Anyone like their long, narrow bathroom?

jessraeJuly 27, 2012

Hi everyone. I posted this on the building forum, but thought I'd try here too. We are in the process of drawing up the plans for our new home and need some help figuring out the master suite. We have a 21 x 23 space to work with for both master bedroom and bath. Whenever I draw out the bedroom to the size and layout I like, the bathroom ends up getting really long and skinny (approx 6 feet deep and 20 feet long). I'm worried that a long, narrow bathroom may feel more like a hallway. Does anyone have a bathroom layout like this? Do you like it?

I've attached 3 different options, but are hoping to find the best solution (which we probably don't have identified yet). A few things about the space - the area is the bonus room above the garage, so there can be windows on all sides except along the right wall. The doorway into the room needs to stay in the same vicinity and the windows running across the bump out need to stay to make the front of the house look nice.

We'd really like there to be a separate toilet room, a free standing tub, and a separate shower that's at least 4x5.

Other than that, the rooms can be switched around, closets moved, whatever will give us the best layout. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Here's the 2nd option...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:06PM
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And here's the version that our designer came up with. There isn't much wall space with this layout and seems to be wasted space by the entry, so I was hoping to figure out a way to make better use of the space, but it's proving to be difficult for my novice skillset!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Well, actually, I prefer your designer's option best.
Generally, you'll probably have the best utility with a square layout. You might consider matching the bathroom door location with the closet door location (ie on the angle), but that might not work... It would, however, give you more wall space.

I don't like option 2 because, I don't like to be the person on the far side of the bed in the middle of the night racing to the bathroom... it is a long walk from the right side of the bed (as you are laying on it) around the bed, to the bathroom. Just saying.

Another option would be to square out the corner of the bathroom in the designer's option, so you have a place in your room to tuck a wardrobe/dresser that is a little better than the presently drawn location next to the closet.

One thing to answer: Are you going to need a separate dresser if you have 2 walk in closets?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:32AM
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I redid two long skinny bathrooms last year--the master bath and our hall bath. Both rooms are 5 feet wide and are 17.5 and 14.5 feet long, respectively. The key to making them work was to make sure that the shower (in the master--we opted for no tub in there) and the tub/shower (in the hall bath) were situated across the back of the room rather than on a long wall.

I posted a few pictures last June under "pics of my new bathrooms". Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Our 10 year old master bath is a long and skinny horizontal rectangle. It runs the entire back of the second floor - I've never measured its length. The floor plan is: the left and right ends of the rectangle are his and hers walk in closets. The shower, tub and toilet room are all in a row on the outside wall and a long vanity with double sinks and a stepped down make up area are along the outside wall. It reminds me of a galley kitchen in nature. We really like it - it was a big selling point of the house for us, but with the previous comments on this thread I could see people thinking there was a lot of walking (to the toilet and to his closet). We've never felt that way. I don't have any pictures, but could take some if you like.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Kirkhall - Thanks for your suggestions. I never thought about how far the bathroom would be in the drawings, so definitely something that should be discussed. We have 2 dressers currently and will probably only have one in the bedroom (mostly for setting the TV/dvd/etc on.) There was really no good place to put these things in the 3rd drawing, although like you said, the bathroom in the 1st is probably the better option.

NYCBluedevil - I will definitely take a look at your photos. Thanks so much for letting me know!

mamattorney - I'd also love to see some of your pictures too! You're layout sounds like something that might work great for us. If you have the time, it would be great to know your measurements. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I think a wall hung toilet ALWAYS makes the most of floor space, and helps in a tight narrow bathroom.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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I measured the room - it's approximately 34.75 feet long and 9.5 feet wide in total including the closets. If you don't include the closets, the length is about 19.75 feet. I took all the individual measurements too (size of tub alcove, toilet room, etc) , so if you want any of them, let me know.

Here are some pics that take you around the bathroom in sequence. Please keep in mind that this is no way shape or form a bathroom reveal - this bathroom was done in 2002; it's TEN years old; definitely not the latest and greatest. And I apologize for the size of the pictures, I don't know how to make them smaller.

Pic #1 - looking into "her" closet. Master bedroom entry on right.

Pic #2 - moving along outside wall. Linen closet and shower.

Pic #3 - continuing along long outside wall. Tub alcove.

Pic #4 - continuing along long outside wall. Toilet Room.

Pic #5 - back of room. "His" Closet.

Pic#6 - Long inside wall. Make up vanity and double vanity.

Pic #7 - picture from inside "her" closet showing the entire length of the bathroom.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Thanks so much for posting your photos, Mamattorney. Lovely bathroom! I just wish I had 9 1/2 feet width to work with.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:13PM
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My bathroom remodel involved a 7.5'x14.5' space with the door and window in the middle of the long walls. It was a challenge for me to get both a tub and stall shower in the room while also managing to squeeze in a double vanity and still keep with the 30" spacing required by local code. But, in the end, it worked. I probably could have started earlier with a designer, but I ended up planning the space myself to save money. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: My remodel

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Yes, it is a bit wider; I had no idea what the measurements were until I took the tape measure to it. I guess it's just narrow compared to it's length, but not narrow in a classic sense.

Well, maybe you could use some of the concepts of the floor plan it the design, with different proportions.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:12PM
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I have a long narrow master bathroom (not remodeled), but it's significantly shorter than yours. I think it's probably 5-6' wide x 11' long. It is functional, but a little small. The narrowness is only an issue when one person is at the sink by the door at the end of the long room (usually me) and someone else (usually my significant other) needs to get by. Visually I think I like option 1, which seems to provide large closets and comfortable spacing in the bathroom and bedroom.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I have a long, narrow bathroom, approximately 21 x 5 1/2. One end is a toilet compartment, the other is a shower. in between is an area for drying off, a 90" vanity with double sinks, and a linen closet. There's ample room for two at the same time, the toilet is 8 steps away from the door, and we're very happy with it. There's no tub, because we rarely use a tub, and there's one in another bath, should we need it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 4:35PM
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KevinMP - Thanks so much for sharing your photos. You were able to make a narrow space look fantastic! I really love that tub.

Mamattorney - Yes, I can definitely use some of your great layout ideas. Thanks you!

Pricklypearcactus - Thanks for your response. I'm glad to hear it's functional!

I am leaning towards a version of Option 1. Seems like a double vanity may be the way to go. And if we push the back wall out a foot and use a small free-standing tub like Kevin's, then I can get a double vanity across from the tub and still have 3 1/2 feet of walking space.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Suero - Thanks so much for your response! I'm feeling much better about the space knowing that it works in the real world (rather than drawn on a piece of paper!) I think we'll do something very similar to what you have.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:24PM
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I think I'd put the linen cabinet between your pocket door and your toilet door along the toilet wall. Then, you can slide your vanity over a bit (and even make it a little longer) to allow for a slightly larger entry door to the bathroom.
This is a much better rearrangement.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I LOVE your revised layout!

Did you mean to put two linen closets in there? If not, I'd keep the one by the toilet and nix the one by the shower. But, it still works if you want them both.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Kirkhall - Thanks! That's a great suggestion!

Mamattorney - Thanks so much! I did mean to add two. It seemed like a 7 foot toilet room was a bit long and it's nice to have a place to store the TP. But I didn't want to walk into the toilet room to get the towels. I'll switch up the layout a bit based on Kirkhalls suggestions and see how it looks.

Thanks to everyone for all your much needed help!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I prefered Option 1 even before the tweaks, and after the tweaks I think its even better. I didn't like the Bedroom layout in the other options, particularly Option 3, where it felt crammed along that wall.

I also wanted to say we're in midst of remodeling and our Master bath is also long and narrow. Its only framed now, and the core measures 8 ft. wide by 18 ft. long, not including closets, shower, or water closet room. There's a long double vanity in middle, with 5X5 shower across the way. And instead of a tub, we opted for a nice built in dressing table area at the far end, along with linen tower storage. I think its going to be just fine, as the 3 most common spots (shower, sink, and closet entrance) are all near the bathroom entrance off our master bedroom. Wife will have to walk the length of room to get to dressing table. But then again I think it will be fine, as it gives it a bit of a "secluded destination" once you've arrived and sit down.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:31PM
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We have a long narrow bathroom and I love it! You enter into the vanity area, where there are 2 four foot vanities separated by a elevated cabinet for towels, etc. There is a separate room to the right with the toilet and large doorless shower with two shower heads, then at the other end is a very large closet. The bath tub that you see in the plan is in the hall bath. I suppose that if we wanted to change that bath to just a powder room we could put the tub in the master. And we changed the inswing door to the toilet/shower room to a pocket door.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Here is the drawing of our bath I spoke about above.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:09PM
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I didn't realize the linen cabinet would be in the toilet room. I thought it was a closet that would open to the main area of the bath. Our linen closet - next to shower in pics - has only a 14" door, but the inside is about 19ish" across. Because it goes from floor to ceiling, it fits everything, not for the full house, but everything for the master, plus some. You could put the towels in there and not have to go into the toilet room to get them.

Or another idea if you think 4ft is too deep for a linen closet would be to divide the space into multiple parts - front and back (with the back being the west side of your drawing) and have the front open to the bathroom to store sheets and towels and the back or part of the back open into the toilet room and hold toilet paper and cleaning products. Seems like something that would work.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Sowega and Terriks - Thanks so much for posting your layouts. I love seeing all the different ideas!

Mamaattorney - I never thought about splitting the linen closet in the toilet room, but that's a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I've been lurking for months but had to register to respond to this post!

All three of your designs are have a problem in that they only have windows on one side of the bedroom. Generally people are drawn to rooms with windows on at least two sides and avoid rooms with windows on only one side. Your designer's layout gets that. (You can read a lot more about this in Alexander's A Pattern Language if you wish.)

Since this seems to be a custom designed home I think the window issue could be a serious mistake, unless a very dark bedroom for sleeping is a priority and the bedroom isn't used for anything but sleeping.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 12:54AM
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This is in regards to your closet. Have you considered making it one open closet - no wall between the two. Seems like it would give you more space and in between the two doors you may be able to add built in shelves for more storage.

Or were you planning on running your shelves along the two short walls? If you tweak your plans, you might be able to gain more storage space out of that area.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:27PM
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>>Generally people are drawn to rooms with windows on at least two sides and avoid rooms with windows on only one side. >>

That made me laugh. I have a master bedroom 18x24', and a long narrow bathroom 6x13'. I argued with my contractor because I wanted to replace one wall with its window to have a full width closet instead. He sighed and said, "Look, it HAS to be there. It's the only place we can put a 5' window to meet fire codes."

Darn - I could have had 45' of closet space instead of only 26'!

I had reservations about a long narrow bathroom - similar to your Option #2, without the extra shower area - but we love it. Would it be nice to have 7x13 instead? Yes, but we have no trouble with both of us using the bathroom as it is, at the same time - and we are not small people.

Although next time I design a bathroom, I will have separate sinks divided by a linen closet, instead of the linen closet at the end of the run. My DH's stuff keeps 'creeping' onto my side of the counter. Obviously 36" isn't enough for him - he wants the whole 6' to himself, LOL!

I've posted this photo quite a few times before, but it's been a while so it might have fallen off by now. Here's what a 6' width looks like:

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:49PM
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