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To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Posted by southofsa (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 14:44

My boyfriend has the patience of Job, but I've shown him so many possible bathroom layouts his eyes start to glaze over when I say "Honey, what do you think of this one?"

Background: 1965 ranch style home, 1950 sf, just south of San Antonio, TX built on a concrete slab. Hopefully our forever home. No codes in this area and no inspectors so we do a lot of homework to try to make sure the work done on our house is done right. So far we've redone the kitchen and the major living areas - walls, electric, some plumbing. We do what we can do and hire the trades we don't do- mostly electrical and plumbing.

Two bathrooms - small one off the MBR about 5x7, larger public one about 5x8. He used the smaller one and I used the other. We were planning the redo of my bathroom when we found the mold in his bathroom. After a little demo we're pretty sure there's not a shower pan left under his shower. We're not sure how much the foundation is affected.

We have the layout for my bathroom figured out so it will be usable for both of us if need be. We've interviewed a couple GC's and I'm starting to pick out fixtures/tiles/etc. The big question is what to do with his bathroom.

Option 1: tear it all out, fix what needs to be fixed and turn that area into closet/storage space. Down the road turn a smaller adjacent bedroom into a MBR bathroom. Expensive, bigger than I need, very involved considering it's a concrete slab and lose a bedroom.

Option 2 (what I'm leaning towards): tear out his bathroom and closet next to it and turn it into a 5'x11.5' bathroom. Awkward sized space and here's the kicker - I have to have a bathtub big enough to soak in.

The picture below is of my latest layout. The inspiration for the bathtub/shower area is here: http://www.houzz.com/photos/103319/Pickering-contemporary-bathroom-san-francisco

Can anyone guess how big that space is? I've looked all over the net and haven't exactly found recommended specs. I know the narrowest a shower should be is 30" which may seem larger when it's next to the bathtub. Is it enough? Keep in mind his current shower is 24" x 42" so we're used to living in smaller spaces. I think the Kohler Archer tub should work - haven't actually gotten into one yet but I have my fingers crossed that it works for me. I also have big concerns finding someone that can do the work correctly since from what I understand it's very involved to waterproof correctly when the tub is in the shower. But I'd also have concerns making a new bathroom out of the small bedroom on a concrete slab.

If you've made it this far I thank you. If you have any thoughts, concerns, advice, experience about any of the above I really, really thank you.
Lisa


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Are you planning on having a curb at the entrance of the shower area, like on a conventional shower?

Where I live, this would get interpreted as the width of the shower being 62" , and the shower space including the bathtub.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Definitely would choose Option #2. How much room do you have where toilet is? I would lean towards widening shower and leaving minimum required area for toilet which would be 15" away from the center of toilet to shower wall. You have lots of room on right side of toilet for legs etc. (though I don't know where you'd put toilet roll holder?) Keep in mind does 30" for shower mean 30" on the floor, excluding edge of base for shower pan, or including? Would your floor carry through from shower into BR?

On your link, John Whipple has an article on including tub in shower...I assume you read that, if not, I've got the link here. He is also very accessible via email if you have any specific questions. He helped me out with understanding how to waterproof my shower, even phoned me to talk more about it (I live in the Vancouver area).

Also, I realize this is just a rough sketch, but why do you have your vanity so small?

Here is a link that might be useful: Why to put your tub in the shower


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Thank you both-

I'd prefer a curbless or very low profile curb. I think the picture is curbless. I know there's no way I can get all the clearances for aging in place recommendations, but the fewer obstacles the better. So the waterproofed area has to extend out into the rest of the floor space, right?

I had read the article attached to the picture, but it's great to know he's a resource I can tap into if needed. My sense is that this set up isn't done much in this area, at least by the GC's I've talked to so far.

As far as the vanity goes, I really don't have strong feelings. I' m just not sure how much space to leave to avoid it getting wet. I'd thought about putting a freestanding cabinet to the left of the vanity, but it could be extended too. The boyfriend does custom woodworking, so I'm pretty lucky when it comes to needing things with specific specs :-)

Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Raehelen- read your post again. If I understand what you're asking it's 30" of floor space in the shower and the shower would carry through into the main floor to give me enough space to get adequate slope to the drain.

Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I am thinking that 30" is too narrow for a shower. I am adding a link to a site that offers bathroom dimensions and clearances. It might be helpful in this project.

I think the solution could work especially if it was curbless entry.

If you put a pony wall to the left of the toilet you could put a TP holder there (an issue Raehelen pointed out). Then you could also rig, either a pantry pull out from the end, or an extra cubby on the shower side. You would loose some width to the toilet area but it still might be within recommended tolerances. What about putting a pocket door that goes behind the toilet. That will free up a lot of floor space and feel more open.

Here is a link that might be useful: illustrated rules of good bathroom design


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I think option 2, unless you want to post a sketch of the whole floor for other ideas.

The space between the toilet and vanity looks pretty tight. If you only have a 30 in shower, you might want to consider staying with a traditional tub/shower combo since here your tub is actually wider (just plan to leave enough space for a transfer bench down the road). Here are two ideas, not sure how much you are willing to change. Maybe they will spark some further ideas or discussion.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Enduring- hadn't even thought about a pony wall between the toilet and shower (that's what you meant when you said to the left, right? I want to make sure I understood what you meant). But that would solve the TP problem.

I'd love a pocket door, but I thought the water supply to the toilet made that not an option. Is there some way to do it anyway? But I was planning to have the door open into the MBR like the closet door does now. Works ok for me.

I'd read the clearance guidelines at some point- I think that's where I came up with 30 as code minimum. It is narrow, but I was hoping since there's not a "wall" on one side it would be ok. But if I narrowed the doorway and/or the space allotted to the toilet like raehelen suggested I could add it to the shower width.

You all have no idea how helpful all this is- Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Williamsem- I was worried about the space between the toilet and sink too, but I'm definitely spatially challenged on paper :-)

I like your second drawing. It balances out the room really nicely. I was keeping the door on the end because I have an antique dresser that will have to move when we redo the closet in the MBR not so much for storage needs, but for sentimental reasons. That's something I may have to give up.

I think I need to do a little more research on what's recommended for plumbing lines on the exterior walls. I would think it would be ok if it was insulated, but i need to check.

Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I like both of Williamsem's drawings.

Yes South, you understand my idea about the pony wall.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd go to bed and wake up thinking about bathrooms. Kitchens yes. Bathrooms no.

But seriously you all have given me great food for thought as well as a reality check. Regardless of how I configure the bathtub and shower, there's no way the toilet and vanity can be opposite each other in a room that's 5' deep. But boy my wheels are turning :-)

Thanks- Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I think there are a few things making your space particularly tricky to fit everything in.

-the 32 in wide tub. It -has- to be oriented top to bottom in your drawing because putting it left to right leaves only 28 inches. That's a little tight, but doable for a short passageway or maybe to have a linen closet at the end, but too small to fit the toilet (need 30 inches) and it would make for a pretty small vanity in a bath used frequently (especially given the overall room size)

-the window means the shower head can't go on that part of the wall

-the door has to open from the bottom wall, limiting what can be put on that wall since the window dictates the orientation of the shower

-the door all the way to the right eliminates using that right wall for anything, so the vanity and toilet are forced to the top and bottom walls, but the window dictates the shower opening.

So these things are causing conflict with your desired list of things. To get it all in, the only solution I see is to move the door. How much room do you need for your dresser? Could moving it even farther left provide enough space?

Alternatively, if you get rid of the seperate shower and go with the standard tub/shower combo, a larger vanity will fit with the toilet with the door in the current location.

Or maybe someone has brilliantly come up with another solution! This is just the rut my thought process is stuck in for this project.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Williamsem- I know. It's like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole :-)

I could move the BR entry door to the left a little (the MBR door stops at ?34" I think- not at home and didn't write it down), but that breaks the "thou shalt not have the door open directly to the toilet" rule. That's why I think what's going to have to go is the dresser.

I've been reading John Whipple's curbless entry showers blog this morning and while I could see that as a definite possibility the take away is you really, really need to have someone doing the work that knows what the heck they're doing.

The message was reinforced by the first post I read today which was "curbless shower disaster". Though mongo's post clarified that I'd need at least 8' to get the required 2" drop to the shower drain.

The wheels are still turning......

Lisa

Edit: I forgot to answer your question- the dresser is 44" wide

This post was edited by southofsa on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 12:44


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

44 inches? Your almost there! What about the second option I posted, but shift the door to be centered in the open part of the room, door opens into the bedroom with hinges on the window side so no staring at the toilet?

You might have to cheat a few inches, but the dresser should then fit next to the window.

Or just throw caution to the wind and put the door in front of the toilet. Of all the things to sacrifice, that'd be the easiest for me to live with! I guess it depends on how important that dresser is to you - will you get more joy seeing it every day than aggrevation from seeing the toilet? I'm sure you already know the answer in your heart, either way.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

You might not be able to put the shower plumbing in the wall in the 2nd of Williamsem's drawings because it is an exterior wall. In your climate it might not be an issue though.

Consider the orientation of your tub & toilet. Some people don't like laying down in the tub with the toilet next to their face :) You could flip either one. If you put the toilet on the bottom wall, it might be awkward in that tight space without a wall of some sort on the right side.

If you put in a pocket door you might be able to put an 8" wall that could accommodate a solid wall build and allow room for plumbing.

If you go with the 36" shower as shown in the 2nd drawing by Williamsem, it could be a Kohler cast iron shower pan. they fit in a 3x5 space. There are acrylic and cultured marble ones too. I believe all are durable.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Williamsem- you're right- the dresser would fit fine if I shifted the door to the left! I don't have a problem walking in and seeing the toilet first as long as it's clean. Hmmm- might need to have a talk with the boyfriend about that :-) Add a pocket door since there's no plumbing on that wall now and no hinges- bonus!

Enduring - yeah definitely have to look into pipes on the exterior wall. I should be able to find the codes online for San Antonio.

The woodworker is really happy it's been 24 hours since he's had to talk about the BR btw :-)

Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

What a wimp ;)

You have us to process all of this though. We love the process!


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

That inspiration pic was in my files as well. We are also doing a separate tub and shower (curbless) in a small bathroom. Our shower floor will be 3 x 5 feet, which is what we have now. I think having the adjacent tub does make a big difference. Your elbows don't hit the wall, for one thing! I really don't like taking a bath in a tub and shower combo unless it is in a hotel where they clean it daily! I considered the Archer because of the horizontal drain that allows for greater soaking depth, but ultimately made a different choice. None of it is installed yet, so I can't report on how it turned out, alas!


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Lori- good to hear- your thoughts sound a lot like mine. The other reason I don't want a tub/shower combo is they're tougher to climb in and out of IMO because they're deeper. Not a big deal now, but potentially could be in the future. When I'm feeble they can just roll me under the shower in my wheelchair :-)

Can I ask what tub you ended up choosing? And how tall you are? I just don't want my knees and/or shoulders out of the water if at all possible.

Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Good point on the climbing. We are putting in a vertical grab bar that lines up with the tub edge at the faucet end. I will probably use that even now-- sometimes I get so relaxed in the tub, I need a way to haul my limp self out of there! I am 5'8" and we are getting the Americh Madison in a 5 ft version. I sat in a larger one at a showroom many months ago, but we don't have ours yet. I wanted a rectangular tub, armrests, and a good lumbar curve.

Somewhere at home I have a summary of a bunch of different smaller soakers, including height to drain. I used our current tub as the baseline for comparison, because I know it is comfortable for me, but it is longer than I really need. There was another thread some months ago regarding differences in the usable width at the bottom of the tub if that is of concern, I might be able to find it.

Good luck!


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

I'd read a ton of threads on tubs, but it always seemed the person asking was much taller or much shorter than I was. I'm 5' 8" as well! That's definitely another tub I''ll look for.

I think I remember the thread you're talking about. It was a guy that was 6' 1" maybe? I'll have to look for that again. If it's the one I'm thinking of he did have some very specific info in it.

Thanks- Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Lisa, here are some specs I collected when I was narrowing down my choice. These are all 5 ft tubs.

Archer-- drop in only

bottom at narrowest point= 19 11/16
at widest = same
basin length = 45
depth, to base of drain= 15
finished floor to top of tub= 19
width- outside = 32

Madison, 34" drop in or undermount
60 gal
bottom at narrowest point= 19
at widest = same
basin length = 40
depth, to base of drain= 15 3/4
finished floor to top of tub= 22
width- outside = 34

Madison, 32" drop in or undermount
60 gal

bottom at narrowest point= 18
at widest = same
basin length = 40
depth, to base of drain= 15 3/4
finished floor to top of tub= 22
width- outside = 32

Madison, 30" drop in or undermount
55 gal
bottom at narrowest point=16
at widest = same
basin length = 40
depth, to base of drain= 15 3/4
finished floor to top of tub= 22
width- outside = 30

(compared to my current tub)
bottom at narrowest point= 17, (above the curve is almost 19)
at widest = 22
basin length = 50
depth, to base of drain= 16
finished floor to top of tub= 24
width- outside = 35, almost 36


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Lori- wow! This is great information! Thanks for posting it- I'll look at it more this weekend and start making some phone calls.

Good luck with your remodel - Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

"Though mongo's post clarified that I'd need at least 8' to get the required 2" drop to the shower drain. "

Don't forget, the 8' run is with a slope of 1/4" per foot, 1/4" per foot is the minimum slope allowed and the slope of the quick slope product used in that shower.

The maximum slope allowed is 1/2" per foot, which means you only need a 4' run.

You can also go "almost curbless". A 1/4" or 1/2" curb. I've done that for some almost ADA-types of showers.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Mongo (or whoever happens to know ) I have a question-

If the floor is sloped a half inch and the toilet is next to the shower, how do you keep the toilet from tilting? Or does it and I just can't see it in the picture? There's lots of pictures of toilets near showers (or in showers for that matter) on houzz and I can't figure how they install the toilet so it doesn't tilt.

These are the kinds of questions I have these day :-) Lisa


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

If the floor is sloped including under the toilet, often the toilet is a wall hung model with an in wall tank.

Or the slope only starts next to the toilet, not under it. I've also seen them with the toilet tilted slightly forward (facing the slope) but not side to side tilted.


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RE: To the spatially gifted on this site-help!

Lori- did some research and it looks like the closest cities that have Americh are Dallas and Houston so looks like there will be a road trip sometime in my future. I did sit in a ?mirabelle this weekend and definitely could see the benefits of some type of armrest. Let me know when you are able to use yours and what you think- I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

Ineffable- thanks for the info. It was the floor toilets that I couldn't figure out. I guess I could see if they tilted forward a little.

Ok, now that I have the long term game plan semi figured out time to get busy on the guest BR job. Thanks everybody!

Lisa


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