Design help for bath built-ins

weedyacresMay 5, 2013

We're rehabbing a small, old house with a tiny (5x7) bathroom. Here's the current floor plan. We are swapping the sink and toilet.

I want to build some storage into the wall across from the toilet. Basic idea is like a cabinet recessed into the wall, which backs into a (future) closet in the adjacent bedroom. I've allocated a rough opening 22" wide x 44" tall, startng about 6" away from the tub so it is out of the way of potential water splashing. Here's the wall, with the new stud showing roughly the RH border and the cut out stud showing the top.

I'd like some recommendations on a couple design questions.
1. Drawers vs. door: Methinks drawers will be handier, especially since it's waist-down storage. But will lots of handles (probably 4) protruding into the small space be a problem?
2. Depth: The front of the drywall to the front of the closet wall gives me 5 1/4" of "free" space. How much further should I protrude into the closet behind? It'll only be about a 6-7' wide closet as it is. 10" takes up about half the closet depth, and gives 15" depth for drawers/shelves. Sufficient? Better more or less?
3. Door/drawer front design: I'm thinking if I frame the front of the carcase and then put a door on top of that, plus the knobs, it'll poke out too far into the room. So I'm thinking I need to go with inset drawers, which I have not attempted before, and I worry about my ability to make everything fit together perfectly. Any thoughts or tips on that front?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hi Weedy,

Are you sure your closet is only 20" deep? To hang clothes you need at least 24" deep. Will your hangers be going sideways?

Anyhow, I assume you are giving up hanging anything on the lower portion, will have a high bar in the closet for shirts/etc. And you'll use the shortened lower part for shelves for shoes or something?

If you could squeeze a few more inches out of your drawer space in the bathroom, I think I would. You can always use those little metal handles that fit over the top of the drawer. I tried to google it, but couldn't find what I'm thinking of...this came up though, another solution to protuding handles.

Here is a link that might be useful: flat drawers with finger pulls

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 8:59PM
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raehelen: The closet's not built yet, so it'll be full depth. I was just rounding off numbers, given that I still have the back of the cabinet to consider. The bath storage cabinet would be very roughly in the center of the closet, so I could have some full-length storage to one side and then double rods on the other. I was thinking about building a short shoe cubby to go on the front of the bath storage cabinet to fully utilize that space.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:56AM
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bump...any other thoughts/feedback?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:45AM
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I would prefer drawers too, but can't you "notch" the drawers (with a router) for a "pull" without having knobs/pulls that stick out?

That said, as this will be directly across from the toilet, it wouldn't be difficult to just sit on the toilet lid to "bend over"/get to the level I needed to see into shelves at that height. And, frankly, shelves are a lot easier to adjust/accomodate depth.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:25PM
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I guess another option would be a single door with pull-out shelves. Perhaps that gives the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:46PM
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I would prefer drawers unless you want to store tall items like a toilet bowl brush or plunger. You could use recessed pulls so that nothing sticks out.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:20PM
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