What is your Favorite/Smartest thing you did in your Bathroom?

Becky BerendOctober 22, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

What was the best thing you did in your bathroom (remodel) ... smartest, coolest, most functional, best finish/product! Starting a remodel soon and would love some extra ideas!

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Here are a couple of old threads to get you started!

Best and Worst Decisions

Here is a link that might be useful: Best bathroom decisions thread

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:58AM
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We added an electrical outlet right next to the toilet. That was the step that enabled us to change over from a regular toilet seat to a "shower" toilet seat (Inax Clessence). We could not have done the latter otherwise, and it has made all the difference.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 3:25PM
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My favorite bathroom is actually a 3/4 bath on the backside of my house and if your looking for Italian marble, fancy tile, and Hansgrohe fixtures your out of luck here BUT:

Our house has a two car garage about 14ft behind the house and we had a large Mud room/sunporch which connected the house to the garage, with a solid wall on the back adjacent to our laundry room and one door into the garage and another door and windows on the front where if faces the driveway.

Originally our house had two bathrooms, one for the master BR and the 2nd centrally located for the 2nd bedroom and communal areas of the house.

By profession I am a Master Plumber and you folks would not want to know the kind of icky smelly things I get into during my work day, especially when I have been working in a beef or chicken slaughter house for the day.

Across the front of that mudroom I built a low, enclosed parsons bench with a vinyl padded top where I could sit as soon and remove my boots as soon as I came in. The parsons bench has a hinged seat top and a galvanized pan in the bottom so as soon as I take my work boots off I can set them inside the seat, out of sight, and the pan catches any mud, snow or other stuff that might drip or fall off the boots.

I thne built a partition wall from the garage to the house so the mudroom was then about 6' wide, and on the back wall of the mud room I built 4 plywood cubicle type lockers with a shelf on top where I can hang up my coats, hats,hardhat or whatever in one and the other three are available for other ppl and they don't have to worry about their coat hanging against my funky work coat.

Immediately behind that partition wall I built a small 3/4 bath and I put a small closet in the bath, where I keep a couple pair of clean blue jeans and shirts to lounge around the house. The closet is only 4ft high so I built it up high and under that closet space I installed two drawers where we store extra TP, toiletries and all those miscellaneous bottles & cans of modern chemestry that we all keep in the bathroom,

But my absolute BEST feature came as an after thought. While working on the bathroom I realized that the back wall of the bathroom was adjacent to our laundry room. I then cut a 12x18" hole through that wall, framed it nice and installed a flapper door that is hinged from the top like the flapper door on a commercial waste basket and I put a laundry hamper under that door in the laundry room.

I can now come in all funky, hang my outer garments in the cubicle, sit down and pull my boots off, then step in the shower, and put on clean clothes, and just push the funky clothes through the flapper into the laundry instead of carrying that mess through the house.

Now I realize that my silly ideas don't have much snob appeal but it sure helps keep peace in the family.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Lazypup, that is genius. I love it. (But I am an meticulous clean/germ freak!)

In fairness, we have not yet moved into our remodeled house, but the things I am looking forward to or might have done differently:

1. Heat mat on our bathroom floor - Our bathroom is located in the NW corner of the house, and it's all tile. These got a big thumbs up on this site, and although extra $$$, I think it will be worth it.

2. Agree with Herring_Maven, we did the same and installed a Toto that has a washlet.

3. A separate water closet -- We re-did our layout to make this fit. This will make a huge difference as both my husband and I are often in the bathroom together getting ready.

4. Ensuring our vanity depth was at least 22 inches -- This countertop was the only space we have for items, so the depth was important.

5. I splurged on expensive fittings and mosaic tile -- Nice to haves, but I probably would not have spent this money if I were doing this again.

6. Window in shower area -- Up high, so I have no concerns about rot, etc. I think it will be nice to get some extra, natural light in this area.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:05PM
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The dual access hamper thing is on my (long) list for the theoretical future house we will eventually build. That, and eleventy billion other things I learned about on GW. Those links above have lots of good stuff to read through.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Floor heat!!! LOVE!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I love this thread!!

Smartest things:

* Found the right contractor that I could afford and who would accommodate my wacky ideas
* Used Craigslist, eBay and thrift stores for the majority of my finishes

Favorite things:
* Mother of pearl vanity counter top
* Clawfoot tub
* Shelving built into the attic door
* Wrought iron look shower door and cornices

I'm sure there will be more before I'm done so hopefully, this thread will stick around for a while. Can't wait until it's finally finished!!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:20PM
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We installed a quartz vanity top. Worth the splurge in my opinion!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:50PM
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1. Solid surface shower surround - so easy to clean!

2. Hand shower.

3. Comfort height toilet.

4. Taller vanity.

5. Sheet vinyl floor - so easy to clean (Can you tell I have a thing about cleaning? I have always thought the bathroom should be all concrete and you should be able to douse it in bleach and bring in a fire hose to clean the whole thing!)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Ditto on the comfort height toilets (Toto Soiree's in all three bathrooms), and on the taller vanities--I so missed mine while visiting my parents last week!

Also, adding a shower stall to our ground floor (guest) bathroom. Besides giving guests (my parents when they are visiting) their own place to shower, it was invaluable when we reno'd our upstairs bathrooms (both were out of commission at the same time).

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Oasisowner, I love the idea of hosing down the room too! If I could, I would make a room that would work that way. The floor and all walls would be hose proof. The shower would be open to the rest of the room and have a linear drain at the back end. I would have the ability to scrub and hose down from at least several feet above the floor, if not more. I would have a hanging toilet and sink. Are these called wet rooms? I would love the sparse modern look. There could be an adjacent powder room to this wet room where one could put on makeup, dress, dry hair, etc.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Heated floor is the very best decision I made. I also love the comfort height toilet and the Kohler Expanse tub since I could not do a separate shower stall. Oh and the hand held shower head.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I love everything we did in our new bathroom but some of the highlights:

- glass shower surround. Absolutely key to making our small 8x8 bathroom feel much larger
- outlet in the cabinet for charging toothbrush/clarisonic
- raised vanity countertop to 34 inches
- pendants flanking the mirror instead of sconces (I feel like it helps draw your eye up, making the ceiling feel higher and the room bigger.
- Put in a tilting mirror and a hand shower (Kohler Flipside) on a sliding bar because my husband and I are over a foot apart in height so it works great for both of us
- And my absolute FAVORITE thing: The towel warmer. I even like it better than the heated floor.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Those of you that put in heated flooring - what brand did you use? How long does it take to warm up? Does the tile contractor put it in or the electrician? That is all for now, LOL!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:31PM
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I'd have to look at what we used, but it was the only one our tile setter said he trusted. It was installed by the tile setter but the electrician makes the final connection so it required some coordination between those two. Ours takes a while to heat up but we have it on a timer thermostat so by the time we're up it's toasty warm. Our cat now sleeps in the bathroom most nights (or at least early in the morning when the floor heat kicks in).

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Love, love, love my heated towel bar....so luxurious to wrap in a warm towel when getting out of the shower!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:39AM
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Built-in niches, with shelves sized to accommodate small things like razors, bar of soap, and large enough for that huge bottle of shampoo with a pump.

In teen's bathroom - a shower light that switches on with the fan - so they have no choice but to turn that fan on when they shower. And a 60 min timer on that light/fan combo so it properly vents the bathroom (the timer has buttons for 60, 30, 20 and 10 I believe).

In general - beautiful lights!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:46AM
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gina_w--We used Nu-Heat mats (custom shape/size). Our tile guy likes installing their mats (cloth-like, fabric easy to lay/install), and DH was very impressed with their technical assistance/customer service. Ours are on timers as well, though I keep the temp constant throughout the cooler months; I'm home a lot during the day, and I'm up once or twice at night (!).

Best, too-late for us advice, have TWO sensors installed. You only have to connect one to the timer/switch, but you will have a back-up if the first one ever fails. I don't know how often that happens, but the sensors are cheap enough and better to have it and not need it....simple thing to do.

When that tip was posted here, by stacyneil I think (after we had completed our reno's), DH kicked himself for not thinking of it while ours were being installed.

Ours were installed by our tile guy as well.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Thanks. I see Costco has a brand they're selling, and the install kit comes with two sensors, so I guess that's a standard idea now.

Does the heated floor warm up the room any?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 5:25PM
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1. Wall-mount teak bench that folds down when not in use.
2. Hand-held shower head.
3. Wall-mount lighted magnified make-up mirror.
4. Biscuit 3x6 matte subway tiles in shower. . .simple, timeless, easy on the eyes.
5. No room for water closet, but toilet niche working out fine. Exhaust fan there and also in shower. Moves things out well.
6. Saved $$ by not installing heated floors; just wear bedroom slippers!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:49PM
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1) Radiant heat under floor tiles with timer thermostat.
2) Hot water recirculation system to have instant h/w at sinks and shower
3) Hydronically heated towel racks connected to our hot water heating system.
4) Cast iron stack to eliminate any drain noise
5) Adequate lighting for each task in bathroom
6) LED lights under the suspended vanity for night lighting.
7) Two sinks.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Here is my list -

- Additional blocking in the framing stage to accomodate grab bars, towel bars etc. Additional blocking being the slidebar of the shower also makes it sturdier to use as a grab bar.
- Kerdi board for waterproofing
- Heated wires throughout the floor including the shower area
- Tall niches with shelves sized to fit the costco sized bottles
- Tile that is not too slippery for the floor. Also used epoxy grout to make future maintenance easier.
- frameless shower doors - we did pay a couple hundred dollars extra for the really clear glass
- U-groove frameless
- One of the bathrooms is curbless to accomodate access issues. Has nice looking grab bars and a folding teak shower seat that is ADA rated to 400lbs.
- LED cans (california code)
- Elongated Toto skirted toilets with sanigloss to make the cleaning easier
- the special lutron switches where the fans stay on an extra 20 mins to clear all the steam. we used them with panasonic fans which are much much quieter than what we had in the past
- wall mounted heated towel rods
- hooks instead of towel bars.. I just preferred the more streamlined look of hooks
- plug outlets inside the vanity to charge things.
- wheeled laundry basket with divers to sort laundry has a niche to be tucked in.
- separate toilet stall with a door. We did not do comfort height as we are not overly tall people. Elongated toto toilets with an integrated skirt to make cleaning easier and a GFCI outlet to plug in a washlet.
- paper towel holder from Moen that doubles as a grab bar in the ADA bathroom.
- accomodated for daylight (skylight or a window) in both the bathrooms to help people to wake up in the morning.. I love the daylight.
- radio for listening in the morning. We are big public radio fans
- wall mounted lighted makeup mirror
- mirror defogger to prevent the mirror from getting steamed up..
- vac pan at the floor level that connects to our central vac system to make daily cleanups a breeze. I am picky about hair on the floor
- solid core doors to prevent bathroom noises from being heard outside. I often have to get ready before dawn and the shower noise wakes DH up.
- recirculating pump for our tankless to avoid warm water delays. Ours is integrated into the tankless.
- Hansgrohe ibox to get the thermostatic control to preset the preferred temprature
- Ebbe integrated drain that has a hidden hair snare.
- Handheld shower with a longer hose to make it easier to clean the walls.
- rain shower on a longer arm so that you can stand away from the wall.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:18PM
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