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Need help designing a small bathroom (4'x8')

6 years ago

I have some un-used spare room in my house (its an old duplex and I live in the front half) that I'm finally getting around to deciding what to do with it. The room is 9' x 8'2.5", and it connects the garage to the rest of the house, so it is currently just a super wide hallway. When I bought the place I figured it would be a no-brainer to just throw a wall up to keep the hallway, and add a bathroom particularly because the only other bathroom is directly behind the 8' side of the room with the toilet and shower on that same wall, and the drain pipe running under this room. Now I'm designing it and it is a little harder than I thought after considering code clearances, costs, and some of the things I was blindly confident I could get.

If I keep the doors and the trim where they are, the hallway would be about 4'5" x 8'2.5", which would leave about 4'7" for the bathroom and the wall (also 8'2.5" long). Here is a quickly drawn sketch of my most recent plan - which still has some problems.

I drew this thinking rounder numbers of a 4x8 bath, but I rounded up on the hallway and suppose the wall won't be 6" thick, even with a pocket door, so my interior usable space of the bathroom is actually going to be just over 4'2" (interior walls will be a bit over 4.5", even with a pocket door, right?).

I've read a lot of stuff about small bathrooms, including this post which was helpful but didn't quite answer everything I'm working on: [[(

I'd like to do this as inexpensively as possible as there are other big projects on my to-do list like updating or moving the kitchen, and some foundation work. So I'll like stuff on the lower end of the price scale, but will still want it to look nice and work.

So I'll be interested in any suggestions that anybody will have for me, and I am particularly interested in ideas about the following:

Bath Tub / Shower Door: The only current bathroom has a shower only and no tub. I hate baths and so will never use a tub for anything other than a shower, but I've been reading a lot that you need at least one tub in the house for resale value in case the next owner has kids. I found this short 4' tub which seems like it would fit ok (although 27 inches wide seems pretty narrow, so I was thinking I'd do something like a step or shelf/ledge in the back to buy an extra few inches of elbow room). I also dislike the look of standard sliding shower doors and would prefer the look of something like this. Since there are so few tubs that come in 4' lengths, It is also hard to find tub doors in that length and I dislike the look of most of them. I think I'm also limited by the fact that the tub is actually only 46.5", so most 48" pivot doors wouldn't work, right? or is there some way to make that work? So I guess the questions are

- Would it be ok to put a shower door on a tub? My ceiling is 8' (i measured in several spots around the room and it actually varies by spot, but is usually actually around 7'11"), The short tub I found is 15" high, so for example that same sliding door I found above would leave only about 3" of clearance before the ceiling. How much clearance would you want between the top of the door and the ceiling?

- Can anybody suggest a better looking door that would fit on the short tub? again, something frameless like above would be preferred, and hopefully without the thick unattractive plate across the top and bottom like these more standard looking doors? (I know I'm being picky and something like that would work fine and might look better than a shower curtain, but why not look for something better if it is out there and not crazy expensive?) I actually kinda like [this one I found here on Houzz, [( I'm not totally sold on the curved, open end door, and again it is a shower height door so the towel bar / handle would probably be too high (fine for me, cause I'm tall, but would it look weird?) and it would leave about 6' or 7' to the ceiling.

- If someone were to actually take a bath in the bathtub I assume it would be better to not have the guide rails for a sliding door running along the top of the tub wall where their arm might rest? So maybe a pivot door is better?

Toilet Placement: I drew the layout above after trying a few different possible layouts including something like this from the other Houzz page which I liked for the vanities on the wall, but not for the door opening into the toilet instead of the vanity, which I think is a better sight. Anyways, I was reading about recommended clearances for toilets and found that my city requires a 24" frontal clearance in front of a toilet before a wall. So with my 4'2" room, I would only have about 26" for the toilet. I was considering turning the toilet to be on the left wall when you enter the bathroom door, closer to that door, which would give it the frontal clearance, but would eat into standing room and waste a bunch of space in that corner that wouldn't be used.

- Every toilet I've seen that isn't wall-mounted has some space between the back of the toilet and the wall. Is there anything wrong with making that a really small gap or is it hard for my plumber to do to get it that precise? How much should I plan for?

- Every toilet I've found has a depth of at least about 27.5", with very few exceptions, and I was hoping for an elongated seat (yea I know, definitely asking for too much), so does anybody have either a layout idea that would accommodate an elongated or even regularly sized toilet, or suggestions for a shallower toilet?

- I feel like the wall-mounted toilets with the tank in the walls could work, but again, I don't love the look, they are all pretty expensive, and I'm pretty sure the placement I have it laid out right now would put the take right at a T junction of two walls on the other side, so there might not be room for a tank right there

- I've seen this one recommended as the shortest depth toilet, but it seems sold out everywhere. And this one was a good recommendation from [this thread[(, but it is right there at 26.25". Close enough? They also mention Niza Pro, but I can't find it anywhere and people say it is awful.

- I've looked at angled toilets that back into a corner, which are supposed to save space. What do you think of a corner/triangular toilet? And more importantly, does anybody know how the same clearances work, coming from a corner? How close could I put the vanity along that same wall? I feel like it would help for the couple inches I need in front, but would make me push the vanity too far toward the shower? Any thoughts/experience on corner toilets would be great.

And finally, Should I / can I just move the doors over a foot, give myself a 3.5' hallway, and a 5' bathroom, enough for a full sized tub, and plenty of clearance for the front of the toilet? Any ideas on what that might cost?

If you've read this far thank you and sorry about my rambling and pickiness, but this project is a lot of time and money for me so I want to make sure I get it right. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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