Has Anyone Moved / Relocated A Toilet in a Small Bathroom? PICS!

eldemilaNovember 18, 2009

Thinking about putting an offer on a house with a really small master bathroom. Beside it being small, I don't like the layout.

The current owner took the door off to probably save space and put up an accordian door-hate it. But what bothers me more is that the toilet is right at the doorway.

In order to consider this house, I need to find out how much it may run, along with how much is involved in moving the toilet where the vanity/sink is and moving the vanity/sink over to where the toilet is.

Below are pics of the bathroom - unfortunately, I can't say how big (or small) the bathroom size is, but it's not big at all, as you can see. I did measure the vanity that's in there, it is 3'5" The blurry pic is just of the shower with a shower curtain. I'd like to put up a glass enclosure to open the shower stall up, something similar to the picture I found below:


Any and all suggestions, pictures if you have, are greatly appreciated!

Second bathroom needs to be redone as well, if anyone wants to take a stab at that too, pictures follow as well.


Master bathroom

View of bathroom from bedroom


2nd bathroom

The vanity in the 2nd bathroom is 6'10" - way too long and a waste of space IMHO.

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Sorry, I failed to mention the house sits on a crawl space - one story ranch.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Depending upon the soil stack and vent stack and how its all tied together, it may be cheaper to move the door to in front of the vanity. you could frame in a pocket door pocket in the old doorway and move the door over.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Can't move doorway, need that wall for my dresser, but thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Do you want to decide to buy or not buy a house with one of the factors being a piece of furniture? The answer might be yes, and thats ok, but a tall narrow dresser (or pair) could easily replace a long dresser.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 10:45PM
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We moved the commode in our last home, when we remodeled several years ago.
We swapped out the sink and commode locations (we needed double sink), and turned the right opening door to left opening door ( door stayed in same place).
If I recall the plumber charged around $1,000 for all the plumbing, which included pulling up the floor (2nd floor bath).
The plumber was concerned that there should be enough drop for the new commode waste pipe.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Can't help on the cost of moving the toilet, but I had a suggestion re: door. You could use an outside sliding track door (barn door-type track) with the door sliding behind your dresser. Some people on the forum have used these with really nice results.

I hear you on the accordion door - we had a similar one and plan on using a barn door until we come up with the funds to re-do the space. DH doesn't care about even having a door, but I like my privacy!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 4:55PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Palimpset, if I moved the door over much at all there wouldn't be enough room even for my tall dresser. Going from a large 13+x17+ bedroom to this approx 14x14 with smaller closets. Need all the furniture I can get and it won't fit any other way, but again, I do thank you for the idea and making me think about it.

EMILY, thanks for the info - $1K sounds doable and it would be what I want. Do you have any before/after pics of your bathroom??

gf777, thanks for the suggestion. Will try to look in to the sliding door. Going back to house tomorrow to see if maybe a pocket door would be an option - can't remember what's on that wall near the door frame - and need to find out what the criteria is when putting in a pocket door.

I think we're going to put in an offer on this house tomorrow - no idea if we'll get it - I've come to a point I can't get excited about anything anymore - I've had two offers accepted on two homes prior and neither passed inspection. Two offers on two other homes that went no-where. Maybe this one will go through????

Thanks again for your input - welcome more if anyone has any thoughts, opinions, etc. There's a lot of potential in this home so if I get it, I'm bound to be asking a lot of questions in a lot of different areas.

Say a prayer for me!!!!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 7:04PM
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Remember that moving the toilet is one piece of the puzzle: you will have to redo the tile, and get a new vanity. The vanity appears built-in-place, as opposed to a modern full-box cabinet. The wall tile will have to be redone as well, since there will be two soap dishes above the toilet location, and probably holes in the tile where the old sink plumbing and screws attaching vanity are.
Its going to be a full remodel really.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 8:18PM
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I'm prepared for that and will take that in to account when putting in my offer on this house. I couldn't live with it the way it is. With it being a small bathroom, at least it won't be major bucks compared to it being a large bathroom. I'll try to make it nice but not go overboard. I don't need fancy - just nice and functional.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 8:23PM
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With the exception of that awful light fixture and shower curtain, the 2nd bath looks to be in decent shape. Dated, but functional and in good repair. I would put that space on a low priority.

It doesn't sound like you like this house. Maybe it isn't the one for you?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 8:56PM
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The house has a lot of potential and I really have no vision of my own and need to feed off of others ideas and pictures in magazines and books.

I've been looking for a home for about a year, on and off since I live out of state. I've had an offer accepted on two different homes and both failed inspection and I had to walk away (on one, after I walked, the house had a pipe burst and flooded!)

This house was one of the earlier ones I saw, about 8-9 months ago. As far as I was told, no other offers - hopefully that's true and not because someone put in an offer and found problems, I'm not wanting to pay for yet another inspection on a faulty home.

So, I do like it, but as I've found with every house I do like, there's something needing done in each one of them as I'm looking at older homes.

It's the size I'm looking for, basically the layout I'd like to have. I don't like the bathroom size and I wish there was a garage, but other than that, and knowing what updates are needed, the house is okay by me.

I just need some inspiration and ideas on what to do with what I may get.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 9:17PM
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You have an opportunity to put in a 24 inch pocket door. Is there tile on the inside wall across from the vanity? If there is not, then the job is not as destructive. If the the light switch is on this wall, then it would have to be relocated to the right side of the door. You could put the switch on the outside of the bathroom if necessary.

You will not know how much it will cost to move the toilet until you open the floor and examine which way the joists are running and how far away the stack will be. When you do this you are into a major bathroom remodel. The pocket door is much cheaper solution.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Honestly, I don't know about the tile being on the opposite wall, will have to look when I go back tomorrow, but I'd probably guess it does have tile. There's not much "wall" on the other side to put the switch there, but possibly putting it on the outside of the wall may be an option - haven't even though about what switch is where.

I had a plumber email me back from Craigslist, just to get an idea, and he said it would cost about $1K to do the work, no demo. Waiting for one more price guesstimate. Of course, they need to see it in person, but just wanted some type of idea on the price.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Before you buy you better sit down on that toilet!! It occurs to me it is in the doorway for a reason, maybe the room is too narrow for your knees, don't want to be hitting the opposite wall every time you sit down. (friend of my DH bought a new car years ago was so excited, picked it up after work & showed up at work next day without it!! Seems Jim was 6'6 & he couldn't even drive the thing!! He had to order another & pay for things he had added to 1st 1 . Hard lesson.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 11:31PM
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sunnyca nailed it - make sure you measure the width/depth of the room, and take into account the size of the toilet. It doesn't look like it's elongated. Will you install an elongated and, if so, is there knee room and will it block access to the shower?

Our tiny "master" bath has a similar set up. I, too, hate the toilet being in front of the doorway. BUT because the closet bumps into the bath there, it creates a passageway in front of the door. We replaced the ancient commode with an elongated - which was only possible because it's opposite the doorway and there's just more room there.

So think about what kind of toilet you want, get the specs, and measure!!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 9:44AM
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Sophie Wheeler

With so many things wrong with this house (saw your post on Kitchens) I have to ask, why is this house right for you. You've said you won't have money to do the real fixes it needs, and don't want to live with it as it is. So, why this house? Why not something cheaper that will actually allow you to have the money to fix the issues? Or something in a little higher price bracket that won't need so many fixes?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 1:51PM
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If you are trying to keep this at a low coast, then how about a wooden bi-fold door. You can purchase a solid door with a raise panel. You could also split them into two doors and have them open outward. Either option would look better than the accordian door and give you good privacy.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Okay, I've read the kitchen thread, too, now.

You've been looking so long because you either aren't looking very hard or you have a tough set of criteria to fill. Some of those criteria (like money) are deal-killers. Others can be stretched or revised. But you're right: old houses always have something wrong with them. It's part of the masochistic charm.

I gotta say that the kitchen looks pretty good as does the 2nd bath. The master bath isn't bad either. Unless something is broken, they don't NEED work. You say money will be tight after closing but you are looking at renovating the 3 most expensive rooms in the house? This could easy cost you almost as much as buying the whole house did, especially if you can't DIY. And then you have to consider if you've over-improved the house for the neighborhood.

I would absolutely not buy this house unless you are willing to live with it as-is for the foreseeable future, or with very minor changes like Mike's excellent suggestion to go with a bi-fold door. Save money, and plan ahead. Buy materials when you find them on clearance.. but diving into a renovation on an old house when money is tight is a recipe for disaster.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I like the hall bath, in the same way that I like the kitchen. The elongated vanity is narrow and long because it has to take into account the doorswing into the bathroom.

Your other option is empty space or towel bars. I would leave this intact.

I think the tile looks high quality and well installed, and for a period color, its not bad...it could be mustard yellow or pepto pink.

A high efficiency toilet in white would look ok, especially if the vanity itself were painted white.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:22PM
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Count your blessings.

I recently looked at one house about the same age that had bright teal in the bathroom. All of it. 1/2 tile walls, shower surround, bathtub, toilet AND sink.... all in teal. Even some teal in the mosaic tile floor.

The walls, of course, were yellow. Were it not for that, it would have been a fab retro bathroom that looked nearly unused.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Thanks for all the replies - didn't want to think I was ignoring or not responding to you. The house is in another state and we had to close up the house where we were (winterize it) and come back to FL, just got home late last night.

But a quick note...

I've been looking for a year, if not going every few months to the area, on line daily. I've gone through two inspections on homes where we had a deal only to have to walk away due to big problems inspector found. This is #3.

It's my criteria that I'm working with, I have specific wants and needs, (like I wanted a garage) and in the time I've been looking, I've had to re-evaluate and change some of my wants/needs, (this has a carport) while others I won't deter from, so I've definitely limited myself. This house is in my price range, has a layout and room sizes that work for me and a nice piece of land AND a good location. I can go in and do what needs to be done and make it more of my own and not kill my bank account (or so I think). Being that I'm going for an older home, all have something or other that I found needed to be done in them. The ones with less to do were of course, more money - and ones like this, less money. Mind you, this house would just about be move in ready - very clean - only thing I see that would HAVE to be done before moving in is the vinyl flooring where seems are starting to come up - but the house is extremely clean and newly painted. BUT, for me, I need to make changes so I am happy.

If all goes well, will close on the house end of Jan. and stay there for a couple weeks - analyzing what I can/will do. I won't be making any major changes right off the bat, will have to come back home armed with the information I really need and with pictures of an empty home. Will probably go back in March to start doing things, so I'll have time to plan.

Also, I'm an EXCELLENT shopper and whatever I do need will try to find at a good price whenever possible - I'll make those dollars stretch far, trust me.

I'll start with the master bath since that's the one that bothers me the most, then probably the half bath (see below) because it's so tiny and doesn't need much to update it (any ideas you have on it, throw them at me)

Some type of wall heater that would need to update if I didn't pull down the tiles.

Bathroom above is so tiny, may just do a major redo since it is so small. The yellow wall tiles are in excellent condition, the yellow floor tiles have a minor crack, and there's just way too much yellow in there - yellow walls too - what were they thinking?? So, I'll either work with the yellow wall tiles or redo all the tiles.

Gotta run - will be back after I settle back in at home, read the accumulated mountain of mail, get ready for Thanksgiving guests coming in on Wed. night, etc etc.

Thanks again everyone - and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Jean Bo

Is this new home in Fla? If so I recommend a trip down south to tile country you will save a bundle. A trip down the palmetto will give you tile store after tile store. That being said that bathroom is in excellent shape and if your cutting things close then I suggest you live in that house for a while before you start tearing into it. Yea it's yellow but it looks super clean and in great shape. That new house is going to probably need some unforeseen repair sooner then later that's just the way things go. I would rather move in and live with things like they are for awhile and get a feel for how you want things. JMO

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:58AM
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JJazzy, so sorry I never replied to your post, somehow this thread got lost and I never saw it.

THankfully, no, house is NOT in FLA, that's where I'm moving from! I'm guessing if you know the "Crawlmetto" you must live in/around SOFLA as I do. It's true, the tile places off the 826 are numerous, somewhat like the wedding dress stores on The Mile.

All the bathrooms, as is the entire home, are super clean, but the yellow has got to go, I have some great ideas for that little bathroom that won't cost an arm or a leg. I just feel it's easier to get things done before we move everything in, not only because there's nothing to have to move, but we won't have to worry about things getting dusty and dirty too.

I've found what I want to do with the master bathroom and again, with it being so small. After closing (4wks away!) I'll have someone come out and give me an estimate to see what it will cost to switch the vanity and toilet and then go from there.

Thanks again everyone!!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 8:12AM
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Please keep me posted on your updates, I too have a ranch in serious need of remodel with NO money. And as far as buying/building a home - it would never be perfect. If you were to build, you would change your mind half way through or second guess yourself to death. And secondly, in NC material facts MUST be disclosed ie inpection results. Speaking as a NC Broker.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 9:18AM
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* Posted by mike_home on
Fri, Nov 20, 09 at 16:03

If you are trying to keep this at a low coast, then how about a wooden bi-fold door. You can purchase a solid door with a raise panel. You could also split them into two doors and have them open outward. Either option would look better than the accordian door and give you good privacy.****

I agree with Mike's idea on the wooden bifold hung as two doors from each side of the door frame. They can open outward very easily. Heck, I've used that way of hanging doors in my old MoccasinLanding cottage years ago, including all but one closet, and the small bathroom too. I put fixed louvered doors on the closets, shutter style. And the bathroom had fixed louvers on the bottom half and solid wood on the tops. It freed a lot of space inside the bath, so you could stand in front of the sink without moving to swing the doors open.

And in the latest bath redo at our Casa Del Sol cottage, I'm using pocket doors on both baths. And the doors are 15 light french doors which I will frost for privacy. I decided to do this before I read about the surface mounted tracks for the barn door style. But my hubby is not into installations looking exposed or raw, he is pretty old fashioned that way. I don't think french doors would look good mounted this way, and we had the two doors in our garage after I took them off the dining room entryway. For a barn door track setup, I think a solid wood door would be better.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 5:53PM
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Debelli -
I'd go for a white and yellow scheme in that bathroom. Paint the walls pure white, hang white towels, put a fluffy white or white/yellow rug on the floor, replace the toilet with a new white one, and then QUIT.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 4:44PM
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Since my original post, I did buy the home, closed on the 29th, but that almost didn't happen - one of the main reasons was, tada, this bathroom!

During the walkthrough the day before closing I came to find out that they had to replace the shower pan, which meant, they replaced the tiles in the shower, and with them being tiles from the 60s, not only did they not match, but as a repair, it was an AWFUL job! I was pissed and upset to say the least.

I couldn't understand why the owners didn't offer me the option of a credit to do the bathroom over as I saw fit, instead of doing this on their own, it just made no sense. We finally got them to give us a credit and I'll be ripping out the entire bathroom. What they paid to have done in there was just a waste of money and almost cost them the sale of the house - and cost them more at the end with the credit given.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with this bathroom. I've taken off that gawd awful accordian door (Freecycle!)

I'm looking at tiles, trying to find a 18" vanity base to free up some more floor space, probably put in bypass shower doors as I can't stand getting wet when I turn on the shower as it is now, and there's no light in the shower, so this will bring in natural light.

I'm still not sure how to deal with the door. I haven't found a good door to put there. THe original door swong in, door handle on right when it was there. I'm still toying with the idea of a pocket door. I'm going to get an estimate on switching the toilet and vanity, still not sure how much of a difference it would make. Too many things and possible options.

Want an elongated toilet - does anyone know who makes some really short toilets when it comes to floor space? Good source for 18" vanities?

Vanity there now is 41" thinking about a 36" wide instead, will give a bit more room.

So, that's my mini update on this bathroom. I've been almost 3 weeks doing non-stop cleaning. As clean as they people were/appeared, you have NO idea what I've found deep cleaning!

This morning, I'm off to paint the closets in the master bathroom - they painted the bedroom, but didn't take the extra step to paint the interior of the 2 closets, so I have a tan bedroom and light green/blue closets!!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:33AM
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Debelli, you ask who makes a really short toilet spacewise...Well, the one we put in our really really tiny bath is great.

It is the American Standard Compact Cadet 3. It flushes with 1.24 gal of water, and never has to be flushed twice. It is the one piece toilet, tank attached. It comes with a seat, but we switched out to the American Standard soft close seat, and both seat and lid ease on down. My DH loves it. There are several versions of the Cadet 3, ours is the compact and it is also the Water Sense. It is not a LOW toilet, but it is short front to back because of the tank, and it also does the 12" hole for sewer. We bought it from Lowes. It is elongated, not round. Here it is in our tiny bath, which was not quite finished at the time.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:57PM
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WOW! That sure IS a tiny bathroom!

I'm still trying to figure out how to configure the bathroom, do I want to relocate the toilet or not? I can't seem to make up my mind. There's so many possibilities I'm unsure which way to go at this point, which means, I'm getting nowhere fast.

I'll definitely look in to the Cadet's dimensions - thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Just an idea, but can you simply move the doorway? It seems like that could possibly be more cost effective than moving the plumbing.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Since you have a crawl space the plumbing can be changed under the house. I vote for the pocket door. It will save so much space. My hubby put one in, and he is not talented in repairs or remodel. The frame cost about $59 at Lowes.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:33PM
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