Design advice needed

scpalmettoFebruary 10, 2014

We are about to start re-doing the master bath. The right side of the room is easy, it is presently a double vanity, dividing wall and a toilet. We'll just jazz it up with a new cabinet, granite, mirrors and light fixtures.
The opposite wall however is my dilemma. The shower is old CM, dark and cramped. The tub is newer CM but showing wear. The whole mess will be torn out. The shower will still be in the same corner but I want to make it larger with glass walls. The existing tub is 71' x 42" and I want to go with something smaller. The window is not centered and will have to stay in that spot. The skylight is centered over the window. The length of the room is 108". I want to enlarge the shower but can only go as far to the left as the window which will put the window smack against the corner of a (glass) wall. Is there anything I can do with a tub that will make that corner look better. The pipes can be easily moved. My contractor has suggested I go with a smaller stand alone tub like the Rachel 59" from Wyndham, I like that size but where should it sit to show off the shape? Others have said stick with a skirted or drop in. I could put a tub perpendicular to where it is now but what would I do with the odd space under the window. I originally wanted a cast iron tub but the bathroom designers have advised that that, unless I spend a fortune, the smaller iron tubs are too narrow. Help........

Here is a link that might be useful: Wyndham Rachel soaking tub

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How large is the shower now and how much bigger can you go?

I can't see what is to the left of your tub but certainly looks like you could reverse the orientation and eliminate the wall separating your shower. If the opposite wall is an exterior one and you reside in a northern climate that may not be the best place to have inaccessible water pipes.

We updated ours a couple years ago. We kept the tub and basic shower but capped the wall and increased the shoulder space in the shower by about 5 inches. We could have enlarged it to 36 x 48 but doing so was going to conflict with the entrance door.

Photos of the tub and shower are several photos into the linked album.

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bath

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Assuming that the entrance door is to the left in this picture, the vanity is directly across from the tub and the toilet is directly across from the shower.....How long is the double vanity? If it is less than 6 feet can you swap the toilet with the shower? Then you would not have to worry about the window. The toilet should fit in at the end of the tub.

If the vanity is 6 feet or more then you will still end up with a narrow shower. What about a tub shower combo? You would have to deal with the window to make sure it can stand up to the water and humidity.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:44PM
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If you show us the entire floor plan, someone may be able to come up with a better design.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:18PM
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FNM, your arrangement is almost exactly what I have now with the exception of your beautiful shower, that is what I am aiming for in a shower. How large is your tub?

The shower dimensions now are 35"w x 47"deep. The wall between the shower and the window is 8" so I would like to extend the shower as far in that direction as possible. Maybe with a tile border like you have.

The vanity is 6' exactly. No problems with freezing pipes here in the SC Lowcountry (although you wouldn't know it by this nasty year) and the house is on piers so it is no problem moving and rearranging the plumbing but I think I want to keep the vanity and toilet where they are.

I'm not too fond of tub shower combo's, There is a lot of open space in this room (12' wide) and this house lends itself more to separate fixtures. I just need to find a pleasing arrangement around that ill placed window.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Do you actually use a tub? Most people don't. And most people are putting in larger showers and getting rid of their tubs! You might consider doing that, and using the rest of the space for some type of storage.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 3:23PM
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I'm with you on the tub/shower combos though that's how our main hall bath is configured. And I know some owners don't use the master tub though I enjoy a soak - especially in the cold N. IL winter we've been having.

The present master tub measures 5 feet x 3.5 feet. The pony wall is 4.5 inches. Since you're moving the plumbing you can pick-up space. We would sure like a larger shower but made ours work better.

If you can match the exterior siding, moving and/or resizing a window isn't a big deal. We replaced our skylight and over-the-tub windows in the bathroom as part of the updating.

Where in SC? We are heading to Hilton Head in May.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:31PM
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This approximates the current set up. I don't know where that line on the left came from. The door is a pocket door.

I do love to soak in the tub, Generally take showers, down here during the warm weather (anyone remember that?) I can take 3 showers a day. But, at night if I want to relax nothing is better than a warm tub and a good book.

We are very near Hilton Head; just across St. Helena Sound actually.

We are doing a major kitchen remodel now also so moving windows is not in the budget. Who knew cabinets were so expensive????

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I meant to add, the vanity is in one piece, double sink, I could not find a diagram like that in the program I used.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:18PM
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I have the same exact problem. I can't widen my shower because of the window.

The most common thing you see now in remodels (go to is to tile the wall almost to the window edge (people are taking tile almost to door jambs too) and then have the glass enclosure sit on the tub deck or a pony wall - like fnmroberts bath. The tub ends up not being centered under the window, but probably about 80% remodels have things off center now to where it's no longer a faux paux. Many of the remodels are going to a more narrow tub too. You have room to expand the shower out towards the toilet too. Search Houzz and you will see a lot of showers projecting out past the tub since the showers are getting larger and the tubs are getting smaller.

What are the dimensions from the shower to the toilet and from the tub to the vanity? How about placing your freestanding tub at a slight angle in the corner and doing a nice corner shower?

My current shower is 36 x 36 and tub is 72 x 42 under a 60 x 60 window. One idea is to do a 72 x 42 tub/shower combo and a linen closet and waterproof the heck out of the window. Or I can expand the shower outward to 48 and/or towards the window to 42. My budget does not include a glass shower enclosure so I will build a new wall. I have been brainstorming ideas to improve the narrow shower by building a large waist/shoulder high niche along one long wall for elbow room. The other idea is to add some body sprays since I can't stand back far enough from the shower head to rinse my lower body.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 18:03

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Here is a good article on recommended dimensions in bathrooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom Design Rules

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:44PM
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How wide and how long is your bathroom?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 7:00PM
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9' deep by 12' wide.

What do you think of putting a smaller, free standing tub, like the one I referenced above, at an angle in one corner and maybe making the shower large enough to have the door panel at an angle?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Your room is a foot larger than ours - huge difference. If you can fit a tub diagonal it would show nicely. I love slipper tubs and they're generally shorter.

I wouldn't worry about the window position. Only you will think about it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:16PM
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I really like the idea of the tub and the shower in opposite corners.

Can you put dimensions in the diagram that you uploaded? It would be best for you to start using exact measurements to see how to tweek the angle of the tub and how far you can stretch the shower out. Some neo corner showers are not worth it if they are too small - you loose valuable space in the cut off corner. Neo corner showers work well if they are large enough. You really need to put it on paper or in a software program to determine the shape of your shower.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:48PM
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My bathroom has the same set-up on the tub/shower side of the room as yours does. It took months of thought for me to determine how to deal with the configuration. In my case, I'm expanding the shower width wise to the window casing and length wise as far as I can. My new tub will be off center to the window, but I think the upgrades in the rest of the room will make it worth it and not noticeable.

I agree with the ideas to fit your stand alone tub in the space diagonally. It'll be beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Thank you all! Diagonal tub it is!

The room dimensions are 9' x 12'. The floor planner I used was not friendly and I could not figure out how to add them in. Does anyone have a good, easy to use floor planner they can recommend.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:41AM
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You have room to put your toilet in it's own room although that would decrease your vanity size by about 5 inches. If you enlarge your shower to 42 in X 5 or 6 feet, you could put a sliding or pivot door on the long side. I think length in a shower can be very helpful.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:50PM
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Interesting thought about the "private" room. I had not thought about that but it certainly could be done. Hmmmm

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Can you put a narrower tub where the shower is now and running along the wall toward the toilet, then put the shower where the tub is now? With the glass doors, you'll sill get the light from the window. I have a client who redid a bath (no room for a tub) but the shower completely encloses the one window in the bathroom, which is centered inside the shower.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:59AM
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Somewhat similar setup.

Contemporary Bathroom by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators BRY design

Contemporary Bathroom by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators BRY design

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:58AM
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