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Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

Posted by Rebeccamom123 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 13:30

Hello GWebbers! Since I had so much luck getting such great ideas on my kitchen remodel last winter, I thought I'd reach out once again for help with my bathroom too. We live in a 1950's cape cod style home with a 1/2 bath and laundry downstairs and only one full bathroom which is upstairs with the bedrooms. Given that it is our only full bathroom we need to make the most of it as a busy family of 5. The Bathroom is a perfectly symmetrical rectangle, 7 feet in width and 8 feet in length. The door is centered across the 7 foot wall in front, and a window is centered across the back wall, opposite the door. Currently the tub and single sink make up the right side wall, and the toilet is located on the wall opposite the tub/sink. We are open to the idea of a gut job so plumbing is moveable. I am in love with the idea of a small soaking tub and separate shower along one side then double sinks (did I mention this is our only upstairs bathroom for a family of 5!!??) and toilet along the other side. I've read that a standard shower is about 36" and a standard tub is about 5 feet which puts me right at my max of 8 feet in length but I could probably find a smaller tub. A girl can dream.... All ideas, tips and suggestions to best utilize this space are welcome!!! We are at the beginning stages so we're not committed to anything yet.
Here is my inspiration photo:

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

We have an 8x8 bath, I am attaching my floor plan. Vanity will be 1 sink with 2 vertical towers for extra storage. It's our master, but Its just not a big space! Hope this is helpfulBath floor plan

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

Thanks Christine40!! Beautiful space, you are clearly maximizing every square inch and it's so exciting to see the possibilities even with small spaces! Will the corner tub be a standing shower only or just tub? We'll need a combo.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

no, just a shower. I haven't had a master with a tub in 10years. Our only tub is in our main bath. I am not sure how you could fit a tub and shower in our 8x8?? I think originally (1963) there was a tub, that was replaced in the 80s with a small stall shower and large storage cabinet. I will attach some other layout ideas maybe it will help!!

Existing Layout:existing layout

Another layout option:
another option

Vanity layout to maximze storage in small space:

mood board:
mood board

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

With a conventional 5' tub you need to enclose the ends so the free end abutting the shower will need another 4-1/2" or so of length. (Freestanding tubs of 60 or less are available but get a bit small, and there are many more options at over 60"). With a full wall at each end of the tub you would only really have room for a 32"-33" shower, and these are a little small.

However, you could build that little end wall into the side of the shower sort of like the seat shown in your first picture, and be able to stay close to 36"

54" tubs, the next size down, are pretty small for bathing and you have a very limited number of options (One each at Kohler or American Standard and the others are mostly very inexpensive options made for mobile homes).
I know this because I am doing a very small bathroom and using a 54" tub, which will mostly be used for showering. The other thing is that a good 54" or 48" (American Standard only) tub, is much more expensive than a typical 60" tub because of low volume manufacturing.

You may want to try tub and toilet on one side, shower and vanity on the other side and see how that works on paper. That way you may be able to get a bigger shower than 36"

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

I agree with Pal, a 36inch shower is small. However, I reread your post and your door is centered on the wall, mine is not. Is there a window taking up real estate as well? It's so hard to cram everything needed into a small space. Houzz has some good pics on "small bathroom" photos. I think the ones you posted above are in my ideabook.

If it were me, I might make the vanity a little smaller with only 1 sink, to maximize the shower size.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

Thanks for the great floor plans! Yes, my entry door is in the middle of the wall and i do have a window on the opposite wall. I know space is really tight so I suppose I could give up the double sink like Pal suggests to have shower/privacy wall/toilet on one side and tub & vanity on the other.

But what does the clearance need to be in the "galley"? I only have 7 feet of width..

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

You can get a typical tub in 30" width.
A typical vanity depth is 21"

A typical toilet is 28"
The shower is planned for 36"

If the toilet and shower end up across from each other you have

84 - (28+36) = 20", which is below the minimums of 21" in front of a toilet and 24" in front of a shower entry (which can overlap of course, and be the *same 24"). 30 is recommended for all.

If you could recess the shower or toilet into one of the other rooms (like if there is a closet behind them) you could gain the four inches minimum needed fairly easily.

Or you could do the layout that did not put two deep things across from each other, but it would mean not having the two similarly shaped areas across from each other:

60" tub across from 60"+/- vanity and
36" shower across from 36" +/- toilet space.


You could put the tub and shower along one wall and have the toilet facing out from the back wall, not the side wall and then have a much shorter, single sink vanity.

96"-(28" toilet + 21" space) = 47" vanity, which is not bad, but it's definitely a single sink vanity. Maybe an off-center sink with counterspace but a mirror over the whole vanity, for multiple users.

The issue *here would be that the shower doorswing would be impeded by the toilet so you would need to use a shower curtain, most likely.


If you are not concerned about putting the window inside the shower (and if it is in the right place to fit. You could do a neo angle with the toilet facing out above, and the door would not be an issue, I think.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

As others have said, it sounds like you might be able to squeeze in a shower and a tub, but I'm wondering, is that what you really need in a single bathroom used for 5? I shared 1.5 baths with my family of 4 growing up, and the single best thing about our full bath was that the toilet and shower had a door to separate them from the sink. This allowed one person to be using the toilet or showering while someone else was brushing teeth, etc. If you have one bathroom, what are you really going to do with a small shower and a small tub? It seems like sharing a bathroom with 5 people would have more benefit from having toilet and shower separated from a sink and/or having more floor space or more sinks. Keep in mind that palimpsest is talking about minimum (code) space requirements. If you have 2-5 people in the bathroom trying to get ready at once, is the minimum floor space going to suffice?

I'm not certain if the space would work (may depend on your door placement), but what if you walled off the toilet and tub with a door in the middle (directly across from your current door). Then in the small first room, have two sinks directly across from each other on either side of the doors. You could use a pocket door for the inner door to keep the swing from interfering with sink activity.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

Prickly, I'm thinking hard about your feedback and I think you're right. I just finished a remodel of my dream kitchen (style and function that I'm loving!) and I really thought long and hard about how as a family we would use each "station" we created within the work zones. I never really approached the bathroom with that thought process too, just assuming the more fixtures I could cram in, the better. My three kids go to bed at the relatively the same time and they literally create a line out the door to brush and wash. And sometimes I'm even in the tub (with the curtain closed) during this because I love an evening bath. There is a kohler or Moen commercial of a mom in the tub when the kids come in to brush their teeth and kiss her goodnight I always say - hey that's me!

I like you're suggestion and will sketch it out. I just hope 8 feet creates enough depth to make two separately functioning spaces.

Another question: Has anyone designed a bathroom with the door opening outward to the hallway versus inward , into the room? I feel like this would be an obvious thing to do to save swing space from the door - but is there a code or something that prevents people from doing that? Seems like lots of people are challenged by swing space so with why don't more people do that? I'm a rookie, so I must be missing something?

Last question - are shower curtains officially "out"? Everyone on here seems to be updating with seamless glass enclosures - but I always find them to get streaky and cloudy over time - a beautiful, fabric curtain (timeless black and white damask, etc.) and basket of towels can so easily be replaced every season for a relatively cheap, updated look - but is that considered outdated?

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

IMO, in a bathroom that size that serves 5 people, it would be much more important to have 2 sinks than separate shower and tub, especially if the cost of separate tub is a tiny shower. I love your inspiration photos, but you just don't have the size to pull off that look and feel, unfortunately.

I'd stick with a 60" tub/shower combo with a shower curtain to give the bather/showerer privacy if someone else needs to use the sink.

Put the toilet at the end of the tub/shower, and on the opposite wall make an 8' vanity with 2 sinks and a storage tower in the middle. As your kids get older, the extra sink space will add much more value (and efficiency) than a separate tub.

We had an outswing door on our master bath in our last house. The reason people tend not to have them is that bathroom doors are typically left open when not in use, and that can pose an obstacle in the hallway. It's not "natural" to open a door 180 degrees to keep it out of the way.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

I'm no expert, but a couple thoughts:

1) Someone mentioned 28 inches for a toilet. In many places code requires 15 inches on either side of center, i.e. 30 inches. And a toilet in a 28-in-wide space could feel cramped, regardless of code.

2) Personally, I've never understood why double sinks are important. But, setting that aside, I strongly concur with those who say that it doesn't make much sense to cram a smallish shower and smallish tub into a 7x8 bathroom. Much better to do a traditional tub/shower combo. (That's why they're so widely used!)

Is there a need for a low-threshhold shower, or for people to be bathing and showering at the same time, or is this primarily aesthetic issue? This is a small bathroom, and you are not going to successfully reproduce big-bathroom aesthetics in it, no matter what you do. The thing to do is to approach the bath on its own terms and get good small-bathroom aesthetics! Stop looking a huge-bath photos and start looking at small-bath photos! They're nice too, really!

Also, I would not go with a tub under 60 inches if it's the only one in the house, since this could be a future resale issue.

Re shower curtains: I agree about the streaking. We have glass doors on a shower but will be using curtains in our other bath.

RE: Help with 7X8 bathroom layout

28" is the Length of the typical toilet, we were talking about things Across from each other, not next to each other.

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