Opinions on potential bathroom layouts?

sochiJanuary 17, 2012

Hi there,

I'm wondering if any of you out there might have an opinion or two on a few proposed layouts I'm considering for our Master Bath. I'm planning well in advance of actual work, so I'm open to all ideas and comments.

Unfortunately we don't have much space to work with, so it will be pretty tiny. No room for a tub, shower only.

I'll first post a rough drawing of our master bedroom, plus a few photos of the current bathroom. The current bath is 7'4" x 5'1. We can only extend it a little, to 7'4 x 7'1. Concurrent to the bathroom renovation we will extend the closet adjacent to the bathroom as well - essentially by pushing the front of the closet and bathroom by about 2'. We can't go much further given the windows on the closet wall.

Current layout. The door at the 'top' of the drawing leads to the front of the house and immediately to the kids' bathroom, laundry and kids' bedrooms. The door at the 'bottom' of the drawing leads to the office used only by us (the parents). It is a good sized if not huge bedroom room, about 18'6" across and 14'9" from the front of the bathroom to the wall separately the bedroom from the office.

Current bathroom, the view from the bed. Charming isn't it? Lovely view of the toilet and oak cabinets. Aside from the toilet being the first thing you see and the fact that the oak cabinets are not my thing, it is awfully cramped in there. But it is basically functional. Pocket doors.

So no tub in the new bathroom, and we need minimal storage. You can see in the layout of the room that there is a 4' closet on your left as you enter the hallway leading to the bed area. That is our 2nd linen closet, where we will keep towels, cleaning supplies, extra soap, TP, etc. I will want a fairly minimal and modern bathroom. Glass wall shower imagined for all layouts.

Proposed layout number 1: pretty conventional. Entry is off the short hallway rather than opposite the bed. The green plant is a living wall (plant wall/green wall). I currently have one in my dining room and love the idea of plants in the bathroom. There is a skylight to bring in natural light as this is an interior room.

The shower in this layout is 40"x85", the vanity 48".

No. 2: Inspired by the photo below, this layout unabashedly opens up onto the main bed space of the bedroom. Smaller shower (38" x 50") with longer two sink vanity: 20" x 85". Sliding all glass doors form the wall between the bathroom and the bedroom proper.

No. 3. Unconventional, make the bathroom part of the bedroom, but hide the toilet. Two vanities, one 42" with sink, another vanity for hair/make up etc. with stool or bench 32". The shower is 42" x 56", the toilet area 32" x 42". We will need a concealed tank toilet here, so the toilet only projects 22" into the space. There will be glass sliding doors between the shower room and the bedroom OR open to the shower, but a glass door closing off the WC.

Forgive the amateur renderings, I'm new at this stuff. Thanks in advance for any comments or advice.

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Call me conventional, but I like option 1 best. I don't like open glass as the "enclosure" for the bathroom; even my master bathroom.

In option 1, you might consider a pocket door. *might*

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:56PM
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#1 unless the 2 of you really want separate sinks. I'd swap the toilet and sink area tho - keeping the toilet close to the previous plumbing for it.

i'd also change the side the door opens on. The way it's shown you walk farther from the bedroom to open the door. Even a few feet can matter to me sometimes. I'm in a hurry - especially in the middle of the night.

would not want glass doors to bathroom or it open to the bedroom (tho mine is somewhat - by a hallway. I'll be hanging my shower curtain there tho. that's cheaper than putting in a door - and i live alone).

Also wouldn't want the much glass to clean.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:41AM
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I think ideas 2 and 3 are interesting, sexy, and creative (I suppose how sexy and interesting would depend on who's on the other side of the glass wall.)

But I'd personally go with option 1, partly because I'd also be wondering how many future homeowners would be comfortable with the open options. I know you can take worrying about resale too far, but we've made some good money on the resale of past homes. So, it's just hard for me to discount it.

Option 1 is more conventional, but based on the design of your amazing kitchen, I have no doubt you can achieve a very beautiful room.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 3:19PM
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Thanks for the opinions. I suspected that most would go for convention. Desertsteph - good idea to switch toilet with vanity in option 1, always a good idea not to move the toilet too far.

mudhouse - I've bought and sold a few houses (well, 3) over the last decade as well, and with renovations to those home I certainly considered future homeowners. I expect to be in this house for another 14 or so years, long enough that I don't think I need worry about future homeowners (within reason). Plus the type of buyer for my house in my neighbourhood *might* be more open to unconventional spaces than most home buyers. But maybe not.

Both option 2 and 3 could be designed to ensure privacy in the shower as well as the toilet, though opaque glass for instance. I too imagine we'll end up going with option 1 (or a variant) but I can't help but think that that isn't the best choice - that we are leaning to what we would expect (custom, convention) rather than what is best for the space.

With option 3 - the vanities would be in the bedroom, but they could be lovely furniture like custom walnut pieces that would work well in bedroom. The toilet will be closed off and the glass can provide some "privacy" for the shower. The big advantage to 3 is the openness that it brings to the entire bedroom. Right now that hall leading from the 'top' door is very dark and narrow, making accessing the closets there less than ideal. Option 3 provides for almost 3' less wall. The second closet would be entirely liberated from the hall. Plus having two vanities would be convenient for those times both of us are getting ready at the same time.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Sochi, you make a pretty good case for not being overly concerned about taking the safest route, especially if it's not the best one as far as comfortable use of the space. So I'm having to reconsider my first thoughts.

Also, I really didn't do a good job before of considering how each option affected the remaining bedroom space. I see what you mean now about access to the closet on the right side, and the darkish hallway.

I superimposed the options on your larger floor plan to see this more clearly (not sure I managed to get the proportions of the bath just right in each shot.) If this is wrong I can tweak it.

I thought about asking you about frosted or opaque glass earlier, but didn't because I thought it might defeat the purpose of the design. Using some kind of opaque glass might be a nod towards being more conventional about privacy, while adding the edgy drama of a glass door/wall...?

I can also see now that a wonderful aspect of both 2 and 3 would be the visibility of your plant wall from the bed and the rest of the room.

In option 3, am I correct in thinking that you need to access the toilet by stepping through the shower area?

Maybe others can jump in with more comments.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 4:18PM
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I will say, I don't totally understand option 3 either--is it essentially a wet room with one door that accesses both shower and toilet?

I would probably opt for 3 in that case, as the toilet seems more obscured...

In option 2, somewhere in one of your shower walls, you'll need plumbing. So, maybe it wouldn't be as open as you might think from paper?

idk. just mo.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Personally, I would not be very happy with an all glass wall into the bathroom or having the sink in the bedroom itself. Otherwise, I like the layouts of both 1 and 2. Could 2 be done with a standard door or a pocket door and an actual wall?

Have you considered stealing some additional space from your bedroom? It looks like you have a good amount of space between the foot of your bed and the wall with the current bathroom door. Perhaps you could move that wall further into the bedroom and even consider enlarging the adjacent closet. Just an idea to see if some other layouts might be possible.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Option 3 reminds me of the very lovely bath in a hotel I stayed at recently in Kyoto. As you entered the area, the vanity was on the left and a wc closet was on the right, directly opposite. At the far end was a step up to a wet room that had a shower and tub, behind a wall of opaque glass. The wet room was about 4'6" x 6'9" (guessing based on tile size). The outer area was about 4' deep x about 8' wide. Unlike your option 3, this area was accessed from an entry hall exactly like you have in option 2. I'll paste a link to the photo of the room, which I hope will work.

As for a vanity within the bedroom - I had that in my previous house, with the shower + toilet in a separate room. It worked fine for us, though I suppose it could be an issue if the sink is in use while another person is sleeping.

I'm unable to sketch this because I'm software-challenged, but have you considered having the open end of your bath face the closet? Something along the lines of a divider wall (solid or glass) between the bedroom and the dressing/bath area, with dressing and bath facing each other?

Here is a link that might be useful: Kyoto bathroom

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Mudhouse - thanks so much for coming back to this and for superimposing the options on the floor plan, very helpful. You are bang on that another reason I like options 2 and 3 is because the living wall becomes visible from the bed. And yes, strategic use of opaque glass would give that nod to privacy while retaining some of the edginess.

Yes, in option 3 you would access the toilet through the shower entrance (you don't have to actually walk past the shower itself). That is what my DH really doesn't like, he finds it too weird. I wonder if I could use two different floor tiles in the separate shower/toilet 'zones', and that might differentiate between the shower and toilet space, while still leaving them open to preserve the modestly expansive feel in both spaces. I want to hide the toilet away as much as possible, but I also don't want to be stuck in a tiny box staring at a wall everyone time I need to use the facilities. I like that in Option 1 the toilet faces the living wall. Something pretty to look at at least! :)

kirkhall - yes, in option 3 the toilet/shower space is essentially a wet room, with the living wall in between them. A glass door could either separate the toilet area from the shower area, or separate both from the vanity area. Whichever makes more sense. You are right about Option 2 - I will need a real wall with plumbing between the shower and the toilet in that option, so the shower would only be open on two, or potentially three, sides.

prickly - sure, option 2 could be done with a wall pocket door and wall. But if I were to do that I think I prefer Option 1, as I like the door to the washroom being off the hall rather than directly off the bedroom. I think if I'm not making a 'show' of no wall, or a glass wall, then I'd just assume have the hall entrance.

Hmmm, now I'm wondering if in Option 1 I could have a glass 'window' where the living wall will be. At least I'd still be able to see a side view of the living wall from the bed.

kmcg - what a beautiful bathroom in that hotel! Just lovely. I didn't think I had the space for a divider wall with the combined dressing/closet area, but I will re-think. Great suggestion.

Re: expanding further into the bedroom, as you can see in my layout, there is a window that blocks how far I can extend the closet. DH felt that the bathroom and closet should be extended out the same distance, thus limiting how 'deep' the bathroom can be to about 85". Otherwise the bathroom would project further into the room than the closet. Would that be odd? Or okay?

With the 2' extension I'm planning there will be just under 5' between the bathroom and the end of the bed. I could extend further, but I probably wouldn't want to project more than another 6-8" into the bedroom.

Thanks everyone very much. "Talking" this through with people is incredibly helpful.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Maybe you should continue to think outside the box and rearrange the way the bathroom/closet sit in your bedroom. If the limitation is the closet/window, then maybe the bathroom goes over there for more natural light. Have you thought about that?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:17PM
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re: option three:

In my new house, which is fairly small I was thinking of making one small bathroom a wetroom, which means it would be a giant shower stall with a toilet in it. I don't live there yet, just thinking.

The thing that I can't quite reconcile is getting my feet wet when I use the bathroom. I wear socks on the house and sometimes to sleep and walking through the shower to the toilet means wet feet or wet socks.

Since it's open anyway you may consider pushing that vanity almost to the edge of the boundary between the bathroom and bedroom and creating more room in the toilet enclosure. It's very tight and you will end up climbing over the toilet..it doesn't even look like you have minimum clearance for code. You may be better off doing a wall hung toilet and facing it into the end of the shower if that's the way you go.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Now that I have the vision of viewing the Living Wall from the bed, I can't get that out of my mind, and wouldn't want to give it up.

If you go with Option 1, I like your idea of adding a window to the wall facing the bed. Maybe a tall, thin stripe of clear glass in that wall, close to the end, so you'd mainly be seeing the plants. This wouldn't cause much loss of privacy, and if a future homeowner didn't like any clear glass in that wall, it wouldn't be an expensive change for them to reinstall with opaque glass.

I could see a thin, dramatic window balanced by one of the striking pieces of art you use so well in your home.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Re: wet feet, I wondered if those showers with teak slats or mats with the tray underneath might dry faster that regular tile?

In option three I'm thinking of a wall hung concealed tank toilet. Apparently they measure 22" from the wall. Then I would have 20" from the front of the toilet to the bathroom wall. I had read somewhere that the minimum clearance from the front of the toilet to the wall should be 18-22"??. A regular toilet facing the shower on the hall wall would project about 30" I think.

But you're right pal, I could move the shorter vanity into the room a bit more and add a few inches to the WC area, good idea.

kirkhall, yes, I had thought of switching the closet and bath positions. But I'm trying to keep the budget in check and I assume it would be significantly more expensive to have to move the plumbing that distance. Perhaps I should ask a contractor though. I'd also like to limit how much I have to rip up the ceiling in my kitchen and dining room (directly below the bathroom).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:26PM
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I will be waiting to see which option (or variation thereof!) you end up choosing. I would weigh-in, but I'm not so great at "spatial relations" or layout planning, so I'll leave that to the more experienced GW'ers. I know whatever you decide, it will be gorgeous, like the rest of your house!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 10:37PM
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My master bath is your option 2 with a window where your living wall would be, and solid walls instead of glass. Our door opens into the bedroom where your sliders are shown. I love the glass idea!

I love this layout. For me, having 2 sinks in a master bath is a non-negotiable must-have. DH and I often overlap in the bathroom for toothbrushing and other grooming stuff, both in the morning and night, and I also just want my own sink free of his beard hairs! Our dimensions are close to the same size as you've drawn it: 72 inches double vanity and an 18 inch linen tower. I find the size of the shower more than suitable.

I can post pictures if you want.

You have amazing taste (your kitchen is one of my faves) and I'm sure your bath will be memorable as well!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Sharonite - please do post pictures, I'd love to see a similarly laid out space. Your shower is about 42" x 56" as well?

Our last house master bath had two sinks and I liked it, but I wonder if this space isn't too small for two people anyway, so why bother with two sinks?? I know that many insist on them. Funny you mention bread hairs, that is one of my pet peeves as well. But they'd bother me in ANY sink I think.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:37PM
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Ok, will happily do tomorrow! I'm about to turn into a pumpkin right now.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Here's a link to some glass walled bathrooms on Houzz.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oh say can you see???

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Thanks for the link clueless, I saw that some time ago. Quite the polarized comments! My concession might be to use a band of strategically placed opaque glass for some privacy in the shower.

I like option 3 because it opens up the bedroom and I think I can integrate the vanities into a cohesive look for the bedroom. I can handle cleaning glass and the opaque band will deal with privacy for the shower. The toilet is the problem. I want total privacy there, including noise. A glass door between the toilet area and the shower may not suffice (according to those comments on the Houzz thread). I need to give that more thought.

I also really like that idea of a 'window' to the living wall in Option 1. That might be the easiest option.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Views of our bathroom, similar to your option 2 but without glass!

The room is 7'6" long. The double vanity is 72 inches long, plenty of room for 2. The shower is 38" x 45". The room is not a true square; the shower bumps back about 7 inches more than the toilet wall. In other words, from the mirror to the back of the toilet, the width of the room is 82", but from the mirror to the back of the shower is 97". HTH!

going clockwise around the room:

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Actually, I am almost certain that code is 24" infront of the front edge of the toilet. So, even with the wall mount your are suggesting, you need a couple more inches. That is easy to verify with your local jurisdiction.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:26PM
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sharonite - thank you so much for the pictures. Wonderful bathroom! Good to know that that lay out works so well. I think I still prefer the larger shower over two sinks, but you never know, that may change.

kirkhall - I will check out the codes. But I should probably make it 24". In fact I'm thinking that in Option 3, the WC area could be 42" x 48", leaving 26" in front of the toilet. I might even be able to put one of those small and lovely european wall mounted sinks opposite the toilet if I have 48"? Or maybe not.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:09PM
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I like #1 the best. Perhaps you could only use part of the bumpout for the vanity and use the other half for a built in dresser or a niche for some more of that great art you seem to have around. Perhaps the living wall could go there. I like the privacy of #1 for when you WANT privacy :-)

ugh-Photos didn't translate well, left plan has the hall on the right hand side and the plan on the right just looks at it from a different angle.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 12:03AM
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As drawn, I like #1 best. Like desertsteph, I would switch the toilet and vanity and reverse the door swing. Actually, I would prefer to eliminate the swinging door. I'm not sure you could use a pocket door with the side wall sizes and plumbing locations, but how about a really modern looking barn door attached to the hall side of the wall? It could be a big slab of walnut, or frosted or clear glass or some mix. Because of the wall sizes, 2 narrower barn doors that open from the middle might actually be better.

I like the layout of #2 (2 sinks), but couldn't live with the bath being that visible all the time. I also think that one would work well with solid walls at the edges of the wall facing the bed, and large sliding doors you could leave open most of the time if you want to.

With #3, I would not like to walk through a potentially wet area to reach the toilet. I wonder if you could put a sliding door to the toilet compartment on the hall side.

contemporary bedroom design by vancouver interior designer Claudia Leccacorvi

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:52PM
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