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Master Bedroom-Bathroom Layout?

9 years ago

I'm trying to come up with a better layout for our horribly dysfunctional master bedroom and bathroom because that project will probably start up in about 2 months. Once we have a layout we'll work on decor but the style we enjoy is very much modern. So far this is what I have and I'm curious about feedback...



Starting from the bottom and working clockwise...
The bathroom has a huge corner tub that never gets used and was pretty cheap/not that great to start out with. I plan on taking that out and reworking the area to take a regular, rectangular one. That will enable us to move the door to the bathroom over and add a hamper, something that we really miss from our last house. The shower is an odd shape because there is no door - it's framed with glass block and to enter you walk around a corner. I'm getting rid of the entire thing and plan on putting in frameless glass. That will allow the vanity to move to the left some, with a 1' gap between the shower and vanity for towel rack(s). At the top right and through a pocket door is a water closet - something else we've really missed from our old house. Behind it is a half bath that will also be rebuilt and change in layout during this project.

The closet is the entire space at the bottom right. I left the doorway facing the bathroom since I could think of no other use for that space, or anything to be gained by moving that wall. I haven't thought about shelving inside the closet and will deal with that later. It'll be something built in and nice though. I would like to find a way to have the washer and dryer in there since the only other option has them in a second, smaller closet that opens to the bedroom.

I still need to make a drawing for the master bedroom but that will also change. Any thoughts, or am I overlooking anything so far?

Comments (18)

  • 9 years ago

    You've still got a fair bit of wasted space in the center.

    I'd take the toilet closet and move it so it's next to the vanity facing down in the drawing. Then extend the closet all the way up to the top wall. Free space! Wahoo! You could fit the washer and dryer in there if you wanted, and it's in line with other plumbing, so should be pretty simple to connect.

    Another option for the toilet would be on the bottom wall, by the hamper. That actually gives you a tad more closet space than the first option, but might pose more plumbing difficulties connecting in to the drain lines.

  • 9 years ago

    Can the door to the closet open into the bedroom rather than the bathroom? If so, I would split the area into to separate rooms.

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    A 28 inch wide pinch point opening into a 48 inch wide corridor to the closet doesn't make sense to me. Move the door to the corner of the room, and design a bed setup which minimizes the width of the nightstands and uses the headboard area for lighting and shelf space. There are lots of creative ideas for eliminating nightstands and this would give you an extra 4 feet of length in the bedroom. Seems a small price to pay for a spacious bedroom! If the desired position for the bed in the master is to the facing the front window, wouldn't that also be the desired position for the bed in the adjoining room? I would eliminate the linen closet and extend the wall dividing the bedrooms all the wall across the hall and put the room door in that wall. Then take the space currently used by the hallway, linen closet and reach in closet and combine that into a large 6'6" x 8' walk in closet with the door facing the room door. That gets you much more storage space and the option of placing the bed on the 8'2" wall. Yes, that is tight spacing for a queen bed, but the added flexibility in placing furniture would be a nice option.
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  • 9 years ago

    At a quick glance and even quicker read of the post, I would put the W/D on a load bearing wall unless you are on concrete. My Miele W/D instruction recommended a load bearing wall. Of course the best for W/D installation is a concrete floor.

    Second, I would have the toilet as nearer to the bedroom for ease of access during the night visits :)

  • 9 years ago

    At a quick glance and even quicker read of the post, I would put the W/D on a load bearing wall unless you are on concrete. My Miele W/D instruction recommended a load bearing wall. Of course the best for W/D installation is a concrete floor.

    Second, I would have the toilet as nearer to the bedroom for ease of access during the night visits :)

  • 9 years ago

    Can you post the layout of the whole floor of the house and indicate which rooms are up for rearranging? You never know when a brilliant idea will strike around here...and they are often ones you would never have thought of!

  • 9 years ago

    If the water closet were close to the bedroom, wouldn't noise from flushing be more easily heard?

    If it helps any, it's easy to get our style from the before/after thread of the kitchen/family room/formal living/entry hall I completed this month. The master bedroom and bathroom are in the 2003 addition of the house so we are going "now" modern instead of midcentury modern. Like the last project this will be another DIY adventure.

    Before-After Thread

    @weedyacres - interesting idea, however windows may make that a bit difficult. There is one running above the current vanity and part of it would end up inside a wall if the toilet were to become adjacent to the new vanity. I have no spare bricks so modifying it would be difficult. Also there is another window near the vanity in the half bath (sill is 3-4' from the floor, made from textured glass) that I need to draw in the picture. If it were in a closet I would not be able to hang anything high along that wall. I need to play around in the drawing with some boxes the size of the washer and dryer to see what could be done with the space.

    @dekeoboe - all things are possible, and this is something we talked about earlier and liked. One of our ideas was to have a sliding track door to the closet with bedroom access. However, would there be a storage penalty to pay? I'm not sure how useful the long wall would have been anyway. In our 3D model there is already a closet (not walk in) about 6' wide so dividing this one would make three closets. On the other hand an island or seat in the closet would be REALLY cool if we could pull it off...

    @enduring - Loading will not be an issue. It's a bit of a story... joists in the addition are overspanned beyond table limits and they have already permanently deflected in the middle. They were also not fastened to the center beam and sill correctly so I will need to remove and replace all of them. It's not such a big deal - I've already reworked this issue in other parts of the house. Doubles go in along with a beam running underneath the center of the span. It feels strong like concrete afterwords. :)

    @williamsem - I will work on it after I get home from work. It takes me a long time to take a 3D Sketchup drawing and convert it into something 2D with dimensions. Things make a lot more sense given the content as a whole.

    I'll be back with a few other sketches either later today or tomorrow.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm still not sure if I want to take the glass all the way to the ceiling or not. There will be a vent fan in the shower area though, that much I'm sure about.

    We worked hard on the layout today after talking about everything that was suggested so far and measuring a few things. Here's an overhead view of the master bathroom area without dimensions. For reference though, the vanity is drawn in at 7' but we may scale it down to 6' depending on clearance to access the door to the water closet. It's looking like we'll be forced to have a pocket door in that location but we're ok with it. The door to the closet is shown on some of the other drawings and it's 30", swinging into the bathroom. I had to bump walls around some to make the washer and dryer fit in there but I think we have a good spot to bring them in from the garage into. We're still debating about the hamper and built in closet shelving. Both sides are about 2.5' wide when the space is split 50/50.


    View of the entire area...

    Bedroom overhead with furniture. The second bedroom closet is visible here. The one opening into the family room is for electronics and the media center PC.

    And an overhead view of this part of the house.

  • 9 years ago

    I had to bump walls around some to make the washer and dryer fit in there but I think we have a good spot to bring them in from the garage into.

    Am I understanding this correctly - there is one washer and dryer in the house and to access them you have to go through the master bedroom, into the master bathroom and then through the master closet? How many bedrooms in this house?

  • 9 years ago

    Right now the washer and dryer are in the garage - the diagonal opposite corner of the house. We have 4 bedrooms / 3,300 sq ft / 1 story. It's a long hike to get there and it's a bit complicated, but because of the layout the dryer is unable to be vented correctly so its performance suffers. Due to the location the water lines and drain also have issues.

    The other three bedrooms are in the original part of the house. To get to / from the master you have to walk through the family room and through a short hall. When they built the addition previous owners made a doorway and hall that connect the master bedroom to the others, but it cost a bedroom its closet and 18" along one wall, a bathroom hamper, and hall closet. I will be undoing all of this since entry to the master bedroom is now through the family room. There is not enough room to put the washer/dryer there without eliminating an entire bedroom or the full bath for that area, and living spaces and the kitchen are off to the right side of the drawing. Over there I would run into drain and utility issues because of elevation, and the long walk again.

    This is why we felt that moving the W/D to the closet in the master bedroom offered the most gain. The utility and vent problems are gone, it's much more convenient for us to use, and hauling laundry from the other bedrooms is not ideal but still a shorter distance from what it is now.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm still not feeling it. I don't like the "skinny hallway" feel of first walking into the room, and the wasted space in front of the vanity and the walkway to the toilet room. I don't think you've solved your dysfunction problems. It still seems awkward.

    I was attempting to draw something up from scratch to look at a few options, and found my self unable to put things together from your drawings above. Can you post a layout drawing of the bare room, showing the size of the available rectangle and the size and location of the windows?

    Also, are there limitations on what you can do with plumbing? Are you on a crawl space/basement or a slab?

    Here's an example of a better use of the space if you can start from scratch (huge closet! instead of dead bathroom space):

    This post was edited by weedyacres on Fri, Jan 2, 15 at 14:24

  • 9 years ago

    Or swap the tub and toilet:

  • 9 years ago

    Here's how I would do it if it were my house (along with my priorities, lifestyle, etc.. that may not be the same for you).

    If you don't already use the corner tub, you probably won't use a tub much anyway which makes it wasted space and more stuff to keep clean. Double vanities are another thing that I think can be a waste, one more thing to clean, one more plumbing fixture to go wrong, etc... So those things are gone. It's rare for my wife and I to both need absolute simultaneous access to the sink, and we like bumping into each other anyway.

    I'd want to make use of the window light and not waste all that good sunshine. So how about a big luxurious shower with natural light, and glass wall to share the light with the rest of the room.

    I would prefer having laundry in it's own room, with good storage for household things, accessible to everybody. And it's on an outside wall, easy to vent.

    I like having a closet that is accessible when someone is occupying the bathroom. The closet is big enough you could even have a bench or something in there and make it a nice place to get dressed. The linen closet is sort of an afterthought, but it is nice to have a place for bed sheets, towels, etc...

    If you can manage it, wheelchair accessibility is a great thing to have, you never know when you or someone you love might need it. In your original idea, imagine trying to get to the toilet if you were in a wheelchair, trying to get around the vanity and to the end of the toilet closet.

    Anyway, this is a pretty big departure from the things you were trying to include, but I just thought I'd throw this out there. I used your original dimensions and scaled as best as I could.

  • 9 years ago

    I agree to have the laundry where everyone has access to it without going through your bedroom. Unless you'll have 2 sets of W/D, the original placement and the new placement in your bedroom.

  • 9 years ago

    Lots of things to think about...

    I'm at work today so it'll be a while before I can go add location and sizes of windows. Our house has a taller crawlspace than our only near neighbor does (behind our place in the direction of the existing vanity). Their windows face our bathroom.

    Next to the current bathtub though, there is a large window (neighbors on that side are far). Looks like I forgot to draw that one in earlier. Our place has a very open feel to it, at about 3,300 sq ft. It's made of brick and there aren't any extras so I'm really reluctant to delete any windows. I've moved plenty of plumbing around before so that's no big deal.

    Lifestyle factors... We are in our late 20s/early 30s - 3rd house for me, 2nd house for her. No plans of moving any more; this one is for us. Things that are used often are a tub, standalone shower, toilet in a water closet and a double vanity (basically we use it all). We've missed having a built in hamper and linen/other storage in the bathroom since the day we moved here. Typical med cabinets have never been useful, but vanity storage for makeup, straighteners/curlers/dryers, bottles, ... is very important to us. Rebuilding the kitchen taught us just how much we like drawers. We currently have 15 linear feet of hanging space but use about 2/3 of it since things that are not being used normally go away pretty quickly. Maybe that's why we seem to favor the bathroom side a bit over the closet.

    The wall between the master bedroom and bathroom + around the perimeter are very immovable objects BTW. However, it would be easy enough to add a door between the family room and area where the washer and dryer are. It would be the kind of thing that would normally be closed, but if open there wouldn't be anything closet-related showing.

    This post was edited by schicksal on Sat, Jan 3, 15 at 10:44

  • 9 years ago

    I forgot one thing - the washer and dryer do fit in the smaller closet adjacent to the master bedroom. Walking in to the bedroom the doorway is just off to the left. Maybe it would be a better idea to have them there because it would be more convenient access from all locations, and it would free up space in the larger master closet? Taking into account deductions for elbows the duct length still falls within IRC limitations.

    This post was edited by schicksal on Sat, Jan 3, 15 at 11:28

  • 9 years ago

    A couple other thoughts:
    - Make sure you use big enough doors to get a full size washer and dryer in there. Probably 2'-10" minimum, 3'-0" would be better. That's on all the doors you need to bring an appliance in from outside, you'd be surprised how many folks miss that.
    - The toilet water closet seems like a waste of space the way it's laid out at the end of the vanity like that. That's a lot of valuable wall and floor space to use up just for the toilet.
    - Getting the washer/dryer on the outside wall would be a big plus if you can do it. Dryer venting gets a lot less efficient the more overall distance and number of bends you add to it. Do you really want to have the washer/dryer in the closet or do you just want to get it out of the garage?

  • 9 years ago

    I guess a big part of why we picked that location for the water closet was because there was already a window in there (room would not be dark) and because there is enough adjacent wall for a pocket door to travel into. Also because the plumbing could not be heard if the toilet is flushed at night. It's not exactly set in stone though since this wall does not currently exist and we aren't married to any drawings we've come up with thus far.

    Relocating the washer and dryer is a long answer. When I put in the doorway to the master bedroom I made sure to buy a door big enough for the washer and dryer to fit through. They absolutely must move out of the garage. As-is the dryer vents through over 20' of flex duct with two 45 degree bends and a 90. The washer drain and water lines run underneath the floor of the dining room which was originally on a slab, but was raised up about 1' to provide a space to run them. Think of it as a small, completely inaccessible crawlspace. Because of the height the drain angle could not be set correctly and the water lines have also had issues before we bought the house. Also, any maintenance or repair requires destroying the dining room floor.

    Other exterior walls are all taken up by bedrooms and the living and family rooms.

    If I put them in the small closet immediately off the master bedroom I'm looking at a straight shot, 16' of vent through the crawlspace. It's a very tough problem to figure out... I'm including a sketch that shows where the other bathroom window is though. It makes relocating other things or using the area as non-bathroom space very difficult.

    This whole part of the house has been very hard to figure out how to make functional. We don't know what the previous owners were thinking when they designed the addition. I'm normally not a difficult person but trying to piece together a better layout has been very frustrating.

    edit: Tomorrow I will play with the layout a little more... there may be a way to move the W/D over towards the window to the right of the vanity. Not sure where I would put the water closet but we'll see...

    This post was edited by schicksal on Sat, Jan 3, 15 at 22:03

  • 9 years ago

    I like Weedy's idea of maximizing the space.
    It is hard to tell if my measurements are correct or where windows are located and how big they are.
    The top plan keeps your toilet room under the window. You have a dedicated laundry room you enter from the half bath if you have room, or take a corner out of your closet for an entry to the laundry from the family room.
    The second plan would involve splitting the window to share with the toilet room and closet. I've seen it done and it would not be noticeable upon entering the bathroom. You would have to put the door into the laundry room from the family room. We had a hamper in our last house in the bathroom and I really liked it. We actually have a better solution now that we have a larger walk in closet. The shelves are 14 inches deep and I bought two very nice laundry baskets (white plastic basket weave) that fit on the shelves. The basket is easy to carry to the laundry room.
    For the walk in closet I would do a double stacked hanging space on the shared wall with the W/D and a single rod under the window for long clothes. The end of the closet with the larger window could be shelves with the basket hampers.
    It seems as if washers and dryers are bigger than ever, so be sure you allow enough room for them. If there is some way to stack them, you might be able to put in shelves with hanging
    space. The laundry space is just as important as the bathroom.

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