Layout advice - Is it worth rearranging?

maryann_mFebruary 4, 2012

We're in the initial stages of a bathroom remodel--currently doing planning and research.

This is the main bathroom of our home. We're almost empty nesters, and this space doesn't get used a lot because we also have a full master bath and our daughters are either at college or moved out on their own.

I've posted the current layout below. The empty corner in the upper right side of the layout used to be a doorway into a bedroom. We keep the door closed, since that bedroom has long ago been converted to an office. We intend to remove the door in this remodel. As I look at the layout, I'm thinking it might make sense to move the toilet into that little corner, which gives us more options in the other areas. We currently have a tub with surround and shower.

Here are some questions I've been pondering:

  1. It would be more complicated to move the toilet, but would the result justify the extra work?

2. Would it be a big mistake to not have a shower in the main bathroom of our home? We have a tub/shower in the master bath.

3. What would you suggest for the layout? Leave as is, or move things? The space isn't huge, so there aren't endless options for rearranging.

I'd love to hear what all of the experts would recommend. Thanks!

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Do you need closet space in the office? A cheaper option would be to utilize the doorway close off the from the linen closet over, and have additional storage in the office bedroom.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I would probably move the toilet into the corner where the door was, move the tub opposite the toilet and put a larger vanity where the tub currently is. You might consider a shower instead of a tub if that is what will be used more in this bathroom and if you have another tub in the house.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Lynne Reno

I don't know what your budget is, but moving toilets can get expensive.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 5:25PM
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I would move the tub under the window & make if a soaker or airbath or whirlpool, extend the wall for the linen closet to the window wall and make that a potty room, move the vanity to where the current tub is and install a separate shower between the vanity and tub. My layout program is down, so I can't verify that it would all fit that way, but it may be a valid option.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:36AM
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Thanks for the ideas.

@palimpsest, that's a good idea about creating storage in the office. I hadn't thought of that. Upon looking more closely at the actual space, the placement of the window would be somewhat problematic with extending the existing wall flush out to the window wall.

@terriks, I had been considering the rearrangement that you've suggested. In a perfect world, I think that might be the best use of the existing bathroom space. We're looking into how that might or might not work with the plumbing situation.

@lynneblack, my DH will hopefully do most of the plumbing, so I think it's more a matter of whether it will get to be more complicated than he wants to undertake, or whether it would end up impacting too many adjacent areas that we weren't planning to tear apart just now.

@mydreamhome, I'd love to do as you suggested, but I don't think there's enough space.

Thanks for the ideas. You've got us thinking!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:35AM
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If this were my house, and I didn't hate the current layout, I'd probably keep the door in case someone in the future wants a second ensuite bed/bath setup (i.e. convert the office back to a bedroom). But I'd cover up the door with a tall wardrobe-type cabinet for storage. Then I'd turn the existing bath into a walk-in shower, which I think would be great for general use by guests and daughters home from college.

Alternative: put a stand alone shower in the corner where the door is now, and make the tub a tub only.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:49PM
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kmcg probably has the best, most logical and economical idea.

Would it be possible to put the toilet where the linen closet is and keep the doorway where it is? with a large storage cabinet in front of it - then if needed it could be removed in the future (future owners?).
then you could widen the vanity a bit too.

Is moving in your future anytime soon?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Thanks for the additional ideas.

kmcg and desertsteph, I agree that a tall wardrobe/cabinet in front of the door could be a good solution. You can never have too much storage space. As DH and I were standing in the bathroom this afternoon weighing all of the potential options, that idea had occurred to us, too.

Personally, I'd love to have a soaking tub and would probably use it if we put one in this bathroom. That's why I asked question #2 in my original post. I think the space would look much more open if the tub didn't have to be boxed in with a shower enclosure.

We don't currently have any plans to move, but it's possible that we could decide to move within the next ten years. I realize that many people prefer a shower over a tub. If there was to be either just a shower or just a tub in the main bathroom, do most people prefer a shower?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Ah, the age-old question! We are about to redo our only upstairs bathroom (we also have a half bath on the main floor). We both want a walk-in shower; that's a given, after living in our old house, where everyone wanted to use the walk-in shower in the master bedroom. But my husband is certain we don't need a tub anywhere in the house, and that worries me. So I've read every possible thread on the tub-shower debate, and it boils down to this: there seems to be a majority who think you really ought to have a tub somewhere in your house if you're ever going to sell it, but a vocal minority who advocate the walk-in shower instead of a tub. The shower is the hot new thing in real estate, and has some die-hard fans.

I'm guessing many people would prefer a nice shower in your bathroom (unless this would be the kids' bath for future families, in which case they may prefer a tub). If you're keeping the house for a long time, and you don't need a second shower, then maybe you should go for the soaking tub you love. Of course some of this depends on how your master is set up - separate tub and shower, or not?

If you decide to combine them and worry that the tub feels boxed in, you might consider just a glass panel that extends halfway across for a more open feel. Or even a nice shower curtain could feel more open.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:31PM
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kmcg, thanks for the perspective on the tub/shower conundrum. This would be the "kids" bathroom for future families. But you're right that guests and college kids home on break would probably want a shower--and that's where we currently are in life.

Our master bathroom has a tub with enclosed shower surround--same as the current "kids/main" bathroom--so there would still be a tub in the house if we went with a walk-in shower in the "kids/main" bath.

The master bath is a larger space, so maybe my soaking tub and separate shower should go on the back burner until any future reno of the master.

Back to the layout question, I'm wondering about the following option. What if we created a corner sink/vanity (in the upper left corner of the diagram)? That would create a little more floorspace around the toilet's current location. (We're still looking into plumbing considerations for moving the toilet, but it might not make a lot of sense to move, based upon the additional work it would necessitate.)

I haven't seen a lot of photos of sinks in the corner except for really small ones designed for extra-cramped spaces. I'm thinking more of an L-shaped cabinet and counter with either one or two bowls. Does that seem like something to pursue?

I'm liking the idea of the wardrobe cabinet in the space where the door is--regardless of whether we keep the door or remove it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:27AM
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