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Laying out the Bathroom Layout

by - Sunday, October 19, 2008

It wasn't exactly a romantic Saturday evening. HandyMan and I spent some time this weekend crammed in the bathroom with tape measure and paper in hand, trying to figure out layout options. Unfortunately, despite having our thinking caps on, we found only two optiions that would work: 1 - keep basically the same layout, and 2 - move the tub to the window wall.

Yesterday, we had a contractor come by to take a look. As the bathroom had been redone within the last 10 years, we all wondered if the original layout was closer to option 2. While visually, moving the tub underneath the window would open up the room and make it seem larger, that option is much more expensive. And with these old houses, you never know what you're going to find behind the walls and floors... did the remodel compromise the integrity of the structure? Did they cut through floor joists and would we have to repair them? That's why, with bathroom renovations, the first question is always this: do you really have to move the fixtures?

Luckily, we found some info to help answer that. HandyMan made a trip over to a few of our neighbours' houses to peek at their bathrooms. It turns out that the layout we have now IS the original layout! That sort of boggles my mind because the layout is poor, awkward, and leaves no room for things like counterspace or storage. Changing the layout though would entail much more costly and invasive renos. So, we're almost 99% sure that we're going to live with the layout we have.

We are making some changes though, so it will still be a pretty extensive reno. Here's what's on the list:
- total demo of the room
- removal of the existing fixtures
- insulation of the two exterior walls
- install a new 54" tub (8 inches longer and 8 inches lower than the current one). This means moving the toilet over a few inches as well
- building a half wall partition between tub and toilet. Have a glass wall on top running to the ceiling.
- new electrical: 2 sconces, a potlight over the tub
- new in-floor heating
- fully tiled shower walls
- tiled floor (with a nice tile carpet design)
- beadboard 2/3 of the way up the other walls
- install door, half wood, half opaque glass

The only question now is do we attempt (by 'we' I mean HandyMan) to do most of this ourselves, or do we get the contractor to do some. Because we still have to reno Baby HandyLuster's (thanks for the name, Shanny!) room after the bathroom, I'm inclined to shorten the timeline by bringing in some professional help. We're thinking the contractor could do demo, plumbing, electrical, and tub install. Everything else (tiling, beadboard, toilet & vanity install, paint) we could do. That makes me a little sad because I do like getting down and dirty in a reno. And the thought that we have to pay someone else to do work we could do ourselves also irks me. But, you make choices.


I guess I'll just preoccupy myself with decorating the space. The look will be modern vintage, in keeping with the rest of the house. Here's a vanity we're considering, to give you a sense of the style :) I can't wait!

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21 comments

  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Your ideas and plans sound marvelous. Your Who Will do the Work conundrum is irksome, but my vote is just have the contractor go for it. You guys deserve a rest, remember? And taking on a bathroom reno is not going to allow for much of that, so treat yourselves by letting the pro help out.

    Keep your inspiration pix and purchase pix coming. Fun!

    jbhat

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  2. Wow, your awkward bathroom layout is identical to mine! I feel your pain... We have the opposite problem, though: a super shallow, cheap tub. I'll trade ya! We're still trying to decide on a layout too. Just curious, how wide is your bathroom??

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  3. Should be gorgeous (and congratulation on your other little project too). We went for option one--doing most of the work ourselves and calling on specialized tradespsople as needed. Although its been rewarding, our bathroom renovation timeline is two years and counting. I really think your instinct to go with a contractor is the right one (so long as you get a good one). I bet you'll have plenty more down and dirty projects to tackle in the future. Best of luck.

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  4. If you can afford (or pinch and stretch pennies and dollars) I would pay someone else to do it ALL and focus on baby handyluster's room.

    LOVE the vanity.

    -Kathleen

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  5. Bring in the help - you guys deserve it! Wow, you guys sure have a lot of work ahead. Take time to relax too!!!

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  6. I'm just as excited for you!

    Congrats on the front page spot on Rate My Space...well deserved!

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  7. Oh you should leave this one up to the pro's you are pregnant , you will need this done sooner rather than later. The advice I have to give is not to go to shallow with the tub depth though, you may need to soak at some point as well as the kids love a deep tubthere is nothing worse than a shallow tub, chilly. Happy medium. I also hate climbing into a tub to shower so I get that . I love the sink , but don't you need counter for all the girl stuff and getting ready , or is there somewhere else you do that ?

    I need to ask what will you do with the glass enclosure , if you would like to donate it , I am a short drive away ;)

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  8. one more thing , don't loose sight that babies aren't babies for long , they are big kids much longer , and even if you won't stay in that house forever , soaker tubs area great selling feature , I have a soaker paid extra for it ,didn't in the kids bath and I am kicking myself 5 years later , my soaker is not nearly as deep as yours but it is plenty deep even for my hubby to soak the pains away .
    Oh and make sure you get a good flat bottom tub , because once those little ones learn to stand in under a year they love to be on their feet in the tub as well.
    Can't wait to see all the progress.
    If y ou need any custom work done I do have a great contact for you , who I trust.

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  9. di - the bathroom is 5'10" x 7". My sympathies on your small bathroom ;)

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  10. jbhat, kristen - I think baby HandyLuster agrees with you. He/she is demanding a lot more rest these days too :)

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  11. s and n - two year bathroom reno :( Ok, that's definitely a vote for getting the contractor to do it!

    kathleen - I would if I could :) But keeping in mind that I'll be taking home less than half my current income in maternity benefits really puts a crimp in spending plans, lol. I love the vanity too :)

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  12. michael - thanks! Love Rate My Space... there's tons of inspiration there.

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  13. chriskauf - the tub I found is 16" deep. Do you think that's adequate? There is another one, 18" deep but I'm having trouble finding it locally. I hear you about designing for kids, not babies. Hopefully, we'll find that 'happy medium' :).

    We're going to try and see if we can use part of the glass enclosure for the partition wall. If not, I'll definitely let you know.

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  14. Love this idea -- install door, half wood, half opaque glass. I'm looking forward to the reno, DIY or not -- onto the nursery dangit! :)

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  15. Ooh, vamh - I forgot to mention that I want to put a decal on the door that says BATH... or get the glass etched (if its cost effective) :)

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  16. Even better -- love that! It would be sassy to have the female/male "people" you know what I mean? Like on a public restroom! Might not be ideal for the long term though, BATH is a much safer idea.

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  17. Love that style of sink!

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  18. Wow, we must have the same taste! I am in the process of making choices for my bathroom remodel and have narrowed down my vanity choices to the Kelston petite vanity and the Empire washbasin shown on your site! I was so excited to see the Kelston in photos outside of the Kohler website, and seeing your preferences made me realize that I definitely have a vision. And other similarities: I've chosen a carrera marble tile for the floor and white subway tiles for the shower surround! I've been debating black or grayish accent tiles so seeing your tile accents helped me to visualize it so much better! Thanks for sharing your photos. They were so helpful to me.

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  19. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Wow, we must have the same taste! I am in the process of making choices for my bathroom remodel and have narrowed down my vanity choices to the Kelston petite vanity and the Empire washbasin shown on your site! I was so excited to see the Kelston in photos outside of the Kohler website, and seeing your preferences made me realize that I definitely have a vision. And other similarities: I've chosen a carrera marble tile for the floor and white subway tiles for the shower surround! I've been debating black or grayish accent tiles so seeing your tile accents helped me to visualize it so much better! Thanks for sharing your photos. They were so helpful to me.

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  20. Great post, like all the tips of bathroom renovation very much, really very informative.

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  21. Shaun Marsh12:51 PM

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    ReplyDelete

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