Shower/tub curtain or glass when you need to bathe kids?

skubaMay 5, 2013

Hi, first house and first child both coming in August! Only one bathroom unfortunately.
We are going to have a shower over tub and are wondering whether to put curtains or glass all around it?

My first take is that curtain will make it a lot more accessible to bath the kid (kids, we plan for more). And glass would restrict access. Specially access to the faucets to control water flow and temperature.

What's your take?

Attaching bathroom design.

Thanks

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Sophie Wheeler

Shower curtain is always best with kids.

But, you'll need a wall between the toilet area and tub to do a standard shower curtain. That will take away from the space and make the whole bath need to be reconfigured as it's not long enough to add the wall without impinging on the space you need for both the toilet and the tub. The current design would leave you with one of those awkward L shaped shower rods and finding a couple of curtains to make it work.

Your drawing also doesn't appear to account for the interior dimensions of the room and instead is calculating dimensions based on center line of stud to center line of the stud. That's fine for construction, but it doesn't work when you have minimum distances mandated by code and you use the construction dimensions. Such as the dimensions for the toilet being 15" on center. Your diagram doesn't account for the wall thickness, leaving the area too small. (Not to mention that 30" is pretty darn tight in real life. 36" is the minimum that I would want to have.) You have to calculate the interior dimensions based on the finished wall cladding. Or you just may get red flagged by the inspector.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:32PM
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raehelen

Can you buy shower curtains that hang from the ceiling? Then I assume you would just keep the short end curtains 'drawn' all the time, which wouldn't be a bad thing with the toilet at the end there. And you could hang a curved one out on the side.

Here is a link that might be useful: ceiling supports for shower rods

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:56PM
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skuba

Hi Hollysprings, thanks for the feedback. Here are some comments:

> But, you'll need a wall between the toilet area and tub to do a standard shower curtain.

The idea is to put an L-shaped rod or a ceiling L-shaped track. I think it's the compromise we need to do to have that bathroom layout, which is much more spacious than the current one (attached).

We could add wall at the end of the tub but we would lose the goal of having a bathroom that feels bigger.. One idea considered was having a glass there, but I think it's still better with the L-shaped rod.

> Your drawing also doesn't appear to account for the interior dimensions of the room and instead is calculating dimensions based on center line of stud to center line of the stud. That's fine for construction, but it doesn't work when you have minimum distances mandated by code

I used an architect for this so everything is according to code. We even have to move a pipe to have 24" between toilet and wall in front of it.

> (Not to mention that 30" is pretty darn tight in real life. 36" is the minimum that I would want to have.)

What is 30"? The tub? It's supposed to be 32" and that's plenty. I have a 30" in current rental and it's plenty.

Thanks

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:44PM
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palimpsest

A curtain will be best for access with kids and for cleaning the tub area.

The thing that I notice about the drawing is that it is very difficult to Find a 32 x 60 tub to stand in the corner with two free sides rather than being set in an alcove. Make sure you have a specific tub model and that it is available. (The ones that I could find were 66" I believe)

You may need at least a pony wall there to enclose the raw end of a 32 x 60 tub, which puts you at 64", not 60. If you could squeeze a couple inches from another space, and put a wall there, perhaps the toilet could have a compartment to itself.

In a single bath situation it may be more useful to have a separate toilet area than two sinks. (Someone could run in and close the door if someone else is behind the shower curtain or brushing teeth or whatever)

I know there are two distinct camps about the double vanity thing, but what has worked for people I know is a larger vanity with a single bowl and some counterspace and then a larger mirror over the whole thing. That way maybe you could shorten the vanity a bit and get a bit of breathing room between it and the tub.

The last couple places I have owned have had 30" tubs which gave a showering area of about 27" wide and it worked better with a curtain which moves around your elbows , shoulders and head as you move around rather than giving you a surface to bang into because it's kinda tight. That's another reason for a curtain with under 36" in width.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:15PM
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skuba

Thanks for the tip Palimpsets. We don't have space for a separate area for toilet unfortunately. As far as the tub, the contractor said he would tile in the other open end of the tub.

We are also not going to put a 70" vanity as it's in the drawing, but a 60" free standing one. Like the one linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: vanity

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:15PM
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chispa

FYI, if you reverse the swing on both your medicine cabinet mirrors you can then use the open/angled mirrors to see while you style/comb the back of your hair. If you place a flat mirror in between it becomes a true 3-way mirror.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You cannot take a drop in tub and just tile the walls and call that good to go for a tub/shower situation. It will devlop leaks. To use a tub as a tub/shower it requires an integral tile flange. The number of tubs that have only a 2 sided flange are miniscule and expensive. You could gain a few inches back from the needed wall at the end of the tub by turning the studs sideways. Then you would be able to have a door to enclose the toilet area as well as provide the third wall needed for a standard inexpensive alcove tub.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:22PM
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palimpsest

A tub designed for alcove installation needs at least some thickness of a wall to give you some structure to actually put tile on. It doesn't matter whether its 19" high like the tub or all the way to the ceiling, it needs some Thickness and that means the tub area ends up being longer than 60".

A drop in tub that sits in a tiled or solid surface deck is generally not recommended for use with a shower because the deck is lower than the tub edge between the edge and the two walls (side and front) which creates a trough for water to accumulate.

I think you are going to have to steal a couple inches from whatever is north of the bathroom in this plan whether you decide to do a separate toilet enclosure or not. Even if you put glass on the back end of the tub it would still have to rest on some structure and that takes some thickness that is not indicated in this plan.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:12PM
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skuba

We don't want to move the wall north. Couldn't I just get a smaller tub?
I am starting to wonder if changing this bathroom around wasn't a mistake.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:25AM
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skuba

We don't want to move the wall north. Couldn't I just get a smaller tub?
I am starting to wonder if changing this bathroom around wasn't a mistake.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:33AM
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live_wire_oak

A 5' tub is about as small as you can find with an integral tile flange. Smaller tubs do exist, but they would be awkward to use as a well used shower, and they are expensive.

You need the wall there. I agree about turning the studs sideways to be able to enclose the toilet and provide you with the needed end wall to the tub.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:05AM
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palimpsest

I am using a Kohler Seaforth tub, which is 54" x 30-1/2", cast iron, with an integral flange. It's going to be a tiny bathroom with an in-wall-tank, wall-hung toilet.

This is about your only option unless you do a super cheap steel tub like a Bootz, which is the type of thing that gets put in rentals and manufactured houses.

The Seaforth could work but it gives you very little elbow room for bathing kids at that south end of the tub, since it is 6" shorter.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 10:27AM
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lascatx

Would a tub like this Neptune Wind avoid a wall and give you a bit more room at the toilet end? No need to tile the side either, so that will be cheaper and easier. It is a bit deeper, so you might want a small bench or stool to sit on for bathing little ones. There are photos of this tub in bathrooms on Houzz.

To answer your original question -- definitely a curtain, even two. One bath banging into glass or leaning across a tub with a track on your belly -- uncomfortable if clean and new, gross if not, and you wouldn't have any doubts. Easier to clean too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Neptune Wind

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:39AM
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skuba

Wow, that would have worked if it wasn't so wide.

THanks

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:15PM
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lascatx

Looks like you have a few inches there between the tub and vanity -- also might some in another width. I am not that familiar with it, just remembered it as a neat idea and possible solution for small rooms.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:42PM
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palimpsest

You could use it if you shorten the vanity a bit more and go to a single sink if necessary.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:51PM
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lascatx

Even a longer sink with two faucets if that makes it more functional for you. Two users but only one drain taking up room below too. That is a cool and very current idea. Search "double faucet sink" on Houzz bathrooms and you'll see a number of photos.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:17PM
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nancyinmich

Skuba, there are other options in smaller tubs. Home Depot carries the ones I am going to talk about. First there is the one mentioned above, the Bootz Honolulu. It is only $139. It is 46.5" long, 27" wide, and 15 inches high. Porcelain over steel construction.

For more room and presumably better quality, there is the Kohler Seaforth that is 54" long, 30.25" wide and 14" high. That extra six inches gives you your toilet wall and extra room. This tub is sold for $1148 in white. It is cast iron and porcelain.

There is also the Kohler Greek soaker tub that is 48" x 32" in Acrylic. I think it is too big in the 32" dimension for your current layout. It is drop-in, so needs a structure and tile work around it. I wonder if it would fit in the alcove where your toilet is scheduled to go. Then the toilet could have a half-wall separating it from the vanity, over where the other end of the tub was going to be.

I am currently planning for a bath remodel in the only full bathroom in our house. I am toying with the idea of putting a tiny tub in my half-bath before that construction. It would give us a place to shower during the renovation (going down to the studs or further, there is a lot of water damage to be repaired in the big bath and we won't have a shower while the work is being done). The half bath is only 69" x 52", so fitting a bathtub in there will be a miracle. The reason I am considering it is that the big bath will have a wheelchair accessible shower because I will need one in the future. I had considered just making the half bath into a wet room - a shower with a toilet and washbasin in it - but there is no way to maneuver a wheelchair into that room, so the shower has to be in the big bath. So if I can fit a tub in the half bath, parents could still bathe kids there.

Lascatx mentioned the one long sink with two faucets. I am planning to do that in our big bath. DH insists that we have the ability to both get ready for the day at the same time. My solution is the get the Kohler Brockway Utility sink in the 36" length with two faucets. I will either set it into an old 42" dresser I just bought for $125 (with a 6" deep ledge running the whole length behind the sink to provide more counter space) or a 42" to 48" vanity base with drawers. Here is one picture I found. I love the backsplash!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:08PM
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nancyinmich

I knew I was missing one of the tubs I had found. American Standard Huron is also 4 ft x 27 inches and porcelain on steel. Faucet Direct sells it for $340.

Here is a link that might be useful: Huron

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:13PM
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nycbluedevil

I have the Kohler Greek tub in my hall bath. We use it as a tub/shower. We installed it in an alcove with a tile-in flange added all around. I love this tub, but it is definitely not appropriate for bathing a child. It is way too deep.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:14AM
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