Let your creative juices flow!

sksgradOctober 6, 2012

We recently bought our home and there is a bathroom that could use a facelift but has some unusual features that make planning the renovation difficult (at least without spending an arm and a leg). The main issues for us are what to do with the sunken shower and getting a large enough vanity in without encroaching so much on the toilet. One of the complicating factors is that the bathroom is on a concrete slab. So, what would you do with our bathroom?

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mahatmacat1

What an interesting layout...I have to say I dig that turquoise tile. Was the floor original, and the shower done later? The shower walls look like they're more in line with 90s and on.

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I would consider putting off changing the vanity until you have enough cash to move the toilet. It's really bad feng shui to have it directly facing the door. If you could cut 36" off the vanity (which it looks like you could), you could have the toilet *next* to it, even with a little wall, so that one would not be confronted with the toilet as soon as one looked into the room.

Is this the master? Or a Jack-and-Jill? I'm wondering if you definitely want to keep the two sinks. An alternative is a long single sink with two faucets - it takes up less space but is still doable if two people are there.

Those are my first thoughts...more as I ponder it longer.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:45PM
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williamsem

Can you post some dimensions, or a sketch on graph paper, and what you would like to do? Keep both sinks, need extra space for makeup, need storage, etc so we know what direction to go? Are you looking to take out the tile or shower? Add a tub, etc...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:31PM
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enduring

Is that a tub filler on the wall? What is that a small pool? It is unusual. Yes load an image of the floor layout.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:17PM
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sksgrad

Thanks for your feedback so far. I'll try to address the questions and I'm attaching a basic blueprint rendering of that bathroom.

The house was built in 1961 and I believe that the bathroom floor tile is original or at least close. The wall tile was redone more recently as we came across receipts in the paperwork left behind. I don't remember how recent.

The bathroom is part of an in-law suite/apartment. For us, it is just an extra bathroom for guests. We don't need it to be anything fancy...just attractive and useable.

Regarding the direction we want to go in, we are really open! We've thought about looking into a bath-fitter type thing and keeping it a sunken shower; we've thought about filling in the sunken shower and bringing it up to the level of the rest of the room; we've thought about re-tiling but are less enthused about that. There are probably other options we have not thought of as home remodeling is not our forte.

That is a tub filler on the wall...for what purpose, I'm not sure as there is no tub. I never thought of it as a pool...my daughter would love to have an indoor pool for the winter!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:42PM
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writersblock

>.for what purpose, I'm not sure as there is no tub

If this is old enough, it's possible that they did that so that they could shallowly fill the sunken area for soaking feet and things like that. When I was renting I looked at a garage apartment which had that kind of setup. The owner called it a sitzbath.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:02PM
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williamsem

Not knowing what the rest of the house looks like, I'd have to say I like the tile on the floor. Lovely color. If the shower is in good shape, I'd leave it, or if it only needs some minor repair, make the repairs. If it's a spare for guests that won't be used much leaving it as a shower for now should be fine. You can always do a bigger remodel in the future if needed.

The toilet in the picture and the toilet in the plans are not in the same place. Either way, I'd get a measuring tape and see what going with a 60 inch vanity would look like, and maybe put some shallow storage cabinets at the end next to the toilet for some room. Probably don't need 2 sinks, though you can get a 2 sink 60 inch vanity.

I am not at all good with colors, but I would look at maybe a really dArk wood and white to coordinate with what's there. It will look completely different with updated vanity, sink, and paint.

I'm not in any way an expert in any of this, but I always go with more ideas is better! Someone that knows what they are doing will likely come along soon with some good advice.

And btw, that seems like a lot of water to soak feet, but it would be very comfortable! And a great place for a little one to have some water fun.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:17PM
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writersblock

Just ran across this, another couple who just put a low tub type faucet in their shower. She calls it a "toe kick" and the idea was to be able to test the water temp with a foot without getting wet. I'd just have gone for a thermostatic valve instead, but different strokes:

Here is a link that might be useful: basement bath

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:55PM
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lee676

I like the sunken shower as it is! I've seen the low-mounted tub filler in a shower, especially in cold areas where it's used to detect incoming water temperature with your feet before you divert the water flow to the showerhead, so you can wait for warm water to reach the shower and not spray your whole body with ice-cold water first. Thermostatic valves weren't common back then.

It's the toilet right up against the sink that bothers me. I would move the right sink closer to the left sink and end the sink vanity cabinet 3' or so from the exterior wall, or just ditch the right sink altogether. If there were any easy way to turn the toilet 90 degrees so its back is against the sink wall, I would do that. There would still be plenty of space for two sinks. Then you could put a small barrier wall or even a curtain between it and the sink and shower opening.

The small turquoise tiles on the shower divider wall look great, at least in the photo. I might add a glass wall above it and, optionally, a glass shower door.

Would the linen closet at the bottom of the stairs be better reappropriated to bathroom space? At least some of it, near the shower entrance, leaving a narrower linen closet with the left side where it is but the right side about 15" inward. Or maybe leave the closet door the same size but cut a 45-degree angle into the right-side inner wall, opening a better view when you walk into the bathroom.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:24AM
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pricklypearcactus

To be honest, I actually really like the floor tile and I don't find the sunken shower offensive in the least. Like the others, the only thing that bothers me is the toilet location.

If at all possible, I would look to moving the toilet against the sink wall and shrinking the sink counter to a smaller double sink vanity (maybe 60"?). That should give you sufficient space for the toilet. The main problem with that idea is that if the tile does not run under the vanity, you may not have enough floor tile move the toilet.

I would also consider adding some glass shower doors on the shower.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:54AM
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kmcg

I'll join the crowd to say I kind of like the sunken shower and tile, and that a shorter vanity would be better. You might go really modern, with a wall mounted vanity (although you would then need tile to run under it). If at all possible, put the toilet on the sink wall.

And I'd totally let my kids use the shower as a wading pool :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:16PM
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sksgrad

Hi All,

Thanks so much for the feedback. We will definitely look into changing the toilet placement! Hopefully, if we are just moving by a few inches it will be doable.

As for the sunken shower - up close and personal, the tile is not in great shape, especially in the shower itself. Also, shower floor does not drain particularly well so there is a mold problem in the back corner where water had apparently pooled in the past. Does anyone have a sense of how hard/easy it would be to correct the floor slope given that the shower floor is right on a concrete slab? Also, if we did opt for keeping the sunken shower and re-tiling, what is the maintenance like on a tiled shower floor?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:20PM
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sksgrad

Hi All,

Thanks so much for the feedback. We will definitely look into changing the toilet placement! Hopefully, if we are just moving by a few inches it will be doable.

As for the sunken shower - up close and personal, the tile is not in great shape, especially in the shower itself. Also, shower floor does not drain particularly well so there is a mold problem in the back corner where water had apparently pooled in the past. Does anyone have a sense of how hard/easy it would be to correct the floor slope given that the shower floor is right on a concrete slab? Also, if we did opt for keeping the sunken shower and re-tiling, what is the maintenance like on a tiled shower floor?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:40PM
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