What to do with a long narrow bath.

mrichman333July 2, 2012

Hi everyone. I need help.

I have NO decorating seance at all can really use your help.

We are turning our main bathroom into a 1/2 bath and building a master bath. My dilemma is with the 1/2 bath It is long and narrow; 10 feet long by 4 feet wide.

As you can see from the picture it looks like a very narrow alley. What can be done to make it look more square or not so narrow.

I will be replacing the vanity with a shalow vanity. Other then that in clueless.

Thanks for yore help.


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forgot the photo.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Do you have the proper amount of clear space in front of the toilet? I don't know what code you fall under, but it looks pretty tight.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Yes it's enough my husband checked, we just make it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Especially as the window is now off center, I would think about adding a narrow partition between the pot and the vanity to break up the line of sight through the space.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:45PM
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I'm not an expert, but I have a few ideas.

Center the ceiling light fixture. Possibly switch to sconces on either side of the mirror instead of a long linear light fixture above the vanity.

Use larger format floor tiles. I think the small tile set as it is highlights the grout lines and making the narrowness even more obvious. Possibly even setting the tile on the diagonal would help break up the shape.

Use art, towel bars, etc to break up the wall opposite the toilet and sink.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Thanks for the tips.

I like the idea of a small partition.

We do plan on using larger floor tile set on a diagonal.

The light fixture is coming out, what you see now is the old one. The sheet rock wall is where our bath/shower was.

I'm really stuck on the walls.

I have a few things I'm considering.

1.Tile part way up the wall and use a nice cap, then ? paint the top? Wallpaper the top? Hang some type of pictures???

2. Just paint the whole room and forget about wall tile. Maybe use chair railing and paint the bottom a shade darker then the top and again hang stuff on the wall.

3. Husband suggested wainscoting, but we have that in our kitchen which is right next to the bathroom and I don't want it to look loke we went to a fire sale.

4. Tile all the way to the celling with a decorative strip a few feet up the a different tile above the strip and maybe some type of decorative tile design, two of them to break it up.

Just don't know which would look best.

I appreciate all your thoughts.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 12:39PM
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If this were my bathroom, I'd be so tempted to make the whole thing a wetroom, and put a shower next to the window, full width of the room. Then you just scoot the toilet and vanity toward the doorway and you have a really functional space.

Assuming you're not looking to add a shower, I like the idea of a room divider. You could even make it a tall linen cabinet, about 18" wide, next to the shallow vanity.

For flooring, plank style tiles laid across the width of the room would help with the dimensions.

I don't think I would tile the walls; too much tile would make it feel a little closed in, I think. Two-tone paint above and below a chair rail would give it a nice finished look. Maybe paint the ceiling the same color as the upper walls, to avoid the tunnel effect.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 1:13PM
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I am so glad I found this webpage. Have you all to bounce ideas off of is helping a lot.

I think I'm going to go with the chair rail and two tone paint.

I cam across this picture and it gave me an idea, let me know what you think.

The picture is coded so I coundn't cpoy it but this is the link.


I like the idea of making squar boxes with thiner railing on the botom and maybe a decrative design in the center of the squars like the picture.

Then on above the railing maybe two square pictures to break up the top. OR

Thanks aging for your feedback


    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I wouldnt bother with tile at all. It's not necessary in a powder room and you can make a backsplash out of the counter material...or just use a small strip of tile there.

I think a chair rail is just going to emphasize the length of the room so it won't be helpful. You need to think horizontal lines that run left to right to make it feel wider. Perhaps a tile floor treatment with horizontal stripes could help.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 6:55PM
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I agree Annie somewhat about the chair rrail, but I thought if I added squards om the lower half and two big picturs on the top half it would work.

Horizontal plant tiles on the floor is the only thing I can think of. Don't know how to do that with the walls

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Look at the second picture on the top left.

Here is a link that might be useful: long narrow bathroom

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:28AM
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Any chance of moving the toilet to the window wall and then put a door in to separate the toile from the sink?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The partition I'm thinking of can be decorative...it need not be a wall. It can be a shoji screen or even a framed up piece of glass or stained glass. Just something visual to break up the space and distract from the off-center window and add privacy to the pot. And it could be as wide as vanity.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Ok, my husband spent yesterday moving the window so it is now center.

Thanks for the link egg... I also found a good link. I like the chair railings.

We decided to put in a pedistall sink, this should help.

I like the idea of a decrative partition but the husband dosn't

I'm thinking two shades of yellow. And three squars below the chair rail with a decrative design in the center like this, only I think the chair rail is to low. OR nothing in the squars and a chair rail with a design carved in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: chair rail

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:52AM
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The best suggestion I can make is to use the Toto Aquia wall-hung toilet. Because the tank is in the wall, the toilet only projects 21" from the finished wall. We are using one in our new master bath.

If you could use another shower on that floor, I really like the idea of making the whole space a wet room, with a shower area at the window end, then a wall hung toilet, then a pedestal sink or narrow wall mounted sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Toto

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Any chance of putting the door in the long wall opposite the vanity? We have a LONG narrow bath like yours, and between the door location (on the long wall), the partition (full-height wall, about 22" wide) separating the vanity and toilet, it doesn't feel poorly-proportioned at all.

I'm curious why he moved the window... With a small partition wall, having the window over to the side actually made more sense.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:45PM
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It's just me and my husband and the master bath is on the other side of the 1/2 bath so no need for another shower. There is only one bedroom on this floor.
And for this reason we can't put the door any place else, the kitchen stove cabinets is on one side and our bedroom on the other.

I like the partition wall idea, but my husband dosn't so he moved the window.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:07PM
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I would be really tempted to let another room reclaim some of that space or make a closet/ pantry accessible from the bathroom or kitchen. A powder room just doesn't need to be that long IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Hey cori, my husband through aaround that idea and all we could do is gain width in the hall way. Even that would be a major project. OOOH a thoought just came to me. I'll have to work it out and I'll post back

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Nope. I thought we could come throught the left wall side and expand a section of the master bath but it just wont work.

I think I'll just get used to a narrow bathroom. I'll post a picture when I'm done.

Thank to you all for your ideas.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Not sure where they are now,but what about making that a combo laundry room and powder room? Put the washing machine and dryer at the window end, counter top shelf above if they are front loaders, open shelving on the long wall above them, and then a utility sink (or regular sink) and toilet?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Ok, I just hate this. I don't know how people decorate a whole house, I can't di a 1/2 bath.

I think I'm scraping the paint and chair rail and going with marble or tile floor and wall, all the way up.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Hmm. I put 12x12" limestone tiles on three sides surrounding a bathtub years ago, and I've never liked it. It was much too cold and stark, it felt like a mausoleum! I guess there might be tile you could use that wouldn't give that affect. See the link I posted above. (I pointed out the wrong picture in it, btw, I meant to point to the third one from left, on top row.) That doesn't give the stark feeling mine did, because the tile doesn't go all the way up. Have you seen pictures of fully tiled walls? I ended up wallpapering the rest of the bathroom to soften the hardness of the tile.

A small idea I had is to put a shelf on your long wall, about 6' up. It was easy to make: I made it from a 1x6 or 1x8, it was about 5' long, and had a backboard on it. Under the shelf I attached pegs on the backboard (the part that goes against the wall). You could use the shelf for functional things or decorative things, the pegs or hooks for towels. I put simple wooden brackets every 16" in order to attach it to the wall studs.

But you haven't said what style you'd like the room to be. Personally I like the wainscoating idea. One of my bathrooms has one made out of bead board, and goes roughly half the way up the wall. (They say not to put it exactly halfway up, but higher or lower.) I don't think it would look like you went to a fire sale! It would just be a consistent style.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I came across this picture and thought of your bathroom. They don't try to square it up, they run with the length of it.

Also thinking... would you be happy with a diagonal tile on the floor? It might make it a bit dizzying, kind of fighting with the length.

Here is a link that might be useful: another long bathroom

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Thanks Egg. Thanks everyone for your imput.

I changed my mind again. We picked out the tile yesterday. It is tile but looks a little marbleish, just a very slight color running through it. we just going to do the floor dimond style with a matching "boulnose?")border just a couple inches high for moping.

We purchased the Kohler Memoirs 24" pedestal sink and toilet. A nice mirror and twi brushed nickel wall lights to go on the sides. The ceiling light is coming out. A 18" brushed nickel towel rack, brushed nickel glass shelf 20" to go over toilet.

I'll post pictures when it's done.

Will paint the walls light pale blue and put up really nice ceiling molding and mindow trim.

I would like to find some interesting pictures or art work to hang on the long wall.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Hmm, the picture I wanted to send didn't seem to come through. Oh well, glad you made your choices, they sound nice. It's going to be exciting to see that room transformed! Post pics when it's done!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:52AM
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