Water closet size

itltrotMay 1, 2012

DH & I have had the future layout of our bathroom planned for well over a year now. I thought all the planning was done until the other night we were watching an episode of Holmes on Holmes. Mike tore out a water closet/potty room because he felt it was to claustrophobic. It was 36" wide.

The same size we were planning to do with ours (3'x 5'6"). Now DH thinks it's to small and wants to make it bigger at least another 6" to the width. I don't think we can squeak out another 6" out of the space.

Is 36" really to narrow? Anyone have complaints with their 36" wide water closet?

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How will it be separated from the other room (rest of bathroom)? The door can be a big factor in if it feels too small or not...

If it is an outswing, or pocket door, I think it will be fine. If it is an inswing door, you need to make some changes.

Scan your plan in for feedback.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:54PM
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I think our powder room is 3.5' by 6' (it may be 3' by 6.5"). I find it plenty spacious and the 6" less wouldn't bother me.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:31AM
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our water closet in the master is 33.5"x70" inside dimension with a 28" inswing door. It is totally fine. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:19AM
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We will have to do a pocket door to avoid doors hitting doors. We hope to change the bathroom entry door to a pocket door as well.

I've posted the layout before but here it is again. I'm always open to suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Ours is the same size (36"x66" interior sheetrock to interior sheetrock) and it doesn't feel clausterphobic at all. However, if you do those cabinets across from the toilet, I think it will feel clausterphobic at 66". You need at the very least 2' between those cabinets and the end of the toilet with 3' or more being ideal. Could you put upper cabinets over the toilet and slide the door down toward the bathroom entry instead? You could also do a recessed shelf area in that wall across from the toilet if you wanted/needed to. That would allow you storage in there + the space you need for maneuverability + no clausterphobia.

Is it possible to flip the toilet over to the other wall where the cabinets are currently drawn? That would allow you to have regular swing doors on both the bathroom entry and the water closet entry.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Ours is 35" x 61" with a pocket door and I have never felt it was too small. I do agree with mydreamhome that you proabaly won't have room for those cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:54PM
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Third the no cabinets in the WC. Unless those are drawn there just to indicate you plan to do some built in ones (into the wall space itself), I don't think you have the room.

Remember too, that if you recess them into the wall, the decreases the insulative value of the wall to noise transmission...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:29PM
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I just figured out what it says next to 'cabinets' on those cabinets in the water closet--'linen'. A couple things here: Do you really want your linens stored in the small room that can get very stinky? That's a long walk from the shower into the water closet for a towel/soap/shampoo, etc if you forgot to get the needed item before getting in the shower.

What about doing a linen tower on the end of the vanity by the shower wall over the hamper like this?

Or putting a linen tower where the bench is? If you're really set on the bench, you could do one with drawers underneath where you could store linens, too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:55AM
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I agree the cabinet across from the toilet could make things feel smaller and if we end up adding something it'll be after we've lived with the space awhile first. I do plan to add cabinets above the toilet. My house has such little storage that I'm trying to add space where I can. I've considered a tower but I'm afraid it'd make the shower feel closed in on that side.

I hadn't thought about doing a permanent bench with storage. I was thinking something removable but I'll give it some thought. I'm not terribly worried about the storage/linen cabinet being so far from the shower. Our current one is in the hallway so this is much closer.

The door can't really be moved down towards the wall because it'd make it awkward to walk into the room and then a sharp turn to go into the WC.

I don't think recessing cabinets or moving plumbing to the "cabinet" wall will work as there will be a pocket door in that wall as well. I'd have to do the math on it but the door is currently 24" wide which we've talked about widening it.

I haven't particularly worried about linens getting stinky in the WC if stored there as the room will have a fan and a door to keep air circulated. Also we've never used that bathroom for any stinky business in the 11 years we've lived here. Weird, I know.

Glad to hear that the size is a good size at least. After telling DH that everyone on here feels it's a good size he's okay with it once again.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:32AM
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itltrot--Here's a visual of what I meant to allow swing doors vs. pocket doors and flipping the toilet. I also enlarged the bathroom entry door to 30" and switched which end of the vanity the hamper is on to allow for a linen tower without infringing on the openness of the shower.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Lots of good comments from previous posters, and your layout is looking good. Here's what I would tweak, see more detailed comments below:

1) Widen the WC by 3".
2) Ditch the cabinets in the WC.
3) Add a moveable bench inside the shower.
4) Turn the bench to a floor to ceiling linen closet.

We went from 36" to 42" of width in our powder room, as it was just too tight. And our master bath WC is also 42" wide. Drywall is in, but the toilets are not, but the space feels plenty large. I think 36" will work fine, but even if you could etch out another 3", it would make a nice improvement.

Based on: 1) the width of your door casings/trim and 2) your aisle width, you might be able to push out the WC by 3" or so, and just make the bench (or the suggested linen closet) deeper.

Even for our 42" WC, we did have to change the swing of the door to an outswing. Typically, I don't like pocket doors used for bathroom doors (they are hard to lock and don't always close well unless you get very good hardware), but for this space, I think a pocket door would work well if you don't go with the outswing (or the inswing won't work).

I like mydreamhome's edits -- i.e., the toilet/door switch. My only concern is whether the linen tower will feel overwhelming as it will be one of the first things you see when you enter the bathroom. I do like the idea of a permanent bench with a storage drawer underneath; and, if this bench gets deeper, even better for storage. If you do this, maybe add a terrycloth-covered cushion (where the cover can be washed)? But even more preferable could be a floor to ceiling linen closet. Moving away from the linen tower would keep your sink wall nice and airy.

Also, did you consider a bench (moveable) for your shower since it's so large? This would be very practical and could be very pretty -- nice for women shaving, a place to rest and enjoy your shower, and great as you age or if you hurt yourself and don't want to stand in the shower for more than a few minutes.

For such a large shower, I would strongly suggest installing a hand shower placed near the moveable bench and in a good spot where it can be used to wash down all the walls when the shower is being cleaned.

Good luck with your reno!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Thanks for the mockup. I appreciate the effort. Major concern would be the first sink is now place 1/2 in from of a window which would be awkward and mess with my need for symmetrical. The reason for the pocket door upon entry is to allow the first sink to be used as the door currently hits anyone in front of it when someone else enters or exits the bathroom. Which doesn't allow for plumbing in the pocket door wall.

We will have some sort of teak like bench for use in the shower but want a bench or seating in the main part for dressing, painting toenails or whatever other needs we should have.

I do plan to have a wand shower head at one end.

If I had the tower where the bench is where would I have towel hooks/bars? It drives me nuts with one change comes a dozen new challenges.

Keep the help coming!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Here's an option...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:25AM
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i am doing a 3x5 wc in our master. i think it feels fine, though it is currently only framed, not yet finished. i have a window installed in it and also i am planning on doing a reeded glass door. i think all of the glass will help it feel less small.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:43PM
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I love our pocket door to our toilet/shower room. I can't imagine a swinging door in the same small space - either inswing or outswing.

I think that this teak bench from Frontgate is very attractive, I wish that I had the space for it in my shower:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:23PM
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terricks, I have that same bench in my "want" files.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 3:00PM
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