Bathroom Reno: Toilet Choice; Tiling Walls; Wainscoting Height

rosiegoldenJune 25, 2014


This is my first time posting here although I have been reading for months. You all are a super-informed bunch!

We are about to embark on a gut-the-bathroom renovation of our circa 1953 family bathroom. We think it was retiled in the 70s with the iridescent brown wall and shower tile.

The general plan is:

*Classic white subway tile in shower and on the walls, with black trim
*Black and white flooring - either basketweave or hexagons
*White cast-iron tub
*IKEA Godmorgon vanity in black/brown with white ceramic sink top
*Remove that enormous closet on the left and replace with a linen tower. Tentative: IKEA Godmorgon high cabinet, in black-brown. The jury is out on this - we are also considering the (more bulky) Kraftmaid tall linen cabinet in Dove White. It might be a better choice in terms of durability and generous storage - but it would stick out 21" into the room (as opposed to the Godmorgon's 11"), which eats up valuable floor and visual space.

The overall goal is a very classic look with a little bit of modern tone as well. This room is used by two teenage boys and the occasional guest (including e.g. dinner guests), so it needs to be both durable and reasonably attractive.

My questions at this time are:

*Toilet: We renovated our master bath last year and are super-happy with the Kohler Cimarron comfort-height toilet in there. No clogs all year! For this bath, however, we want a standard-height toilet with an elongated bowl which is relatively petite and like the Cimarron, does not clog. Any recommendations? We know Toto is well-rated but would like to stick with Kohler if possible.

*Tiling walls: We plan to tile around the toilet and behind the vanity. Do we need to tile the wall on the right as well? Would it look strange if we didn't?

*What (if any) is the standard height for tile wainscoting? The current tile looks very high to me - but I don't know what the usual choice is.

I am sure I will have more questions as we go forward.

Thank you!

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We've done wainscotting of sorts in our hall bath a number of times now. A couple of times we had wallpaper that was different above and below with a border strip around the middle. We've also done different colored paint above and below with a trim board dividing the two colors. Each time we set the dividing line in line with the tallest part of the vanity backsplash. We are currently mid-reno, so ignore the mess - you can see how we made the split. The new vanity will be the taller kind, so the new dividing line will also be higher relative to the floor, but not the counter. (The paint chips are the new paint colors.)

I would reconsider going with the shorter vs. taller toilets considering the main users will be teenage boys. Your guests will thank you too for the taller height.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:55PM
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We're also mid-remodel and putting tile on all the walls. The tile appears that it might be as high as yours, I think it goes about 4' up. I do think it seems high, and I'm worried it will make our small bathroom seem smaller. But the main reason I'm doing it is for cleaning purposes, and this way it will be above the lightswitch, the outlet, the top of the toilet tank, and it will work out as the vanity backsplash.

I'm not sure there is a "rule" about how high to tile the walls, but I think our decision was based on the width of the cement board.

PS -- I like your current wall tile -- lots of personality ;-) We have the Godmorgon vanity/sink combo in our master bath. I have been disappointed in it -- just with normal use water collects into the integrated handle of the top drawer and I have to wipe it out after almost every use. Maybe they have changed the design, ours is 2+ years old.

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 0:15

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 12:09AM
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Thank you very much! We met with the contractor yesterday and the plan is:

*Tiling walls: We will tile around the toilet and behind the vanity as well as on that right-hand wall. I think it would look odd if we didn't, and it is a splash zone of sorts, right by the tub/shower.

*Tile height on the walls: We decided on 40" because the vanity will be 36" high and that will allow for a 4" backsplash.

*Melle - isn't that iridescent tile crazy? RE the vanity, I'm sorry to hear that about the Godmorgon. Ours, the dark black/brown color, has regular handles, not integrated ones. I wonder if that will make a difference? We are going to purchase the Godmorgon high cabinet as well - it is only 15"W by 11"D and so will occupy little floor and visual space.

*RE toilets: Maybe you are right that I should re-think the comfort vs. regular height question. But don't family bathrooms usually have regular height toilets? I'm thinking of resale value down the line too.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I'm thinking "comfort height" is fairly new concept, and the more people use it, the more they like it. Even my K-age grandson doesn't have trouble with the height.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Suzannesl, good to know - thank you. Maybe we should just go with another Cimarron. We have been very pleased with it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:30AM
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