Bathroom in hallway btwn Kitchen and Dining??

joneswestDecember 11, 2012

Hi all, This is my first post, everyone here is so helpful so I'm hoping someone can solve my dilemma. We are remodeling a 100 yr old colonial (already has an addition so there is family room). The KD plans currently has moved our powder room from under stairs to spot in hallway between kitchen and dining room, which would be across from butler's pantry we are installing. This change provides us with room for a walk-in pantry and small desk area in kitchen. The alternate plan was to keep powder room under stairs, still have butler's pantry but have large pantry cabinets in kitchen for food storage. If we went with new design is it just too awkward or strange to have powder room in between two eating areas even if entrance is in hallway? Thank you so much!!!

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That would not be my first choice, but you do what you have to do in old homes. Our old farmhouse in Central PA had a bathroom off the kitchen and sitting room with casual dining area. I would have rather had it away from the eating areas, but it is what it is.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I have a bathroom off my kitchen, so does many of the older homes in my area. I change mine would have meant completely changing the layout and cost too much $$$$.

One of the most beautiful kitchens on GW, im my opinion, has a bathroom off the kitchen. You do what you can with an older home without destoying the character and your budget.

I will say I have never had an issue with odors. Do have an exhaust fan that goes on when someone enters the bathroom. I am now installing a new solid door to cut down on sounds. Mine is a full bath.

I would do what is best for your house and your budget. Intall a sensor fan and a solid core door. I would do this in any bathroom anyway. You can also install some soundproofing materials if that is a concern.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:13AM
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We have a bathroom in a hallway that is visible from our eating area. This is new construction and a big miss on the part of the person that designed the house and us. It only bothers me. No one else notices the bathroom. When I mention its placement no one comments on it being a problem. That can be out of kindness, too.

The bathroom door is solid, has an exhaust fan, is well insulated and has some very expensive poo-popourri sitting on the tank. We keep the door closed and the lid down at all times - just the two of us.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Will you have enough room in a kitchen pantry and butler's pantry? Is there stuff that won't fit in with the 2 pantries? If you can avoid the new bathroom space I would. In my son's house I hardly ever use the bathroom off the kitchen. I prefer to go upstairs. But this is family so I have free access.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:48AM
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In our 120 year old victorian the bathroom is in the original location (the house had indoor plumbing with three bathrooms) the bathroom was set up exactly as yours will be. But since it's original build the door has been relocated. It's down a six or eight feet long hallway. You leave the kitchen, bathroom door should be next, opposite the door to the basement and then the butlers pantry door on the same side as the bathroom and it ends in the dining room.

We will be taking out the door at the end of the hall (that goes to the dining room) as there is a second door right next to it which is original (this means you have to turn left at the end of the hall to enter dining room) but putting in a pass through from the butlers pantry.

We have parties all the time and maybe it's due to thick walls, but we don't hear a lot of bathroom noise. When we do redo it we will be adding sound proofing though since we're going to put the door back to the description above where it was, verses where it is walk through the butlers pantry and enter on the back side.

I wouldn't remove it because it's the only logical option for a powder room on the main floor. We have a dozen bathrooms, but to use any others you have to take a flight of stairs and I prefer that guests not have to do that...heck I prefer not to have to do that all the time LOL

Build your walls as they would have been...keep them well insulated and thick, or use sound proofing to mimic how they were built. Use a solid verses a hollow door, and I will bet you'll be just fine with it.

In old houses we adapt to them :) Personally having all of that lovely storage is a huge priority over where the bathroom door is.

In our other house the bathroom is in the hall right next to the kitchen as well. It was a closet that was converted and again, it's the only place that guests can use without using stairs. Not ideal...but not bad at all.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Thank you so much for all the great thoughts! I will talk to the KD about insulation and doors to the bathroom -- his current design has a pocket door on the bathroom, which I know would be a bad idea. I just need to decide if storage is worth a potentially more awkward placement. Old houses are wonderful and full of character, but do not leave a lot of room for movement in layout!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:39AM
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I have a 100 year old house with a powder room in the back hall between the kitchen and living room. The door is actually visible from the living room and these spaces are not very large, so there is an "intimacy" which is a little bit uncomfortable. There have been some times during parties when the use of the powder room has been...obvious.

My house is not small (3200 sq feet), but everything is small in scale since it is a bungalow, so the door to the powder room feels really close.

My sister lived in an old row house in DC that had a very formal dining room with a powder room door smack in the middle of the longest wall! They finally just turned it into a closet because no one would use it when they came over!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:41AM
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I wouldn't feel uncomfortable using a powder room placed where you suggest. It's not as if the door to the PR opens into the kitchen or DR. I'd go for all that storage and not give a second thought to the PR location.

BUT.....this advice is coming from a person who has been likened to "trailer trash" by posters here because I have a toilet and sink in my laundry room. Despite the fact that the four of us living here are the only ones who use that toilet, that guests are directed down the hall to the proper bathroom, and that the door remains almost completely closed (can't close completely because...gasp...horror...the room also houses the litter box) during any type of large or small party, some here still think of me as trailer trash. Apparently, having a toilet in the laundry room breaks some sort of cardinal rule about which I have never once heard or read. Silly me thought converting the original laundry room, which took up the entire breakfast table wall with its huge, ugly, double bi-fold doors, to an actual room with a standard door around the corner near the back door would be better, more functional, prettier (gained a large wall in the breakfast area for art), and be less trailer trashy. We put a toilet and pedestal sink in because we garden extensively, and I have the world's smallest bladder. Having to take off all my dirty gardening clothes 22 times a day to tromp over light carpet through the whole house to get to the nearest bathroom wasn't practical. Nor did I enjoy having to get the carpet cleaner out every night after a long day outside to clean the dirt ground into the light carpet. Now, I sometimes put an old rug or towel down at the back door and can step right from the garage into the laundry room without having to remove all my dirty garments to get to the toilet. This decision was made even before having kids who like to play outside and need a bathroom. Yep, I'm trailer trash. And I'm not holding any type of bad feelings about being called that, am I? ;)

Sorry for that rant. Keep the proposed PR and the storage.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Breezygirl, I never read anything about you being trailer trash and am mad as anything to know that people here said that. Having spend many years of my youth living in a trailer I feel and can attest that not all who live in a mobile home are trash. No one has the right to call anyone trash here or IRL.

Joneswest and all, I'm glad this issue came up. I think sometimes people forget the function of a house. Is having the bathroom off a kitchen or close by ideal? I gets it depends on who you ask. My DH and other men I know think it is so smart that all the plumbing in our house is all together. They think practical.

You can design it so any issues are avoided. As already mentioned, solid core door that extended to the floor and/or use a weather stip. Also tile echos sound more, consider a wood or other type floor. This bathroom got "louder" when we removed the vinyl and installed tile. Lots you can do for the walls as sound proofing. Automatic fan. Consider a radio or such on low in the room during parties. Light a candle.

I have lived with this for over 25 years and it has never been an issue.

Had someone tell me it was really gross that my laundry closet was going to be close by but not in my kitchen. Really?

Is this the only bathroom on the 1st floor? My mom can no longer visit her niece (who has family parties) because the only bathroom is on the 2nd floor. My mom and her sister can no longer climb the stairs. I would never eliminate a 1st floor bathroom.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Breezygirl, I never read anything about you being trailer trash and am mad as anything to know that people here said that.

Too bad it never happened. Sorry to spoil the party.

My own powder room is right next to the kitchen; the door mercifully faces into a short hallway but it's basically right there. Old houses are old houses. You make do with what you have.

My only gripe is the inability of people to use a little common sense. If we're sitting right there in the kitchen, I'll tell guests they can use either the powder room or the nice new bath upstairs, wouldn't they like to see it? Many don't take the hint. There are also those who don't realize that if you happen to be in the mood to demonstrate why WCs were originally called "thunderboxes," you should probably find a more comfortable bathroom for the purpose. Or that the huge yellow can labeled "Air Freshener" (which replaced a more tasteful but apparently too-subtle atomizer) is not merely decorative. Common sense, people.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Fori is not pleased

Do you actually gain anything from moving the powder room (except for the expense of moving a powder room)? Just between you and me, there's nothing wrong with storing pantry stuff in--gasp!--the kitchen.

Overall I don't think it's a terrible spot for a powder room but it's possible I'd prefer the current location.

If you could show us both layouts, it would be easier to decide, though.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Marcolo, I totally agree. I have three bathrooms in the house, why do people choose the not-ideally-situated-powder-room to have their "daily constitutional" during a party!

I guess I'm uptight...but I like it that way!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Well, any port in a storm, I say. No window, I assume? If there could be a fan that automatically went on with the light, it would help with smells and thunder.

I love that the toilet in my guest bath has a perfect view of the living room tv. I live alone. Maybe that's why. :)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:24PM
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The only "public" bathroom that's downstairs in our 1930 cottage is off of the kitchen. The other downstairs bathroom is our MBR. This bath was originally a Jack and Jill bath between our existing main guest bedroom and another bedroom which is now the current bar/pantry/storage closet side of our kitchen (the "working" part of our kitchen is separated from that area by a large peninsula/island and sits where the original kitchen was). It works fine for us and for guests that stay in the "other" bedroom (our main guest room). No noise,nothing "gross". It's just an old house that was reworked by the previous owners and has worked for us and our many, many guests for the last 6 years.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:19PM
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