Which bathroom layout? Help, please.

handyhoneyApril 13, 2012

Sometimes lurker and now new poster here. Hoping you all can help me decide between these two options.

We've gutted our master bathroom. The design is narrowed down to these two:

Option #1

Option #2

A tiny difference with a huge impact on the whole project.

The side wall of the shower goes from glass to a framed wall. From a design point of view I think it would make the bathroom look so much bigger to have that wall be glass. However, this complicates the plumbing enormously.

It means putting the shower head on an exterior wall - so building a fake plumbing wall in front of the exterior wall just to hold plumbing. I'd add a vertical half wall to the end of the shower to at least hold the shower valve so it would be accessible for repairs without breaking tile. Moving the bathtub plumbing to the wall on the right or building a knee wall behind the tub to hold the plumbing (shown in option 1).

Option 2 solves all the plumbing dilemmas, but I'm afraid of the bathroom looking like a tiny cave if I frame that wall in.

The house is on a slab and all the plumbing drops from the attic. (this is south Texas, freezing weather is rare) All the plumbing will be moving anyway - just a matter of how much and where. We took the bathroom from 6x8 to 12x8.

Any help you can give me to decide one or the other would be great. Thanks!

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Hi handyhoney! Like you, I'm a lurker and fairly new poster. I think both of your two options look fantastic, but in your shoes, I would go with option 2. I completely understand your not wanting the space cave-like, but I personally do not think that having the wall in question not be glass will make a huge difference. There is no window in the shower area and I'm guessing that the shower area will have its own light, which when you are not showering, will probably be off? In that case, the shower will oftentimes be dimly lit, and visually not add that much more space to the bathroom. I think if you have a reflective tile on that wall, such as polished marble, it will reflect light nicely into the bathroom, giving it a sense of more space as well as defining the tub space, which personally I would prefer over visually melding the shower and tub spaces via a glass wall. There's also the benefit of added privacy in the shower area by having that wall be solid. I stayed in a hotel not three days ago where the bathroom layout including entry was very similar to yours. The wall separating the shower and tub was solid and I liked the zen feeling of being enclosed in this gorgeous shower without having the rest of the bathroom (which was equally gorgeous) to look at. But that's just me :)

Alternatively, and you may have already considered this, how about having the wall in question be solid halfway up and the top half glass? You would open up the space as you desire and not have to move the tub plumbing, but this still wouldn't address the shower plumbing. Additionally, the half glass/half solid wall would provide more privacy than an all glass wall and at least for me, be more aesthetically pleasing. That's my two cents, if that :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:42PM
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pnadaroux - thanks for your input. A third option was pointed out to me today and when I drew it up I think it ticks all the boxes. I like the look and it gets all the plumbing - except the toilet - out of the exterior wall. So I just have one phony plumbing wall (for the toilet) instead of 3 or 4.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 3:37PM
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I like #3 the best since it does away with the "dead end" and wasted space between the shower and the WC in options 1 and 2. I'd take it one step further and extend the vanity to a pony wall so you'd pick up some additional counter space. With a 1/2 wall of glass, it would still be visually very open.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Yes, #3 is the best.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:25PM
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The pony wall treasuretheday is suggesting would also allow you to put the shower controls on that way. So, you could open the door and turn on the shower without having to step into the shower.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Yes I agree, #3 is much better!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Dekeoboe - love the idea of putting the handle in the pony wall.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Definitely option 3. Great idea re: the pony wall.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:32PM
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