Combining two baths, plumbing questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by orionsmamma, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. orionsmamma

    orionsmamma New Member

    I have back to back bathrooms. After discovering water damage, and that the wall around the tub, and the wall that seperates the bathrooms was filled with dirt. Literally, two feet of dirt PACKED into the wall and around the tub, sopping wet, hence the water damage.

    Both bathrooms are small, no cabinets, wall mount sink etc. The MB bath has the only shower, the hall the only bathtub. All of the plumbing is in the wall that seperates the two bathrooms.

    Right now, my bathrooms are shells. What we are left with are just the drains and supplies, is shown in this paint drawing(supplies arent shown, they are above each drain):

    I would like to try to make the two bathrooms into one. If I can plug the shower drain, one of the toilet drains, and then remove the venting and piping, I would have enough room on the right side to create a doorway between the two rooms.

    This is a diagram of showing the drain/vent lines, shown as if you were standing in the door way to the hall bath looking a the back wall. there are also a few copper supply lines that are not shown and go into the cement. The vents go into the cement as well.

    My other option is to cut up the concrete floor and move the drains. From my reading, the hardest part is getting a hole in the concrete in order to use a concrete saw. Well, the hole is already there, after removing the tub we discovered a square cut in the concrete exposing the tub drain piping.

    If it were your space, what would you do? Would you cut out the concrete and redo all of the piping, or close up the extra drains and work with the existing piping? Should I just put the two rooms back togeter as seperate bathrooms? Keep in mind, all of the piping that I can see is very corroded where the dirt was packed around it.

    Sorry for the long post, but HELP! Im supposed to go pick up the new fixtures and all supplies today, but were not even sure what we are doing at this point, and we have no toilet!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    As a practical matter, you only good option is to draw the new bathroom and then install the piping for it, after abandoning the existing stuff. Trying to make the existing fit a new design would be counterproductive. It would take more time, probably money, and give you a less than ideal drain systesm.
  3. i also had 2 bathrooms that i combined....

    hi ryansmomma

    about three years ago i ripped apart two small bathrooms and then wondered how to rebuild something that made more sense. My bathrooms were identical and I figured a guests' powder room (small) and a medium size bath and shower would be a good combination to use the space well. Your space is almost the same, but not the same. Your home / family / requirements could be different too.

    Now is the right time for you to plan your plan. Your questions are good. Either you re-use existing drains or you drill big holes with a rented tool -- but you gotta know what you overall plan is first, imho.

    if you are willing, tell us what the bigger situation is. Constraints, desires, etc. I will be glad to comment. What is "the big plan" ? That didn't come through enough so far. You asked for us all to comment. ("...what would you do?") Please add more context, so that you receive ideas and input appropriate to your needs, desires, constraints, etc.
  4. orionsmamma

    orionsmamma New Member

    What I really want is a space large enough to have cabinets for storage, a double sink, and enough room to bathe my 2 young boys. Now there is no room for storage options. The hall bath has only a tub, The only shower is in my bedroom.

    If I were to combine the two rooms, I would have to move the plumbing, or at least cap several drains and remove part of it. I know that it is a major undertaking, and could involve pulling up cement. My thoughts were that because there is already a hole in the cement, It may be easier. The plumbing is old, the bath drain was corroded to the point that the threading broke off, leaving a constant leak for who knows how long.

    I was trying to figure out if I could just cut and cap some of the plumbing that wouldnt be used anymore, and create a walkway where it was removed. I dont know if that would be an acceptable, effective permanent solution or to code though.

    I ran into another problem with that Idea though. On the left side, where the sink and shower were back together, are hot and cold water supplies about 6" apart. on the right side, there is only a cold water supply, the hot is piped over from the left side. That seems to present a major problem, in order to install a tub where the old one was, I would have to bring hot water all the way over. If I were to put a walk or door way in, the hot water supply would have to go around it somehow, it comes out of the cement in what would be the middle of the walkway.

    So, Im right back to pulling up the cement, which I dont really have time for. I know well the saying "if you dont have time to do it right now, when will you find time to re do it?"

    On one hand it seems smart to pull up all plumbing and redo, but I dont have the funds to hire a contractor, and we need a toilet and shower asap. If we do pull the cement, we will be doing it ourselves with a plumbing book. Ive almost decided to just put the two baths together again, with a shower/tub combo in the hall. What is still nagging me is this: the shower drain (under the cement) was broken at the threading and leaking/ the dirt under the cement is pretty moist. Should I tear up the floor with the intent to replace/check the other piping, or just fix what I can of the tub drain and put everything back together?

    The big plan started at fixing the leak, turned to removing the dirt/mud, and is now basically to get my bathrooms in working, to code order so that we may use them again! I would like to have more space, but it is kinda nice to have my own bathroom. I want the plumbing done right (do it right the first time ya know?), but I would like to minimize costs.

    Sorry for such a long post again!
  5. two children. more context.

    hi donna,

    i won't say i'm sorry if you don't say you're sorry, ok? :)

    need here to communicate about
    -- what you have
    -- what you want
    and remove all the rest, till later.

    Have now:
    Space, dimensions, measurements
    -- total distance of each side, width of doors
    X number of people (3?)
    -- now and for the next occupants (for resale purposes)
    Building described how
    -- are supply pipes now in ceiling?
    -- where is HW heater?
    -- built how?
    ------ where does main drain exit the building?
    ------ second floor above?

    two sinks
    a shower
    two toilets
    keep two doors (not sure? post a diagram showing house floor plan, people will comment)
    a small tub
    storage in all the nooks and crannies

    if this can fit well on top of existing drains, so much the better.

    Technical base:
    about the wet under the shower drain hole: post a little picture, and people will comment.

  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    What a sensible person would do, unless they are a maochist, would be do draw the new bathroom and then have professionals do the plumbing. A job of this scope is more than just putting a pipe to the spot you need it.
  7. help her get a drawing done

    yeah, the project is so big that it needs a drawing, and that drawing is gonna depend on what she wants to have in her space.

  8. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    yaaaa....... so many questions......

    a lot of it is personal

    My opions are this:

    1. a three bedroom one bath is a flaw

    2. two small bathrooms is happy're than one bath.

    where did the dirt come form?

    YOUR on a slab.

    if you have a gophor problem they can push dirt up.

    when you replace the floor. seal it.

    Think about what you need for you and two kids... space or private?

    code? ask your local plumber it's not the same around the US or the world

    good luck

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