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Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

Posted by sbollag (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 15:41

We are completely redoing our old house, building the bathroom from scratch basically, so we can do pretty much anything we want. We are planning a freestanding air tub for two, probably 66 or 72 inches long, so that gives us a little less room for the shower, but it looks like we'll still be able to make it 60 x 42 (and can probably gain a few more inches on the width actually, and if we do a 66 inch tub, can probably gain a few inches lengthwise for the shower), which should be OK. We want it to be able to be used by two, though most of the time it will probably be only one of us using it. We would of course have liked to make it bigger, but it seems like this is the best we can do if we want it all.

We are thinking a normal shower head on the wall opposite the bench, a rain shower overhead, and a handheld on the long wall, reachable from the bench.

We are contemplating a steam shower, as the SO has pretty serious asthma and allergies, so think this would be good for her lungs. One concern she has though is that if it is fully enclosed, it would be stuffy when she is taking a normal shower, but I've seen some things where you can do a glass transom, so that seems like a solution. Also, of course, if we're doing the steam shower we need the full bench, which does take away from floor space.

But just generally looking for feedback on this design - this seems to be the best we and the contractor can come up with, but of course wanted to put it out there for any fresh ideas.

Please let me know any questions, and thanks so much for looking!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

Without changing your major fixture locations, all I really did is move your vanities. A few comments:

1) I thought the path too narrow between your vanity and tub, so I split the vanity into two separate locations. You lose your original linen cabinet, but that can be offset with the added vanity storage or by adding a narrow linen cabinet on the now shorter wall where you had your original vanity located.

2) The shower. I nixed the built-in bench. Built-in benches sound nice. However, they take up floor space and they permanently reduce the foorprint of the shower. I instead recommend getting a couple of teak shower stools or a teak shower bench. It can be moved around or removed as needed. Wood is always warm on skin, versus tile being chilly. Teak stools do not leak. Tiled-in benches often do. A moveable stool can be pulled under the rainhead, or used as a foot stool for leg shaving where you want it, when you want it. If anyone ever becomes infirmed, moveable seating is so much more effective than a tiled-in bench.

I reversed the swing of the shower door. That way an open vanity drawer will not restrict the shower door from opening outwards into the bathroom.

3) Water closet. I flipped the location of the toilet to being on the exterior wall. That could present problems, but those problems can easily be worked around.

So overall a few minor changes. Nothing drastic.

If you keep your original footprint, be aware of the shared-wall conflict between the plumbing for the right sink and the pocket door for the water closet. Both can be accommodated if they are properly accounted for in the plans.


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RE: Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

Thanks so much for your feedback! I wasn't sure if you meant to include an image, or you were just describing your changes? Anyway, I'm just going to give a quick response to each of your very helpful suggestions.

1) Since I originally posted, we've actually changed the layout of the bathroom a fair bit, I think it's going to work much better. We are changing that window in the toilet room, so we will push that wall back, and that will give us room to stick the vanity between the tub and toilet room, so when you walk in it will be a nice open space.

2) I have been wrestling with a built-in v removable bench myself. While I understand the many pros of a removable bench, the lady is very much in favor of a built-in one, and I also think the built-in one might be better for use as a steam shower, especially for two. I plan to use it as a steam shower on a regular basis. Just seems like it would be a pain to take in and out all the time, and would not be nearly as comfortable for two to sit on.

3) With the layout changes, we will be doing exactly that, swapping the location of the toilet. Also, with the vanity moving, there won't be any issue with the pocket door.

One further line of questioning, if you'll humor me :) In terms of shower fixtures, my plan right now is a fixed shower head on the wall opposite the bench, a handheld one on the long tiled wall, and a rain shower over head. What I'm still trying to wrap my head around is controls. It seems that thermostatic valves are the way to go, eh? And Hansgrohe certainly seems to be the leader in this area? So what I'm thinking is one of the ones with a diverter, that would control the fixed shower head and rain shower, and then just a single one for the handheld. Does that sound right? I understand there is the Thermostatic III that would control all three (and I saw some other fancy Hansgrohe one that controls three, all in a line), but this just seems a bit unnecessary, and perhaps even less desirable, to me.

Thanks again!


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RE: Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

" I wasn't sure if you meant to include an image, or you were just describing your changes? "

You know, I did modify your drawing but I forgot to attach it. Even though you already have your workable plan, here it is anyway:

Thermostatic versus pressure balanced? They both work fine. In general, TS does hold the water to a tighter range than PB, roughtly +/-1 degree for TS and 3 degrees for PB.

With TS, you usually have a control for temp and another control for volume. So once you set the temp control to a temp you like, you can leave it there. When you get out of the shower turn the volume OFF. When you shower next, turn the volume ON and the temp should remain where is was the last time you showered.

With PB, there's usually a single control knob. You rotate the knob to set the temp, and in the process you turn the volume on. So each time you shower, you have to set the knob or lever to roughly the same "o'clock" position to get your desired temp range.

I think PB valves are fine, I'm not biased against them in the least bit. TS valves are fine too. Both valve types work fine functionally, but there are probably more stylish choices available with TS valves.

If people want "pretty" they usually go the TS route.

"So what I'm thinking is one of the ones with a diverter, that would control the fixed shower head and rain shower, and then just a single one for the handheld. Does that sound right?"

That'll work. I recommend placing the supply valves near the entry to the shower. That way you can open the glass door, reach in, and turn on the shower without having to step into the cold spray.

Yes, you can go with two separate supply valves; one that feeds two heads, the other that feeds one head. That allows you to have different temperatures to the "his" and "her" heads if that might be an issue.

Or you can go with a single supply valve that will feed all three heads and combine that supply valve with a diverter like the Quatro to get the water to where you want it.

With Hansgrohe, pay attention as you shop. They have series' labelled as "C", "S", "E", for example. Pick your trim, then get the valve(s) to match.

Good luck!


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RE: Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

Thank you so much again! Really appreciate all the time you took and your input. I do like your layout as well.

Yeah, we'll just have to see about TS v PB. The issue we have is that we are trying to make things look as period-appropriate as possible (obviously with some modern indulgences), so we're trying to find antique-y looking hardware, which is challenging.

Thanks again!


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RE: Bathroom layout help - to steam or not?

Another vote against the installed bench. They are cold, eat up space, collect crud and beauty products (you think that's what your niche is for? haha) and difficult to keep clean. Have one, regret it. Our new steam shower gets this teak bench. All the spas use them for hygiene and comfort. Just a thought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Teak bench


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