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

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediaman View Post
    Just to clarify, does the 15" rule refer to :
    • a radius from the center of a fixture ( ie " center of the toilet should have 15" clearance on either side"), or
    • the distance between edges of two fixtures ( ie " 15" between the west wall tub and the toilet."), or
    • both?
    It's measuring from the center of the toilet to the edge of nearby fixtures. In other words, you need 30" space end to end to put in a toilet. Your builder didn't mention it probably because you have enough space. But this is only minimum code requirement, which IMHO is very tight placement.
    Last edited by rapida; 04-13-2013 at 08:46 AM.

  2. #62
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Rapida, I like those pictures!

    Mediaman, high five on H2 and H6! Those were the ones that made the most sense to me. I would ask the builder about the 15" from center just in case. But quite frankly, I still think the tub going in a corner is the best use of space. Oh yeah, I forgot to ask if you plan to have a trashcan near the toilet. All of my bathrooms (except the guest one that doesn't have space) have a trash can for tissues and other stuff that can't be flushed-- toilet paper rolls, finished crossword puzzles, q-tips, etc). I was just thinking about the only good thing about my guest bathroom is that it has a recessed toilet paper holder. Doesn't quite fit the extra thick toilet paper rolls though.

    I don't recall seeing the "today" picture with magazines. Maybe my brain is just out of it.

  3. #63
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    TUB
    Had a productive 2 hour visit and yet another showroom (family owned non-big-box) that we had not been to before ( recommendation from work). A little bit out of the way- but no big deal. They actually has H2 and H6 tub configuration right there, and people who actually wanted to help...so that worked out great. After getting in and of tubs, and studying the plans, and talking things out loud, we are landing on H2. My wife now "sees" that while she initially favoured the freestanding, its tight in our space, we'd be giving up a lot of potential storage nooks, and the corner tubs are nice and roomy while sill cozy. As well, dozens of models and price points to choose from. I think she also needed to hear it from someone other than me.

    We now need to zero in a specific air tubs. We have to date looked to Neptune, Bain Ultra and Maxx, but it was suggested we also look at Oceania).

    I've allowed for up to 72" x 72" for a 6060 tub so that should leave me enough 'deck' space. I also realize now that the desk need not be the same width all around. Seen many with narrower widths at the entrance to the tub ( easier to get in/out) and wider deck at corner walls for ledges (flat or raised) to place bath items. Make sense to me.

    Once we pick a model, I can confirm access points, figure out where to put the faucets and draw things up more accurately. Re faucet location, I see three options
    a) put them where shown on the sketch as its easy to get to, does not obstruct access to the tub, and it close to where the water supplies are now... but this may not make sense is the tub filler is right by the head.
    b) use recommended location for one of the tubs we are looking at - see hatched are in sketch below. Not sure yet if this gets in the way getting into the tub
    c) put them on the other short side, near the sink... ie near the bathers feet.. per manufactures pic.

    SHOWER
    I reversed the orientation to avoid using the outside wall. I don't think I have many option there...especially in terms of access to valves. Much easier to work with inside wall. (For the current sinks , access is via the floor). We did step into a 5 x 5 shower at the showroom. I was surprised that it felt a bit narrow...part of was to to a 6" curb. Hmmm.. I suppose I have a little give to it a tad wider. ( that's where that 6" rule comes in - makes a big difference for sure!)

    Re glass doors, I had not realized the issue with the wide bench, and needing those custom doors to wrap around the bench, Can this not be avoided by shortening up the bench and getting normal glass doors wall to wall?

    Man, these bathroom renos take weeks/months of planning!!

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    Oceania Genevieve 60

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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-14-2013 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #64
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suceress View Post
    Rapida, I like those pictures!

    Mediaman, high five on H2 and H6! Those were the ones that made the most sense to me. .....

    I don't recall seeing the "today" picture with magazines. Maybe my brain is just out of it.
    Yup, sure hope my contractor does not punch too many holes in H2!

    Re magazine, no your brain is fine. That was just a reference I had made that in the current cramped setup, the step to the tub is right at toilet, so that step has become a place where we keep magazines and books etc. Too embarrassing to post a pic!

  5. #65
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    I think I convincing my self I don't need the custom shower glass around the bench ( which is common for tub next to shower), but hrather I can

    - build a shorter bench per sketch above
    - build a wall, and get a narrow glass pane, per pic below
    - insert a fix-width glass pane, then a standard glass door.

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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-14-2013 at 03:23 PM.

  6. #66
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    Gotta another question that's been nagging at me , and it relates to cost.

    EXCLUDING the cost of fixtures, furnishings, accessories, tiles, lighting, paint, trim, etc, how do I gauge a fair vs exorbitant cost for labour/construction from a well established contractor, in a big city??

    For example, we have a second bathroom, an 8' x 5' guest bath room, we want to renovate. No reconfiguration. Task is to:
    -replace toilet
    -replace vanity
    -replace tub
    -replace tub alcove wall tile (approx 50 sq ft)
    -replace all bath fixtures
    -replace baseboard trim
    -install glass doors
    -install wall medicine cabinets and lighting
    -paint

    The last estimate I got from a known contractor (hundreds of positive reviews), ads on the radio station, etc.), was $7500 plus tax, for just labour and construction re the above . additional $1500 for tiling half way up (about 65 sq ft).

    Is that in line with the going rate, line or out of line for a facelift.?

    For the master suite, that we have been discussing to date, the the task is similar, but room is much larger is being gutted, with tub/ shower reconfiguration, building new tiled shower, removing bulkheads, removing / building news walls, new floor tiling, etc, the quote is for $20,000 plus tax. Again, is this reasonable or out of whack for just the labour and construction portion of a makeover?
    Last edited by mediaman; 04-14-2013 at 06:25 PM.

  7. #67
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Glad to see you are starting to get things narrowed down on what you want. I was going to suggest that on the wall in the hall near the stairs, you might want to have an access panel (perhaps disguised as a piece of artwork or something else) to get to the plumbing easily-- shut off valves are always good to have in reach).
    The one concern I would have about the shower door now would be whether or not it will hit that corner/wall when it opens. If someone accidentally pushes it a little too hard and it hits and cracks, that would not be good.
    I like the look of that last picture with the wall next to the bench.

    As for the faucets for the tub, I think the placement you have int he drawing looks good. It looks like it would be easy to have some sort of access panel there if you needed to turn the shutoff valve for any reason. If it was right in the middle on the east side it might get in the way. If it was against the wall it would be harder to reach. So that spot seems the most convenient.

    I don't know much about the various brand of tubs. I'm actually trying to find the right shower/tub combo for my mother's bathroom, but she can't even make up her mind on whether or not she wants a tub or a shower to go in. She just keeps saying she doesn't want to spend a lot of money.

    Someone recommended Maxx brand. I found the site http://www.maax.com/en/main%20naviga...ionType=Corner with corner tubs.

    I'm not sure on the price of getting a piece of glass cut to size vs actually building a wall. I think the wall would take more effort. If you know the exact measurements you can get glass and have it cut to size. I'm thinking maybe the custom class and then the standard door might work. If you put wall then you would likely want to add tile and there would be other materials that went into it that would make the price go up.

    Did the contractor give you an itemized estimate or just a general total cost one? If it was the latter, you might want to ask for something itemized so you see what is being charged for each thing.

    I confess I watch some home improvement shows like "10 Grand In Your Hand" and (there is another one with a hostess named Amy Matthews but I'm blanking on the name-- she shows people how to save money by doing some of the stuff themselves) and watch how to do things. One cost that I'm pretty sure you can actually save on is by installing the actual toilet yourself. Once the plumbing is roughed in and hooked up, installing a toilet is pretty easy. Unless you have back problems and can't lift the toilet into place, you should be able to put it on and then attach the tank (if you are getting a 2-piece toilet). The Toto Drake was pretty simple to install-- especially considering I'd never installed a toilet before. I printed out some detailed instructions from this forum. Another thing that you can save money on is removing the old stuff yourself (if you are confident that you can do so without breaking things that you want to remain). Removal/demolition usually costs extra. Some people do their own tile to save money, but I personally probably wouldn't because I don't trust myself to do it right-- plus I don't plan on putting tile in this house.

    As for the costs, I can honestly say that I have no idea. The only time I've lived in a big city was when I was overseas. Other than that, I've been in suburbs and rural areas. We never stayed anywhere long enough to remodel before. In the current situation the remodel is more of a repair issue.

    Hopefully someone here can answer your questions on the prices.

  8. #68

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    Formerly in NYC metro and now MPLS metro, I don't think there is a huge difference in labor cost (double in NYC? no. 25% more? yes). I am assuming Toronto is somewhere in between, but Canada could be a different beast. Well, after you get 5 bids, you'll know whether their bid is fair or outrageous.

    mediaman, I'd say $7500 will be on the high side of estimates for doing things in your list, but still within the reasonable range. Tiling could be $1000-$3000 right there depending on the style and materials (natural stone/ceramic/porcelain), not including the tile itself. If they advertise at the radio station, that's what you can expect, the high side. Same is true for those with the biggest and/or colored ads in yellow pages.

    For the new master bath, I'd say $20k is also within the reasonable range, on the high side. For a bathroom remodel, you don't want to just go with the lowest bid, though. I'd say get 5 bids, see who you are most comfortable with, get their references, then decide. In another thread there are 10 questions to ask. I think those are very good questions for the contractors. If you still cannot decide after 5 bids, get more. It's going to be time consuming to get the estimates and get to know those contractors, but you need to know enough to make the right decision. You literally will be living with those people for the following weeks, if not months.

    A major bathroom remodel can take 2-3 months to complete. You need to have plans for having a construction site in your house for quite some time, and plan for access and use of other spaces in your house, if you still live there. You need someone who respect you and your house, otherwise frictions will occur. Sometimes a major remodel can turn into a never ending nightmare, and choosing the right contractor is the key to avoid this.

    Although you may be able to install a toilet or lights, the contractor who is doing your plumbing and electrical will pull a permit (for the scope of work, I won't recommend to go without permits, unless you are too concerned about raised taxes and you know exactly what's going on). When they pull a permit, they are liable for the quality of all the work, and most will not allow you to do part of it and have themselves be responsible for anything you didn't do right. So, although I've installed many ceiling lights/vanity lights before, for my bathroom project I will have the electrician do all the finishing installation, and pay their high rate for it. If I hired somebody at an hourly rate, and did it without permit I could save couple hundred bucks for doing the lights myself. But that's not the right way for such a big project.

    You will be saving at least a few hundred bucks just by building that shower wall and going by a "stock" size glass door. It's really a good idea. Since you are removing/building walls anyway, having that wall built does not add much cost. Custom frame-less glass doors are more than $50 /sqft installed. Comparing my 48 sqft door at $2400 with this 22 sqft door at $670, and this 14 sqft door at $273, I really wish I could go with a stock size.
    http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden...5/product.html
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/1006636...5#.UWuQGrWG2So
    Last edited by rapida; 04-14-2013 at 11:19 PM.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediaman View Post
    TUB
    Had a productive 2 hour visit and yet another showroom (family owned non-big-box) that we had not been to before ( recommendation from work). A little bit out of the way- but no big deal. They actually has H2 and H6 tub configuration right there, and people who actually wanted to help...so that worked out great. After getting in and of tubs, and studying the plans, and talking things out loud, we are landing on H2. My wife now "sees" that while she initially favoured the freestanding, its tight in our space, we'd be giving up a lot of potential storage nooks, and the corner tubs are nice and roomy while sill cozy. As well, dozens of models and price points to choose from. I think she also needed to hear it from someone other than me.

    We now need to zero in a specific air tubs. We have to date looked to Neptune, Bain Ultra and Maxx, but it was suggested we also look at Oceania).

    I've allowed for up to 72" x 72" for a 6060 tub so that should leave me enough 'deck' space. I also realize now that the desk need not be the same width all around. Seen many with narrower widths at the entrance to the tub ( easier to get in/out) and wider deck at corner walls for ledges (flat or raised) to place bath items. Make sense to me.

    Once we pick a model, I can confirm access points, figure out where to put the faucets and draw things up more accurately. Re faucet location, I see three options
    a) put them where shown on the sketch as its easy to get to, does not obstruct access to the tub, and it close to where the water supplies are now... but this may not make sense is the tub filler is right by the head.
    b) use recommended location for one of the tubs we are looking at - see hatched are in sketch below. Not sure yet if this gets in the way getting into the tub
    c) put them on the other short side, near the sink... ie near the bathers feet.. per manufactures pic.

    SHOWER
    I reversed the orientation to avoid using the outside wall. I don't think I have many option there...especially in terms of access to valves. Much easier to work with inside wall. (For the current sinks , access is via the floor). We did step into a 5 x 5 shower at the showroom. I was surprised that it felt a bit narrow...part of was to to a 6" curb. Hmmm.. I suppose I have a little give to it a tad wider. ( that's where that 6" rule comes in - makes a big difference for sure!)

    Re glass doors, I had not realized the issue with the wide bench, and needing those custom doors to wrap around the bench, Can this not be avoided by shortening up the bench and getting normal glass doors wall to wall?

    Man, these bathroom renos take weeks/months of planning!!

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    Oceania Genevieve 60

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    mediaman, I personally do not like the tub and deck combination shown. I have no problem with the tub itself. It's the edge and the tub rim. I had exactly the same tub and deck in my former house. I couldn't sit on either the tub rim nor the deck, because each is only about 6" wide, too narrow to sit on. But together they are 12" wide and 24" tall, and hard to step over. I could still get in and out, but not comfortably. I sometimes grabbed the tub faucet to stabilize myself, thank God I didn't break it! It looked fine until you start to use it!

    You'd better decide whether you prefer to just step over to get into the tub, or sit on the edge and then swing your legs in. For the former, you need minimal tub deck in front of your tub so that it doesn't add width to the "hurdle" (skirted will be the best, or undermount). For the latter you need either a wide deck, or a low tub rim (so low you won't feel the height difference), or an undermount tub.

    I got a MAAX air tub for my new bathroom. Well made. Made in Canada, too, if you care to know. They have wide selections and are at a lower price point. BainUltra is also a good brand, and they allow you to place the motor at a different location. If you move the motor on the MAAX tub, that voids your warranty. I only saw BainUltra in the showroom, and bought MAAX on line. I think the surface material on the BainUltra looked slightly better than the MAAX (MAAX is similar to Kohler and slightly better than Jaccuzi). I have no experience with the other brands you mentioned.

    BTW, I chose MAAX because they offer the lite-rim option. The tub rim is only 3/8" tall. I can only afford 1" tub deck space in front of it, so the thin tub rim is crucial. Any other brand will have a 2" tall rim. Cast iron tubs have 3/4" tall rims, but no air tub for cast iron.
    Last edited by rapida; 04-14-2013 at 11:16 PM.

  10. #70
    DIY Senior Member suceress's Avatar
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    Good additional info, Rapida. I didn't realize that custom glass was so expensive to install. I just thought that if you had the glass and had it cut they could put it in place without charging so much. But then, I've never had glass installed. I'm not a fan of glass.

    So the tub is Maax and not Maxx. Oops.

    Since the toilet seems to be remaining in the same spot, IIRC, it does NOT take a permit to replace it. So that is something that mediaman could do himself once the floor is ready. If the floor is installed level and properly there shouldn't be any problems. I know you mean that a contractor might not agree to sign off on something if the homeowner does some of the work, but I would hope that the contractor wouldn't mind him doing something as simple as putting the wax ring and toilet down, bolting it in, and putting the toilet tank on.

    Now, if mediaman wanted to run the plumbing himself, that would be a different matter. And hooking up lights is an electrical thing and they have to make sure it is done properly. Installing a toilet and even putting down tile are things that people can do themselves that shouldn't require a permit and shouldn't be a problem.

    I don't know. Any contractors here have thoughts on that?

  11. #71

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    My guess was the contractor would like to do the whole thing, but it never hurts to ask if they will give you any discount should you install the toilet yourself. Chances are they probably will throw that in for free. You see, having a plumber come out to install just a toilet may cost $200, but if he is already there doing other work, it may only take him 15-30 min to do it. Even at $200/hr rate, it should be less than $100. Compare with the $20k job, it's nothing.

    mediaman, if you want to do part of the work, painting walls may not be a bad idea. If you do, then you are part of the team and be prepared to be asked to paint within a narrow time frame. The contractor will need certain things done after some other work is done, but ASAP in order to be ready for the rest of the job. If you are very good at coordinating, and know well enough how the whole project should go, you may even take on the general contractor role. But honestly, even I was the GC for my kitchen remodel (no structure change), and I could save $1-2k for being the GC this round, I didn't want to be the bathroom GC (with structural change).

  12. #72
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    Re deck, agree we need to think through as to if we plan to step over to get into the tub, vs sit-and-swing. To be hone,t I think we'd want to keep both options open, as I could plan for one and end up with other. When we tried out a maax unit (that looked much like the Ocencia above), we tried both ways. Neither seemed more natural that the other. So I need to keep both in mind, and land on a workable size dcsk, ensure faucets are not in the middle, and make strategic use of grab bars on the walls and handles on the tub.

    On the cost side, I aggree that lowest cost is not always the wisest choice. We've been bruned before going that route re getting a "great deal". Ss I am not looking for lowest cost. And I dont want the GC role either in tis case. Yes, often save the hundreds with DIY projects and coodinating the small stuff on bigger ones. But for the major renos, I will only be in the way, and I want to avoid any finger pointing.

    This time around, was looking for local recommnedations and referals. The big names gave me access to hundreds of reviews for a given conrractor (via third party ranking site), which in this case, were all extremely positive, so that gave me some confidence, even though they were higher than others. They did NOT provde a breakout of the cost, only a breakout of the work. I would not attempt any of this work myself anyway,so I wasnt too focussed on the cost breakout.

    I dont mind spending up to 10-25% more, if it buys me confidence / quality / convienience, etc At $20k for labour , plus the cost of vanities (6k), fixtures (4k), glass (2k), tiles, other plumbing/electrical, taxes etc etc is going to put this near $40k , which I think is extremenly high...but will of course give us a lot of enjoyment (and will add to resale value - the exisitng bathroom are an eyesore). I'm not too concerned if I "could've had it done for $35k".. Just want to make sure I am not paying $40 k for a $25k job!

  13. #73
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    MAJOR WRINKLE...

    As a precaution, I cut out a piece of the drywall on the existing bulkhead ( between tub and outside wall) to confirm it was decorative only, and that nothing was behind it. Glad I did this now, prior to any purchases or firmed up plans.....found a major obstacle -- fireplace vent !!

    Quite disappointing! I am going to map out exactly where this hits my plan, but I see only three options at this point - all bad.
    • slide everything about a foot or more or to the east... which means I'd have to shorten the vanity. This would leave me with a deep partial deck at the west wall, which is fine for storage etc...and the shortened vanity might be okay, but the deal breaker will be that the toilet again becomes a problem...way to close the now shifted corner tub
    • somehow, at significant expense, redirect the vent out of the way, by redirecting it into the wall behind the tub (which is a closet), and elbowing it back before it hits the roof...if that's even possible and legal!
    • scrap the H2 corner tub plan, and go back to a non-optimal H3 plan and oval tub.

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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-16-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  14. #74
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    One other idea ... Plan H6, with a triangular corner bulkhead might work in theory.. I will have to re measure everything and come up with a modified version to see if that is possible.

  15. #75
    DIY Member mediaman's Avatar
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    gonna measure a dozen more times (its hard to do this with the wall still up), but I am hopeful the H6 idea will work, as shown below, by:

    - using a corner bulkhead concept
    - shortening the vanity (to same size as today)

    While I was tweaking, I made the shower a bit roomier as the 3 x 5 space did not feel all that roomy in the showroom. Losing weight would help, but thats a differnet topic Earlier point taken re the shower door location - need some sort of 'stop'.

    If this is all logistically doable. we can look at 42" and well as 36" tubs.

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    Last edited by mediaman; 04-17-2013 at 12:59 PM.

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