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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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