Author Topic: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?  (Read 22569 times)

justajane

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If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« on: September 23, 2015, 10:41:34 AM »
We are having to completely gut our upstairs bathroom, because all the original almost 100 year old plumbing running through the floor and walls has to go. So we get to start from scratch! I am trying to be Mustachian, but in my mind, sometimes the Mustachian choice is not always the cheapest choice. For instance, despite the moaning and groaning of the plumbers and contractors we are interviewing, I am going to put in a cast iron tub instead of a steel or acrylic one. It only costs about 20-30% more; yet it is likely to last decades more. If I care for it right and don't drop something heavy on it, it will probably outlast me. To me it doesn't make sense to go with a cheaper or lighter material. I also bought unglazed hexagon tile in a neutral color for the floor because that can last for 100 years. My goal is to have a bathroom that I don't have to remodel ever again.

So, if you were to gut one of your bathrooms, what would you choose for layout, design, materials, etc.? I welcome dream bathroom ideas, as well as more Mustachian suggestions.  For those who have remodeled before, I would love your experiences. I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of yet.

Thanks in advance.

MissStache

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 10:52:50 AM »
If I could do one thing in a bathroom I'd put in radiant heat in the floors. I know it sounds unmustachian, but I lived in a home with heated bathroom floors in Massachusetts, and it was so wonderful on cold mornings to go in there.  It actually allowed us to keep the thermostat significantly lower, because you could go straight from your warm bed to the warm bathroom.  We'd actually hang our clothes in there at night so we could get dressed in the bathroom and never have to wander around the rest of the house in jammies.  Once you're up and dressed, and chilly house doesn't seem so bad.

IIRC, there were slate tiles in the bathroom floors, which may have helped them hold in heat?  Not sure about that, but they were definitely beautiful. 

+1 on the cast iron tub- lovely, durable, and kept the water warm for a hell of a lot longer than fiberglass!

MayDay

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 10:54:52 AM »
-Neutral tile floor, neutral tile tub surround (actually I totally dig the plastic ones for ease of cleaning, my point is more to pick beige, gray, or white WITH NO ACCENT TILE PLEASE GOD).

-place on the shower walls to hold soap, shampoo, and conditioner.  Think about what size bottles you use- we have big ones from Costco- they don't fit in the built in shelves in our shower!

-Enough space behind the bathroom faucet that you can clean behind it.

-Big enough counter that you have a place for stuff like setting your contact case while you put them in and out.  Not a pedestal sink, in other words.

-I personally love the vanities with big drawers instead of cupboards.  Much easier to find stuff and stay organized.

-No empty space under vanity, like some of the currently trendy ones.  It should go to the floor so you don't have to clean under it. 

-I would get a granite or quartz countertop with an undermount sink, personally. Easy to clean.  I love undermount sinks.  Heck I really don't care what the counter material is as long as its either a molded sink or an undermount.

-Nice big medicine cabinet that is sunk into the wall- not the kind you hang straight on the wall. 

Nate R

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 11:08:33 AM »
Use a quality shower/tub valve/mixer as well, so it will last and be repairable.

I'm with you on the Cast Iron tub. Our 1921 clawfoot tub is still kicking. I doubt the acrylic one i put in our last house will be around in 30 years.

Sounds like you're on the right track!

Mrs. PoP

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 11:48:32 AM »
In an upstairs bath, you may want to make sure the floor can handle the extra weight for the tub you want.  I would want someone with structural knowledge to make sure that your floor won't sag or anything since cast iron weighs significantly more than other bath options. 

How much of this are you going to be DIY-ing? 

We're redoing our kitchen now, but are accumulating ideas for the bathrooms which will happen in a few years.  Based on that, here are some of the thoughts we've banked to remember for our bathrooms: 
- Soundproof it as well as possible.  No explanation needed, I think.
- Make the ventilation system robust (not just for smells, but moisture).  Quiet, and automated would be huge pluses, too. 
- Get natural light into the bathroom, adding windows or tube lighting if necessary.  If not possible, have lighting that you can have at several points (right in front of mirrors, overhead, possibly over tub depending how big the room is and how high your shower curtain will hang).
-Built-ins are amazing to hold clean linens, etc.  Bonus for somewhere in the room to drop dirty laundry.  Also remember to include lots of space for hanging towels to dry/re-use. 

Lots of thoughts on flooring:
- Install flooring underneath any "built in" furniture, including sinks/cabinetry.  A leak may require you to replace a sink/vanity down the road, and having flooring under it will make the replacement much easier (since you don't have to match old/outdated size specs exactly. 
- Unglazed tile is likely going to need to be sealed (and resealed over the years depending), so be prepared for that maintenance. 
- For grout, there are "stain resistant" grouts, but I don't know how well that stain resistance really lasts with a light grout in a bathroom setting.  I'd highly consider a dark grout due to the moisture/dirt that will be present in there unless you want to go nuts keeping a light grout clean.
- For tile, look very carefully into the water absorption rates of the tile (you want this to be LOW, which porcelain should be - ceramic will be higher), you'll also want a decent coefficient of friction (dry and especially wet) to prevent slipping.  Texture in the tile's surface (rather than smooth) generally helps prevent slipping, though small tiles (ie a higher proportion of grout) should also help with that.  Also consider the PEI rating and MOHS rating of the tile which will tell you how quickly the tile will show wear (ie the top finish layer wearing through).  We went with PEI 5, MOHS 7 (basically commercial grade) for our tile.  Consider full-body porcelain tile where the color goes all the way through if you really want it to last 100 years...
- Is your house done settling?  If not, you'll likely want underlayment between the subfloor and the tile so you don't get cracks as the subfloor shifts over time.
- Buy enough tile to keep a good amount of "attic stock" to be able to replace broken tiles or anything you need to remove for unexpected issues in the future. 

Depending on space...
- Do you have enough space for a separate bath and shower?  For me, that'd be the ultimate luxury.
- Same goes for double-sinks.
- My dream bathroom is actually two rooms.  One that is just a water closet (toilet/sink - for the dirty stuff) and the other a bathing/grooming room (bath/shower/sink/vanity - for the clean stuff).  Sadly, space in our house precludes this option.   



bogart

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 12:08:55 PM »
Ha -- my big obsession is accessibility, so I'm afraid you lost me at "... upstairs ..."  If I could make one change to either of our bathrooms, it would be to make it accessible to someone in a wheelchair.  I guess second one (given that truly accessible is already out of the question due to this being an upstairs bathroom) would be to add appropriate grab bars, etc.

I'm also a fan of natural lighting and solatubes, but it doesn't sound like you necessarily need to redo the roof so that may be out.

I like to minimize the extent to which things need to be cleaned and/or to which they show dirt.

nereo

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 12:13:17 PM »
MIssStache beat me to it - radiant heat floors.  They feel great, dry fast, are efficient and keep floor mats and towels from molding.
I missed a golden opportunity to install them too.  (facepalm).


bacchi

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 12:16:04 PM »
- Yes, yes, yes, on dark grout. Oh, man, it would make cleaning so much easier.
- I wished our bathroom had more natural light (=solar tubes).
- Porcelain, not ceramic.
- Kerdi, not hardi or liquid.


Gone Fishing

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 12:21:22 PM »
+1 for natural lighting.  Also consider mildew resistant grout (keeping it dark vs white helps, too) and paint if you are not too much against the required chemicals. Can't confirm that we have it, but the bathroom walls and ceiling in our current house get absolutely zero mildew, despite never running the vent fan after showers.     

Mikila

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 12:41:26 PM »
I second the recommendations of a window and good ventilation.  Just the window itself will save you needing to turn on the light.  It is also free ventilation a good chunk of the year.

justajane

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 01:26:33 PM »
I'm loving all the suggestions! Keep them coming. The floor is being gutted to the joists. I'll ask about radiant flooring and what it would add. The contractor also mentioned the option of waterproofing the entire bathroom, since it's on the second floor. I guess this is some new material that will protect our first floor ceilings from damage.

It's only about 50 sq. feet. In other words, a tiny full bath. We have two closets on both sides of the bathroom, but IMO more closet space in a period home is more important than a larger bathroom. We have the best closet space of any of our neighbors (who all have 1920s homes), and I don't want to change that.

I've thought about just doing a shower but had concerns about durability. You can buy cast iron shower bases, but they cost a fortune! Plus you have to tile more. I calculated that it would cost us about 1K more to do a shower the way I want it done. I just don't think the surround showers of today will last more than 10-20 years. Our friends just bought a 1950s home with original bathrooms with cast iron tubs, porcelain tile on the floors and walls, and it still looks good. I doubt one could say that about any fiberglass solution.

If this were our main floor bath, I would do just a shower in a heartbeat, since we plan to stay in the house for the duration and would appreciate a walk-in shower when we are older. But I figure if I can't step over a low profile tub to shower, I also won't be climbing the stairs, so.....

We are not doing any of the work ourselves. Well, we will likely paint and refinish the door ourselves. Otherwise, we just don't have the time with three kids under 8, especially factoring in the fact that this bathroom is right where our bedrooms are and we would like to have it ASAP for nighttime bathroom needs.

Ventilation will be a challenge. There is currently no vent - just the original window. We could put a vent, but it would be hard and expensive, since they would have to run it through our crawlspace that currently has two feet of blown insulation in it. Egad! I never even thought about the fact that the radiant flooring would help with drying the place out. If it breaks, though, how do you repair it without ripping the tile floor up?

We have a solatube in our kitchen already. I love it, but we would have the same issue with the crawl space and the insulation.

We already bought the tile. It was expensive, but I'm a big fan of unglazed hexagon. We put it in our other new bathroom in white, but this will be the bathroom for my three boys, so I thought gray was a more sensible choice.

Astatine

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2015, 01:36:35 PM »
Lots of storage! At the very least, a shaving cabinet above the sink and a vanity including some drawers.

Good ventilation is essential. Regarding bath tubs I am adamant we will stick with a low sided tub because of accessibility. You don't need to be elderly to require accessibility, even temporary stuff like an injured knee makes the high sided tub impossible.

Britan

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 01:42:43 PM »
Nothing.

My bathroom is tiny (maybe 8x8?) but it's more luxurious than I ever could have ever dreamed up. And I grew up in a super spendy pants house (think 7 figures).

The shower walls are granite, though if I owned this place, I guess I'd re-seal that because it is staining from the water. The shower head has a detachable arm I can use to wash my puppy. And also use to feel like I'm in a luxury shower. I don't know why but that fancy shower head makes me so much more happy than is reasonable. :)

If you're putting in any granite, I'd just suggest making sure it's sealed well. Our counter top gets dark circle water stains under the soap dispenser (where water pools) that I think are unsightly. They may become permanent over time too? Not sure, but that seems like it would be a shame with the price of granite being what it is...

I guess if I could change anything, it's that the faucets for the sink are both on the right side of the sink and it confuses guests. So maybe make sure you don't do anything funky with the plumbing? :)

runnerbee17

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 01:45:54 PM »
Mustachian:
I acquired a free mirror that I'm having cut down to fit inside a frame I got for a $1. Now have to find or make some small shelves to go next to it because it's a LITTLE too small for the wall. And it'll give me a place to hang necklaces / keep washcloths / stage it with flowers and other pretty bits when we sell it to distract from the fugly countertop. 

Slightly dreaming:
Deeper. Tub. So frustrating to have bits sticking above the water on the occasional bath.

Also, faucets that weren't so close to the back of the sink that your knuckles bump into it every time you wash your hands.

Totally dreaming:
I'd have a soaking tub I could sit mostly upright in instead of the super long shallow one I have, rearrange the fixtures, and move the wall to give all the wasted floor space that's in there to my husband's home office.

dcheesi

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2015, 01:47:13 PM »
A couple of people mentioned natural light. My current upstairs bathroom has it in a form I never would have thought of --a skylight! Tons of natural light without the need for curtains/shades for privacy. During the day I don't even have to turn on the lights at all, which also makes it great for power outages.

When I first saw it I thought it was crazy, but it has worked out wonderfully. I'm sure I'll miss it when I move...

SomedayStache

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2015, 01:50:54 PM »
Its in our five year plan to redo our bath.

I want a deeper tub so that I can get something higher than my waist wet while soaking, but due to space constraints this needs to have the same footprint as a regular ol' tub.  I realize this might be difficult as we age - but the second bathroom is more accessible anyway.

There are SolaTubes meant for bathrooms that have a powered vent included.  It sounds like you have some crawlspace issues (I always thought a crawlspace referred to the area under the floor - but I must assume in this situation you are referring to your attic space?) but the vented SolaTube might still be worthwhile for you as it would provide light and vent in one.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2015, 01:52:33 PM »
Why can't you vent through the wall?

justajane

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2015, 02:10:37 PM »
There are SolaTubes meant for bathrooms that have a powered vent included.  It sounds like you have some crawlspace issues (I always thought a crawlspace referred to the area under the floor - but I must assume in this situation you are referring to your attic space?) but the vented SolaTube might still be worthwhile for you as it would provide light and vent in one.

Haha. You're totally right. It's an attic. How does one refer to an attic that is like a crawlspace? Our current access point (which we installed, no access beforehand) is so small only a child or very tiny adult could get through. They blew in the insulation that way. It has made our upstairs about 5 degrees warmer in the winter...that is, until we put solar panels on the roof, which brought the temp back down in the winter but also in the summer on the plus side.

Why can't you vent through the wall?

That's a thought. It's a brick home, though. The plumber today made it sound like the only way to do a plumbing vent would be through the roof. I just assumed an air vent would be the same way.

Easye418

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2015, 02:22:16 PM »
As a male, a big fucking toilet with a high power flusher.  Annoying in multiple ways when they are small.  Damn you tiny toilet!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 02:23:57 PM by Easye418 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2015, 02:25:42 PM »
Elongated toilets are much more pleasant to use...

ncornilsen

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2015, 02:35:18 PM »
I'd shift my toilet over about 6 inches, so there would be room for the litter box. I built the darned thing with a 44 inch wide toilet stall area, but centered the toilet. So it's nice and wide, but the space is about useless!

Oh, and I would have selected a more durable tile for the floor. 2 years in, and it's beginning to show some wear already.

Easye418

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2015, 02:43:19 PM »
Elongated toilets are much more pleasant to use...

Agreed.  This is what I meant to say.

sol

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2015, 02:51:45 PM »
I'd raise the counter level.  Why is everything built for short people?

I'd do undermount sinks, and faucets with no crevices to clean.  I want something that can be wiped down simply without having to get out the qtips.  Our current faucets have two handles and a spigot and they are too close together to clean easily.

I'd replace all of the towel bars with something rated for body weight.  Not only do regular towel bars always seem to come lose eventually anyway, I know several (older) people who have fallen and been seriously injured after grabbing on to towel bars that ripped out of the wall.  That seems like an underappreciated safety hazard in most homes.

Zaga

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2015, 03:04:23 PM »
We got the tall elongated toilets in our 2 regular sized bathrooms, DH loves them, my feet don't touch the floor, but I deal with it.

If I could change anything?  Well right now we have double sinks but one of them is broken, not loving that.  I'd be perfectly happy with just one sink and more counter space actually.  Also we have a huge rust spot on the cast iron tub.  I don't want to replace the tub but I'd love to fix that!  It's from several years (before we lived here) of a leaking faucet.  I'd also want a hook just outside the tub/shower to hang a towel, so that I could have one waiting but not crumpled on the floor for when I get out.

Things that I love that we have?  Frosted window for privacy, despite living on a private lot I like this.  Good exhaust fan with a timer.  I can't stress enough how nice having a fan timer is!  DH uses it to remind him when his shower is done, and it's great for smells too.  Huge mirror that covers the wall above the sink.  Great for both tall and short people.  Built in step stools for when little kids visit, they pull out from the toe kick under the sink, and even have hidden compartments.  I keep extra floor tiles in them.  Also, even if you don't need them, having handicapped grab bars by the toilet and in the shower is nice even for able bodied people.

Chranstronaut

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2015, 03:22:11 PM »
We're also looking to completely redo our bathroom in the next year or so.  Weíve currently got a tiny 1-person shower stall shoved into a corner which frees up a ton of floor space.  Seeing as we have not yet held a dance marathon or javelin toss with our extra space, we feel itís time to downsize.  One wall is shared with the kitchen, so we plan to optimize the space to increase counter space in the kitchen and decrease inefficient use of bathroom space.

My mandatory checklist:
1)   A shower large enough for two people ;)
2)   A counter with enough space to set hair and make-up items while in-use, but not enough space to leave them there all the time.
3)   Plenty of shelving to store said hair and make-up items when not in use
4)   A floor/tub/sink that is easy to clean (no excessive grouting, nothing too porous, etc)
5)   Enough room around toilet that all sitting and standing positions are accommodated for persons between 5' and 6'

Extras checklist:
1)   Extra wide tub/shower curtain
2)   Toilet with a bowl shape that doesnít splash pee back up onto the rim/seat
3)   Heated floor tiles for Michigan winter
4)   Quieter more efficient fan

Iíve never done any home decorating so color palettes/themes/accent items havenít even entered my mind yet -- I'm all ears for that stuff!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2015, 03:24:32 PM »
I just wish we had a fan =( As it stands, we have to open the door and run a dehumidifier immediately outside the door for a while (no room in the bathroom for the unit...).

Jellyfish

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2015, 03:37:16 PM »
I love that in my downstairs bath (that my son uses) the wall surrounding the toilet is tiled halfway up.  It cost more to do since tile is more expensive than drywall but when he "misses" all it takes is a wet wipe and it's clean.  LOVE it. 

For my dream bathroom I would love a reading light for the tub.  The bathtub is my favorite place to read and I wish I didn't have to have the harsh big overhead light on to do so.  Didn't happen, but in a dream world a soaking tub w/ reading light would be perfect...

Gray Matter

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2015, 03:45:40 PM »
I echo the radiant floor heat sentiment.  I'm not a "luxury" gal at all--don't even need things like, oh, say closets in the master bedroom, or floors that are on an even plane, or such things.  But when we redid our bathrooms a few years ago, we put in radiant floor heat and it's magical on those winter mornings.  Actually allows us to keep the house colder (turn heat down to 58 at night and leave it there while we're gone all day), because the bathrooms are warmer.

Other than that, I would definitely pay more for quality materials that will last (like the cast iron tub) as long as they are classics.  We used marble basket-weave on the floor and white subway on the walls one bathroom, and white hexagon on the floor and wainscoting on the walls in the other, and these bathrooms look like they are original to the house, which will stand the test of time much better than a trendy bathroom.  Sink/tub/shower fixtures and wall color are easy to change out as long as the other stuff is classic.

Lookilu

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2015, 03:46:30 PM »
-Neutral tile floor, neutral tile tub surround (actually I totally dig the plastic ones for ease of cleaning, my point is more to pick beige, gray, or white WITH NO ACCENT TILE PLEASE GOD).

-place on the shower walls to hold soap, shampoo, and conditioner.  Think about what size bottles you use- we have big ones from Costco- they don't fit in the built in shelves in our shower!

-Enough space behind the bathroom faucet that you can clean behind it.

-Big enough counter that you have a place for stuff like setting your contact case while you put them in and out.  Not a pedestal sink, in other words.

-I personally love the vanities with big drawers instead of cupboards.  Much easier to find stuff and stay organized.

-No empty space under vanity, like some of the currently trendy ones.  It should go to the floor so you don't have to clean under it. 

-I would get a granite or quartz countertop with an undermount sink, personally. Easy to clean.  I love undermount sinks.  Heck I really don't care what the counter material is as long as its either a molded sink or an undermount.

-Nice big medicine cabinet that is sunk into the wall- not the kind you hang straight on the wall.

+1 to all of these suggestions, and I'll also add: a concealed trapway toilet. Faster, easier cleaning is a plus!

FatCat

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2015, 03:54:02 PM »
A lot of bathrooms set up the sink/vanity so that there so that there is a tight space that's big enough for things to fall into, but narrow enough that you can't quite retrieve them or clean the space there. While redoing one bathroom in an apartment we found about 10 lost toothbrushes that had fallen into such a space. Don't make spaces for things to fall and get lost in. Don't have big areas under the vanity that will need to be cleaned but are also hard to clean. Oh and grout sucks unless you do it right, and most of the time it's not done right.

Basically I hate scrubbing but I also hate dirty bathrooms. I would design with ease of cleaning in mind.

And like someone else said, towel bars should be strong enough to hold someone's body weight while they sit and stand. Older people keep grabbing them to use them like that's what they're for. I've used them this way too when I've been injured. But mine were built very sturdy.

justajane

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2015, 03:58:32 PM »
+1 to all of these suggestions, and I'll also add: a concealed trapway toilet. Faster, easier cleaning is a plus!

I'm so glad you said this. We bought a Toto Promenade for our downstairs period bathroom. It is beautiful but a royal pain in the ass to clean. I'm leaning towards a one piece Toto Drake with a concealed trapway - period design be damned. Also, we did a chair rail top on our subway tile on the walls in the other bathroom. It is a complete dust trap. I'll be doing something much more simple in the upstairs bath.

Another thing we learned today is to save our high flow toilet in that bathroom for an eventual basement bathroom we plan to put in. For self-explanatory reasons, basement toilets do better with more than the currently allowed 1.6 gallons. I was going to get rid of the who-knows-how-many-gallons toilet, but it makes sense to save it for later. We don't live in a drought prone area.

I'd raise the counter level.  Why is everything built for short people?

We actually replaced a higher vanity with a short-person vanity in that bathroom. This was to accommodate the children. To save money, we are going to reuse this vanity in the remodel, and since the kids are younger, it works out quite well. By the time they are tall teenagers, we might change to something taller. I personally like pedestals. They usually allow for a free-standing storage shelf next to the pedestal.

But our electrical in that room is wack. The light switch is five feet up, which is way higher than most switches. I'm afraid that when we pull permits for the plumbing that we are also going to be forced to bring a couple of other electrical things up to code. At least that is what a contractor said yesterday. This would included hard wiring ALL smoke detectors in the home. I'm all for safety, but that seems extreme in these older homes. We have detectors everywhere that you should, but they are just battery operated.

Gerard

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2015, 07:13:18 PM »
I would settle for it being heated.

Goldielocks

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2015, 07:19:03 PM »
Epoxy grout. I hate scrubbing grout and 5 years in our epoxy laughs at grime. As easy to keep clean as the tile itself.

teen persuasion

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2015, 09:20:22 PM »
So many good ideas, some I've thought of, some I need to plan for when we redo out bathrooms.

My first change will be adding a window - our downstairs bath has no window and it is a cave.  But plumbing needs to be moved to interior walls where it can't freeze (like last winter).  I want access panels for the plumbing, not buried behind drywall or tile.  Things should be designed to be fixed easily.  Radiant flooring is high on my list, same as others - so we can be comfortable in the bathroom while keeping the thermostat lower.  Whenever possible, accessibility should be designed in, so Sol's plan for grab bars instead of towel bars, plenty of maneuvering room, wide doorway, accessible shower in first floor bath.  However, I loved the clawfoot tub we had in an attic apartment decades ago, it was the best, so I'm determined to get one for the master bath.  It'll suit our old house well.  I'd like a definition of the bath area from the rest of the room for privacy/multiuse - I'm tired of someone intruding  while I'm taking a bath, to brush their teeth or wash hands or whatever.

And +1 to the concealed trapway toilet advice.  I never considered it when we replaced toilets, and I regret ours.

okits

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2015, 09:29:02 PM »
We rent and aren't staying for more than another year or two.  What I'd love in the next place:

- powerful fan as I find damp bathrooms gross
- large shower stall/large tub with curved shower curtain
- powerful toilet flush (luckily the rule is you clog it, you unclog it, but I'd want this for DH.)

Uncommon around here, but towel warmers I've had in overseas hotels have been nice. A bigger bathroom, overall, would be great but the fan and bigger shower would be enough to make me happy.

Will you post before/after pics, justajane?

K-ice

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2015, 10:42:56 PM »
As mentioned:
In floor heating
Sunken in medicine cabinets.

How much room for the layout?
Do you share this room?
100y old house, my guess is just one washroom.

My dream shared bathroom would have the tub and toilet seperate from the sink.

This isn't exactly a "jack & Jill" bathroom but kind of. I thought it was called "rush hour layout" but a search for that didn't give me the plans I wanted.

I have seen this in some hotels.
This can be done in about a 5.5' x 10' space with all plumbing along the 10' wall.

Tub at far end. Just fits length wise with the 5.5' width.
Toilet beside tub
Wall w pocket door
Sink
Wall w pocket door to hall. (Optional)

This way someone can have their privacy (shower or toilet) while the other is brushing teeth etc.

My friend just built a house from scratch &, after I looked at her first plans, she incorporated this into her kids bathroom. She had the luxury (length) of putting in two sinks. Boy & Girl. They love it!

But even w one sink it makes sense. Why monopolies the entire room when you are only ever using 1 of the 3 things at a time.


Sloeginfizz

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2015, 12:12:00 AM »
Well, we only have the one, but it's huge. If I could, I'd split it into two rooms and make it into two bathrooms. Or at least a bath and a half. It'd just be nice to have two toilets for once in my life.

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2015, 03:03:18 AM »
Touch-activated kitchen faucet in the bathroom.  I absolutely hate that most bathroom faucets are tiny and I have to cram my hands into the back of the sink to get water on them.  If you can just touch it with the back of your arm the faucet itself stays rather clean.  It's size makes it nice for washing hands in the bathroom. 



Outlets INSIDE a cabinet next to the sink for things that need charging.  This allows you to keep your counters clear... again easy to keep clean or wash.



Figure out the best place for the Toilet Paper Holder.  You may laugh at this, but I've been in some bathrooms where it's in a weird place and getting to it is awkward.

Lift-up toilet paper holder.  No spring loaded thing that can shoot across your bathroom.  You can't see by the picture, but one lifts up so you can swap out TP easily. 



These were all things my construction/woodworking Dad put in his bathroom when he did a remodel, after years of remodeling other people's bathrooms and collecting good ideas. 

+1 on things that are easy to clean.  Extra shapes, corners, cracks, swirls, molding, trim, seams increase cleaning time. 

Villanelle

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2015, 04:55:40 AM »
The bathroom in the house we own is *huge*, especially for a non-Mcmasion. (Home is just under 2000sqft.)  However for such a giant bathroom, the storage is less than expected.  Our counter is gfreakishly long, with two since and roughly an acre of counterop in between.  They made this into a vanity.  I'd fill the space under that with storage, and probably with deep drawers rather than cabinets.  (Two deep drawers with a standard, more shallow drawer on top.   I've never sat at the vanity and never will.  It's a place to put a trashcan and I shoved the laundry basket there because at least it did something with the space.

I might also put some storage on top, where right now there is a ~10 foot mirror.  (Yes, our counter really is that long.)  Two smaller mirrors over the sinks, and then a unit in the middle with storage. 

I'd add more natural light.  Hard in our bath as it is on the lower level, at the back of a home build in to the side of a hill.  But even some transom windows would help. 

I'd also add another shower head.  The shower is huge, which I love.  It's maybe 3.5x6 feet? Or perhaps a bit longer.  Great for two people, but having a second shower head would make it even better. 

justajane

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2015, 07:16:26 AM »
Will you post before/after pics, justajane?

Definitely! It might be a few months, but I'll revive the thread.

I was doing some searches the other day on Google Images for "unglazed hexagon tiles" and came across a black and white bathroom on Pinterest. My first thought was "This is really pretty!" My second was, "WTF? THAT'S MY BATHROOM!" Apparently someone had pinned an image I had posted on a remodeling forum for our last bathroom addition. It's new construction, so there's no before/after, but if you're interested, here's the original thread with pictures (http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2266401/pictures-of-our-new-black-and-white-bathroom). We are likely going to mimic that style with some changes to make it easier to clean. I've learned a few lessons along the way, and you guys have added to my knowledge as well. I'm definitely going to keep in mind grab bars.




Papa bear

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2015, 07:22:05 AM »
I absolutely despise toilets that are "chair" or "comfort" height.  I will go out of my way to purchase standard height (not many options anymore).

Any new bathroom gut job I've done, I have an electrical outlet near the toilet for charging devices.  It's amazing how often it is used.


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gaja

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2015, 08:01:44 AM »
I don't get why the bathroom discussion always is "which type of tiles" instead of "tiles or other flooring solutions"? We much prefer good quality vinyl flooring over tiles. Much easier to clean, cheaper and easier to put in, and less risk of water leaking through the floor.

Jack

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2015, 08:56:47 AM »
First of all, I'd avoid drywall entirely (except maybe for the ceiling) and put in concrete board everywhere, not just in the shower/tub surround area. Then I'd fully waterproof the entire room with a high-quality waterproofing system, such as that red liquid stuff or Ditra.

Second, I'd (ideally) tile all the walls, not just the shower, and use epoxy grout. If that were cost-prohibitive, I'd probably skim coat exterior-type (concrete-based) stucco over the concrete board. At the very least, I'd use tile for the baseboards (instead of wood).

Third, I'd strongly consider using a wall-mounted toilet to make mopping the floor easier. Similarly, for the vanity I'd either hang it on the wall too, or seal the bottom of the toe-kick against the floor with silicone and then maybe even install the same baseboard tile across it. On the top of the vanity I'd use a quartz or solid-surface countertop with an integrated or undermount sink and a wall-mounted faucet.

Fourth, I'd design it for accessibility. Although I wouldn't necessarily install grab bars, I'd install blocking in the walls to support them later. If I had a shower rather than a tub, I'd design it without a curb. However, I'd probably skip worrying about accessibility for the vanity, since that's relatively easy to swap out.

I'd also do a bunch of the stuff others have mentioned (good-quality fixtures including cast-iron tub, heated floor, natural light etc.), but others have mentioned it so I won't bother.

justajane

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2015, 11:20:43 AM »
I don't get why the bathroom discussion always is "which type of tiles" instead of "tiles or other flooring solutions"? We much prefer good quality vinyl flooring over tiles. Much easier to clean, cheaper and easier to put in, and less risk of water leaking through the floor.

We have vinyl flooring (Tarkett) in the bathroom currently and love it, but I have noticed over the years that the moisture has not been kind to it, and there's just no way that vinyl flooring is going to last anywhere close to a good quality, smaller tile, which could last 50+ years. And it's a real hassle to redo flooring in a bathroom with all the cuts and possibly having to remove the vanity and toilet.

I personally don't like 12X12 tile in a bathroom or kitchen because of the potential to slip. If I were doing a larger tile in either of these places, I would choose slate or something with texture.

But I agree with you that I vinyl is preferable to tile in a kitchen. I'm not standing in the bathroom as long as I am in the kitchen. Thus, I prefer a softer surface.

Bob W

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2015, 11:31:39 AM »
radiant floor heat with timer.   So while you are paying the big bucks for the extra wire go ahead and put in a point of use hot water heater.    Never a tub.  Walk in shower.   Big ass fart fan that is rated very quiet.    Led lights only (the boys will leave them on all the time).   A nice speaker sound system with blue tooth.   

A sign that says "your mother isn't the maid so clean it yourself."

Plenty of towel drying racks so the boys can go 10 showers between washes. 

Of course a nice TV screen.   

gaja

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2015, 11:59:52 AM »
I don't get why the bathroom discussion always is "which type of tiles" instead of "tiles or other flooring solutions"? We much prefer good quality vinyl flooring over tiles. Much easier to clean, cheaper and easier to put in, and less risk of water leaking through the floor.

We have vinyl flooring (Tarkett) in the bathroom currently and love it, but I have noticed over the years that the moisture has not been kind to it, and there's just no way that vinyl flooring is going to last anywhere close to a good quality, smaller tile, which could last 50+ years. And it's a real hassle to redo flooring in a bathroom with all the cuts and possibly having to remove the vanity and toilet.

I personally don't like 12X12 tile in a bathroom or kitchen because of the potential to slip. If I were doing a larger tile in either of these places, I would choose slate or something with texture.

But I agree with you that I vinyl is preferable to tile in a kitchen. I'm not standing in the bathroom as long as I am in the kitchen. Thus, I prefer a softer surface.
The tile might last, but I don't trust the waterproofing system underneath to last that long. Of course, it depends on how you use the bathroom; how much water you spill, how fast you get rid of the dampness.

zephyr911

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2015, 12:09:47 PM »
Garden tub.
We had one in our last house that we shared every week or two, and it was great. But when downsizing to an older, less upscale neighborhood, it was hard to find. Our bathrooms are nice but they're small and we couldn't fit one in even if we thought it was worth the trouble.
Next place, even if it's 500SF, we'll try to shoehorn one in somehow.

Sibley

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2015, 12:10:30 PM »
I have cats, and have always had to put a litterbox in my bathroom. A place to put it out of the way would be nice.

In general, go look at the older homes built in the 20s-30s with original bathrooms. As long as you're not destructive, those things have lasted forever.

Common sense layout with functionality in mind is essential.

Also, don't get a bathtub that holds more water than your water heater. My roommate has a giant soaking tub in her (master) bath - I found out recently that she can't use it because the water heater runs out before the tub is full enough. Poor planning.

votu

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2015, 03:20:04 PM »
I really wish I could move the toilet away from the bathtub and at least 5 ft away from anything I might put in or on my body.

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Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2015, 03:44:00 PM »
I really, really wish we had a double vanity. I don't like waiting in line to brush my teeth when the mister and I are heading to bed.

For some reason--it's in a basement, so maybe pipes?--our medicine cabinet is not flush-mounted. When you lean over the sink basin, you have to be careful not to bump your head on the mirror. Super annoying.

I wish we had a light over the shower. And this may sound weird, but I wish we had dimmable lights for getting ready for bed.