Master Bath - 1979 Redux

ahmnjMay 7, 2013

Hi - We bought a house in 2010, recognizing that the master bath was really cramped, and kind of ugly. It needed a makeover.

The basic floor plan today is:

(to get a sense of scale, the bedroom is 17" x 14")
Our goals for renovation included:
- separating the bath & shower (with 2-person shower)
- keep separate WC/Toilet room
- greater accessibility, to allow aging-in-place, including level access to shower, entrance to bedroom from main hallway (time passes quickly)
- try to maintain equivalent closet space
- improve bath/vanity storage
- new/bigger window
- keep 2 sinks - together or separate
- Improve bedroom entrance to make it easier to move furniture, etc

We have played with all sorts of plans that would try to fit this all in to the current footprint, even by cannibalizing some of the Bedroom space. We're finally at the point where it seems as though the only way to go is to add on, extending a 1993 addition (sitting room/office).

Here's where we are right now - essentially leaving the closets alone, and moving most of the bathroom stuff to a 110 sq ft addition.

Essentially, the space that is the current toilet/shower area would become a hallway/dressing area to access the new space. This is probably the thing that I'm least comfortable with - it seems like a lot of space going for no clear purpose, although we do want to keep enough wall opposite the bed for a TV, etc.

The formerly angled wall would be straightened out, and a toilet installed w/ a pocket door.

I'd really appreciate thoughts about this. We recently renovated our kitchen, and the comments from Gardenweb folks were invaluable... there's a lot of talent here (that I don't have).

AHMIowa_NJ (split geographic personality...)

This post was edited by AHMIowa_NJ on Tue, May 7, 13 at 16:05

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If you are talking about aging-in-place, then you need to ensure the ability to access the toilet area if you are in a wheelchair or using a walker, and I don't see that kind of space in the toilet area.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Hi lisaj1354 - we were wondering about that, too - right now, the door to the toilet area is drawn as only 24 inches - if we open that to 30-33", do you think that would work? Or is it too big for a pocket door?

DH is pretty firm in his desire for a separate toilet, which is somewhat of a complicating factor for the layout.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:08PM
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Hi AHMIowa. I'm having the same considerations for extended living ages.

From what I understand wheelchair access ways need to be a comfortable 36-inches which allows for a "zero-point turn". This is from a friend who uses a wheelchair. There is also the consideration for transfer to/from "accommodations".

The bathroom in our new Vintage Southern Belle is rather small, 14-feet long by 8.5-feet wide. Originally a Jack & Jill with two sinks/commodes separated by a tub; access from hallway on one end and MBR from the other. The owners walled off the MBR side into a PR...making it a very narrow affair.

Hopefully you can come to a workable arrangement! I'm scratching my head in consternation until I can get into living in the house & better understand it *grin*

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I'm not a fan of the enclosed hallway/dressing area. I think I'd just put linen storage along the wall where you have the linen closet and seat, remove the wall across from it, get rid of the linen closet on the RH side and make the bedroom opening a double door.

On the enclosed WC, you can always leave it as-is for now and if you end up in wheelchairs, remove the wall later. That way you can enjoy privacy, which is more important to you now, but could opt for access over privacy IF NEEDED (you may not, after all) down the road.

Is that a spiral staircase outside the bedroom door?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 8:23AM
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i think i would just make the larger closet bigger rather than having another linen closet in bedroom...
if i wanted another closet, i would probably put it in the sitting room... how often do you use the sitting room?? we don't use ours very much, so taking away some more space from that area wouldn't bother me too much...
i don't think (but don't know for sure) that small enclosed tiolet areas in general work too well for wheel chairs regardless of the size of the door...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Thanks for comments to date - sorry I kind of lost track of things...had some medical issues/surgery over the summer, so finally getting back to the MBR (all is going well, fortunately!)

For the toilet room, weedyacres suggested the possibility of removing the wall between the toilet and the main bathroom if it is ever needed for accessibility - and that's exactly what we have in mind. Honestly, I suspect that the pocket door won't get closed often anyway...

Weedyacres also wasn't overly comfortable with the walk-through area (which was the original bathroom). The idea of making that more linen closet space is interesting. It's not quite big enough for a dressing room, but I want to get some good use from the space.

Unfortunately, the wall between that space and the main bedroom area is a load-bearing wall, so it can't just be removed, or even easily moved in towards the bedroom, which I was initially thinking about.

Lastly, the small linen closet area behind the door into the can't easily be combined with the main closet behind it, since there are heating ducts in that wall going to the 2nd floor. This space has a number of quirks that have to be worked around, and that's one of them....

But -
We've come up with an idea of arranging the room in a "wet room" style - and I mocked up a pretty rough sketch with HomeDesigner

It still doesn't fix the issue of the old bathroom / walkthrough space, but it would make the bathroom possibly more interesting, and allow for a larger & more accessible shower space. We're envisioning a slight sloping shower pan, & trench drain, and a glass divider to keep the water in the shower area, while keeping the room "open" feeling.

The sitting room is a strange little space - but we use it as an office (there are built-in bookshelves and file/desk space along the outer walls). So between the "office" use, and the big windows that look out into the woods, we didn't want to lose that space or the view.

Architect thinks this might be interesting, and is playing with the specifics of making it work. Am I missing anything awful?


    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Well, based on that last idea, coupled with my anxiety about trying to squeeze two sinks together in no more than six feet of space, the architect has worked on another take. From MBR

DH is happy, because he wants 2 sinks, but I'm concerned that it's a bit tight, and that the vanity seems "too much" (and that the tub is shorter than I'd like). Note that this is conceptual - actual vanity end could be angled/rounded, whatever.

Might it make sense to take one sink/vanity, and place it in the "hallway/dressing area" where there's a bench & linen closet planned? They're separate right now, so it's nothing new. Or does this seem too wierd?

I also thought about swapping the tub and shower areas?

I just don't feel like everything flows the way I'd like...

I'd REALLY appreciate any impressions! Thanks!!

This post was edited by AHMIowa_NJ on Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 14:18

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I like the version you posted on Sept 28th better than this last one. I have never really liked the look of the angled double vanity when I have seen pictures of it on Houzz. But to each his own.

I have seen many 72" double vanitys that seem to work fine. Once you get much smaller than that you might lose some valuable counter space but 6 feet should be ok.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Wow! I like the angled vanity and extra counter top you are getting. I think I prefer the angled vanity to one in the hallway. I've had two separate vanities which I loved and now have an angled vanity and I like it better that the 6 foot vanity with two sinks. I have a bank of drawers on the diagonal in the corner between the two vanities.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Well, that's one for the L, and one against - decisions! We thought of an idea - HydroSystems seems to make a corner tub that has uneven back wall lengths - 60' on one side, and only 48" on the other - the "Courtney". This would allow the end of the tub to more smoothly integrate with the vanity, while allowing more space for bathing.

A rough drawing, inserting this tub perimeter into the earlier drawing is here:
From MBR

Separately from the question of the vanity, does this make sense? I've seen some mixed comments about HydroSystems, so I'd appreciate any first-hand knowledge!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:04PM
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