Help please. Separate light in toilet alcove? PIC

deedlesFebruary 24, 2012

Quick question: our bathroom is approx. 10x10. The shower/tub is inside an arched alcove and has a fan/light inside. Between the end of the shower wall and the outside wall is the toilet alcove, open to the ceiling per an earlier suggestion here. Alcove measures 40" wide x 36" deep x 9' ceiling. There is one bathroom window approx.4 ft outside the toilet alcove and there will be one ceiling light centered in the room proper, between the shower and vanity on the opposite wall.

I say we need a light in the toilet alcove... not just for light but also for the height of the ceiling. I'm picturing a small chandelier type fixture. DH thinks no light is necessary at all in there because the ceiling light is only 3' away and there is a window 4' in front of the alcove. I'm trying to point out that the alcove is walled in at the end of the shower and the ceiling light illumination will not make it into the back of the alcove.

What say you? If you do think it needs a light, where would you switch it? At the entry door or in the alcove?


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Lynne Reno

I don't think it needs a light

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:32PM
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May I ask you to expand on your thought? What do you think about the 9'ceiling in a space that narrow? Don't you think that's odd to have that much space above a toilet with nothing in it?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Lynne Reno

Our toilet is in an alcove much like yours, the ceiling is 9' where the toilet is, and angles to 12' on the other side of the room. It doesn't look odd to me that there is nothing above the toilet, to me, a chandelier in a toilet alcove would look odd. Maybe if you feel you need to fill the space you could put some artwork on the wall, or even a hanging plant or two?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 1:06AM
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I vote no light. I do agree with deedles on that being a narrow space to be closed in on both sides by 9' ceiling. Maybe a compromise--could you do a 7' wall at the end of the tub or maybe do the 9' wall and cut an arch or rectangle out of it near the top as a decorative thing? Either one would allow more light to enter that area. If I did a light there, it would be recessed and switched at the bathroom door with all the other light switches.

Depending on the space allotted for the tub deck and the actual space the tub will take up, you might be able to do what my parents did with their similar setup (the toilet is in the alcove created by the cabinetry at the end of the tub):

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:26AM
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I am having difficulty making a similar decision with lighting. Yes, you have a lot of light during the day, but in the evening it will be dark in that corner. I vote for a light. Are you going to have any vanity lights? If so I would consider a wall sconce on the outside wall in the same collection as your vanity light, or maybe a pendant light in the same collection as the center ceiling light, or a recessed light as well. With the switch with the main lighting.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Jean Bo

I don't think having a light there is a bad idea, I think you always have the option to turn it on or off. I think it is the word "chandelier" that is running you into problems. Chandelier over the throne! LOL ummmmm
We have a dedicated sm. room for our toilet and it has 8'ft high ceilings and we had a builder grade ceiling light in there before but when we redid things we installed a 2 light short pendant sold by IKea and we like it very much. I think it is a total of 8" in height. We flip it on from time to time. When your cleaning you want to light things up so you can see what your doing without all the shadows.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:51AM
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you could hang a disco ball over the toilet - lol!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 7:34PM
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I second the recessed light switched with the other room lights at the door. You will want a light there at night...especially for reading...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 8:32PM
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I think you DO need a light especially at night. Some people need it to do their reading. I've always had one on the wall next to the toilets.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:55AM
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Well, DH put in a receptacle in the ceiling and the switch on the wall in the alcove. I'm not going to complain at this point about where the switch is.

Am I the only on that thinks a mini chandelier would be totally fun in the toilet alcove? Yeah, the throne!

Something like this, but not a flush mount... AH! Flush mount!

traditional powder room design by toronto kitchen and bath Sandra Howie

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 5:36AM
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OK, that is cool! And you know it is your bathroom! Sometimes we have a hard time visualizing someone else's vision. Pictures are always a great help.
Can't wait to see finished pictures.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 6:16PM
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deedles: Allow me to make a very different suggestion. As in your sample photo of a "traditional powder room design," hang a picture above the toilet; it will break up the space to that 9' ceiling.

Then, in the ceiling receptacle that your husband already has cut out, install a fixture that looks something like the one in the link below (the color/finish is your choice, of course). Make sure that the fixture takes a standard medium base par20 light bulb -- many such fixtures require that you use only very expensive, hard to get, specialty light bulbs that also burn watts like there's no tomorrow.

Fit the fixture with a 40-watt equivalent indoor LED flood light bulb similar to the Lowe's house brand Utilitech, Lowe's item # 338804, Model # LPAR20DM/LED (which consumes less than 8 watts in operation) and aim the flood at the picture on the back wall above the toilet.

The reflected light will diffuse, giving a soft (not harsh) glow, and the angle of the primary light for the person sitting on the toilet will be perfect over-the shoulder for reading.

Here is a link that might be useful: Suggestion; feel free to vary

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I put a light on the wall in our toilet alcove. I placed it on the wall to eliminate any shadows. Such a small cost. This light is on it's own switch, as is the ceiling light in the middle of the room and the chandy above the tub. All on dimmers as well. I like to have the light dimmed low at night or even during the day so you don't have to turn the overhead on to just use the tiolet. This bathroom is windowless. If you read on the toilet, the overhead light in the center of the room won't be adequate.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Oh, I forgot to mention that my BR is also 10x10ish and that the "center" light is actually three recessed lights...two at the vanity and one close to the entrance. You can see the setup in the other bathroom photos if you're interested :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Herring: that's an interesting suggestion... I'd need a tall, skinny piece of art that would work with this wallpaper 'cause it's going in the alcove:

I was kinda liking this wallpaper AS the art with a drop down light that would play off the paper but not compete. Your suggestion is something I didn't really think about and I kind of like it.
Monica: I'd like to see... where are the other BR photos?
Deb: thanks!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Oops, sorry. Forgot I embedded the photo and not a link to it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bath

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:22AM
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