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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help redesigning small bathroom

Marilyn WilkieFebruary 15, 2013
The house we are buying has a very small bathroom. When it was built they were not going to have a shower. The tub is a standard 5 foot by 32" tub but the shower curtain pole must be placed on the window trim! We would like to get rid of the tub and have a tiled shower instead. Would a 32" x 40" shower be enough? That would leave some room at the window end for a cabinet and the window would stand on it's own. We don't want to move the window.
(please excuse the photo with the lid up. The listing agent took it.)
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Marilyn Wilkie
Another photo of the tub.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
You don't indicate whether this is the master bathroom or a general hall bath. Is there another tub in the home? You need to make sure there is at least one tub in a home.

What we do with clients when trying to determine size of items is to create a space in that size, stand in it and see how they feel about it. What looks okay on paper can sometimes be claustrophobic in reality. I personally think the size you are thinking about is too small.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:43AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
It is the only bath in the house. We never take baths so that won't be a problem. I suppose someone in the future might object, but it is only a two bedroom home. A standard tub shower with glass doors would also be 32". We have one of those tub replacement showers in our home now but it has a shower curtain. Thanks for your thoughts.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Yes, a 32"x 40" does work but why not use the full 5' of the tub. If the shower would still be in the way of the shower than I would do 48" and a shallower Linen cabinet between the shower and the window wall.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:50AM
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I can see that you have a baseboard floor register, too. For Quick less costly solutions, depending on how much you want to spend on the remodel.
1. A shower would be to have a contractor make the existing tub a "walk-thru-bathtub" by installing an insert.
2. A bathroom cabinet can be done on a budget using the vanity under the sink or you can have a cabinet or shelving installed over the toilet.
3. Gut and start over with a new design, probably a pocket door too for additional entry space and utilize space-saving pre-fab fixture inserts. That would give the bathroom a new updated, fresh look that can be easily estimated on a budget.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:55AM
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What is the area the tub wall is backing up to? Can you steal some space?

I have been looking at our own small second bath and considering some ideas of my own. I have two thoughts in mind that may work for you as well. First, my tub has a closet on the other side of the wall, so I might take that area and make the bath larger.

Or, if expanding home footprint is an option: push tub out where window is: garden tub idea.

One more: make window into a pocket door that has a large shower to the left and the toilet to the right. This will allow for you to expand the vanity area. Where the tub is now I would think of replacing with a claw footed tub. You should keep a tub for resale value (little kids take baths!)
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Here is another photo of the tub...the "business end". At the head of the tub is a wall and the tub extends the full five feet to the other wall. A 40" shower would leave 20 inches of space at the window end and would not interfere with the window. A 20" wide space,(approx., minus the thickness of the shower wall) would allow a cabinet to be placed where tub used to be.
Thanks Interiors Int. for your thoughts also.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
The floor area of the bathroom, not counting the 32"x60" tub is about 4'-2" x 8'-4". There is a decent sized, though dated, vanity in there now to the right of the toilet. The tub does back up to a bedroom closet. But using that closet space would negate that room's designation as a bedroom. Not a good thing. We don't want the expense of bumping the wall out either. This is a retirement home in the next couple of years. A more attractive register (or even the existing register painted) would improve things as well. I'm thinking that 32" x 40" might be enough of a shower. We had a clawfoot tub and a separate tiled shower in a previous house. I took exactly one bath in that tub. lol
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Arlen Dau
Looks like you are on your way to a gut and redo. In the meantime, while considering where to steal some footage, replace the shower rod with a curved rod. It will anchor to the wall, not the window trim and remarkably the curved rod creates a generous amount of space when standing inside. Please seriously consider the comments to keep the tub, a home must have at least one tub.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Good idea Ariendau. I guess we always felt that here in our current home it would be easy to replace the 60" fiberglass shower enclosure we put in with a tub enclosure. But not so with a tiled custom shower. I just hate that shower curtain rod on the trim deal. A curved rod would be a good fix and we could still tile the walls and redo the bath. Thanks!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Arlen Dau
My pleasure.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I just went and measured our second shower, 35 by 45 inches. I am thinking that taking out the tub and replacing with a shower of only 32 by 40 inches....well, maybe not the best decision.

Tub looks to be in good shape. Leaving and doing a curved rod with a nice new curtain could be the place to start. Then you could spend your money on tiling the walls and floors. Maybe radiant heat? Also, check out website "Mirror Mates" for framing up your mirror. That and new light fixture and hardware for vanity, just guessing it needs a change.

Extra storage can also be added thru one of those shelving units that stand on the floor and go over the toilet. There are also over the door towel and storage racks.

Once saw a show redoing a small bath where adding a longer garden window made the bath feel so much larger (down the road someday?).

If you do decide to take the closet space for the bath, if this is the second bedroom, a corner closet or two can be added to keep the bedroom designation.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:32PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Thanks for the input pcmom1, I think we will keep the tub for now and concentrate on the floor tile, wall tile and maybe a different vanity. We'll do the curved rod as suggested. Here are some photos (not good) of our current bathroom. To the left in the picture we created a pull-out storage closet on casters for storage. In the retirement home we will have an extra closet in the hall for things too. I love beadboard and will probably do that again. As you can see, we have the window/curtain rod problem here too. The size doesn't bother us...it's just the two of us and we're "low maintenance". We also have a toilet and small sink/vanity in a combo 1/2 bath utility room that we created from a tiny 8x10 bedroom.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
one more
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:54PM
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