Need assistance of tub/shower location (and type)

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mediaman, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. mediaman

    mediaman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    First post !

    Main question relates to where to put the new tub and shower....

    See pic below. We are renovating our 25 year old ensuite - its time! In the new layout we want to accomondate a large tiled shower, large tub, double vanity, a makeup table, and perhaps a tower/pantry for storage. We are gutting and extending the room as well. We would likely tile halfway up the wall.

    In Plan A, which is what we are toying with now, I think I would be okay re access to the corner tub plumbing (ie via skirts or access via the indoor walls) .... but my main concern is the aesthetics. Normally one would have only two 5' walls to deal with, but as shown I need to deal with 3 walls as I dont have many option for the main door. And there is no room for any tiling around the tub (no lip)...I can only tile on the walls, and in front (if I dont go for the acrylic skirt). I am concerned it might look like an alcove setup vs a conventional corner tub setup. Is that a valid concern???

    If that corner doesnt really make sense, I suppose I could put a corner tub in on the opposite concern per Plan B, and build a shorter shower by the main entrance. This assumes there is nothing behind the existing bulkheads that are there now. Would also need to move the toilet so more work/cost there re plumbing. Here I would have more options re drop-in, tiling etc. although I would likely need to do the skirt option for access ( I think?).

    Another option, Plan C, would be to forget the corner tub and go with an alcove type tub ( kinnda like now). Not liking that too much.

    Would really appreciate some guidance, thoughts on this...

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  2. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    I like plan B the best.

    In plan A, I personally think that the corner tub doesn't make sense being in an alcove. Why not put in a drop-in or alcove tub that's wider? Some of them can be 42" wide. That will be a nice upgrade from your current tub. Another thing I don't like in plan A is the shower door being so close to the toilet. What's the grey box in the shower? A bench? If you move the bench to the opposite side you can move the shower door away from the toilet. Or what's the dark grey box next to the shower? Is it a closet? If you don't mind losing the closet you can have a bigger shower and move that shower door as well. Since the toilet is the most difficult item to relocate, if you want to keep the budget and scope of work as small as possible, plan A may still be the best with some modifications.

    As for plan C, if you are a shower person, go for it (you probably want to make the shower as big as your space allows). If you are a tub person, don't miss this chance to get a nice tub.

    Just my 2c. Wished I could have such straightforward plans in our remodel! We had 20 drawings! And we had to move all the plumbing!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  3. suceress

    suceress Member

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    LA
    I take it having the corner tub in the lower left corner and the shower next to it on the lower wall and putting the toilet in the alcove is not an option? With the toilet in the alcove it would afford some privacy and you could mount a toilet paper holder on the wall and maybe have a little storage thing to hold toilet paper and cleaning supplies, plungers, etc directly next to the toilet. Maybe a magazine rack with crossword puzzles and such for those long stays. This would also put the toilet rather close to the entrance in case someone needed to get there in a hurry. Or would that not fit? I suck at proportions and don't know the actual measurements of things. It might be too cramped that way.

    Other than that, I say Plan B looks nice.
  4. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    If the drawings are proportional the toilet will be taking too much space being in the alcove, kind of wasteful. And relocating the toilet to that far away can be extremely costly, even impossible. And there won't be enough space in front of the vanity, if the shower is big enough.

    I had to move my toilet 5 feet away from where it was, and the cost of labor for this part only was $2000. Some plumber looked at it and asked for $5000 just for moving the toilet. It all depends on what kind of stuff are there and their layout in the floor joists, whether you can lose some ceiling height in the lower level, etc.

    Mediaman, if your floor joists run a long your outside wall, you can move your toilet in plan B relatively easily, providing there is not much stuff in that floor space. Otherwise, be prepared to have a boxed soffit in the room down below (if it's finished) for plan B.
  5. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes I would have to completely agree, everything you stated makes since I would have to also say that the one I least liked would be B.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,677
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If everything is to scale, then you appear to have a 1'-8" door into the bathroom, and if so, that is too small. Without knowing WHAT is around the outside of the room, we also have to assume that the space you show is the only size and shape possible.
  7. mediaman

    mediaman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Many thanks for all the comments. What a pleasure getting some unbiased points of view! This has really helped, so thanks your so much.

    Clarification to the question posed:

    Re 1'-8" door into the bathroom, , oops. that was not drawn to scale ; was intended to be 24" - still small but doable- that's what we have now.

    Re the grey box in the shower - yes that a bench

    Re Plan A corner tub not making sense in an alcove, agree- that was my concern, makes more sense to put the shower there. Toilet doesn't work in that large area as it leaves me no spot to place the tub or shower.

    Re Plan A shower door too close to toilet - agree

    Re Plan A/C dark grey box behind - that's an existing bulkhead - can be removed ( I assume there is nothing behind it)

    Re the floor joist direction, based on that fact the I see a floor register parallel to the vanity, I assume the joists run parallel to the short walls.

    Re number of drawings, I only showed the most recent three - must have gone through a dozen already , so I am almost at 20 :) !!

    Re it being hard to gauge eithout knowing what is around the outside of the room, fair comments. Its an ensuite as part of the bed room. I am constrained by outside walla, hallways and steps. Tried to show this in the revision below.​

    Based on the comments and some re-thinking, we are now on Plan D !!

    This one:
    - leaves the toilet as is
    - puts the shower in the alcove by the entrance (still plenty of room for a large 5' x 3' shower with bench). Door not near toilet.
    - put the tub approx where it is today, but
    • centered in the area (bulkheads removed)
    • freestanding configuration (vs todays drop-in). Looking at Neptune Ulysse
    • 6 foot tub in an 8 foot space.
    • wall to have cutouts/ledges (either between the studs or vis a fake wall in front).
    • going for the 'look' per the pic below. That pic has the side bulkhead (my plans don't), which is why I slid the vanity out a bit
    • not sure if we can pull off that arch without blowing the budget

    Any cautions I should be aware of re Plan D?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  8. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    Wow, mediaman, it seems you can afford the space for a 8'x14' (minus a small corner) bathroom. Lucky you!

    I thought your short wall was 6 or 7 feet. If it's 8 feet long, that's a whole lot difference. You will have endless possibilities.

    Since your new bathroom will be pretty big (over 100 sqft), and it will be a complete makeover (not just face lifting), it will be very costly. I'd suggest you first have an accurate floor plan of your current bath and surroundings, then make a prioritized list of the things you want to achieve in your new bathroom. You are not doing your bath remodel because you fall in love with a certain tub or certain look. Your new bathroom will be a complete package that serves all your specific needs. In your floor plan, I'd suggest you mark walls that cannot be moved (exterior walls, walls next to a staircase, etc) and walls that can (hallway and other rooms); what's on the other side of those movable walls, and how big the spaces are in those areas.

    Since you will be moving walls and some plumbing anyway, that already defines the big scope of the work. Sometimes a little extra work will get you much more enjoyment. And don't limit yourself in, say, keeping the same bedroom wall. You may not notice it if your bedroom is 6" smaller on one side (depending on how big the bedroom is), but 6" in a bathroom can make a huge difference, and can dictate whether something is doable or not. You also need to consider what's underneath the space you are remodeling. Say, sometimes due to the layout the only place you can put an access panel to the tub plumbing is on the ceiling below the tub. I am sure you don't want that if the tub is above your dining room. That's why you need a full picture of the whole house.And if you want specific advise from others, they need to have as much information as possible to give you relevant opinions.

    Say, by just looking your new plan D, I'd suggest to open your bathroom door from the hall way side (next to your toilet), because it always looks better to have a wide bathroom (door on the long wall) than a deep bathroom (door on the short wall). But if you tell that me the bathroom should be en-suite with the master bedroom, I won't say that.

    Anyway, some of my 2c:
    1. 24" door to the bathroom is too small both practically and visually for a bathroom over 100 sqft. If you do that, make sure to have your tub in the bathroom before building that door and wall, otherwise it cannot come in.
    2. a free standing tub is best positioned in unobstructed view, meaning there is nothing in front of the whole length of the tub (small decor items ok, toilet or cabinets no).
    3. it seems that you'll be doing rain shower from the ceiling? Either make sure the space above the shower is insulated or confirm with local building code it's ok. In MN it's not allowed if that water pipe goes into the attic (too cold it will burst).
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  9. mediaman

    mediaman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Some great points - thank you again. See my commenst below.

    Clearly I sill have homework to do. Man, it's hard to get this right and cover all the bases even when gutting the room and opening the wallet more than planned!

    True its lots of space, but its still a long and narrow sapce, so that does limit my options.

    True enough, which is why we are taking our time and living with each new plan for a few days to punch holes in it. Taping out the plan with masking tape does wonders! Things look great on paper untill you 'live with it' for a bit and then you identify some unforseen negatives. Good thing paper and masking tape are cheap!

    Agreed.

    Very true, and I think we are already there. The width of the room is fixed (constrained by an outside wall to the north and hallway wall to the south). Yes, we have flexibility re the east and west walls, but the room is already planned for up to 18 feet long, so we dont really need any more length.

    Very valid points. The bathroom tub in Plan D ends up over the main floor laundry room, which is ideal if we really need access via the bathroom floor/laundry room ceiling. But that's one area I dont fully understand. Given there is existing plumbing for the current drop-in tub, at its short side (south west corner of bathroom), can it not be redirected to where its needed for Plan D?? Or do freestanding tubs have some sort of unique access/installation requirements?


    Would love to, but no can do, and its an en-suite. A door on the wide wall would put the bathroom door entrance door in the hall way.

    Yup, always a concern re getting the tub it. And yes a 24" door is relatively narrow. I dont think I would want to design this such that I would have to break a wall to replace the tub. Now that I have the shower beside that door, instead of a corner tub, I do have some flexibility in making the shower narrower, and that door a bit wider. I'll double check to make sure the free freestanding tub would still make it through on its side ; it should, as its only 20 high so would fit in a 24" door opening.


    Hmmm, I agree, but thats a tough one. Even today, that toilet is an obstruction in that sense. I suppose I can move to the opposite wall in between the vanity and shower....but I suspect that would cost a fortune to relocate the drain. So might have to leave it where it is a veiw it as a beautiful fixture :). Some of the Toto models are indeed quite nice. But I agree, ideally, we should not block the freestanding tub, but I may not have a choice. I am gutting everything, yes, but the plumbing to the toilet may be costly to relocate. I'll need to speak to my contractor on that, who will make anything happen, but at a price.

    Good point thanks. Hopefully the insulation route will work and be compliant with code. Will need to check out that one.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  10. suceress

    suceress Member

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    LA
    Ooh, very interesting. This may just be from my taste in aesthetics, but when I saw the freestanding tub, the first thing I thought about would be water splashing over the sides and what a pain it might be to clean behind the tub against the wall. I'm also not a fan of wasted space-- despite my suggestion of the alcove toilet.

    I don't know what sort of storage options you have or are planning on having, but I've found that having a piece of furniture that holds extra toilet paper within reaching distance of the toilet is very useful. Some members of my family forget to replace the roll. I do think keeping the toilet in its current position would work. I personally would want a shelf above the toilet-- but at a high enough height that nobody would hit the back of their head on it when leaning back and it would not be low enough to block access to the toilet tank. I keep seeing little shelves to go around toilets and it always bugs me that they would have to be moved to access the tank.

    Is the corner tub idea out now? I was going to say a tub of that size would be expensive AND you would have to make sure that the structure under the area has sufficient support for that amount of weight (not just the tub itself, but with all of the water in it and a person).

    Have you identified the locations of all of the floor joists in the room? Maybe you could show another sketch with dotted lines to indicate the floor joists so we could see how things line up. That may have an impact on where the plumbing can go (as other people have mentioned).

    The archway in that does look nice. I admit that I really like the curved designs like that.

    It reminded me of these from Pinterest:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    At least you are going for something practical and not something outrageous like this
    [​IMG]

    Is your vanity just being moved or totally rebuilt?
    If you are getting a new one or rebuilt one, consider storage options like this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And another idea if you are doing any half walls.
    [​IMG]

    I know right now you are trying to get the general layout and main stuff and the smaller details are not as important just yet.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  11. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    The reason 8" is a good width is that you can put any thing on either side (even bath and shower, or toilet can be on opposite sides, not that it's a good idea though). This gives you full use of all linear footage of all walls.

    If it' doable and you can afford it, I'd put the toilet in the alcove as suceress suggested. Make the door bigger and you won't be wasting a lot of space for the toilet. This way the toilet is out of the way and can be easily accessed. The most frequently used items in a bathroom are the toilet and the sink. They should be close to the entrance if at all possible. If the toilet is in the alcove, you'll have the entire rectangle space to showcase your tub, shower, and vanity. But then we're talking about thousands more. That's why knowing your needs and prioritizing is important.

    I had two rough plans for my bathroom, one was 18K more than the other. With the cheaper one the only thing I'd achieve was new everything, but none of the functional problem with the old bathroom could be solved. With the expensive plan I'd have better lighting (add window), larger shower, larger storage, larger counter space, double sinks, added tub, and of course better look. All of these could not be achieved if I keep the toilet where it was. Is the 18K worth it? I'd say yes.

    Your case is different, you still can achieve a lot without moving the toilet. Keep trying. Using masking tape is a good idea. I stacked different sized carton boxes to visualize the design.
  12. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Well I am glad for you that plan "D" does not have much dead space.
  13. mediaman

    mediaman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    suceress, I dont think any ideas are 'out'... I think I am still weighing out the pro and cons.

    Wife really likes that arch idea in Plan D.... but the obtructed view does concern me. Plan B is better in that regard. Nice and clean and open...and perhaps I could do some arch wall treament on a PLan B layout that she would like.

    As for water spalshing on a freestanding tub (Plan D), I guess thats true of all freestanding tubs, so I'd have a hard time talking the wife ofit on that basis alone. If I can find pics of how terrible it might look with a toilet in front of it, or some horror storeis about freestanding tubs near a wall, that would help !! :)

    Thanks very much for the ideas re the other design elements -- will get there soon once I get the basic configutation nailed down.

    rapida , toilet in a smsller alcove with a wider door, is an idea, but I think that would mean putting the tub and shower besdie each other ; something my wife has not liked to date...... but I may draw it out anyway :)
  14. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    I love the toe kick drawer! Will do it (still have time). Thanks! The only thing is I might not be able to cut down the toe kick height. I am short and 36" vanity hurts my spine (basically I am bending my chest instead of my back to reach the sink). I wish this 36" vanity thing will go out of style like the pink tubs.
  15. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Florida
    Can you tell me what program you used? to make the plans?
  16. mediaman

    mediaman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I just kept it simple and used Powerpoint..with a 1/4" = 1 foot grid as a background (layout).
    Found it here

    Added my own shapes as needed.
  17. suceress

    suceress Member

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    LA
    I was wondering the same thing. When I play around with stuff I generally use Sims 3 or just draw it out in MSpaint- but the latter is not very accurate. The former is very limited and requires quite a lot of custom content. I used to make custom content for Sims 2, but Sims 3 is more complicated.

    Rapida, how much space do you have under your vanity? If you install a drawer it will be about one inch shallower than the height of the toekick. There is a website that explains how to make the toekick drawer: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-P...et-drawers--increase-kitchen-storage/View-All
    You can have some that require a knob or handle or you can make it so that when you kick it, it pops out. That might get annoying if you accidentally kick it though.

    mediaman, I couldn't find any horror stories,but I didn't really look hard. It would be cool if you could figure out how to have the curved arch have hidden storage (I did say I'm obsessed with hidden storage). That is if you decide to do the arch. I'm trying to think of the best way to accomplish that.

    Was the corner tub you were considering skirted or drop-in? If its drop in, its possible to have hidden storage around the tub like so:
    [​IMG]

    You probably couldn't do that with a standalone. You could store washcloths, extra soap, cleaning supplies, etc.

    And since I'm still throwing ideas out:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What are the dimensions of the bathroom again? I know from wall to hallway was something like 8 feet? What was the length from the wall to where you planned to have the door and then the width of the alcove and length from alcove wall to the opposite wall?

    Your bathtub is wider than one of my bathrooms-- the bathroom is 56" and the toilet is crammed in a 23" wide alcove.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  18. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    Just throwing possibilities:
    1. in plan D, if you move the shower glass to close to the vanity, and put a neo-angle shower door, you can reduce the width of the shower and have a wider bathroom door, without reducing the size of the shower.
    2. if you move the toilet to the alcove, you can have your free standing tub inside your shower. That will solve the splash problem, cleaning problem (just use your handheld to rinse it down), and side-by-side problem). The draw back is a shower that big could be drafty.
    3. you may add a window on the exterior wall, if the view is nice and private shower-room-bathroom.jpg marble bath inside a shower mosaic brick.jpg .
  19. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    Suceress, I love that toilet brush holder too! Where can I buy one?

    Now my toe kick space under vanity is 4.5". I was planning to cut it down to 3.5". But seeing how the space could be used, I might not cut it down. Thanks for the link. I really wish I can get used to the 36" vanity height. I've been brushing my teeth by the kitchen sink for a while, and haven't got used to it yet. :(
  20. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    I used Adobe Illustrator from work to make my drawings. An easy alternative could be have your PowerPoint on a grid background (6" per grid or more accurate), and throw your shapes on top.
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