Okay, here is the bathroom plan!
I am planning for a full bath reconstruction due to a bathtub leak and rot. Because I have a disorder that makes all of my joints loose, worsening with age, I am trying to make an 8.5 x 7 ft floorplan accessible. More or less. This is our only full bathroom. We have a half bath between the kitchen and laundry room that cannot steal space to become larger.
My plan is to make the tub space into a roll-in shower. Because I cannot scrub grout (my joints) and am a reluctant housekeeper to begin with, I will not use tile. I have learned that Swanstone has a shower base with an integrated trough drain. Since we are tearing out down to the rafters, it does not matter that it is for new construction. I will use their walls to ceiling height, have a shower wand on a bar, grab bars in the shower (and at the comfort-height toilet), and use a teak bench in the shower. If I become disabled, I have a more substantial shower bench to move in there. It is too big and clumsy to want in there all the time. Ventilation is already in place - a big vent/heater/light/nightlight is just outside the shower.
Currently, there is a 6ft vanity with two sinks, a full wall mirror above it, and then the toilet all on the wall across from the shower. The rest of the shower-side wall consists of the space that the door opens into. I will widen the door to 36" and have it open outward. That leaves room for a "train rack" towel holder shelf and hook rack in that space for my wet towels. It will be on the wall, up high, above where anyone could hit it with their head as they walk into the room. Another train rack will be above the toilet for hubby. (Got them on sale already.) Train Rack
The vanity will be replaced with a 41" wide antique dresser with the Kohler Brockway cast iron utility sink on top. The sink is used several times on Houzz. The small version of this sink is 36" wide. The basin has a single drain in the center and is 8" deep. It looks like an old farm sink with an integrated backsplash and wall faucets. Two faucets. That way, my hubby gets his "we can both be at the sink at the same time" functionality and I get floorspace. The Brockway is only 18" front to back, so there will be a 4 to 6" ledge up behind the sink for us, so we will not be entirely without counter space. I plan to position the sink so that the very front of the "belly" is seen coming out the front of the vanity, if it does not endanger the structural stability of the vanity or add too much to the depth of the vanity. The "belly" on this sink is black, which goes with my color scheme, and I like the idea of being able to sit and have the sink right there to wash in. Vanity-to-shower edge floorspace is the tightest bottleneck we have. Currently, there is a wall protruding into the room past the tub. I have to talk to my builder about how much of that we can "lose" in the remodel, if any. I can't move the vanity down closer to the door of the room to get it away from the shower. There, it would interfere with the new wider doorway. As you can see in the one lousy pic I have of the dresser, the advantage that it has as a vanity is that it is narrower at the base than at the top. More room for wheels to pass.
dresser for vanity
See the sink hanging on the wall in the link at the bottom of the post. Brockway in vanity with ledge behind it.
The two narrow room walls consist of the entry wall with the big new door and the small old medicine cabinet next to it. At the far end wall, just outside the shower, is a 3' x 3' window. It is currently an original 1978 aluminum slider, but will be replaced with a fiberglass white casement, probably with privacy glass. I hate window treatments in bathrooms. I plan to have black ceramic liner trimming around the window, door, and the in-wall painted storage cabinet.
I plan to add storage in two ways: two narrow mirrored medicine cabinets above the sink, and having an in-wall cabinet made in the 2 ft space that is between the vanity/dresser and the front wall of the bathroom. I plan on a 5 ft high cabinet that goes between studs and uses the 4" inside the wall, then sticks out a few inches to give you 6" of interior space. I also have an existing med cab in the wall next to the entrance door that we will keep. I am going with a vintage look with the antique dresser and Brockway, so I am keeping the old metal-banded med cab look like the one that is there. The two new ones will be flanked with long tube lights from Pottery Barn that I already bought. I have a picture of these lights to post, see below.
We will have a curved shower curtain rod. I will get a bidet wand for the toilet and a small tankless water heater. You wait five minutes to get the hot water to this sink from the tank on the other end of the ranch home basement. I would rather have instant warm water for toilet hygiene and I am so sick of washing my hands in freezing water!
Between the toilet and the vanity, I will have one of the handicap rails that can be raised up out of the way. Then, if I ever become a long-term wheelchair user, we can take the Brockway out of the vanity and hang it onto the wall. I will at least have the blocking for the hanger in place behind the tile, if not the hanger itself behind the vanity. Then, with the extra space with the vanity gone, I can wheel closer to the toilet to transfer. The rail will raise or lower as needed. A regular handrail (but from a line that looks nicer) will be on the wall on the other side of the toilet and on the wall behind the toilet tank. I may try to talk DH into a new toilet. We have a Kohler comfort height, but it flushes funny and I really liked the Toto I had in my last house more. It had the Sanigloss finish and needed scrubbing far less often. I also want fewer curves to clean on the outside surface of the porcelain throne.
I plan to have the new room floor sloped toward the drain and backed with a waterproof system like Kerdi. I am thinking of a Carrara and black basket weave or floor tile. White 6x6 wall tile on bottom half of all walls with black sanitary base and chair rail and black ceramic molding around the window, door, and in-wall cab. The vanity and wall cab will be a light buttery yellow. Vanity top and the box behind it that hides the plumbing and gives us our ledge will likely be Carrara look-alike. Walls- Palladian Blue, metals- polished nickel or chrome, Swanstone in their new color, Ice, which is a bit like Carrara, only with paler gray streaks. If I can get a SketchUp shot in here, I will. I am just learning how to use it. I have the whole bathroom laid out in SketchUp, but do not know how to change their files to ones I can post here. I have changed them to PDF files, but no dice, there!
No timeframe for completion. I am not working. DH is supporting our household and the one living in our old house, still. We have started to purchace small items. I have to get Jim's okay on the design before going for things like the $3000 worth of Swanstone. I have not chosen shower fixtures yet. And my whole design could change if a wonderful tile shows up on Craigslist, cheap! One thing that will not change is that I will get a solid surface shower pan and walls. The lights are now set in stone, as well. I have two vanities in the garage, but the other one is a bit bigger. It is a real vanity and is a bit too deep, making my squeeze point between vanity and shower wall end worse.
Ideas? Something I am missing? Criticism?
Swanstone roll-in shower floor with trough drain
Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Brockway hanging on a wall.