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Thread: Need assistance of tub/shower location (and type)

  1. #31

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    I will not put the vanity behind the toilet as in the F drawings, but it's just my opinion. IMHO, having the toilet in front of the vanity makes sense only in a tight space, where no other options are possible. I had this configuration in my old bathroom and I hated it every day. I never put anything in the drawers that opened towards the toilet and I ended up using the hall bath more often than the master bath because I didn't like standing next to the toilet when using the sink. There was over 25" space between the vanity and the toilet, but it was still awkward. In that 5.5'x8' room with a 5.5' vanity, they certainly managed to have everything as big as possible, but I would not say it was the most efficient use of all space because of the convenience/comfort issue. In fact, I'd like to have full access to the vanity, meaning there is at least 30" clearance from anything else.

    If the toilet stays, the best use of the space next to the toilet in the corner will be for a closet or a linen cabinet. I also liked the G drawings that had the corner tub, but instead of having a "dead corner" behind the toilet, I'd rather extend the tub deck to the full 8'. Then I'd add "hidden storage" under the tub deck corner as shown in some of suceress's pictures, and either add some shelf/cubby on top, or just leave it open for decor items.

    Or you can get a small toilet (25" deep) and make your vanity shorter (you still have 70") so that the toilet is not in your way. A matching linen cabinet may not be a bad idea for the space behind the toilet, since it will be accessed less. However, placing the vanity at the end of your bathroom "hallway" will make it less convenient, if you use the sinks more than twice a day.

    Another thought, mediaman, if you move the toilet to the alcove, is it going to be near another toilet in the house? If so, it might be easier to tap into that drain instead of moving the one in this bathroom all the way.
    Last edited by rapida; 04-10-2013 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #32
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    FORUM - This forum is amazing - thanks so much for the dialogue , ideas, photos, options. I couldn’t ask for more!! This is really great and super helpful.

    LINK TO PPT : Found it here : math-kitecture dot com followed by /quarterinchgridtemplate.ppt. See atttachment in next post.

    SKYLIGHT - Re the skylight, we have two already in our home. and never had any issues (after 20 years)... likely because I had them done by our roofing installer/specialists. For this reno, if I do it for the ensuite, I'd do the same - have the roof specialist do it, and have it done first (pre-reno)... ie install the skylight/curb ( 2 x 2 flared to 4 x 4) and do all the attic framing, insulation, vaper barriers, etc.. .everything but the inside drywall... and later have reno contractor do the drywall when he is doing the rest of the bathroom. This will ensure the skylight is installed correctly, avoids any concerns re damage, and will give me the 'end-state' lighting I can plan to, when picking tiles, cabinets, etc.

    MUST HAVES and NICE TO HAVE. As to my musts, they are :
    1. -agreement from the wife (she has to love the design and not settle - end of story!)
    2. -double vanity yes, freq used two at a time)
    3. -make up table
    4. -medicine cabinet with mirrors
    5. -ample storage
    6. -free standing or skirted corner tub. Not drop in.
    7. -large tub 72 x 36. Or 60 x 60 corner
    8. -larger walkin shower with bench
    9. -tiled floor add tiled walls (half way up)
    10. -pot lights
    11. -no linen closet

    Nice to have - and looking likely :
    • -skylights (gives me light and no constraints re fixture/cabinet placement vs window)
    • -special floor or bulkhead wall treatment to feature tub
    • -boxed insets into wall
    • -laundry pullouts and functioning drawers below sink
    • -kickdrawer storage
    • -rainshower heads for shower, code permitting

    Nice to have - and unlikely :
    • -heated floors
    • -wider door entrance
    • -windows

    RE THE F-SERIES , yah, thought I was onto something but the wife absolutely hated that idea re the sinks so far back, and the tub in the middle of the room.

    RE THE G-SERIES - First off, thanks for such a great effort.. Some of these look familiar !!!. Okay, so G2,3,5 is where I started from wrt the door (pre this forum), but the contractor ruled them out as we cannot have the door that close to the steps (building code issues). We have to either put the door further in (closer to outside wall), or, build a new wall at the ... which looks pretty bad. So I ended up turning the door as I have it now in all the plans, so there are a few footsteps before you hit stairs. G1/4 have the issue of it no longer being an ensuite. Finally all of the G-series have the possible issue of the vanity across from the shower leaving a narrower, less-open, close-in feeling. It sure felt that way when we taped it up..even when imaging a glass door there. Also if my wife is at her vantity not sure if the swinging shower door would work there.

    RE OTHER DESIGN ELEMENTS -- I like the functioning drawers below the sink. Also laundry pullouts. See below

    RE CURRENT STATUS AND FRONTRUNNERS. Had a long chat with the wife last night looking at plans and options and pictures. All things considered, she is zeroing in on Plan D as her preference to date. She is really liking the idea of a featuring a freestanding tub at the far end of the bathroom, with some nice wall and tile treatments an spate shower . She doesn't like drop-in loks ( feels it 'hide" the tub -- but isn’t that the idea?? . And doesn’t like tub next to the shower. Nothing finalized of course - so much to consider here. But I might need to yield a bit here as this is HER dream bathroom. As longs is it’s an informed decision, with due consideration given to alternatives, I've done my best.

    Not sure if I can pull off that all-out arched area (earlier post), but a modest bulkhead treatment, with insets into the wall, should be doable. Might still look quite slick all tiled up. The latest version of Plan D below also has ample storage re towers on either side of vanity, and towers on either side of make-up table.. I have not yet put anything behind the tub just yet., but maybe small tables would work there.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by mediaman; 04-10-2013 at 02:03 PM.

  3. #33
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    See attached re Powerpoint template with grid.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #34

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    mediaman, your plan looks nice! My suggestion is go to a showroom that has a free standing tub, bring some folded boxes with you, and put them in front of the tub as the toilet/vanity, and decide if you still like the "buried" look . With a regular vanity (21") and toilet (25" min) in front the tub access is 4'. It's plenty to get in and out. But whether it looks good is something only you and your wife can decide after actually seeing it. Sometime it looks good on paper (from the top as in floor plans), but not necessarily good in person (from the side).

    To improve exposure of the tub, you may want to look at toilets with an in-wall water tank. This way the toilet won't tick out much, but there is requirment for the supporting wall.

    Are you in Toronto? Isn't the winter cold? Why not heated floor? I know some charge a fortune to do that, but the mesh they sell at HD is only about $7.5 /sqft. A programmable thermostat $130. If you keep looking you can find someone who can do it for a reasonable price. My electrician charged $250 to wire it. The only thing I wanted to keep from my old bathroom was the heated floor (powered by the furnace below). I made sure I would not lose it in the new bath.

    How deep are your makeup/pullouts? If it's not too deep you might be able to put your bath door at 45 degrees to make it bigger. Otherwise they will block your door way.

  5. #35
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    Re heated floor, actually glad to hear some charge a fortune... misery loves company. I guess my contractor is not alone then. He wanted $2500 !!! for heated floors in this large bathroom ($1400 for our smaller guest bathroom), clearly priced to discourage it. But cost aside, the wife has been diabetic for some time and long story short, is numb at the bottom of her feet...I don't think she would feel the heat!!. Would rather put the money in the skylight

    As to exposure to the tub, yah, that still nags at me. But let me ask this. See the pic below re current/proposed setup (today vs Plan D1). Note the toilet has not moved, so right now we have, and have grown accustomed to , the toilet being next to the tub. As well, in the new setup there the tub is centered in the wall ( ie further from the toilet), and there is no step-up in the way. So on one hand I can see why the wife doesn't see an issue here ...but it bothers me in the sense that all this money, we should be able to avoid such an obstacle

    I guess Plan D2 would address that ( at more cost). I think the swinging shower door would clear the toilet. I know sliding doors would address that...but.. you guess it, she is not a fan of sliding doors!

    Re 45 degree door, will play with that one as well re larger make-up area.
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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-10-2013 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #36
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Mediaman, Ahh, thank you for the clarification. I sort of suspected there were reasons you ruled out the doors in the other places, but I figured it was worth a try. :-)

    I had so many different ideas and not enough space in the image to mess with.

    Ok, so your wife likes the porcelain look of the tub and wants to have the tub features. Got it. I wish I had more suggestions on the curved arch. What is it that is so appealing about the skylight? The actual light, the look, or being able to see the sky? Because I think you could probably create a faux skylight. I knew someone who once made fake windows that had lights to make it look like natural light was coming in.

    So with your vanity she wants something like this? (ignore the rest of the bathroom and the raised part on the vanity). I'm focusing on the cabinet that comes down. But with mirrors that open up to have medicine cabinets behind?


    Does your wife like bullseye rosettes by any chance?

    My mother has diabetes so I'm familiar with some of the issues. She needs to keep her circulation going and heat is actually important in that. While she can't feel the lack of heat in the floor, it can actually be bad for her circulation to not have heat. If your contractor is charging too much, you might want to shop around a bit or see how much it would be to install it yourself. DIY network and all sorts of things show how to install in-floor heating and the Ditra underlayment for tile.

    You can roll the heating stuff out yourself and then have your contractor hook it up. but I guess it depends on whether your wife thinks it is worth it.

    I like that drawer that have gaps to go around the plumbing and sink! That is cool!
    I saw one like this:


    The laundry pullouts are cool too!

    Did your contractor tell you that a skylight would be less expensive than a wall window?

    I had brain freeze because my kitten got her claw stuck in something and needed to be rescued.
    Last edited by suceress; 04-10-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediaman View Post
    As to exposure to the tub, yah, that still nags at me. But let me ask this. See the pic below re current/proposed setup (today vs Plan D1). Note the toilet has not moved, so right now we have, and have grown accustomed to , the toilet being next to the tub. As well, in the new setup there the tub is centered in the wall ( ie further from the toilet), and there is no step-up in the way. So on one hand I can see why the wife doesn't see an issue here ...but it bothers me in the sense that all this money, we should be able to avoid such an obstacle
    I believe with such a big investment you don't have to sacrifice too. But maybe that is not an obstacle after all. Even with the vanity and toilet, I am sure there won't be any problem with the use of the free standing tub (re convenience/access/comfort, etc). I was only questioning the aesthetic value. The nice thing about those free standing tubs are the beautiful curves they can offer, and the curves are on the sides. Now with the toilet blocking the view on one side while the vanity blocking the other side, the beauty of the tub is not fully presented. It's still beautiful, just not as good as with a full view. Whether the "partial view" is worth the extra dollar on the tub, will be you and your wife's call. That was why I suggested to see an actual one in a showroom, block the view as in your design. If you like it, there will be no regrets.

    Sometimes you do need to see it to decide. When I made my drawings I decided to have the ceiling light in the center of the bathroom, and I didn't like the idea of a light over the tub. But with the walls up and tub deck built, the only place for the ceiling light that made sense was over the tub. And there it went.

    D2 looks good, too. Just cost more. In D1, you may not be able to have the water supply on an exterior wall. Check with code first.

    Will your wife like something like this? Only 21" long.
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    Duravit 2545090000 Darling New Toilet Wall Mounted

    What I got for the floor heat:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/1000755...4#.UWY_bbWG2So

    You need 2x of it and perhaps another 4' piece. $198 x 2 + $127 (4' piece) + $139 (thermostat) = $662 plus tax.
    With some of your time to lay it down (very simple) and electrician to wire it (this will depend on how your house is wired), the best case will be less than $1000. You'll have an electrician there anyway. But this thing need to be on its own circuit. If your panel is full and you have to change the panel, it's a different story.
    Last edited by rapida; 04-10-2013 at 09:48 PM.

  8. #38
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    I think rapida has some good points.

    I just had an idea, since you were thinking of adding a window and you want the tub to be featured, have you considered making light boxes on the wall behind the tub that will look like windows? You can put up curtains or something and make it look like your tub is in front of a window. Not sure how to get the right color light.
    You can put pictures in the fake windows of blue sky or nice scenery and have a low wattage night light or something behind. Another alternative would be to make a fake stained glass window out of shrinky dinks or something. :P Anyone remember those? Are they still available? Not sure if that would look good or not. I'm just spitballing ideas here. Maybe you could get like a rounded arched window looking thing to put behind the tub instead of having the arch above the tub.
    Or a rounded arched mirror behind it.


    This is neat and the furniture sort of juts out the way the toilet would in front of the tub so you can see how it would look.



    Here is the sort of window I was thinking would make a neat looking light box faux window.


    I wish I could visualize the bulkhead thing you were talking about. Do you have any photos of the current bathroom?

    I'm pouring over Pinterest pictures to see what sorts of ideas grab my attention that fit what I remember of what you said you wanted.

  9. #39
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    I guess my next logical step is to have a chat with the contractor re cost difference between Plan D1 and D2.

    I know I am will already be into some costs in moving the shower to a new area vs today, and in going with freestanding vs drop-in, so I am not looking forward to learning of the added cost re moving the toilet ( D1 to D2).

    I've seen a few pics of the D1 obstructed view... some are worse that others..

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  10. #40
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    Re vanities, we are going for something close this type of look re clean sculptured dark maple cabinets and granite top with beveled edges.

    And I like to get this done with the u-shaped doors for the sink, kick drawers at the bottom, etc Contractor said he can put us in touch with someone who does custom work, with costs that should be less than showrooms, and of course exactly what we want.

    Towers can be on top or beside vanity.

    Would go with white sink ( and white tub, white toilet) and an appropriate mix of tile shapes and colours to bring it all together.

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  11. #41
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Ooh! Gorgeous. If I didn't have to run into town right now to get mail I'd comment further. but I love it! Must add those pics to pinterest when I get back.

  12. #42

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    Very nice look!

    There is just one thing I don't quite get - why most designs feature two-handle faucets rather than single-handle faucets. True, the two-handle faucets look better and are less expensive. But I'll opt for the single handle any day for the convenience and better temperature control. Maybe I'm just lazy?

    This is my faucet, not installed yet.Name:  images.jpg
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  13. #43
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    I was thinking, when I speak to my contractor, I'll present the 4 options below. Plan D ( D1/D2) and Plan E ( E1/E2). Perhaps he can knock some off right away on cost/feasibility alone... I think knowing which ones have an excessive cost premium will help eliminate some options right away.

    The "E" series is a variation of an earlier Plan B, which some liked and some did not, but it now has a new toilet position here so it might work...certainly less "obstacles", even with the toilet staying as is. There is even room for a chair ( or towel ladder or whatever) in the bottom left corner. I showed a small half-wall, just north of the tub, for some sort of ledge. I suppose I can put one on the west wall as well.

    If we ended up with the E-series, my wife will want the skirted look (as pictured below). I prefer drop-in but will concede!

    If I had to choose right now for all 4, I'd go for for E1. I think its elegant, room, functional and cost-effective. My wide is currently in the Plan D camp.

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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-11-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  14. #44
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Rapida, I actually like having two different handles on my faucet. I can adjust how much hot water and how much cold water as well as the force of the water. I personally feel I have more control that way than I do with the single handle one. Maybe its because my mother bought cheap faucets, but the one handle ones seem to wear out faster. I also like high faucets that can swivel.

    Ok, just kidding on that picture.
    I don't have a picture of my bathroom faucet because AquaSource no longer makes it, but the faucet has a high arch and swivels so it makes it easier to fill things and I can move it out of the way. It's very useful. I'll have to try to get a picture sometime.

    Mediaman-- On the vanity you showed, I like the tower cabinets on top of the vanity because they make good use of the space.
    I personally like the E series with the corner tub because I feel there is more use of space and that it will allow you to have more storage. Instead of a chair in the corner though, I would go with a small bench, maybe like this:

    But I would have a single long cushion instead of two. I think in this one there are two lids that flip up to have storage under the cushions. I would want something upholstered and have a single lifting lid with piano hinge. But removable cushion allows for you to clean things or let you take the cushions off if they get too wet or something. You could store small items under the lifting lid thing, and then things could be put on slats underneath. Towel racks could be wall-mounted. That way they can't be accidentally knocked over.

    Here's another storage bathroom bench idea


    Has your wife said much about adding grab bars? It seems you plan to live in this house a long time and if her circulation has already gotten to the point that she cant feel the bottoms of her feet, it is only a matter of time before she will start to have balance issues. There are a number of solutions, but they aren't cheap. I saw a neat thing that is a 350lb grab bar for the corner, but it also holds soap and shampoo.

    Unfortunately I think its about $175 or something.

    This is a 500lb grab bar/ toilet paper dispenser combo


    Aesthetically, I like the look of the E1 series (at least from the layout from above). For practical reasons I like E2 because it is convenient to have the toilet right next to the shower. Not to give TMI, but if I have to pee when I'm in the shower, I jump out and use the toilet-- my shower does not drain well at all so I end up being up to my ankles in water before the shower is over and I don't want to stand in pee water. There have also been times when we were out of toilet paper and I had to jump right into the shower.

    I do think you should take a suggestion from Rapida and do a mockup with boxes or other furniture pieces and measure things out and see how things look and feel. So, what you should do is take a stool or chair and pretend it is the toilet. Then measure and set up two chairs on either side (with the backs toward you) to represent the vanity and the shower and have them set at the distance they would be from the actual toilet and sit there to see how it feels. Do you have room to move your arms? Are you going to risk smacking your hand into anything? Do you feel cramped? You may try this with chairs or furniture pieces while on your existing toilet to see how the space feels.

    What are the gray box thingies behind the corner tub? Do they serve any storage purposes? I f they are to cover plumbing and serve as shelves then they are useful. It would be cool to have something on them be able to lift up so you could access the interior. Like if you have a water shutoff valve inside or want to store cleaning supplies.

    Did you mention the lightbox faux window idea to your wife, or was that something you were not interested in?

    If she should start to give you any grief, at least you didn't suggest this 1950s American Standard nightmare:


    Btw, do you have any carpentry skills? If so, you may be able to make some modifications yourself. Some simple drawers can be done. I'm going to have to try to make some. I need to build my brother a dresser because the plastic thing he has is awful. Other than some shelves and a couple of boxes in woodworking class, I never made anything really on my own. But I helped my father build a custom desk with mirrors behind the shelves and a custom keyboard tray that is awesome.

    There is a site called Ana-white .com that has building plans and pictures and such and explains what materials to use and exactly how to get the best use of materials out of builds. It will tell you the level of complexity of the build as well. If you're not comfortable building stuff yourself that's fine.

    Edit: I forgot to ask if you know what sort of toilet you want. ADA height? elongated or round bowl? two-piece or one-piece?

    I've heard the Drake II is very good and affordable, but I don't know what your wife would think of the look. The Toto Promenade has a shape at the bottom that is pretty and reminds me of one of the freestanding tubs you posted a picture of earlier. I don't know how that one performs though.
    Last edited by suceress; 04-11-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by suceress View Post
    Rapida, I actually like having two different handles on my faucet. I can adjust how much hot water and how much cold water as well as the force of the water. I personally feel I have more control that way than I do with the single handle one. Maybe its because my mother bought cheap faucets, but the one handle ones seem to wear out faster. I also like high faucets that can swivel.
    suceress, if you have trouble with a single handle faucet, maybe it's time to change the cartridge. Moen/Delta/Kohler all have lifetime warranties on their faucets. Just call them with your receipt and they will send you a new cartridge.

    I never had trouble with a single handle and it seems to offer more precise control of both temperature (left/right) and water volume (up/down). With the two handle I always had to go back and forth a few times to get the right temp/volume. Maybe it's just me not used to it.

    mediaman, I second that the grab bar is a good idea. They are harder to put in later because they need support from the wall. It's easier to add that stud or block at the desired location during the remodel than to retro fit. I bought a couple of these (support up to 250 pound) but decided not to use them, because I ran out of space. (I can't even afford the space for shower cubbies, which I really liked. I ended up with two corner shelves made from the granite top leftover. )

    http://www.amazon.com/LR2356DBN-Moen...+grab+bar+self
    Here is the corner version:
    http://www.amazon.com/Moen-LR2354DBN...r+corner+shelf

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