8 x 12 master bath layout DILEMMA

jmcrequeJune 19, 2009

We have a 1950s house and the first real room remodel we are tackling is the master bath. While a contractor is involved we are trying to save as much money as we can by doing the design work ourselves. But oh the dilemmas! Tub? No tub? (we never use the tub anyways). Which was will the doors open? How much room does a toilet need? What is a good view to have when you first walk into a bathroom (and does that even matter?) How close can a toilet be to the door? (and would anyone even care?). Ack! :)

Hoping to get some ideas on a good fuctional 8 x 12 bathroom layout, for a room that will basically be a clean slate except for 2 things: 1) The window (east wall) cannot really be moved and 2) the door to the master bedroom (south wall) cannot really be moved (which is SO frustrating!). I'm going to try to figure out how to post the pics (of the layout I mocked up - in Excel no less). But till then.....any ideas??

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Boy oh boy are those familiar questions! We're about midway on our reno, gut job and can relate to what you're experiencing. Believe me, the forum was our saving grace!

Regarding the tub: If you do a search on the topic you'll find a wealth of information regarding this issue. In a nutshell though, if the main bathroom has a tub and you and your DH lean towards showers, converting the tub/shower combo in the master to a walk in shower is not going to have a hugh adverse affect on resale. It's actually becoming a more popular option for many, including us. But because trends vary from region to region and even in differing neighborhoods, I would first consult with a local realtor who is familiar with your neighborhood just to be on the safe side. With a bathroom that size however, you would most likely have room for a tub & separate shower or even a comfortably sized doorless shower it just all depends on your budget and preferences.

In regards to the toilet, we're allowing for about 24 inches from the front end of the bowl to the door of the shower.

Shower door: With our set-up, which has the toilet sitting on the opposite wall facing the shower, a typical shower door will not have enough space to open fully so we opted for a bypass sliding door instead. It turned out to be a really good option for us in the end as they do have semi frameless in a very affordable price range.

Toilet spacing from the wall: Our contractor said we needed to allow for 14-18 inches from the center of the toilet tank to the counter edge and/or walls.

Entry door: If you feel the entry door is a problem, have you considered a pocket door maybe? Your contractor can easily tell you if that can be a viable option for you.

As far as a view from the doors, typically you don't want to see the toilet, and the most appealing view is going to be the vanity area.

Something I did that I found really helpful is I went to the book section at Lowes. There they have a couple of books that are specifically geared towards bathroom layouts with several plans printed for ideas. You may want to look through them to see if there is something similar to your situation that could help you along.

In regards to posting a picture, if you go to the kitchens forum, and do a search for a post titled "READ ME IF YOUR NEW TO GW KITCHENS". In there are all kinds of tips to help new posters, including how to post pictures.

Hope that helps! Good luck on your project! --Lukki

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:10PM
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Thank you so much! We hadn't considered a sliding door, but may have to depending on the layout we choose. We are really stuggling to decide on a layout that keeps the vanity as the first thing you see (cause we agree it's probably going to be the prettiest). Here is our current layout:

It is fine, but we want a shower at least 4x5 so we can't just use the tub space (without encroaching on the window).
(Note: the little square by the linen closet is my cursor, not a structure in the room)

So, we want to open the space up my getting rid of the master closet (we have two closets) and the linen closet.
Here is one of the layouts we are considering.

But it has a big issue:
ME: Who on earth needs a 4 x 8 shower?!
DH: But how could we arrange it to fit a tub AND still get a "big" (i.e. at least 4x5) shower and not have the space feel cramped?
ME: no clue
DH: Me either

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 3:06PM
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I can see why you have a problem, and here is one idea. The shower is 4x5, but I didn't do the rest to scale, it's good enough that you can get the jest though. The problem is that moving your plumbing, especially the toilet can be very costly. This may not be your perfect solution, but it does keep moving your plumbing to a minimum. Also, you loose your closet, but gain a vanity! Something us girlies really like! HTH -- Lukki

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 6:53PM
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Here's a very clever layout with a double tub and a shower in roughly that much space:

Read the details here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Miami Beach's Condo bathroom remodel

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Here are a couple more ideas that allow both tub and shower (I'm an "Excel designer" too, but I need a lesson on how to get them into an uploadable graphic by some means other than a photo):

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Thanks guys! We are mulling over the design options and these help alot. Our (latest)issue is that we finally got bids back....and they're higher than expected. Lukki, I was reading another post where you said a full remodel could be done for 10k including labor? Is that right? Can you give a rough idea of what the material/labor split was at that level?
We have gotten labor ONLY quotes of $7.5k, $12k and then one dude who shocked us with a $45k quote! (but don't worry he says, this includes materials....*gulp* and no he wasn't kidding)
Weedy - I use the "Print sceen" keyboard function to copy the screen and then paste it into a photo program and crop to just the Excel bit :-)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:56PM
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I've don't recall the specific post you're referring to, but if you provide me the link to refresh my memory, I'll be happy to clarify it. As you know, costs can vary depending on where you live, we're in the midwest, and this is our first remodel so I really don't have anything I can compare it to on a national level. Right now though, we're at 12-13,000 labor & materials, however, if we had not upgraded in materials & added a couple of extra changes, our costs would have easily been in that range or lower. I think it really depends on what you're doing and how much time you want to invest as I spent countless hours learning about products & searching for "deals". There were only 2 things we didn't get with some kind of discount attached it. One was the granite, the size of our counter is too big, so we had to buy a 1/2 slab instead of a remmant (we also chose an exotic which didn't help) and the shower plumbing, so instead of getting the finish I preferred (ORB) we compromised and got chrome for inside the shower and brushed nickel for the rest of the room. Everything else was either on sale, marked down or has a tax credit tied to it. Our house was a fixer when we bought it 3 yrs ago, and we've DIY'd all of our projects, but didn't feel up to the task with the bathroom. To keep labor costs to a minimum we said we would paint, help with the sealing of the stone, install our sink fixtures, and I'm building the frames for the mirrors. It's not a lot but it will save us several hundred dollars.

In the drawings you provided, I noticed you had changed your entire footprint, which can increase your costs substantially. You also mentioned that you don't use the tub, that's why in the drawing I did for you, I tried to keep the same general footprint for the major plumbing and used a vanity for the corner, leaving out the tub. I have a pretty good record of the costs for our project so far. If you're interested and want to email me I'll be happy to go through it with you in a little more detail. -- Lukki

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:48AM
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