Bath Remodel: Tight Space Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by H2osun, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    We are in the planning phase of a master bath remodel. We currently have an overall space of 123" x 92". This space currently holds a 60" x 22" vanity, a standard toilet, and a 60" X 32" tub/shower combo. Note: I must leave room to enter the bathroom along the 123" wall that I plan to put the tub and shower.

    We would love to have a whirlpool/soaker type tub and seperate shower, but since we are not tiny people, I can't seem to find a solution for seperate units. Having said that... Do you have an advice on a tub & shower combo that looks good and still offers both the shower function and a whirlpool/soaker tub? We really don't want a standard tub/shower combo. We also understand that we will loose some of the beauty of the tub by having to skirt it for the shower. Are there other issues we should be aware of?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. i had the same size vanity, toilet, and tub-shower in 5000 sq.inches; you have 11,300 sq. inches. i had to expand my space to get a soaker tub and a shower in. We love it! Our soaker tub is 49"x49" and deep.

    what is your question specifically? Post a little diagram, and i'll comment on layout. Show where your door is, where the drains are now, and where adjacent rooms are.

  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Square inches is not a very precise way to evaluate a space. A square room will give a bigger area than a rectangle, and a long narrow room will have fewer options that a wide short one. Get a bathroom designer or draw your room and make scale templates of the fixtures and start moving them around in the room until you find a design you like.
  4. tile the tub surround or skirt

    To put a shower in a tub, you need a flat bottomed tub. There is no Code requirement for the tub not to be deep, so it can be a deep soaker tub, as far as i know.

    In a small space, the tub cannot be free standing, or at the very least, it has to be pushed into a corner. Oval or neo-angle (five sides, like a cut off square) are the most space-saving outside and spacious inside, assuming your room layout allows for a tub that is not rectangular.

    your comment "... lose some of the beauty..." isn't clear to me. Not sure i follow this. First, the beauty is in the tiles, IMHO. No store-bought tub skirt for me. Second, why does having a shower in a tub make a tub-skirt more necessary than otherwise? Why does having a separate shower mean the tub is not skirted?

    Beauty is in the tiles, not the enamel or acrylic. Plan for a tiled shower floor too. BTW, you can also build and tile your own tub.

  5. jlohrenz

    jlohrenz New Member

    We replaced our 60" tub with a 60" whirlpool tub. The only difference you can tell from looking into the bathroom is that the tub sits higher as it is considerably deeper than the old soaking tub.
  6. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Rough draft of master bath

    I have attached a rough layout of the space I have.

    When I mentioned that skirting would take away from the beauty, I was referring to the need for a shower curtain or glass walls or something to keep the water in from the shower. Many soaker, whirlpool, jacuzzi tubs look very nice with tile and nice ledges.

    We have thought of possibly a bigger jacuzzi/soaker type tub (say 66" x 36"), with tile on back/side walls and a glass enclosured front would look okay. Maybe go with a rain head above, a shower head on the wall, and tub fixtures.

    Attached Files:

  7. JohnD

    JohnD New Member

    New York
    You could move your toilet between your window and your vanity. Then you could install a 66"x66" corner drop in with tile, and custom built doors.

    Another option would be a soaker that is 60" and place tiled knee wall and glass enclosure with tiled pan at one end.
  8. neo-angle tub and custom shower next to it

    you have lots of room.

    A neo-angle tub and a custom shower next to it will fit.

  9. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Enough Room

    I am concerned about the width of the room. We want to replace the current vanity with a 22" by 72" with a double sink. The room width is 92". A vanity coming out from one wall at 22" and a tub or shower coming out 50" from the other wall only leaves a walk way of 20". That is narrow.

    I am assuming you are indicating to put the neo-angle tub in the lower right corner of the drawing. If the neo-angle tub was 50", that would only leave 33" wide for the shower. If we take away the width of the shower walls, that leaves the shower itself to be only about 30" or less.

    Can you do a drawing or help me out with more details on size.

  10. draw your door. place it in the wall.

    i'd like to understand what you have in the lower left corner of your diagram before saying any more.
    The 35" is shown as a distance, to which we add 88" and get 123".
    To use the space behind the door when it is open, for anything at all whether it be a part of the shower or shelving,
    we gotta know what size it is. Dimensions.
    Draw your door. place it in the wall. Also, from the hinge, measure how far the door goes back inside the room. Please.

    if for any reason you had to build something tomorrow without any more planning, then yes you would
    a.) put a 49" neo-angle tub (see Neptune Diva or Oceania) and a shower next to it with a tempered glass panel on the tub edge, a partition, to avoid giving space to an unnecessary wall. The cost of a single rectangle of 10mm glass is less than the cost of building a wall.
    b.) put two sinks in a 72" long but shallow-depth countertop, and the passageway would be perfectly adequate for anyone who has to go use the toilet. Or build a fancier shape, like a banjo, where the depth starts at 22" deep at the left wall, with an average size sink, and then the countertop depth shrinks to, say, 16", and holds a smaller sink. This accommodates people who want a wider passage and want a custom looking vanity. I would build only a counter, with open shelves underneath, not a cube with drawers and doors. To give more visual impression of space. Little boxes and baskets hold the little things away from view and still keep them at hand for immediate retrieval.

    i cannot comment on the ideal shape the shower could be until i have really precise data from you.

  11. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Lower Left Info

    O.K.,,, Currently, the vanity is open to the master bedroom. There is a wall seperating the vanity area from the tub/shower and toilet area. We want to remove that wall and extend the wall on the lower part of the drawing to the wall on the left hand side of the drawing. So, when I showed the measurements, I took the size of a 30" door with casing and some clearance, hence the 35". The 88" is what remains along the lower wall. In other words, we could squeeze the 35" down, but I do need a door to enter into the bathroom.
    Thanks for your opinions and design help.
  12. Seems to me that you have TWO doors, one on the left wall for a true closet (so it is not a WC "water closet" door, but a little linen closet door), and then on the bottom wall of the rectangle, you have or you are planning an entry door in the corner.

    is this clear?

    Best suggestion is still for you to draw it, with hinges left or right, opening in or out, etc. I think that is reasonable to ask.

    You are trying to optimize space. Thus every half-inch is meaningful. This explains why you have to measure and draw. In order to communicate with the next person who will help you design, build or estimate.

    FWIW, nobody needs a 30" wide door to go into a bathroom. Not even a wheelchair person. My saying this is not a recommendation to make the door opening smaller; it is just information for now. Much will depend on what you draw next, and then on what you will choose to do for the shower floor space.

    In your drawing it is a good idea to include enough space to show what is outside and around the bathroom, especially where the entry door is. Contextual, spatial information. Otherwise any and all comments may be off-the-mark, due to people not knowing what there is, where it is, etc. Even traffic patterns and views are good to know.

    To really optimize space, you may have to install a sliding door on the wall outside the bathroom, or a pocket door that goes inside a wall cavity made for it. My saying this is not a recommendation to do that nor do I wish to see it in the next drawing; it is just information for now. Much will depend on what you draw next, and then on what you will choose to do for the shower floor space.

    Please draw the existing space, to scale.:)

  13. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Working on a layout

    Thanks for your input. The closet is a walk-in. FWIW, I have considered a pocket door for the entrance into the bathroom. This would help with the overall congestion of the entrance area.

    I will work on a drawing that shows more of the surrounding area and also is done more to scale.
  14. kathywhite

    kathywhite Guest

    In a small space, the tub cannot be free standing, or at the very least, it has to be pushed into a corner. Oval or neo-angle (five sides, like a cut off square) are the most space-saving outside and spacious inside, assuming your room layout allows for a tub that is not rectangular.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2007
  15. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Updated draft of area

    I have attached a picture that I developed with a drafting tool. I was able to arrange a tub & shower into the space, but I do have some concerns.

    First of all, does this look like we stuffed everything we could into a small area? Is the 26 - 28" between the tub decking and the vanity to tight?

    On the shower, we thought we would use glass walls and have the wall that is adjoining the tub actually come down on the tub decking. We saw this in a magazine and it appears that it would give you more shoulder room and a small bench in the shower. Anyone done this?

    I am interested in everyone's thoughts.

    Attached Files:

  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    The inspector recently told me the minimum distance between the front edge of the vanity/sink to the nearest obstruction had to be at least 21". I personally think that is too small, but it would pass code there.

    Using a piece of glass between the tub and shower would work fine. Your dimmensions are off - the pan says 36" and it is smaller than the tub which says 3'. I'd make the custom shower the same width as the tub (have the curb line up with the access panel on the outside of the tub).

    Check out for tiling info and some other opinions.
  17. H2osun

    H2osun New Member


    Jadnashua - I see how you might be thrown by the measurements, however they are not off. The tub is 36", but it has 4" of decking on each side (see the grey area). That is why the shower doesn't extend all the way to the end of the tub.

    The overall picture is a rough draft and I agree that it would be best to have the tub and shower extend into the room the same length. I wasn't able to get an oval tub graphic, but I think that would allow for a decking that has a rounded shape as you walk in. The rounded shape could also flow to the shower to give it a good look.
  18. VG. Best layout.


    If you cannot put the pocket door anywhere else along that wall, then this is the best layout. The tub is a good choice. Oval tubs are spacious inside. The vanity is good. The toilet has enough room in front of it.

    The only major improvement I can suggest is to make the shower bigger by making the width of the toilet footprint smaller. A toilet needs less space on its sides than you have shown. That is a fact. A shower needs more space than you have shown. That is an opinion. :) Consider placing the toilet closer to the wall. Then, with the new space, increase the shower to 36" x 42". Big difference !! Elbow room in the shower.

    Two other micro suggestions. What about a louvered door for the walk-in? And, what about reducing the width of the tub decking? Four inches is a lot.

  19. H2osun

    H2osun New Member

    Making Progress Here


    Thanks for your continued input.

    The drawing program is not great and doesn't allow for full control. The decking is 4" because it is the smallest I could draw. I agree that 4" is not needed. I will look to move the toilet over and expand the shower to it's fullest. I'm a big guy and certainly want as big of a shower as I can get.

    Do you think I am cramming too much into a small space? Have you ever used corian for the shower walls? I have corian countertops and my local dealer says that a corian shower is the way to go. Thoughts (other than expensive) I will have to go with glass for the tub border, but corian for the walls. Other suggestions for the walls?
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