Bathroom is due for overhaul, layout ideas?

tl1969March 3, 2014

Hello GWers: My master bathroom is in need of updating. I think the double jacuzzi tub needs to go, since we use it as a clothing drying rack. I am trying to come up with a new floorplan and could use your wisdom. I spent the last 24 hours reading the "Best/Worst Remodeling Decisions" posts on the Bathroom Forum, and am eager to incorporate some of the toilets, sinks, countertops, etc. you rave about.

Here is the current sq footage of the space:

And here is the current placement of everything:
From Master Bedroom looking towards the bathroom, walkin closet is on the left and tiny triangular linen closet is the the right of the french doors:

As you enter the immediate left has a wall of light switches and I believe it is hollow behind this wall, so I think I may have a few feet of extra space to play with:

Next is the wall with a vanity and the tub:

The giant jacuzzi tub is under the 50 inch wide windows:

The long countertop has a sink but it is too close to the door to the WC:

Finally, the door to the WC (60 inches x 36 inches):

Here are a few things I am hoping to accomplish with a remodel:
1. More storage
2. Tiny Sink in the WC
3. Linen closet in the MBA
4. Heated towel rack(s)
5. Bench for drying off after shower
6. Heated floors
7. Possible steam shower (could it go where the tub is currently?)
8. Soaking tub is not a necessity, we use an outdoor jacuzzi year round and I have only sat in my two person master bathtub once in 4 years. But, I think it might look cool to have a small Japanese-style soaking tub.
9. Want to keep as much natural light as possible. Current windows above tub could be made smaller and higher, though.

  1. Want to keep separate room for toilet, but could swap swing out door for pocket door or barn door
  2. Bumping out the bathroom 12 inches (towards the walk in closet door) and replacing the double french doors with one door that is 4 feet wide.

I am open to all of your ideas, so let 'em rip.

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My first thoughts are:

Rather than heated floors (more energy consumption, higher bills, etc.), replace floor with a wood floor. They're warm to walk on and are beautiful in bathrooms.

I'd knock the wall out where the light switches are, take the shower out of there and put a very deep double-sink vanity in there, kitchen-counter depth, if not deeper. I once rented a cottage that had very deep bathroom counters, and I absolutely loved them. That would also give you deep cabinet and storage space.

I'd take the jacuzzi tub out and put a large glass-surround, or wall-less shower in there (so the light from the windows sill gets into the room. Showering by open windows is so nice, so long as it's private! Extend the shower around the corner by adding a wall with recessed shelves to hold shampoo and other stuff (where the single vanity is), then, on the outside, build a closet to hold towels, extra toiletries, etc., between the shelf wall of the shower and the wall.

What might be kind of fun for the little sink in the WC would be to get a motion detection sink, so just putting your hands under the tap draws water. Don't really see who you'd get a pocket door or barn door in there.

On the wall where the longer vanity is, you could put the drying bench and towel warmers.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:06PM
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Thanks, Tibbrix, for all your ideas. I too am leaning towards putting the sinks where the shower is currently, as the mirror above the sink and vanity would reflect the windows and their natural light. I also like the motion sensor idea for the faucet in the WC. Fortunately our windows are very private so showering in front of them is not a prob.

I am not sure I understand the part where you write "Extend the shower around the corner by extending the wall...then on the outside, build a closet" can you elaborate here by writing or draw it for me?

How big a shower would you put in, 4x7 or 5x5?

Thanks again for your ideas and prompt response.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:04PM
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That's a great point about a mirror in that spot reflecting natural light back into the room. I think you would really love having very deep counters there too. Deep counters would also allow you to put sizable sinks in, which is a real benefit, IMO.

Re: the shower. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do a drawing here. Let me see if I can describe what I mean better. The shower would be a walking, triangular, in the footprint of the jacuzzi tub there now. Facing the tub, there would be a glass wall coming out from the wall where your long vanity is going out to where it would meet the shower door joint.

Shower door would be where the jacuzzi tub faucet is, right in the center there, facing the corner where the two sets of windows meet, attached to two glass panels on either side of the door.

But then, where the shorter, single-sink vanity is now, imagine cutting that vanity, say, 1/3 from the right, so you have 2/3 of that space on the left. On the left you'd have a built-in cabinet to hold towels and such. On the right, the shower walls would be extend to include that area inside the shower with shelving to hold shampoo bottles, razors, etc.

In other words, the shower would comprise of the entire window area. You'd have to speak to a plumber about where the faucets and shower head would be situation. You want to be able to reach your shampoo bottles w/o having to walk across the shower to get them and put them back. Maybe a shower head in the ceiling in the center of the shower? However, with glass walls and doors, you'll definitely want a hand shower nozzle in there too for cleaning, so it'd have to be figured out where that would go, probably by the shelving, near the old small single-vanity sink, since there is a water source right there. Knobs to turn on both the overhead shower and the hand shower could be on that slice of wall there vertically. You'd have to get into the shower to turn them on, though.

Add some teak benching under the left window for shaving legs (or aging) and so you can reach the hand shower.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:42AM
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Thanks for the description, it now makes sense to me. I hope the shower can be steam, but not sure with all those windows in that corner. I like the idea of the deep storage and sizable sinks, too. Great idea!

I wonder if the wall where my sink with long counter is currently located should become a vanity/make up area to the right of the bench (which would be next to the shower)?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:25PM
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IMHO, the footprint of this bath is okay, but needs tweaking.

Sorry, I do not agree with putting your shower in front of those windows. The wooden frames would be rotten in no time, from the water. But, just removing that huge corner tub will easily give you enough space in that corner for a 36"x72" rectangular one (perhaps a Japanese) against the long wall in that corner.

At the end of the tub, where the current make-up vanity and single sink are, put in a 27" x 72" base with double sinks, three 4 drawer banks,(1 left of the sink by the tub,1 between the sinks and 1 right of the other sink) and doors below the sinks. Be sure to add sufficient outlets on the wall between the sinks.

Make that other single sink the make-up vanity, but make it 27" deep (sorry, don't know the depth now, but am guessing it's @22"). 5" doesn't sound like much, but it could be a lot.

If you can steal space from the closet behind, leave the shower in the same location, but make it a longer steam shower, with multiple heads and a bench inside. You could make built-in shelves/nooks above the bench. Tile the whole space inside, including the ceiling.

Again, if you stole space from the master closet, put a tall linen closet at the end of the shower. It wouldn't have to be 24" deep, 15" - 18" should be sufficient. Just be sure that all shelves are adjustable.

If you can again steal space from the entry, you could add a small corner sink in the WC. DEFINITELY, put in a pocket door there.

A 48" door going into the bathroom is quite wide, I personally think a 36" would be more than sufficient. Remember, the wider the door, the more it encroaches into the room. Just put it in AFTER everything is in place. The 55" you opening you have now will make it much easier to move things in.

I would also have the light switch outside the bathroom. That way you're not fumbling for it behind a door. Put in a lighted switch, so you're not fumbling for it in the dark.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:36AM
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Thanks Canuckplayer for responding and making so many suggestions. I have been searching for steam showers with windows on Houzz and see many. When asked about rotting windows the designers or architects say they used special windows, I think they say they manufacture vinyl windows that are good for wet spaces. Are those a joke? Will all those bathrooms be rotting in a few years time?

I think I understand your layout except the placement of the 36x72 tub, does it go along the wall or catty corner (on an angle) to both walls? Would you keep the shower the same depth? Or bump it out into the bathroom? It is currently 37 inches.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:38AM
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It is really nice to shower in front of windows, and in warm weather with them open. Obviously, if you do put a shower in that area, you take steps to protect the sills and trim from the water. There are plenty of ways to do that. Windows do face outdoor elements, like rain, too!

I had a client who redid her kids' bath, a small bathroom with one window, and put a shower in along the entire wall with the window in it, so the window was inside the shower. So nice. And it looks like you've got a great view from those windows; the only way you'd really be able to take it in is by standing there, and the only reason to be standing anywhere in a bathroom for any amount of time is to shower. I wouldn't let the water thing stop me. I do wonder if the placement of the hardware to turn the water on, the hand-held shower, etc., would be difficult because of the lack of wall space. But there are so many options nowadays.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:25AM
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    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Sorry, I misunderstood about the windows. I thought they were staying in place. Vinyl windows/frames would work if replacing. If you have a private location there, you could certainly go for it, but as rtwilliams stated, the plumbing may be a bit of a problem. If you want a steam shower, doesn't that involve multiple heads/sprays?

The tub would never go catty corner again, otherwise you would be in the same boat for space. I would put it along the sinks wall. So, along that wall it would be 72"L tub, 72"L sinks cabinet, 36"w WC = 180". You could reduce the length of the tub to 60" if you wish (you don't use it anyway). Then, you could increase the length of the sinks cabinet.

You could increase the shower to 42" wide. Make the relocated make-up vanity wider also, 36-39" (that current single sink looks to be 24"). I never understand why builders put in a tiny make-up vanity. Don't they know how much "stuff" we women have? Put in a 4 or 5 dr. bank for storage.

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 15:31

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 3:19PM
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So, a 4 or 5 door bank sounds intriguing, if it will take care of my vanity storage needs (no offense taken, BTW, I know this is a train wreck, which is why I am embarking on a remodel.) But, I have no idea what one looks like, can you describe it, Canuckplayer, or post a photo?

I will have to do some recon and go to the nearest homes to mine to see what they can see of my bathroom windows with binoculars, etc. I am guessing they cannot see inside my bathroom, since they are multiple acres away. But, good to double check. I also think I could do a frosted lower window and a clear glass upper or just put in rectangular windows at eye level. The steam shower is not a definite, I could do a standard shower with a rain head and a handheld, and probably be very happy. I just think the steam would be nice for my husband who is allergic to my cat and has asthma.

Do any of you have a steam shower? Is it worth the additional expense?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:53PM
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My steak shower is just really hot water while I"m showering! ;-)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Oh, I thought it was when your filet mignon scrubs down your porterhouse ;-)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 1:04AM
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