Need your input on bathroom remodel Please!!!

krayersAugust 31, 2011

For quite some time, I've been trying to talk myself into updating our 20 year old bathroom. I've contacted a carpenter & am trying to decide what all to do to the bathroom. It now has a very old & tired molded shower (34' I think) a standard tub, and a tired vanity. I'd really like to pull out the tub, vanity & shower & replace with at least a 48' tiled shower & maybe a freestanding or clawfoot tub. I'm going to try & post photos of the old bathroom & a rough drawing of what I'm thinking of replacing it with. Sorry - I don't have software to draw floor plans with dimensions. Please tell me what you think.


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It looks crowded to me both with the tub and shower and the double sinks. Is this the only bathroom? And for how many people? Would a tub/shower combination work? That would make it less crowded in the tub area and you could spread the sinks apart so there is room by each to set things like makeup and hair curlers.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Krayers- I love the idea of a clawfoot tub! That being said, it looks a little crowded, but hard to tell without measurements.

Do you have a window in the room? Is that an outside wall, where the sink is, now? Would adding a window, even be a possibility?

What I was thinking (if there's room) is to turn the vanity, so it's against the closet wall and opposite the claw foot tub. This way, the tub would be reflected in the mirror, not the toilet. Also, if you could add a window, in between, there might be room for a little bench, kind of like a small window seat. If there's room, between the toilet and shower, for a door...there should be at least 3' between the vanity and tub...maybe a little more. 42" would be better.

If there's not a lot of space, one sink might be better, with more room for space on the counterops. I like Sarah Richardson's farmhouse bathroom, very much. Maybe not quite so rustic with the vanity base, but otherwise, very pretty!

Here's a link...but I'd have the little seat/bench, under the window, in between the vanity and clawfoot tub. Isn't that marble shower beautiful? Anyway, hope this gives you some good ideas :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sarah Richardson's farmhouse bath

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Hi, I believe that I may have some different ideas for you. First, is your bathroom over a basement, crawl or slab? Second, are you willing to move some plumbing? If you are, you have more options.

I agree with the others that the two sinks are too crowded. Side-by-side as they are, they take up too much counter space, and you two may take up too much floor space to be comfortable sharing the two sinks. (If you are large like I am, you must think about these things, sometimes.) One option is a larger sink, where you can each use one end, but where you have room on the counter on each side of the sink to have out some toiletries. A large oval or rectangular sink may work best there.

My other idea means adding some plumbing. Is there enough space between the toilet and the shower for a small sink? Would you conside adding a medicine cabinet above the sink or a wall cab above the toilet for storage of toilettries? If yes, you could put DH's sink there.

Another option you can consider is this:

Here is a link that might be useful: SinkPositive video

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Thanks for all your input!

Marti8a - it is way too crowded with the double sink. I'm really limited in software & couldn't find anything the right size for the photo, but plan to just custom build a single sink vanity. I'm hoping to be able to fit in a small soaking tub if possible and enlarge the shower area to about 48".

Our room is a little odd shaped. The shower/tub wall is around 136" long & the vanity wall 92". The door to the bedroom can't be moved.

Lavender, I really have my heart set on a 60" cast iron freestanding or clawfoot tub - maybe with wainscoting panels surrounding it. There is a small stained glass window over the current tub that I may have to take out or move depending on what we do with the shower. I love Sara Richardson's bath. The link is very similar to the vanity we hope to build and the tub in the area at the end of the vanity much like our room. I don't know where her shower was located. That is exactly what I have in my mind to do with the vanity/tub if you all don't think it's too crowded.

Nancy, we are over a large crawl space and will have to be moving some of the plumbing for the shower/tub area. I totally agree that the large single sink would be so much better. The SinkPositive is a really interesting option I've never seen before!

Having only one sink isn't a problem. We rarely use the sink at the same time, & have gotten used to sharing over the last 20 years.

I had thought of a medicine or storage cabinet, but maybe inset on the closet wall if we need the space. I hope to keep the wall cabinet at the end of the tub, but if I can't it could be moved to over the toilet area.

This is our only bath downstairs. We have a combination shower/bath upstairs that is rarely used. I do have to have a tub. We have 5 gradchildren that come to visit - Yea!!!

Thanks for your ideas - I'm still trying to get it all figured out before the carpenter arrives in a few weeks!! Our style is not really reflected in the sample drawing. Our house is more cottage styled than contemporary.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:42PM
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You can save some space with the claw foot tub by having no plumbing lines going through the tub itself, but just coming out on the wall. Then the spigot can splash its water into the tub itself. There would of course be a tub drain, and an overflow line above it, which go down through the floor, or maybe go into the wall as well.

Our new 60 inch claw foot tub is by Restoria and it is I think acrylic, not cast iron. One person could pick it up and move it into the house once it is unpacked. And the finish makes it SELF CLEANING, have never had a ring around the tub. I do have a hand held "British" phone faucet set, which lets me wash my hair etc, while sitting in the tub. Such a tub is not really easy to stand in to shower, so having a separate shower stall, as you plan to do, is the way to go.

Our tub is in an alcove and it has plenty of space. I did not realize the contractor could give me that much space, or I might have considered the 66 inch clawfoot tub. But with the back slope, I really love the 60 inch and find it quite long enough.

Our walls are beadboard, and one of the beadboard walls is wainscoting height. That would be the one with the sink and the toilet. The tub, without a standup shower, can also be a wainscoted wall, wood like ours, or maybe a different material. But to keep an old fashioned look, the wainscoting out of boards with a painted (durable waterproofed) finish. If so, like our bath, there is no trouble with over spray. And we also got the 2" square unglazed mosaic porcelain tiles. Ours came from Lowes, Rialto Blanco, Italian, mounted on 12 x 12 mesh for easy installation. And it is non skid, and can be used on the walls, the floors, in the shower, and indoors/outdoors.

Your plumbing lines can be handled from beneath the bathroom, which is one big plus for having a full basement down there.

I cannot offer any ideas for positioning your fixtures, because my mind just will not wrap around where things are in your bath. So many alcoves, hard to visualize. Because you say it is 136 x 92, and that means it is 12'4" x 7'8",
and I cannot even locate the door, or where the window is in that setup.

I would think about having TWO medicine cabs, sunk into the wall, one over the other if possible. Does not have to be over the sink. Some bathroom walls are 4" thick, others are 6" thick, which can give you a lot of storage space. Make use of as many of these spaces as you can, and always always always, put a couple of extra GFCI plugs in. I recommend a gang of 4 plugs in one box to minimize the wires running through the walls. And remember that a single hairdryer pulls about 15 amps on high, so give yourself enough power to run a good vent fan, and maybe a little wall heater if you live where it's really cold.

And, if you have the cash, think about heating the floor....that seems to be quite popular these days. Not for me down south, but where it is cold, your grandkids will love taking a bath...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Krayers- Can you do something between a 34" and a 48" shower? Maybe 42"? I'm just thinking that a few extra inches would be really nice, with the clawfoot tub. You wouldn't be quite so squished up against the vanity wall and you'd have more room to soak, in the tub.

I think the beadboard surround is a wonderful idea, maybe use that on the opposite wall (against the closet) and wrap it all the way around, the toilet area. A freestanding vanity would look very nice and make it easier to work within you space requirements. Maybe a smaller, oval mirror, with sconces on either side, over the sink...and match that to a new ceiling fixture.

Personally, I like lighter, brighter colors in vintage bathrooms, so maybe a light yellow, turquoise/aqua, blue (my favorite) or green...even pink looks nice, if your DH will agree! LOL

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 6:41PM
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how about just drawing it out for us? straight lines for the walls - marking the measurements. put in doors and windows.

then draw in what you want to be there. you might have to give measurements for the tub. depth/ length of the counter.

can you print off a sheet of graph paper (free online), then scan in and post it? that way you could have a 'square' be a foot etc.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:34PM
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ML - So glad to hear that your 60" tub is large enough & that you love it. Unfortunately we are in rural TN & there are no showrooms to "try out" tubs within several hours drive. We have inset one shelving unit in the closet wall where an old stack heater was taken out & I could possible enlarge that for more storage & reduce the size of the vanity even more.

LL - I love the bright light colors too. DH is not a problem, he'll be happy with whatever I pick out. I plan to keep the flooring & shower tile light, but probably not stark white. I've been looking for a sideboard or old dresser base to convert into a vanity - so far I've not found just what I want. If all else fails DH & I can build one - is just a little more work than I'd hoped to have to do! New light fixtures around the mirror are a must!

Desertsteph - I've drawn it out a couple of times with different versions. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to a scanner. I don't have a wide angle lens either so it's really hard to get photos of the room. The bedroom door is between the toilet & the shower. There is another hall door by the 2 closets and one very small window centered over the existing tub. I really wish could post better photos and plans. Will see what I can come up with.

Thanks again. Will get my graph paper out again & try out some of your ideas.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:08AM
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Krayers, I have had success with simply taking a photograph of my graph paper diagrams with my regular digital camera. Then I load it onto the computer and put it on my web photo account.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:53AM
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I think it a wonderful idea, to find a dresser for the vanity. There are so many possibilities and such good storage, too. I'd like to do something like that in my farmhouse bath...maybe with a marble top...or something that looks like marble. I've heard hard water is not a friend to marble! LOL

How big is your tub area, now? There might be a lot more room than it looks like, from the picture and a 48" shower will easily fit. Are you planning to leave storage, on the sink wall, behind the tub? I don't know if there's space for drawers, but a small console table might be nice. Maybe with a basket of pretty soaps and a couple of plants...always pretty in the bathroom and they love all that moisture :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Nancy - I hadn't thought about taking a photo - that's a great idea. My daughter is supposed to be bringing my camera back this weekend. If she remembers I'll try that.

LL I have a 60" tub with a 22" ledge & a 22" counter top. There's more space really than it looks like in the photos. I'd really like to have a small table or shelves at the end of the tub space if there's enough room.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:00PM
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yes, taking a pic of your graph paper should work also.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:49PM
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I've had the 5 grandchildren off & on over the weekend (busy but great fun!) and have just now had time to find my old scanner in storage. I've scanned the pics of my bathroom drawings. They should be pretty much to scale.

This is kinda what I hope it would look like facing the tub/shower wall.

The tub shower wall is 135.5 inches long and the vanity wall 91.5 inches.

this shows the existing wall cabinet & small window.

I haven't had time to redraw any with the suggestions that you all gave earlier but really appreciate all your input. The existing vanity is 60" to the ledge by the tub.

Let me know what you think!


    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 4:03PM
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