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Horrible bathroom, blank slate - layout help needed!!!
Laurie Dreesen
December 27, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi! This terrible bathroom is getting re-done in the coming months (we just bought the house and have yet to move in). My problem is design ideas for how to incorporate a free-standing pedestal soaking tub, stand-alone shower, and new sink into this awkward space. Can a bathtub go where this ridiculous vanity just takes up space? The wall would have to come down but is this a plumbing nightmare. What tricks are used to put a bath tub in where there are currently no drain lines? We don't want to disturb the foundation, as it's solid concrete. Also, I have no idea what tile or flooring would be good. Any ideas appreciated!
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The Essence of You
The wall coming down shouldn't be a plumbing nightmare but it possibly can be a load bearing wall. Have a contractor give you an estimate. then you will have a better visual for how much space you are actually working with.
December 27, 2012 at 3:11pm     
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Main Line Kitchen Design
You need the floor plans with dimensions to really comment. For bathrooms it also helps to know which way the floor joists run and if plumbing, or ventilation are in the walls you plan on removing. Load bearing is actually less important because the span between walls is short. It just costs extra (maybe $1000) to remove a wall if it is load bearing. Rerouting a plumbing stack or heating duct could end up being far more complicated and possibly completely impractical.
December 27, 2012 at 3:23pm     
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cgsteinman
Without knowing the overall dimensions, it's impossible to determine if you have enough room for all the elements you want in this room. You might consider installing a rainfall showerhead over your soaking tub and using a full circle shower curtain around it to help save space.
December 27, 2012 at 3:26pm     
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Springs Construction Company
While I would love to see all the walls come down ... putting a floor to ceiling linen closet in the dressing area opposite the sink would be handy. Remove the shower walls for glass partition in the wet room - I think that will give you room needed for a tub and shower space. Look into the strip drain systems they may provide you with a solution to use your existing drain while enlarging the shower area.
December 27, 2012 at 3:55pm     
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gingerclaire
Can you do a sketch of the layout with indications of where the existing plumbing and drainage pipes are?
December 27, 2012 at 4:03pm   
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Staged for Perfection
I would start by removing all the walls. Give a layout and dimensions please!
December 27, 2012 at 4:06pm   
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Laurie Dreesen
You guys are amazing! I don't have a sketch with dimensions (I'm sure there is one somewhere!) but I have the layout of the whole house. It's an odd floorplan - the room I'm talking about here is the master bathroom. My design dilemma is that I'd like to see a tub where there is no existing plumbing - it will have to be run through the wall maybe? This work is all being done by my DH and his very experienced contractor dad who will be flying in for a couple of weeks to do the work. He hasn't seen the house yet but I think he has all the measurements. I'm just wondering if there's a totally other way of looking at this - thanks for all the input!!! I really appreciate your time!
December 27, 2012 at 4:13pm   
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Laurie Dreesen
I will work on finding the dimension measurements - we're not living here yet! Here's a view of the shower and toilet from inside the closet - to give you an idea of how little space there is over there. I was thinking the shower could be extended to the wall where the closet starts, but maybe that's awkward. I dunno
December 27, 2012 at 4:30pm   
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Springs Construction Company
A shower that crossed the back wall of this room will be wonderful and provide more elbow room for the toilet as well. Definitely call for professional help and enjoy!
December 27, 2012 at 4:34pm     
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gingerclaire
It's hard to know what would fit where without dimensions, but I would be inclined to take out the closet walls (with advice from your structural engineer of course) as from looking at your plan those are very unlikely to be load-bearing walls. You could then make better use of this space. Slipper-shaped baths are generally a bit shorter and a glass shower enclosure would make the room feel much less 'boxed in'.

Create closet space if it's needed in the space on the left that currently just has the countertop vanity.

The waste for the toilet is the trickiest thing to move, so if you don't want to be digging up the floor leave that where it is. Also ensuring you have an adequate drop for drainage from the bath may be a challenge. You could raise the height of the bath's plinth to allow for this like the bathroom in the picture below I found.

I think however, you may be forced to compromise, either no bath, but amazing shower, or by putting your shower above the bath. I have an amazing shower about my bath (see pictures of project mid-way through) which I am very happy with.

With your concrete floors, another option would be tank the room to create a wet room, which would free you from shower enclosures and curtains if you like that look...
December 27, 2012 at 4:50pm     
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mveasey
If you would raise the floor with wooden joists, you could run plumbing anywhere into existing drains...maybe an idea.
I would remove the little divider walls between the shower,wc and sink.i would guess since they are so short, they are not loadbearing.I would put tub along the back wall, using shower drain as tub drain. This will give you more elbow room around toilet as well. Keep sink. If shower would fit into funky non sink vanity space, I would put shower there.
For flooring I would suggest white penny tiles. Timeless and affordable. Would make the space look bigger and uniform.You can always go crazy with shower curtains, towels and accessories. If you do not need the closet and interior walls are not load bearing, you have so many more options. Good luck!
December 28, 2012 at 1:00am     
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mveasey
Another option completely different may be to cut a door into your hallbathroom, and make that the masterbath,this has already space allotted for a tub. The other master bath could then simply have a nice big shower.generally closets in bathrooms with small windows have lesser ventilation and i would not keep clothing in there, in fear of mold.
December 28, 2012 at 1:16am     
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Laurie Dreesen
Thank you so much for the input! I think we will likely demo the closet walls and little dividers, put the bath on a platform of some sort (as suggested above - THANK YOU!) in the closet area. Any suggestions on material for tub platforms? Seems tricky as with a tub you're dealing with the potential for water damage, mold, significant weight, etc.

Since the closet is roughly 5ft. x 5ft (each square tile on the floor is a 1x1) a soaking tub will likely take up all of that space. The little vanity area will be a new closet (albeit, small). and I'm making peace with that. We actually considered making the hall bath the master bath, and making the front room the master bedroom, but the whole idea made my mind melt and my "fear of change" was a total roadblock. No real reason to object except I like the master bd/bth to be in the back of the house, as much as possible anyway.

So, shower - tile of glass? I had my heart set on 3-sided tile, open to the bath area, but in such a small space maybe it needs to be glass. Thanks for the ideas everybody. I really appreciate your expertise & advice!
December 28, 2012 at 4:59am   
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apple_pie_order
The house has a nice floor plan overall. If you are open to reconfiguring the closet space and moving the master bedroom's door (move it 90 degrees from where it is now so that it faces the long hallway) you may find it possible to get a slipper tub in there as well as a larger shower. Also, you mentioned that you'd consider making the "office" bedroom the master bedroom. That might work out better if you really want the slipper tub in the master bathroom.

It would be a lot better not to have the closet door in the bathroom. Too much humidity, especially if the shower vent fan is not operated long enough to clear the air. You can put the shower vent fan on a timer.

Closet space in a master bedroom is important to most people. A new long closet along one wall might work out for you.

You asked about flooring. If you get tile in the shower, it's fairly inexpensive to do the floors as well at the same time. Choose a standard tile, not a designer tile, to keep costs down. Grout in a medium gray or tan will show less dirt. Designer tiles can be used as accent stripes or trim. Continue tile into the closet if the entrance stays in the bathroom.

Last, a reminder to get permits for the work, even though the work is being done by your DH and FIL. In the US, if the work is not permitted, it will cause problems when you sell, and you may have to remove tile and sheetrock to show a building inspector that the plumbing and electrical work were done to code.
December 28, 2012 at 5:45am     
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cohoek
Hi from Holland, just looked at the floorplan, You might look at the whole plan, you,ve got 3 toilets . and 2 bathrooms within a few meters of each other, you might want to move some walls to make a room bigger smaller etc. Will you be using the office as office? Do you need the door from the entry? Maybe by changing a door or moving a wall your life will be very easy...I would be inclined to look for a way of using the existing plumbing but creating more room.
December 28, 2012 at 5:46am     
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Laurie Dreesen
Very good points about the permits - this house (LUCKILY) is outside the city limits so a basic development permit from the county should be all that's necessary but I'll definitely look into it. The moving around of the spaces is such a radical idea I have trouble seeing beyond my nose! We will have an office/music room and I do like having a hallway there. The "powder room" is situated down a long hallway next to the washer/dryer - not really where I'd want most people going if the need to use the restroom. I was just considering that to be for all the BOYS in my family! :)

Great point about the closet and humidity. That is definitely a concern. I like the idea of putting the access door in the bedroom and walling off the closet in the bathroom. What a great idea! Solves the moisture problem, increases hanging space. Thank you!
December 28, 2012 at 6:09am   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
If I were you, I would take a good look at the entire bedroom/bath area of the house. I think you need to reevaluate this whole area. Since you want a tub and a shower, I would consider - as mveasey said - using the family bath as the master. You could possibly utilize the closet space from the office (of course, for future resale, this can not then be considered a bedroom) for a shower. The current master bath, then, could be turned lengthwise (putting part of it into the current closet), and the rest of the space would become your master closet.

Another option would be to switch the rooms - make the master the kid's bedroom and vice versa. You could remove the closet in the kid's bedroom to make way for the master bedroom. It's hard to say without dimensions. I think that you are going to have a hard time fitting both a tub and a shower in either bathroom - it just doesn't look spacious enough to me. If you really enjoy taking baths, a better option might be to put a nicer tub in the existing family bath. That would be your most cost-effective option. Most people think they want a tub, but for the amount of use it actually gets, it is usually better to make more efficient use of your space. Also, if you are on a slab and are putting in a drain, obviously you are going to have to tear up the floor.

One more comment: as a space planner, I see that there is a lot of space lost in the hall areas of this house. I really do think it would be worth the money to get someone to give you a couple of ideas. I think it could be much better organized, you would gain floor space in the actual rooms, and then the tub might fit more easily.
December 30, 2012 at 8:52am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I just read your comment on the "powder room". You might be able to reconfigure this space, too, but moving the garage entrance door to where the washer and dryer are now, and moving them to the space where the door currently is. This is, again, a plumbing issue, but it would make that half bath MUCH more accessible. It might, however, screw up furniture placement in your kitchen. Just thought I'd throw it out there, though.
December 30, 2012 at 8:59am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Sorry - one more idea! If you did make the office the master, you could expand it out with closet space to the existing living room wall. The entry into the room would be at the far right of this expanded space (think of bringing the living room wall down at a right angle, on the right, and inserting a door there on that short side). The existing closet space for that room then becomes the shower area (it could probably be expanded a bit, too). The other two bedrooms could be left as is, a door could be added to make it a Jack and Jill bath, or the space could be reconfigured to better utilize the lost hall space. If you need this bathroom to be used by guests though, this wouldn't work since you'd have to enter the bedroom to get to it.
December 30, 2012 at 9:12am     
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Laurie Dreesen
Thanks Kathryn for the input! My hubby had the same idea, to make the office the master and use that hallway space. I have this Feng Shui (completely baseless, superstitious and admittedly ridiculous) mental block that makes me want to have the master in the back of the house, rather than in the front. I like having the kids' bedroom positioned in the back of the house, with our room nearby. It seems more secure to me. The office room just doesn't feel like a bedroom, but I can't really explain it. I'm sure that viewpoint is annoying to a designer, as I really don't have a conceptual view of the house (which is why I'm asking for input!), and maybe we will go with that arrangement if the tub won't fit in that back space. Also, I am kind of in love with the hallway, probably because I haven't lived in a house with a hallway in more than 10 years. The old house we live in now is room, doorway, room, doorway room. Ugh. Common space is a luxury!!! Anyway, I really appreciate your insight!
December 30, 2012 at 10:28am   
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Eagledzines
In regard to placement of fixtures, keep in mind that plumbing lines need to drop 1/4" for every 12" of run.
December 30, 2012 at 3:30pm     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
HI Laurie - hey, it's all understandable! We just don't have the advantage of talking to you one-on-one, to find out what your needs are and to ask these questions, like we would in real life. I did have ONE more thought, though. First a couple of questions: A) what is the empty square space on the top left of the family bath? B) could the hot water heater be relocated to that spot? If the answer to this is "yes", here is one more idea which would capture some space. You could recess the door to the family bath and the master bedroom (at a right angle to the bathroom door) thereby gaining the current door space. This means that you could "pull" the MB closet down into that space. By doing this, your closet could be much bigger and also accessed from the bedroom (rather than the bathroom) PLUS you would gain the existing closet space in the back for a tub. You could also install a larger shower by angling the front wall at 45 degrees with a door in it.

The family bathroom would be a bit smaller, but only in that the entry area would be outside the bath rather than in it. Just another idea!
December 30, 2012 at 3:43pm     
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Laurie Dreesen
I think that square just outside the office door is part of the air handler, or its at least the intake. I think the water heater could be moved, but everything is gas so requires more infrastructure. It could probably be done but it's probably not worth all the effort. I might just have to take over the closet in the office for my clothes and let the hubby have the new tiny one in our squeezed bathroom. BTW, the powder room is not climate controlled! We just discovered this. There's no a/c ductwork in the whole utility area. It's just an extension of the garage. Yay.
December 30, 2012 at 5:53pm   
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
There is no easy way to extend plumbing without breaking up a concrete slab which adds to the cost. This is the only way to achieve the tub and shower. Raising the floor in a room with a standrd ceiling height only makes a small room feel smaller.Lots of questions. How willing are you to give up the free standing tub? It eats up a lot of space and budget. A tub shower combo across the end space where the shower is now would be the most cost efficient use of space and budget. The plumbing is already there.There are many interesting tiles such as the tumbled dark grey glass or black marble accents with white subway that could look great in the tub/shower combo. Clear glass tub enclosure keeps the look open. The closet door may or may not need to be moved slightly .What is the budget? You could use black and white retro tile on the floor to get a vintage look. A pedestal sink would also add to that style in which case an updated vanity with a furniture style toe kick and glass knobs could give extra counter space where the old vanity now sits. Beadboard 2/3 of the way up the wall with a flat molding to put hooks where the space deems appropriate and a small crown like top edge is also great if you want a retro feel.This is a cost efficient way to redo. A designer might be a worthwhile investment in this case.
December 31, 2012 at 9:11am     
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Eagledzines
To get an idea of the size of the room, take a piece of paper and place the end of it at the end of the kitchen sink. Draw a dot on the paper at the other end of the sink. This is about 36". Cut it and fold it in thirds. Each third represents 12". Now you have a 'ruler' to measure with.
December 31, 2012 at 1:58pm     
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marymarsh000
You really need to get a contractor and plumber in there. It appears to me that the existing bathroom is not large enough for a shower and a free standing tub. You need a minimum of 60" width for a tub.
December 31, 2012 at 2:28pm     
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Eagledzines
Build a bump out for a full length closet on the end of the Master Bedroom. Use the closet space in the bathroom for your tub area. Yes, plumbing can go through a wall but still needs a place to drain into. You may be able to run it into the shower drain depending on local code.This would be hidden in the raised area under the tub, in the wall and a small area under the shower floor. Ask the local code enforcement officer or a plumber to make sure that's in compliance with local codes. Keep in mind that the tub will have to be raised a few inches (8" for a 8' straight run of drain). Not including your closet, your bathroom is approximately 8 1/2' x 8' .
December 31, 2012 at 2:30pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
I agree with the idea of making the kid's bedroom the master (the size looks nearly identical, but with an entry) and putting the kids in the front. Then make the closet the bath/shower area and the vanity the closet for the new kid's room.

That way you are in the back of the house and still get a decent sized closet, which could be supplemented with a wardrobe perhaps. The kids should be fine in the front and they will still be nearby. Come to think of it, every bedroom I had as a kid was in the front of the house (4) and most of the ones I have had since (5 out of 8). Even if you are on a busy road (2 out of 4, and 3 out of 5) it should be OK , esp. with the windows shut.

If the office doesn't feel right to you, don't put your bedroom there. It may be silly, but you don't want to feel uncomfortable in your bedroom. My grandparent's ranch house had all the bedrooms in front and never had a problem, and had the living room in the rear to take advantage of the view. It was unusual at the time but made perfect sense. They were also among the very few circa 1960 that had double sinks, but now everyone wants them.

If you are taking down walls and moving plumbing, wiring, etc.. you need a building permit, even in the country.

I bet that hallway partition could be eliminated to make the living room bigger, and you will still have a hallway between the two end bedrooms.
December 31, 2012 at 2:36pm     
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Laurie Dreesen
These are GREAT ideas. I considered he possibility of making the kids room the master and cutting a door into the bathroom, but then that makes the wet area too close to the room, or at least where the shower is now - and that's the drain. I know a tub up on a riser is going to make the ceiling seem low - good point. Thank you for all the measurement figures and tips - it's helpful to know what is typically a comfortable clearance for things like that. I appreciate all the input. We have a professional contractor coming to do the work (all the way from IL) but we only have 5 days of him! We're operating on a shoestring budget, but I'll do just about anything to have my own, separate soaking tub. Even if we have to just put it outside. Hey, there's a thought...
December 31, 2012 at 4:40pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
Five days for that much work isn[t much time. When is he coming? You could do the demo to help save a bit of time once you know what you want.

You could move the door to the back bedroom to the edge of the current closet and put the entrance to the bath there. Not ideal and makes a bit of a hallway in the bedroom, but possible. The bathtub could be against the wall to the bedroom to make room. I guess you are saying that a door on the other wall isn't possible if you run the plumbing on the surface to drain in the shower. I wonder if it would be possible or desirable to raise the entire floor of the bathroom area and have a step up into it. Then you can run all the plumbing you want, and have easier access to fix anything, depending on the flooring you pick. Sort of like a mini-crawl space. You might be able to create a cathedral ceiling above for a bit more room, or illusion of room, and box in the beams. Probably be too pricey though.

Isn't there already a bathtub in the other bathroom? It is labeled half-bath, but I see one in the plan. I grew up in a household of 5-7, and we managed with one bathroom. I liked long baths, so I always took them late at night after everyone else was done.
January 1, 2013 at 12:30pm     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Victorianbungalowranch has a great idea about opening up the ceiling, even if you could only accomplish this over the bathtub, wherever it ends up.
January 1, 2013 at 1:44pm     
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Eagledzines
You have three drains and want to put four appliances in without digging up concrete. The only way to do that is to combine two things such as the tub/shower. Here is a suggestion so that you wouldn't have to build up a platform. The tub/shower combo is not typical and would make a very nice soaking tub. Instead of stepping down though, you would step over a wall, the height of which would be the depth you want your soaking tub. The bottom of the tub/shower is level with the current floor. You can find the picture below and credits, on this website: http://asyoulikeitdz.blogspot.com/2011/08/part-three-roman-tub-remodel-rest-of.html

If you run a few inches short of space when framing out the closets, you can turn the 2x4s sideways.

I would use a clear glass divider as was suggested between the tub/shower and toilet. This would open up the space visually.
January 1, 2013 at 2:39pm     
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Linda
While I wouldn't do it as a first option, breaking the floor and adding a drain is not a totally outrageous cost, especially since we're only talking about 8-10 feet. My guess is adding the new vent may be as much of a pain as the concrete work.

If the workarounds are too complicated or costly, at least find out how much it would cost to do what you really want to have, then you can make a more educated decision.
January 1, 2013 at 3:52pm     
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Laurie Dreesen
WOW! I'm flabbergasted!!! Thanks for making that drawing! Admittedly I'm not quite understanding the concept of the tub/shower combo, but I'm looking into it now! The possibility of raising the ceiling might be something we could do in a later stage. Only having 5 days of a 2-person team really does necessitate the demo work and framing be done ahead of time. Lots of planning happening but I'm sure this won't be seamless! *deep breath*
Thanks so much for your ideas! I'm considering all these options. :)
January 1, 2013 at 4:40pm   
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Eagledzines
With the tub/shower built-in combo you wouldn't have to raise the ceiling because it wouldn't be on a platform. It would be at the same floor level you have now. Much less work and cost.
January 1, 2013 at 5:20pm   
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Laurie Dreesen
But I'd have to give up my pedestal tub?? I live in a house with 3 boys so I'm sort of counting on having my own tub - there is one in the hall bath but it will be my 2 kids' bathroom, and I'm really hoping to have my own bath tub. My husband will be after more of a "utility shower" for him as he's not crazy about circular shower curtains and standing in a tub. If a combo situation is simply more practical I'd be ok with it I suppose. It might just be all we can do!
January 1, 2013 at 5:32pm   
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Eagledzines
Well, it wouldn't be a pedestal but it would be a tub, lined with tile instead of porcelain. Since the bottom and sides are square, you could use plastic air pillows. If your contractor is good at making forms, he could curve the bottom back using something called 'wacky wood' (plywood that will bend to the shape he creates in the framing of the tub). Use small tiles to tile around this shape. Ask a tile salesperson what the best type of grout to use for this.

Don't forget to pitch the floor 1/4" per foot toward the drain for proper drainage.
January 1, 2013 at 5:45pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
If you are thinking of a Roman tub, then maybe a regular bathtub would work. A compromise could be a regular bathtub/shower combo, but one with jets and such to make it more deluxe. With only a few days to do it all, it would be a lot easier and cheaper to accomplish, and easier to clean as well.
January 2, 2013 at 6:12am   
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Laurie Dreesen
The pitching of the floor is something we don't have time/budget to do, unfortunately. I was excited about the idea of making the shower bigger, but looks like that can't happen.
January 2, 2013 at 8:16am   
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mveasey
What about having a hot tub outside at some point if you want a "tub" of your own and you like those things... That would solve your inside bathrooms puzzle. At least for now you have one shower and one bathtub inside. That is something to be grateful for!
January 2, 2013 at 9:42am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I know you don't have much time to work on this, not much time to plan it, but I think it would be in your best interest to have a long-range plan, even if you can't implement it all right now. At least think very carefully about where the tub drain will be. If at some point in the future you wanted to enlarge the shower, then you won't want the tub drain just outside of it, but rather in that back corner. Then if you wanted to, you could swing the tub down ("vertically" on the plan, against the outside closet wall),.

One more thing I can see. This doesn't affect the bathroom so much as the bedroom, but it MIGHT provide space for a bigger closet down the road. If you bring the wall of the closet all the way down, you could make your bedroom door open right at the end of the hall, and the bathroom door would be just behind it (in a straight shot). While it may not be the ultimate location for the BR door, what it allows is a whole, uninterrupted wall in the bedroom (by taking that bathroom door off of that wall). Since you are giving up so much closet space, this might be a place, as I said, to add closet space, or barring room for that, to at least put additional dressers, etc. This is not something that must be done at the same time, but it's probably worth thinking about.
January 2, 2013 at 12:16pm     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I just had another idea: if you could take out the corner of your shower - even part way, with a wall maybe 42-48"h or to match the sill height of the window - and replace it with glass, it would go a LONG way to making your shower seem bigger, brighter and more open.
January 2, 2013 at 12:26pm     
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Laurie Dreesen
That was what I thought would be the only way to make the shower feel comfortable - a glass wall and door. I am trying to not do anything that might screw up future renovations - I'm trying to think of a big picture. Good point.

Thanks for all the input - I like the idea of moving the door to the bedroom to create a more usable space! I'll brainstorm on that! :)
January 2, 2013 at 5:11pm   
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carbary
What about making the hall bath the master and the master the hall? It looks like you could move the doors and perhaps take a bit of space from the office for a closet
January 3, 2013 at 1:29am   
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DeMicoli & Associates
Hi there!

You may want to check out our latest uploaded project which features a stunning master bathroom for material ideas. As to yours, the most important thing to me would be to rearrange how you get to the closet. Isn't it better to have it outside the bathroom space? I switched the closet to the area where you previously had your sink and vanity.

Have a look at the attached sketch.

The bathroom could then be accessed via dramatic sliding doors. You could extend the material you use to tile your raised flooring to the shower area (ex. tiling/ marine plywood planks/marble mosaic). Make sure to waterproof this shower area well by applying a dampproof membrane at least half a meter along the wall should you go for this option. A linear drain could be easily inserted along the back of the shower.

Good luck! I quite like your existing floor tiles by the way, you may want to keep them at the lower level

Annemarie
January 3, 2013 at 4:36am     
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DeMicoli & Associates
One last thing... Laufen do a freestanding bath (Mimo) which is only 55 inches long... might be the right thing for your space! http://www.us.laufen.com/wps/wcm/connect/LAUFEN_US/BASE/PRODUCTS/PRODUCT%20FINDER/model/?&view=t&MD=221555
January 3, 2013 at 4:42am     
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Laurie Dreesen
OOOOooo I love that idea!!! Thanks so much for drawing that out. Not sure how we could put a sink there on our budget - we are trying to avoid drilling into the concrete floor. That setup looks perfect though. I'll definitely check out the project you just did...

The idea of making the hall bath the master and making the back bathroom the kids'/guest bath is kind of appealing, since we would gain some closet space and each fixture would have it's own drain. Tempting! Thanks for the ideas. One more question:

Does anyone have ideas on effective wood flooring in a bathroom? I'd rather have bamboo of some kind than tile, but maybe that's just because I'm sick of tile, and since this house has so much concrete I'm looking for places to put wood floor down. The bathroom might not be the best place, but is it, sometimes???
January 3, 2013 at 8:03am   
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DeMicoli & Associates
The sink would also be served by the raised flooring so you would not need to drill into the floor.

We have done many projects were we used slatted timber floor as part of the shower. The trick is to fix them in such a way that they can be lifted up so that you could clean beneath.

There are proprietary products available such as these oil impregnated hardwood slats by Aco:
http://www.trendir.com/archives/005130.html
January 3, 2013 at 8:12am     
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mveasey
Here is another drawing.
I hope you can see what I mean. This would make your bathroom very long and narrow, but you would have a tub that drains into the adjacent shower plumbing and a nice window.
I would take out the built in closet in the kids room, so there would be more light. You could do a dresser instead.
I'm sure your head s spinning by now...but hope you find this discussion still beneficial!
January 3, 2013 at 8:18pm     
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mveasey
Also they now make tiles that look like wood! You can epoxy coat a wooden floor to seal it, but would be pretty slippery. And all the chemicals might not be that good...
Sorry forgot to take out/ redscribble a wall on my drawing, there would obviously be no wall between the shower and the tub.
January 3, 2013 at 8:28pm     
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gingerclaire
I used a vinyl wood effect floor in my upstairs bathroom (to avoid raising the floor height any more than necessary due to very low ceiling). The effect is very realistic as you can see from the pictures and it's extremely hard-wearing. Please excuse the dust sheets, I was painting last week when I took the pictures!
January 4, 2013 at 8:13am     
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resaparker
Hi Laurie! I am NOT a designer but I live in a very small home with 25 square foot bathrooms. (That is floor space, and does not include the space for the showers/tubs.) There was NO WHERE to go with our bathrooms to make them larger. Our master has a 3/4 bath (shower, toilet, sink) and no closet. You might really want to consider letting the master just have a 3/4 bath and keep your closet space. It is what I hate most about the bathroom. You would think it was the shower since I love to soak in the tub, but it isn't. Also, I have actually had a smaller bathroom before and there is not anywhere to store anything with a pedestal sink so you will need space for your things! I just wanted to bring this up because I am afraid you will regret taking up your closet space. I really regret not having a bathroom closet!

Our second bathroom has a tub and if I want to get in the tub, I do. It really isn't that bad. Also, try to re-think your master location. Our master is at one end of the house and the kids' rooms are at the other, so there isn't anything at the "back" of the house. The bedrooms are technically lined up at the front of the house, at least two of them are, anyway. I have been in a lot of homes that have the master at the front and the extra rooms at the back. I grew up in a house that had three rooms the same size all grouped together and my mom was forever switching the master bedroom around between rooms when she got bored. She was ambivalent about which one she liked more, and you probably will, too.

We are on a concrete slab and I suggest you investigate vinyl plank. We put this down in our house and I am very pleased with it. It looks just like wood and it is textured like wood. It is insulated and much warmer than wood or tile. If you go to a flooring store, it will be called vinyl plank or resilient flooring. Installation is very simple. We put the sheet version in our tiny baths and laundry room and they just rolled it out, cut around the toilets and everything and that was it! There was no glue! It is easy to maintain and clean. While the floor is not as warm as carpeting, it is much warmer than concrete or tile.

Good luck with the house! Have fun with this! I recently remodeled this fall. We remodeled the ENTIRE inside of the house and it was stressful, but fun. Houzz was such a big help and I totally understand having a hard time with the big picture. I was so afraid that all of my samples, etc. were not going to come together when they actually hit the house, but you will find that everyone you work with will try to stop you from making a huge boo-boo and will tell you if they think this or that will work or not. I carried my measurements, paint samples, counter top samples, flooring samples, and a hunk of scrap wood stained the color of my bathroom vanities for about 5 months! Hang in there and be blessed!!
January 6, 2013 at 8:31am     
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Anna Rhees
If you opened the kids' bedroom door into the living room you could use the entire hallway space for the master bath. That would give you plenty of room for all the elements you would like to include. Putting a drain in a slab is a pain. You will either need to rent a jackhammer (noisy and unpleasant, but not as much work as it sounds like it would be) or raise the floor under the new tub (or the entire bathroom). Raising the floor under just the tub could also become a design element with a couple of stairs up to the tub. Good luck! Have fun! It will be SO worth it in the end!
January 6, 2013 at 9:06am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Laurie: whatever you decided to do with the floor plan, have you considered opening up the ceiling? This would make the space seem SO much different!
January 6, 2013 at 9:46am     
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Laurie Dreesen
Thanks everybody! @gingerclaire- I LOVE that floor! Tell me more about it!!!! @resaparker - thanks for the insight. I know I would be sad with no closet space in the bathroom, but a few thoughts: I think a small closet at the front of the bathroom, across from the sink, is ample for our needs. I'm pretty minimalist when it comes to clothes, and I don't wear stuff that can't be put in a dresser. Also, I think I would rather have no closet there than one with little to no ventilation next to a shower. Also, I live with 3 boys, and my dream of having my own "mom's bath tub" is like an obsession at this point. I'll definitely check out vinyl plank - thanks for the key words to look for.

I think we have explored the idea of re-arranging rooms, omitting the hallway, etc. and decided that although it may indeed increase floor space, the arrangement of the rooms will likely stay the way they are, mostly due to budget and time constraints but also because I'm comfortable with the rooms the way they are. I'm astonished at the ideas presented in this discussion and I'm totally grateful for all the input!!!!! :)
January 6, 2013 at 10:27am   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Laurie: Home Depot carries the vinyl plank flooring just FYI.
January 6, 2013 at 11:31am     
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gingerclaire
The product I used was made by a company called Amtico who make flooring for commercial and domestic uses. It comes in planks. The finish was called 'elm' but is a completely different colour to the real elm plank I used on the front of the step, and doesn't look as though it is still available on the US Amtico website http://america.amtico.com.

I was warned by a friend of mine who used the same product in her house to make sure that any joins in boarding were covered, as after a few years these can start showing through the vinyl. The fitter recommended a thin latex screed to do the job. The stuff in her house still looks immaculate almost 10 years down the line.

Amtico is pretty expensive off the shelf, but I was lucky enough to find the right amount to do my floor on EBay (and probably enough to do my mother's bathroom in her house!) and the guy I bought it from threw in the tub of adhesive with it so I managed to do it without too much expense (about £200 including fitting). I recommend measuring how much you need and setting up a search on EBay. Alternative high quality products we have in the UK include mFLOR, Vusta, Karndean and Polyflor - I don't know whether they supply in the US though.
January 6, 2013 at 12:06pm     
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Eagledzines
In a Roman tub, the existing floor wouldn't be pitched. The floor of the tub would be, just as the current shower is. Here is a video that explains. It would give you a large soaking tube and give your husband a large shower without feeling like he was standing in a tub. It would avoid a circular shower curtain. Using a glass divider just big enough to avoid water splashing on the toilet would make if feel open and provide light. For ventilation in the bathroom, you need either a window or a vent fan. It is helpful to have both. Some light switches are designed to turn on the vent every time the light is turned on.
January 6, 2013 at 12:47pm     
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resaparker
My vinyl plank was done by Mannington. They have a website mannington.com My flooring is Adura plank. I love it. My bathrooms are Sobella and I love them more. Check it out! I attached a photo of the vinyl plank we put in our entire house except the bathrooms and laundry room. This is called Adura Oak Harvest
January 6, 2013 at 6:05pm   
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Laurie Dreesen
OK I'm reading two things that make me nervous about vinyl flooring: 1. it's not biodegradable or recyclable and 2. it has to be cleaned with manufacturer-approved products. 3. It's significantly thinner and of questionable quality...

Anyone have experience with interceramic hardwood tile?
January 6, 2013 at 6:43pm   
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Laurie Dreesen
Check this out!
January 6, 2013 at 6:56pm   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Laurie: our neighbors at our cottage installed the wood-look vinyl. It wears extremely well, so that should not be an issue. If the "green" issue bothers you, then go with the ceramic tile. The ONLY problem you may run into on a slab - and with the size of the "planks" - is that you might have to level the floor. If you don't, these larger tiles will very easily crack. They look very nice, and because it's tile, you could even inset another tile to create a pattern, if you wanted to.
January 6, 2013 at 9:10pm     
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