The toilet closet debate

chicagoansFebruary 13, 2014

I have enjoyed the double sink debate in another post, and "toilet closets" were also mentioned, so I wanted to throw this out there.

I'm one who doesn't want to see the toilet when I'm using the bathroom for brushing teeth or other things (even though I'm an obsessive lid-closer.) So my MBath has a privacy wall but no door - open enough for comfort, private, and the opposite side of the wall has a large linen cabinet.

But if I had seen the pictures below before our reno, I might have done one of these.

The pictures below are of what I consider a clever and attractive way to hide the toilet and provide some storage. The bathroom in the first 2 pics was built by forumite mongoct and I wish I had seen it before our big reno.The third is also a forumite but I can't remember who; I saved the picture because I love the pullout.

So if you're trying to balance privacy, openness, and storage, maybe something like this will work.

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debrak2008

I never understood the toilet in a closet thing. You go in and close the door. You use the toilet. Your hands get dirty, sometimes more than other times. You then have to open the door and walk to the sink. Do you go back and wash the door handle? When I see a set up like that I think the person who designed it must be in denial of what actually happens in a bathroom.

Here is our wall partition to separate to separate the toilet.

Another avid lid closer here too!!!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:04PM
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mrspete

I think the photographs you've shown are ideal: The toilet is "tucked away" so that it isn't the first thing one sees upon entering the bathroom . . . but it isn't in a closet. Both of my bathrooms have similar set-ups, and it works well.

The closet-concept has several problems:

- If the closet is big enough for comfort, it drives up the size of the bathroom.
- If the room is really undersized, as happens sometimes, the user has to walk in and "scoot over to the side" as he closes the door.
- Often these closets have no windows, and no one likes a room lacking in natural light.
- These rooms can feel claustrophobic.
- Another door is often the last thing a small room like a bathroom needs; it bumps into things or "opens across" doorways.
- Cleaning behind a toilet in a small closet is difficult.
- Elderly or handicapped people have trouble entering/exiting a toilet in a closet, especially if the toilet is arranged in such a position that a person must essentially "back in".
- The user has to touch the doorknob before reaching the sink to wash his hands. And how often do we clean the doorknobs? Rarely.

This post was edited by MrsPete on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 13:17

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:14PM
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nini804

We had our toilet "hidden" in our old bath, and have it in its own room in our new house. Like the closet sooo much better. Just personal preference, but I REALLY do not want to see dh in that capacity, and don't want to be seen in that capacity!! So I like the "toilet closets." :) Keeps that aspect of the bathroom completely away from the grooming areas.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:18PM
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xc60

A separate water closet is a huge must have. Love having privacy, it's own separate fan. You can close the door after to contain smells (gross I know, but a fact of life).

We had one master ensuite that was open to the bedroom with a large arch and no door, toilet was tucked behind a corner. Not pleasant. After that I made sure any ensuite we had after would have a door to the bathroom and a WC.

But of course it all depends on space, budget..... Having any ensuite really is a luxury.

This post was edited by xc60 on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 2:08

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:18PM
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worthy

How horrid to see your partner in an excretory act! (As revolting and unnatural as childbirth.)

What next, naked table legs and the open use of the pr**gnant word?

This post was edited by worthy on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 13:35

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:32PM
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galore2112

I don't know what y'all do with your hands after business but I am able to keep one clean enough to not soil the doorknob.

And I have a washlet that takes care of the rough butt cleaning.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:32PM
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niteshadepromises

Xc60 just described our master bathroom setup right down to the arch seperating. There was no question in my mind that a contained closet was necessary. And my hubby has done the math, the fan should change the air in said room in 2 mins! bless his heart.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:32PM
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DLM2000

Trying to be as delicate as I can....

Even if you have a toilet closet, do you or your partner use other parts of the bathroom while the closet is occupied for, let's say, a morning 'constitutional'? We have a full wall partition but even if we had a totally enclosed closet room with a door, I would still close the main bathroom door for privacy at those times. We share a lot but there is a limit!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:33PM
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akshars_mom

This is a debate I lost to my husband. He wanted a WC and would not relent on it. I wanted to do something like posted above but he did not give in.

He wants his privacy :). He asked for very few things in the new house and this was one so I said fine. And his reasoning was if it ever becomes a problem we can remove the door but if we dif not have one it is harder to put one.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:49PM
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nini804

Lol, dlm! Yes, we use the other areas of the bath while one in the the "toilet closet." With thick, solid wood doors and an energetic fan...it is fairly safe to use the vanity while he is "indisposed!" ;)

Ours isn't claustrophobic at all...it is 8'x3'. No window, though. Artwork helps!

Lol, Worthy! Just because something is natural doesn't mean I want to see it...trying to keep the mystery alive and all that! :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:34PM
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mrspete

No, if one of us is "on the throne", the other is not in the bathroom. I agree that's too much togetherness.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Skyangel23

We will have one, but it came on the non-custom plan we are building, and I didn't see a good reason to change it. Ours has a pocket door which will probably just be left open 95%, with the master bathroom door shut. It is also 6' or 7' by 3', not too cramped.

Now, in our last house we had the arch into the bathroom--so no door on the master bath at all! I HATED that, and after two years had a door put in. If one partner came into the bedroom, the other partner had to yell from the bathroom "Don't come in!" The most horrible idea ever.
We are also believers in "too much togetherness".

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:55PM
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motherof3sons

Another person that likes the closet here. DH actually loves it. He is the one that wants more privacy than me. Ours is 7x3 with a wall cabinet behind the toilet for TP, artwork and a fluffy rug to keep my feet warm in the middle of the night. And yes, I keep a clean hand and do a quick wipe down on the toilet and door handles with Clorox wipes regularly. I do that to all door handles regardless of the room. It's pesky flu season!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:22PM
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dbrad_gw

We have one (water-closet, toilet room, whatever) in our current "step-up" home MBR and have one in the plan for our upcoming build. I can't imagine buying or building a home without one these days. In newer entry-level or older (unrenovated) homes I understand, but for a new build that toilet had better have its own room. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:21PM
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lolauren

"I don't know what y'all do with your hands after business but I am able to keep one clean enough to not soil the doorknob. "

LOL. That is exactly what I was thinking. I always have a clean hand. If other people don't, I don't want to know what is happening in their bathroom. (If both hands are dirty, aren't you turning the faucet on with a dirty hand? Yuck.)

We are HUGE fans of toilet closets, and I would not want to buy a house without one. DH and I still try to find each other attractive and hiding some bodily functions, at this point in our life, helps. (I think. :)) So, we can have privacy and share the bathroom at the same time. If the closet is designed properly, it won't be too big, too small or have weird door swings. Ours functions quite nicely. As for windows, I don't need extra light to see my business... and I don't spend very much time in there, anyway!...not an issue. Of course, if square feet was much tighter, the toilet closet is a luxury that would need to be cut. In a large home, I would expect it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:56PM
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zone4newby

Toilet closets don't do anything for me. I don't like the semi-privacy you get in a public restroom with stalls, and a master bedroom with a toilet closet doesn't feel all that different to me. I'd rather go use a different toilet or wait my turn in the master bath than have a toilet closet so one of us can brush their teeth while the other is on the pot.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:36PM
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autumn.4

No closet here. But (not butt, lol) if the door is open it blocks the view of the toilet so some privacy if you needed to go quick but if the door is shut well then privacy there too. If one is in the shower the other can be using the potty with privacy as well. I think it will work fine. I like the set up of the pics posted above. Ours is similar but a full wall instead of a pony wall, just no door to close.

Heck I'm going to just try to keep the KIDS from using our bathroom. Why does that always happen? Old house had a 1/2 bath and a hall bath and a master bath and they STILL used our bathroom. You have to pass by BOTH of the other bathrooms to get to ours and still there those buggers are in ours doing their business! ???

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:43PM
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zone4newby

Autumn-- I've caught my kids doing that too. I think one of them likes it because it's more private??

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:45PM
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kirkhall

The second one is beaglesdoitbetter 's. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Beagles and others show and tell

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:25AM
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Beth Parsons

After living with several of these arrangements over the years - open toilet, behind a partition, etc. our new house has a toilet closet and we couldn't be happier.

As for cleaning the doorknobs - I sanitize ours daily with a Lysol wipe. I do light switches and computer keyboards, too. OCD...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:12AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Discussion from a year ago...

Here is a link that might be useful: Toilet closet haters...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:20AM
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ILoveRed

I like my toilet closet. I will probably have one in the new house.

But...I have considered disability. Hate to throw a wet towel on this fun and humerous thread.

When we entertain family, my SIL uses my bathroom. She is wheelchair dependent and her left side is paralyzed. The toilet closet is very difficult to manage even with her DHs help.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker

I actually made my Master bath more open than the one we have now.
I guess we have no modesty in our house lol That's the one place DH is "captive" long enough for me to actually catch him for important conversation.... :)

On red lover's direction also, I did it b/c DH's grandma uses a walker, and it will be easier for her to use our toilet. I also had the hand bars put in there for this reason, and for our aging... :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Then there was LBJ who used to hold meetings with people while he was using the john...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:26AM
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jackfre

We have one of the small privacy walls as shown. If I need more privacy than that I just throw a towel over my head. I also faced the toilet out the window so I enjoy the view. With the orientation of the house you'd have to be in an airplane to look into the windows. Toto Washlet 300 handles the "left hand for cleaning, Right hand for eating"...discussion?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:31PM
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