor bathroom for year-round use

Tiles outdoor bathroom

(Image credit: Bert & May)

Whether you prefer extra protection from the elements or simply wish for extra privacy, a covered outdoor bathroom can aid a striking scheme. You can really get experimental with the decor, while an open side allows you to still enjoy the views and natural surroundings.

This covered outdoor bathroom is a chic example. Patterned tiles add a rustic bath adds character to the space, and the open side of the cover boasts encourages inside/outside living.

'Both practical and luxurious, outdoor showers and baths create a dedicated space to enjoy nature while relaxing. Our Green Alalpardo tiles blend well with a natural landscape while our reclaimed Monsaraz Tiles lean into the rustic feeling of the outdoors” Lee Thornley, founder of Bert & May.

7. Make outdoor bathtime a couples retreat

Outdoor bathroom ideas

(Image credit: BC Designs)

Installing two outdoor baths may seem extravagant but it can prove a more hygienic way to enjoy the sociable benefits of a hot tub, and open the opportunity to spend quality time with your partner.

‘This boat bath duo is the perfect set-up for watching the sunset with company, without having to squeeze into the same tub or share water,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director, BC Designs.

In this space, tin bathtubs were chosen for their practical and aesthetic benefits. ‘Tin is a great material for outdoor baths – it retains heat well and can be left outdoors year-round,' Barrie adds.

8. Find space for an outdoor bathroom on the roof

Outdoor bathroom / shower room with wood-clad walls

(Image credit: PJC Architecture)

Outdoor bathrooms are not reserved for homes with big yards – they can also work as part of your roof garden ideas.

Installing an outdoor shower up high is a great way to mitigate the sense of feeling exposed, says architect Philip J Consalvo of PJC Architecture.

Here, the main bedroom has direct access to a private roof deck. ‘The owners can enjoy showering outside without worrying about being overlooked,’ he says.

9. Keep it simple wth an outdoor shower

freestanding shower on wooden decking

(Image credit: Future)

If you want to keep things simple, introducing a freestanding shower on a wooden platform offers a rustic aesthetic, which works perfectly in a backyard. It requires less space and plumbing than installing a full outdoor bathroom, but it's still super practical.

This outdoor shower idea is a great example – located next to an outhouse, there is privacy without feeling small and the wall has been utilized for towel hanging. Adding the tree stump fits the theme and offers a surface to place soaps and other shower essentials.

10. Add statement tiles

Yellow and white tiled outdoor bathroom with tub and shower

(Image credit: Otto Tiles & Design / Aller Dorset)

Just because outdoor bathrooms require a lot of practical considerations, it doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. Adding tiles can add interest and personality to your scheme, like in this outdoor bathroom.

'Tiling the surround is a practical surface solution, particularly when using waterproof cement tiles that are easy to maintain, but also encourage experimentation with color choice and design,' says Damla Turgut, founder and creative director at Otto Tiles.

'Chequerboard tiles have been popular indoors and out, allowing clients to introduce a single hue and dip their toe into brighter color palettes – we love how our yellow and white cement tiles have been used to create a serene outdoor bathing space at Aller Dorset,' she adds.

11. Build an outdoor bathroom on a private deck

Outdoor bathroom with pink bathtub against green tiled wall

(Image credit: The Woods)

Garden screening ideas don't have to just be created from foliage. Enclosing an outdoor bath on three sides will create a more intimate setting, without restricting the view above. This is a fitting choice if your space is smaller or greenery doesn't provide adequate privacy.

Here, at The Woods rental cabins in Victoria, Australia, owner Stephanie King has installed an antique bath with a shower on each private deck. 'We have added a linen curtain to seal off the space for privacy, so it’s not too risqué and our guests can fully relax while bathing under the 100-year-old gumtrees,’ adds Stephanie.

12. Choose the right location for your outdoor bathroom

Outdoor bathroom with a bathtub and shower

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms)

This might seem obvious, but when designing your outdoor bathroom, location is key. For one, it's important the location has access to plumbing, but it's also about how much natural sunlight it gets and when.

‘Plumbing access is often the biggest influence on a practical level, but for enjoyment, you should think about what time of day you plan to use it. Consider where the sun will be in the sky and any shading you may require,’ advises Pierce Coyne, design manager at Kitchen Architecture.

‘The perfect spot shouldn’t be overlooked, or so far from the house that you’re put off making the trip,' he adds.

13. Create a functional outdoor bathroom layout

Outdoor bathroom ideas

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms)

Whether your outdoor bathroom is big or small, ensure the layout of the space has an easy flow and doesn't feel too crowded. After all, this is a space you want to enjoy using.

'The layout of an outdoor bathroom should prioritize functionality and convenience. Consider the flow of the space, ensuring easy access to fixtures like the shower or bath. Adequate drainage is essential to prevent water accumulation, especially in outdoor environments prone to rainfall,' Harrison advises.

In this outdoor bathroom, the bathtub is the focal point of the space, and although it is placed in the center of the bathroom, there is ample space to walk around it to use the shower and pass by.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor bathroom?

Outdoor bathrooms can cost as little as a few hundred dollars at their simplest but if you want to combine them, perhaps with your pool house ideas, including a roof and heating, you are more likely to spend $15 to $20,000.

Outdoor bathroom ideas range from small, rustic spaces to large, luxurious designs, proving every outdoor space can benefit from this design feature. Whether you opt for a simple shower or go all out with a freestanding bath, there's an idea here to inspire.

Linda Clayton

Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism. 

With contributions from