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Placement of bathroom French doors

Sarah R
3 years ago

Hi all, we are debating the placement of our bathroom French doors (I know many people don’t like the idea of French doors for a bathroom we love the look/natural light and get up at same time/don’t need privacy of solid doors etc). However, we are debating the location. The architect placed them to be centered on the vaulted ceiling of the bedroom and across from the windows. However this means that they are off center from the bathroom vault and off center on the wall. If they were centered on the bathroom vault you would be able to see the pretty light fixture that will be centered in the bathroom and more of the shower (right now it just looks at a wall, although we could put a mirror up). Anyways should we leave it as is or center the doors on the bathroom vault instead of bedroom vault? Thank you!

Comments (38)

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    (I know many people don’t like the idea of French doors for a bathroom we love the look/natural light and get up at same time/don’t need privacy of solid doors etc).

    So neither of you ever get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night? Even when one of you gets ill?

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  • Cooder Smith
    3 years ago

    you may find the extra wall/floor space by the tub handy unless you are leaning more toward being able to center the fixture with the door. hmm, I'd be torn too. I love the idea of french doors.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Well we have a separate water closet room in the bathroom that has a normal door that could be closed. :)

    That may be true but what happens when the person getting up in the middle of the night turns on the bathroom light? Or will they stumble to the toilet?

  • Sarah R
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    We will probably have a night light but I actual don’t turn on the light at all currently— even walking down the hall to our bathroom in our apt. The light makes it hard for me to fall back asleep so I walk and pee in the dark haha. If we end up absolutely hating the French doors we could switch them out for solid double doors (although I’m hoping we will love them!). But even if they were solid double doors, same question— should they be centered on the bedroom vault or bathroom vault? :)

  • weedyacres
    3 years ago

    I don't turn on the bathroom light when I use the toilet at night.

  • D Davis
    3 years ago

    At first, I was leaning more towards centering the doors on the wall and with the bathroom vault..but the more I think about it, by moving them it increases the length of the wall near the sink, which may make it awkward

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Master vault.

  • roccouple
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    i like the centering as is. it will be nicer from the bedroom and give the bath a little more privacy as the doors are further from the head of the bed. The person at the far side of the bed has a bit less travel to the bathroom too.

    The exterior jog for the linen closet looks strange to me but I’m not an expert. It seems that you have a lot of space there and should be able to avoid the jog. Maybe if the shower and bath were switched?. If you had the bath in the corner it coukd have windows on 2 sides. The linen closet could move up nearer the door or between the bath and shower if the bath was turned ninety degrees.


    even if you change nothing else but shorten the vanity a little for a small linen closet that would be nicer as you could have a window where the linen jog is and then you’d have that great light coming through your glass doors

  • Lisa
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Am I reading this right? The entrance way door to this large, grand master bedroom suite is only 32 inches wide, with a 90 degree turn?

  • bpath
    3 years ago

    Where’s your towel when you step out of the shower?

  • bpath
    3 years ago

    In our house, sometimes one of us (me) stays up watching a movie downstairs while the other goes to bed. I’m glad I can do my evening routine at the sink without disturbing DH too much with the light.

    It seems like you don’t really need the doors at all, just the doorway.

  • vinmarks
    3 years ago

    Will you have to open both doors each time to enter the bathroom?

  • hazelcraddock
    3 years ago

    I've had glass french doors between a living rm and sunrm. They were usually kept open unless we wanted more privacy or quiet. Worked well. In my bedrm. closet ( two 28" doors) I usually don't open both doors at the same time - you need both hands. Your doors will be 24" (total 5 ft). If you're lazy like me you'll end up opening one door and 24" isn't very wide to walk through.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Am I reading this right? The entrance way door to this large, grand master bedroom suite is only 32 inches wide, with a 90 degree turn?

    Hmm, how will you get your bed into the room?

  • PRO
    PPF.
    3 years ago

    How about doing the vault in the red square? As is, its symmetry is broken by the toilet room.


  • PRO
    PPF.
    3 years ago

    The blue rectangle represents a 16x84 mattress. A king size is 76" x 80" so it will go through a normal 6'-8" (80") door.

    Furniture like a dresser will typically go in on its side.



  • Lindsey_CA
    3 years ago

    "Well we have a separate water closet room in the bathroom that has a normal door that could be closed."

    And the toilet backs up to the wall shared with Bedroom 2, so every time you and/or your spouse peep/poop/vomit in the night, whomever is trying to sleep in Bedroom 2 will be grossly disturbed.

  • David Cary
    3 years ago

    I have had a vaulted master bath ceiling. Once. Not a house I built.

    I find your master bath less than perfect and here are my complaints.

    1. As you noted, the view from the bedroom is terrible. When my designer wanted to do double doors, the view was staring at our tub with partial glass shower. Rain shower head and chandelier visible from the bedroom.

    2. Your lack of windows - in the setting of a vault - seems less than ideal.

    3. I would put cans over the shower - ah but the vault makes that difficult

    4. I would put a (code prohibited) chandelier over the tub - ah but the vault might make that weird.

    5. As far as view, people often think straight on but also consider from the typical laying position. You will see a sink..

    6. Towel hanging does not have a spot

    7. The glass enclosure for a shower is expensive - if done right. It is a focal point competing with the tub - only really visible from inside the bathroom at the sink. And they compete with the vault. And it is work to keep clean. And did I mention they are only seen from inside the bathroom?

    Truly architect designed?

  • Sarah R
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thank you all for the feedback! A couple of answers to your questions! The bathroom is half over the garage which is why the only window can be the one over the bathtub— because I was wanting more light is where I got the idea for the French doors. As for the comment about being too tight walking through one of the doors, we have since increased to be set of 2 36 inch doors (forgot to mention that!). I agree with some of the commenters that we will likely leave them open. As for towel bar, there will be one on bathtub side but wasn’t room for shower side so we actually have moved the linen closet over a foot to have room for some hooks. The linen closet appears to jet out in the back but that’s because it’s going into unusable attic/over garage space.
    I do wish we could have a chandelier over the tub but I think it will be have to centered on vault (and this vault is going in in like 2 days so can’t really change that at this point).
    That’s a great point about the toilet noise disturbing bedroom 2– our builder has an option for sound proofing and it’s not too late to add; I think we will add that in!
    The door going into the bedroom is 32 inches (same as all doors upstairs) but the hallway is 42 inches (I attached better picture). We debated about having wide hallway opening but that would reduce significantly my husband’s closet and we decided having the little hallway also felt more private (hopefully a few seconds notice when a kids busts in haha). We can also bring in furniture through the laundry room/my closet if that is too tight!

    Thank you all for the feedback. We will keep the door placement where they are, make sure to have a big pretty mirror on that empty wall to reflect back the light and make the direct on view more attractive, will scoot over the linen closet to allow for hooks for towel next to shower. We also are shortening the WC some. I agree that the view of the sink will be visible from the bed but it will be a very pretty vanity and with all of our drawers I’m hoping we can keep the sink clear! The bathroom isn’t ideal but because of the garage location it was the best we could do— your suggestions were helpful though!

  • millworkman
    3 years ago

    "so I walk and pee in the dark haha"


    Hopefully your husband doesn't and what about the light waking you up when he turns it on?

  • Sarah R
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Hahaha he actually walks down the hall to our current bathroom and pees in the dark too— He sits on the seat. I didn’t realize we were so unusual in not turning the light on at night! But there will be a light and solid door for the toilet room/WC in case either of us change out minds. And can put a night light in the bathroom.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    3 years ago

    In considering where to place the doors to the bathroom, your architect most likely tried to balance form and function. The functional consideration is traffic flow given furniture placement in the room (and it's not too hard to figure out there is only one bed wall.) The form part considers how it will look from each perspective.

    Trust your architect.

  • chicagoans
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    (not a pro and as Charles Ross says, trust your architect or at least ask why he/she made that decision)

    You didn't ask about this, but... since hanging clothes don't turn corners very well, that little jog in the hers closet doesn't add much but complexity. Try mocking up your plan with that wall straightened out so his closet can move up, and you gain a bit of space in the hall bath (maybe shelves for towels and shampoo at the end of the tub.) Then your master entrance can be widened or shifted without diminishing the size of his closet. I realize you'll have to work around the fireplace wall and see how that works, but it might be worth looking at it before you start framing.

    As for your original question, I'd center things on the bedroom vault since I think you'll notice it more from the bedroom. I'd also consider your view from the bedroom to the bathroom, as it doesn't really have a focal point (like a chandy or a tub.) So you might want to consider frosted or seeded glass that would let some light through but preserve privacy and eliminate a view of not much. Finally, if it's natural light you want, have you considered Solatubes (or similar)? My kids' bathrooms don't have windows so we put in Solatubes. They are nicely bright.

  • Mrs Pete
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    (I know many people don’t like the idea of French doors for a bathroom we love the look/natural light and get up at same time/don’t need privacy of solid doors etc).

    I love French doors ... in the right application. Honestly, I don't think the bathroom is the right place for them; however, to answer your question: Yes, if you're going to use them, I'd say center them so that when you enter, the light fixture is "centered" on the doors ... it'll give a nicer look.

    If you're going to go with French doors for the bathroom, I'd also use single French doors for the closets. The three doors would look odd if they didn't match, and the French doors would look nice flanking the fireplace.

    Option: You can have French doors with opaque glass. Or you can put curtains on French doors, which will block some of the view while allowing some light through.

    Still on the subject of doors, three of your doors hinge the wrong direction:

    - The two closet doors require you to go to the corners to open the doors ... it'd be more natural for them to open from the center of the room.

    - The shower door requires you to squish to the back of the shower to enter the space.

    I'm also concerned about 12' ceilings in a bathroom. I fear it'll be cold.

    As for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, I suggest an under-vanity light; this can be as simple as a rope light and an appropriately placed outlet. Something like this -- note that the dark vanity is lighted at the top AND the bottom:


    Consider, too, a separate light over the toilet. You won't NEED it at night, but it would be useful for cleaning ... and once you're elderly you might need more light.

    One of the things I dislike most about my current bedroom is that the bathroom light shines straight onto my side of the bed. Drives me nuts.

    The glass enclosure for a shower is expensive - if done right. It is a focal point competing with the tub - only really visible from inside the bathroom at the sink. And they compete with the vault. And it is work to keep clean. And did I mention they are only seen from inside the bathroom?

    Yes, I'd reconsider the glass altogether ... including the door.

    The linen closet appears to jet out in the back but that’s because it’s going into unusable attic/over garage space.

    Then it could be twice as large! Double your storage for a tiny bit of money. Who doesn't need more storage?

    Consider glass doors for the linen closet. You'd open the French doors, which are centered on the lovely light fixture ... and your straight-ahead sight line is glass doors, which reflect light back.

    Note that you have three doors here in a very small space. Not so attractive.

    We also are shortening the WC some.

    I'd lose it altogether. They're not comfortable to use, and they make cleaning more difficult. The toilet can be neatly tucked away behind a pony wall at the end of the vanity, which is kinda the best of all options.

    I agree that the view of the sink will be visible from the bed but it will be a very pretty vanity and with all of our drawers I’m hoping we can keep the sink clear!

    I don't see a problem with the sink being visible from the bed. As for keeping it clean, the secret is good storage. And easy storage. The easier it is to put things away, the more likely you are to actually do it. And if your vanity is kept clutter-free, it's quick and easy to keep it clean.

  • Lindsey_CA
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Sarah R -- For additional light in the bathroom, at least during the day, have you considered Solatubes?

    Also, for subtle lighting in the night --- check out SnapPower. Even though the homepage shows a single, toggle lightswitch, they do have the rocker type and they have both types for single and double gang switches. The outlet covers are great, too.

  • User
    3 years ago

    I’ve had the double door situation just as your plan shows. I did not like the door so close to where the sink is. I don’t know what size your doors are but it’s usually not comfortable to operate just the one door unless they are a full size door. So if both doors are being used to come and go, that is why being so close to the one sink is just too close if someone is standing there. Also per your plan you do not have one wall besides the bed wall to place any kind of furniture. Just a lot of doors To me

  • lafdr
    3 years ago

    I also walk to the bathroom in the dark, using a window in the toilet area to guide me. That little bit of light makes a huge difference. A skylight also lets in light at night. I would put one or both in the toilet room.


    Our master has one glass frosted door to the bathroom. Then an inner solid toilet area door. Both open in. When I am walking to the toilet at night, I walk into the doorway with my hand out. That way if my husband left the door not wide open, my hand hits the door and pushes it more open, instead of my head or foot hitting the sharp edge of a swing out door that my hand happened to miss :)


    Our bedroom has frosted glass double doors like you are proposing for your bathroom that open in. I walk towards those very cautiously in the dark since it is much easier to misjudge and crash into a door that opens in since you have to catch it at the exact right 2 inch spot to know it is open, than one that opens out.........if it is less open than you thought it was. So my suggestion is to make the double bathroom doors open in for safety. If you enter at night, you will know how open the doors are as you go through them. Also awkward is if one is closed and the other is open. Or if someone besides me put the latch/lock down on one of the french doors and I try to open it as usual and it is stuck. Especially in the dark. Ask me how I know...............


    It is likely your bathroom doors, or door if you change to one, will be open most of the time. So I would make sure the bathroom doors do not block the main path into your bedroom. It seems awkward to be entering a bedroom past the edge of the open bathroom door. The bathroom doors opening in fixes that. Also consider pocket doors if they are going to be mostly open. I like the glass doors! I do not like the 2 doors due to the awkwardness I deal with regularly with my own double doors, even though they are open 95% of the time.


    There is also an issue with the shower and linen closet doors. Move the shower door so both can open and close without bumping each other.


    Of course ignore all comments that do not fit your preferences! Enjoy your build.


    lafdr

  • RES, architect
    3 years ago

    Swinging the doors into the bedroom could be a hazard at night or even during the day. If only one is allowed to swing, they could open into the bathroom. It shouldn't be necessary to open both at once since they're glass. I see no reason to align doors with ceiling features. The doors are fine where they are since the operable leaf would open toward the tub.

  • User
    3 years ago

    If they swing into the bathroom the one door blocks standing at the sink. These are not full width doors so operating only one isn’t necessarily a comfortable option. I’d do pocket doors or a single door. Just a learned preference after living with all of the above

  • bpath
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    If both doors will open, do you need the bedroom outlet to the left of the door? You can’t place furniture there. And to the right of the door, you are limited as to the size of a piece of furniture, due to the door. And why is there an outlet behind the hall door? And, behind “his” closet door? Again, if you put a piece of furniture there, his door will hit it.

    Also, it seems that both closet doors should open into the closets. And, each should be hinged on the other side.

    Why does bedroom 4 get its own bathroom but a wonky closet, while bedroom 3 has to walk down the hall, with a view of the foyer? Give that left-hand bath a hall entry, and give bedroom 4 a completely accessible and light reach-in closet.

    When you step into the shower, will you be instantly under the spray? I don’t know about you, but I like to enter the shower “toes first”, not wetting my head until the rest of me has acclimated, especially if the water temp hasn’t been adjusted quite yet.

  • lizziesma
    3 years ago

    Perhaps compromise with french door look that is half fixed window and half swinging door. This probably has a name? Worked for us in our first home.

  • bpath
    3 years ago

    Or single French door with sidelights?

    Will the closet doors be French doors, too? With frosted glass or a curtain on the inside, that could be a pretty and consistent look.

  • A Fox
    3 years ago

    Ideally with a new bathroom design the towel bars can be placed so that the towels can be grabbed from the shower, but when that isn't possible for one reason or another there are other options. Sarah mentioned planning to put a hook on the wall between the shower door and linen closet door. When we did some work in our existing bathroom we used another option that could work here: we have a towel bar attached to the fixed glass panel next to the glass shower door. The towel bar coordinates with the shower handle. The towel is only there when one is taking a shower. The advantage for you in this case is you could then switch the swing of your shower door and have a more comfortable entrance from the bathroom instead of from the corner against a wall.

  • bpath
    3 years ago

    If the shower door moved to the other end of the shower a bit more, the controlls could be on a bit of sidewall, and they could reach in to turn on the water without getting wet or water on the floor. Yes it would lose a bit of glass, but without disrupting the view. And I still think it needs a light above it.

  • Sarah R
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thank you all so much for your feedback! I have incorporated a lot of your comments into the design. I am going to propose the following changes to the builder (we are mid framing):

    1. Increase French door width to 6 feet. Make the 3 foot door panel closest to sink fixed. Make the functional 3 foot door near tub swing inward. I will have him keep the doors pretty much centered on the bedroom vault but go over one foot longer to accommodate the extra foot (especially since really shouldn’t get closer to sink). This will also make the bathroom seem more balanced I think and the operable door with open to the chandelier in the bathroom. I will also place a large full length mirror on back wall next to linen closet which will reflect light from large bedroom window feature (and hopefully be more attractive than looking at plain wall or side of bathroom door)
    2. Change shower door swing and add a towel bar on door (this is brilliant!). Should the towel bar be on outside of door itself or to the left?
    3. Change WC door to be a pocket door to eliminate the look of so many doors and so don’t have to look at it when open (and we often would probably leave it open so this way it doesn’t block mirror). I will have to ask contractor about this but I suspect he could do pocket door into the open attic space.
    4. I will change the direction and swing of both closet doors and will also ask about cost to upgrade them to French doors (well single door but glass with divided panes— and will do white curtain on back like suggested). Do you think it’s worth it to upgrade linen closet to same door?

    Thank you for all the suggestions!!

  • Nancy in Mich
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I don't know much about how families use master bedrooms with their own baths since I never lived in a house with more than one bathroom until I was married, and I was never able to have children. Soooo, don't children (especially when ill) go into bed in the morning with parents anymore? I remember my brother's boys being in their bedroom many mornings watching TV, cuddling, and talking while their parents got ready for work. Now, if the parents are showering in an adjoining bathroom with glass doors 6 ft wide, how do parents dry off and do their hygiene without being naked at times? Do children of every gender see their parents naked at young ages today as a matter of course? Who would want to have to be careful to cover up in their own bathrooms, if not?

  • A Fox
    3 years ago

    Sarah,


    Our towel bar is on the fixed panel next to the door, outside the shower. That way the door only has to be opened a few inches to grab the towel and not much water drips on the floor. If your door is a pivot door like ours, it may also be able to swing in, then the water drip isn't a problem at all. It was purchased with the glass enclosure so it matches the shower door handle. Depending on your shower head layout, I had a previous shower were there was actually a towel bar in the shower, placed far enough away that the towel wouldn't get wet while showering.