The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: justajane on September 23, 2015, 10:41:34 AM

Title: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: MissStache 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!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: MayDay 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. 
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Nate R 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!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Mrs. PoP 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.   


Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: bogart 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: nereo 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).

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: bacchi 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.

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Gone Fishing 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.     
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Mikila 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e4/e3/b1/e4e3b184747bd7b1fb77ef200216b31e.jpg)
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Astatine 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Britan 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? :)
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: runnerbee17 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: dcheesi 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...
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: SomedayStache 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 23, 2015, 01:52:33 PM
Why can't you vent through the wall?
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Easye418 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!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 23, 2015, 02:25:42 PM
Elongated toilets are much more pleasant to use...
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: ncornilsen 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Easye418 on September 23, 2015, 02:43:19 PM
Elongated toilets are much more pleasant to use...

Agreed.  This is what I meant to say.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Zaga 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Chranstronaut 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!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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...).
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Jellyfish 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...
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Gray Matter 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Lookilu 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!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: FatCat 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Gerard on September 23, 2015, 07:13:18 PM
I would settle for it being heated.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Goldielocks 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: teen persuasion 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: okits 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?
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: K-ice 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.

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Sloeginfizz 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: driftwood 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. 

(http://www.deltafaucet.com/assets/images/pic/smartsolutions/grid/touch2o-technology.jpg)

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.

(http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/d44130d6025c7ae3_4-2486/bathroom-cabinets-and-shelves.jpg)

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. 

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/0d/0d2d7512-54ab-4695-8865-3dacc1ab50b8_400.jpg)

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. 
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Villanelle 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. 
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0b/5d/4f/0b5d4fb0fe0afd3259f31d3bebdfcc24.jpg)

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Papa bear 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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: gaja 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Jack 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Bob W 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.   
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: gaja 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: zephyr911 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Sibley 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: votu 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz 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.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Kaikou on September 24, 2015, 06:09:05 PM
I hate bathrooms with stuff really close together. It's disgusting. lol
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: kib on September 24, 2015, 06:14:23 PM
Think carefully about the cast iron tub.  The reality is that this much metal is slooow to heat and if your hot water isn't supremely hot, you will wind up with a lukewarm bath.  Of course if it's only for the pan and you always shower, this won't make a difference.  You might want to consider an "on site" water heater booster if you're going with cast iron and tub baths.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on September 24, 2015, 06:32:42 PM
Think carefully about the cast iron tub.  The reality is that this much metal is slooow to heat and if your hot water isn't supremely hot, you will wind up with a lukewarm bath.  Of course if it's only for the pan and you always shower, this won't make a difference.  You might want to consider an "on site" water heater booster if you're going with cast iron and tub baths.

I usually time any baths I take after someone else has jump started the water heater so to speak. I find that the water is hot enough for a cast iron tub in that respect. One great thing about a cast iron tub is that the water stays warmer for much longer than other materials, even though you are right that it also cools the water down more at the outset. I've forgotten to drain the kids' tub sometimes and come back to find that water still lukewarm hours later.

An alternate Unmustachian thing to do would be to run a hot shower first to warm up the tub. The main reason I want cast iron is because I've heard that steel tubs rust more easily and acrylic and fiberglass crack, requiring expensive repairs.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: MrsPete on September 24, 2015, 07:31:02 PM
Because we're preparing to build a house, I've been researching this topic.  We intend to live in this house the rest of our lives, so we want it to be accessible and elderly-friendly.  My many thoughts: 

- Must be easy to clean, which means tile up the walls (even though it's expensive).  I am not sticking with plain white or beige tile, but I'm also not going trendy.  This will be an expensive project, and I don't want the bathroom to look like harvest gold or avocado green in a few years.  Also, on the subject of easy-to-clean, the shower must be glass only from the waist-up -- I want the light that comes through the glass, but I want to minimize the cleaning of the glass.
- Large walk-in shower with no barrier (my elderly grandmother could walk all day long, but lifting her foot even a few inches was difficult for her).  I measure every time we go to a hotel, and I'm aiming for 4x5'. 
- A teak stool instead of a built-in bench.  A stool can be moved, and it can be traded out for a full-fledged handicapped seat, if necessary.
- Two faucets in the shower: A rainshower over head and a hand-held shower positioned so it can be used from the stool.
- The on-off control in the shower must be reachable from the door (without stepping in and getting wet).
- Tornado body dryer so that towels aren't necessary.  Again, this is an elderly-friendly thing, and it's definitely a splurge. 
- A good-sized shelf for shampoo, etc. -- but it's going to be hidden behind a pony wall -- not visible from the main bathroom. 
- Standard sized tub; don't care about the material -- My current builder-grade tub is 20+ years old and still in perfect condition.  I thought I wanted jets ... until I tried them in a hotel -- and I don't like them.  I also don't want an oversized tub, but if you do, be sure you plan a large enough water heater to accommodate it.
- I hate double sinks.  Extra expense for no point.  But I want deep sink like we had in our old house.  We have such pretty sinks in our current house -- but they're shallow, so if the water's turned on  past a trickle, it splashes up and gets us wet. 
- I am aiming for a vanity of about 4' wide.  That's enough to have space for soap dishes, a curling iron, or whatever -- and then a towel tower /space for "bathroom stuff" right next to the sink.   
- No furniture legs on the vanity -- who wants to clean underneath the vanity?
- I think I want a Toto washlet.  For certain I'm installing an outlet near the toilet so I can add one later, if I choose. 
- I adamantly don't want a toilet-in-a-closet.  They're more difficult to clean, as well as dark and gloomy. 
- A linen closet is a must-have.  I like the one I have now:  It's only 2' wide, but it has space in the bottom for a hamper and three shelves for towels. 
- I'm skipping towel bars -- instead, I'm going straight to handicapped grab bars (with plywood mounted behind).  We're not old yet, but we're also not young.  One day we'll NEED those grab bars, and we'll appreciate them already being in place.  The only downside is that they're more expensive than towel bars. 
- Small tile on the floor for "grippy-ness" to avoid falls.  Large tiles in the shower to minimize cleaning grout lines. 
- Natural light! 

I'm probably forgetting something, but I think this is most of it.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Rural on September 25, 2015, 04:13:19 AM
Elongated toilets are much more pleasant to use...


...unless you're short. Then your feet dangle.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: teen persuasion on September 25, 2015, 06:28:09 AM
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.

I was thinking of keeping the tub separate from the toilet & sink, IOW the wall is between the tub and the toilet.  My line of reasoning is that I like to soak in the tub sometimes, but another person using the other two fixtures will be in and out fairly quickly (and not want to wait for me to finish first). 

I have an upstairs room that I want to turn into two full bathrooms, one accessible to the upper hallway for family use, one accessible to the (future) master bedroom.  Run all plumbing thru the common interior wall we add between them.  Roughly 6' x 10' each.  Tub furthest from door, then toilet, then sink nearest the door.  I may want transom type high windows in the common wall to equalize natural light levels between the rooms.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: K-ice on September 25, 2015, 08:49:32 AM
Sure. You can keep the tub seperate & have a half bath.

I like a small bath room. It keeps it nice & warm. Just be sure to have good concret board and humidity proof walls, ceiling & a good fan. 

I really don't like those master baths that are all open to the bedroom. I have seen them in the monster show homes.

That tub must be drafty & freezing!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: mm1970 on September 25, 2015, 09:58:15 AM
I'd add a second one.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: SomedayStache on September 25, 2015, 01:19:49 PM
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...

And this may sound weird, but I wish we had dimmable lights for getting ready for bed.

Install a dimmable light switch?  This has never crossed my mind, but its easy enough to do and sounds like multiple benefits.  I might just do that this weekend in my current bath.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Dee18 on September 25, 2015, 01:24:14 PM
I'd get rid of the pinkish beige-ish 12 x12 tile and the granite sink surround.  White is timeless and would look great with your tile. 
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: BlueHouse on September 26, 2015, 04:46:42 PM
1.  Outlets in the vanity / Inthe cabinets.  All of my hair equipment (blow dryer, hot iron, etc) is in the vanity and I like it all plugged in. Even though I planned for this ahead of time the builder put it at the back of the vanity, so I still needed to use a power strip, but at least it's all concealed. Incidentally, if you keep the plugs at e top of the vanity and hang all the tools, then the cords don't get tangled.
2.  Outlet behind toilet. Need for toto washlet. Better to have it and not need it than to have to retrofit after.
3.  Wood blocking for future grab bar installation.
4. Reticulated arm magnifying mirror with LED light. Have the electrician hardware for this in advance so you don't have to have a cord hanging down your wall
5. Outlet inside medicine cabinets.  For charging toothbrushes, etc.
6.  Light in the shower
7. I'm not a fan of warm feet, but I do love my heated toilet seat.
8. I wish I had a European shower with no ledge and just glass blocks to walk behind
9. Hidden shampoo storage. I have a shelf for shampoo in my shower, but it's visible from my door. I hate that.
Good luck. Can't wait to see the finished product!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: MBot on September 26, 2015, 05:43:47 PM
Our bathroom has a shower surround installed over drywall, which is mouldering and falling apart with water leaking through into the kitchen ceiling. Because of that and a floor joist issue, it needs to be redone fully. When some cheap fixtures are put into the basement bath, we'll gut this one completely.

The new washroom will definitely have
- proper backerboard and tile up to the ceiling for the shower/bath
- hooks, not bars for the towels

In the interim, we put in 2 pieces we'll keep using and LOVE
- the concealed-trapway toilet with completely smooth sides. No trouble to clean. (best extra $$ i ever spent)
- The wall-mounted IKEA vanity with drawers. I actually built a vanity that was similar and got so thwarted by the finishing parts that I bought this one. It's amazing. Integrated one-piece sink and counter, soft-close drawers and wall-mounted so its easy to clean under.

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Chranstronaut on September 28, 2015, 10:55:53 AM
Love the little black and white bathroom!  With a full counter at the sink, I would love to have that bathroom.

I've added something else to my list: At least two towel racks.  I love big fluffy towels and it's hard to fit them on the same towel rack and make sure they are fully dry before the next day's shower.  SO likes to take a shower before bed if he works on the car or gets sweaty, but will take a second quick one in the morning, so he often keeps two towels in rotation just for himself.

This was the bathroom in our last rental house.  I loved the mint green everything, but hated cleaning all the grout.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't neglected before we moved in.  The counter was obviously added later and probably would have eventually been replaced by something mint or white if I'd owned it. I also would have ripped that window out so fast - a small one at the top of the wall would have been nice.

(https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=c7f54d93a8&view=fimg&th=15014d9a56529b67&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_Z2epesawbUURnhVqEnmzZnizhiVTVV9smX0VgFd4cxOTnC5Xif8XfN4FbQTGK7MwaPEAEkyzSjSVI8Y3FOm8tfvXSHk9tZe4aGMFMz73b8Btbpe90XKBAEmM&ats=1443458861834&rm=15014d9a56529b67&zw&sz=w1247-h784)
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: BeanCounter on September 29, 2015, 09:37:29 AM
We just bought a new house and the previous owner had done a very expensive ($30k) master bath reno. I can tell you that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would enjoy a master bath like I do this. The things I love-

-HUGE walk in fully tiled shower with a glass wall (instead of a curtain) and a rain head shower plus a pull down massager
-TALL bathroom vanity
-sky light to allow natural light in- including moon light!!
-heated tile floors on a programmable thermostat
-attached huge walk in closet

Things I would change-
-would install a better (higher powered fan)
-would install a regular door- this one has a sliding door which doesn't give as much privacy

we are way too frugal to ever put something like this in a house, but we are really enjoying it in the house we bought
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Cheshires_Coins on September 29, 2015, 10:00:52 AM
Install a *good* ventilation system. Cannot stress this enough. My (flat, with five adults living there) house has two bathrooms, one has good ventilation the other does not, and the difference is noticeable very quickly in between cleans.

And, not this house, thankfully, but past bathrooms:
-Get rid of wood panelling, because who on earth has a brick kitchen but a wooden bathroom...?!
-Get rid of carpeted floor in bathroom because honestly who thought that was a smart idea?
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: The_path_less_taken on September 29, 2015, 10:09:24 AM
I would insist that the tub be placed on TOP of the tiles: much easier caulking. Idiots who did mine didn't listen, pita to maintain now. IOW the tub is below the tiles on mine, so water has the potential to be behind things if you don't maintain caulk around that edge of the tub. Setting the tub lip down over the tiles eliminates that bs.

I'd also recommend a shower in the bathroom you use most. My master has a huge jetted tub: I never use it. Costs too much electricity to heat all of that water, plus the well is bad now so don't use that much water....pita to keep an entire tub and splash zone clean versus just a stall shower.

Windows/skylights. I have a huge window in there: country living. In the 'burbs though, I would build an 8 foot wood fence around a small outdoor zen garden with a star gazing hot tub in it with a sliding glass door out the bathroom. (assuming money is no object: I haven't read this thread yet, but you said dream bath)

They make a ceiling light that has a fart fan in it...kinda cool versus just that ugly overhead, loud vent in older homes.

As for the unglazed tiles: they'll be fine. Home Depot had some six inch slate in purple/indigo/gray tones in 2008 they were selling for trim tiles in walls or whatever but they were a quarter inch think and are working fine on my front bathroom floor. And they feel nice on your feet.

The master bath has ceramic tile floor....not as good a choice. I also put the cheapo under tile electric heat element down, although I don't use it: figured one day I'd get solar in a big way and it would be "free", because nothing says luxury like stepping barefoot onto warm stone.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: m8547 on September 29, 2015, 08:04:51 PM
I would like a sink faucet where the water comes out more than one inch from the side of the sink. How am I supposed to wash my hands with so little room? But I can't bring myself to buy a faucet for the place I'm renting, and the local used building material place only has more of the same kind because no one wants them.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Catomi on September 29, 2015, 08:14:51 PM
I would install a second toilet. Bear with me - we are currently sharing one toilet between four people, two of whom are very small and have limited ability to wait/high suggestibility (as in, my sibling is going potty? I need to, too!). And it's not like I get any privacy in the bathroom as is.

Failing that, I would have sink faucet handles that are far enough apart to actually clean between them. I have to pretty much floss mine to get them clean, which means it doesn't happen as often as it should.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: MsPeacock on September 30, 2015, 06:05:17 AM
My bathroom is so tiny - smaller than the bathroom we had on a cruise. So, the first thing I would want is a magic space folder so that my bathroom would somehow be bigger - not huge, but maybe twice the size that it is. (The space for a larger bathroom does not exist in my house, sadly).

Additional things I would want:
1. Sink (underset) and vanity space so that I have even a little room to set things down as I use them. I have currently no flat surface other than the toilet seat lid.
2. Fan that really works well to keep moisture down. A little space heater or ceiling heat lamp to warm the bathroom in the morning w/o turning on the furnace.
3. OMG - heated floors. YES! and a heated towel rack. That would be just awesome. Also enough space that the towel rack isn't over the toilet roll holder and 4" from the toilet. (Grossness currently - wet toilet paper, have to move towel to access toilet paper, not enough space to hang towels, proximity to poop.)
4. I love the old 1950's tile in the shower, but the floor has slippery 4x4 tiles that a later owner installed. If I were gutting it all I'd like a classic white or marble tile, and stone for the floor (like the actually like 2x2 stone tiles that are natural looking)
5. Cabinet for towels and toiletries and such. Maybe a drawer - a drawer would be awesome
6. Lighted, wired in, magnifying mirror
7. Sunk in the wall medicine cabinet and very large mirror
8. A deep soaking tub - preferably one of those 4' long sitting-up kind of tubs (Kohler makes one).
9. Shower w/ nice shower head and glass door closure (I had to take the door off the shower in my current bathroom because it is so small there really was no room to open/close the door). Nothing jutting out of the wall in the shower (like the soap dish) which is prone to have elbows cracked on it and being broken off. (My shower is about 2'x2' now).
10. Grab bars, because I want to stay in my house well into elderly years.
11. Electrical outlet near the sink for hair dryer. Outlet in the medicine cabinet for toothbrush.

I like PP idea of a door into a zen garden, high fence, and hot tub. I don't really want to own a hot tub, but this does sound very nice.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2015, 06:19:48 AM
TMI warning.  I made a modern bathroom upgrade mistake that hopefully nobody else will follow.

I replaced the old and leaky toilets in our house a few years ago with fancy modern dual-flush toilets that we got at a great price.  They look cool, have large and comfortable seats, and are pretty tall.  The dual flush thing uses less water, but is well designed and clogs less often than the old toilets being replaced.  Turns out this was a tremendous mistake though.

Your body is designed to poop in a squat (or near squat).  When you poop like this, your colon makes a straight line and the poop shoots out easily.  When you poop in a more upright sitting position, it puts a kink in your colon and you have to strain/push harder to poop.  The lower your toilet is to the ground, the closer to a squat position you end up in, and the less likely you will strain/push hard . . . which is the cause of hemorrhoids.

So, about three months after installing these toilets . . . with no other change to my life/lifestyle . . . I started having butt problems.  Eventually I read something on the internet about squat pooping, stuck a small stool in washroom next to the toilet, and with the elevated leg position my problems went away.

The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on September 30, 2015, 06:25:25 AM
The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.

You mean like this?

(http://f.tqn.com/y/gochina/1/L/8/9/-/-/SquatToilet.jpg)
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Papa bear on September 30, 2015, 07:06:36 AM

TMI warning.  I made a modern bathroom upgrade mistake that hopefully nobody else will follow.

I replaced the old and leaky toilets in our house a few years ago with fancy modern dual-flush toilets that we got at a great price.  They look cool, have large and comfortable seats, and are pretty tall.  The dual flush thing uses less water, but is well designed and clogs less often than the old toilets being replaced.  Turns out this was a tremendous mistake though.

Your body is designed to poop in a squat (or near squat).  When you poop like this, your colon makes a straight line and the poop shoots out easily.  When you poop in a more upright sitting position, it puts a kink in your colon and you have to strain/push harder to poop.  The lower your toilet is to the ground, the closer to a squat position you end up in, and the less likely you will strain/push hard . . . which is the cause of hemorrhoids.

So, about three months after installing these toilets . . . with no other change to my life/lifestyle . . . I started having butt problems.  Eventually I read something on the internet about squat pooping, stuck a small stool in washroom next to the toilet, and with the elevated leg position my problems went away.

The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.

I'll reiterate what I posted before as well.  Comfort height/chair height/16"/disability toilets are about the only thing you find on the market!  And I despise them.

I went out of my way to purchase a standard height/14" toilet.   There are very few options at your big box home store. (2 options vs 15?).

Having trouble getting on and off your toilet?  Install a grab bar.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: plainjane on September 30, 2015, 07:35:47 AM
I really wish we had put an outlet in the linen closet where we store all items (insufficient room for a vanity).  That would be helpful for recharging electric toothbrushes, electric razors.  (I also wish we had thought to take advantage of that wall being open to change up some of the electrical in the room on the other side.)

I'm really happy our contractor put our fan on a timer.  Nobody needs to remember to turn off the fan, or turn it off before it has finished doing its job - we just set it and it turn off automatically.  I'm also a fan of the dual flush Toto toilet - though it does require more consistent cleaning than the full flush did.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on September 30, 2015, 08:38:49 AM
I'm struggling with the ventilation issue. Obviously it is very important to a lot of people, but this bathroom has never had a fan before. And I honestly can't say I miss it. In the summer, we have the air conditioning on most of the time, and wouldn't a fan be working at cross purposes to your AC? Also, how long do you have the fan on? I remember reading that, especially in the summer, it is inefficient to leave it on for longer than a few minutes.

In the winter, the humidity from a shower is welcome in the home. I open the door to the bathroom and let that humidity out into the rest of the home.

So that leaves me with spring and fall. Admittedly, I use the fan in our new bathroom more during those seasons, but wouldn't an open or cracked window function similarly? We currently have a window in there, and to make the bathroom to code you either have to have an exhaust fan or a window.

Maybe it just depends on where you live. We have sky high humidity where I am in the Midwest, but I still don't have mold issues in the bathroom.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: FatCat on September 30, 2015, 08:44:11 AM
The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.

You mean like this?

(http://f.tqn.com/y/gochina/1/L/8/9/-/-/SquatToilet.jpg)

I don't know why these haven't caught on here. The public toilets in my town are stainless steel with no seat that I assume they expect you to hover over because if you try to sit on it the rim will hurt your bum. It's much easier to squat over the Asian style floor toilet than to hover over a Western style toilet. Since so many people tend to hover over the public toilets anyway it would be better to start having these squatting toilets available. Public restrooms in Asia usually have several squatters and then one or two sitting toilets in the back.

It really pisses me off when someone urinates all over the seat and then leaves the mess for the next person. They don't want to touch anything because the public bathroom is unsanitary, but they are the main reason it's unsanitary.



Back to original question... If I could do whatever I wanted to my bathroom and if I didn't care about the costs, I would probably install those fancy Japanese toilets that play the sound of running water, have a seat warmer, and a built in bidet. Also, I noticed several upscale homes had urinals in the toilet room. I have no use for this so I wouldn't bother with it, but I guess men like it. I also liked the toilet room being a separate room from the actual bathing room. It's much more pleasant.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Jack on October 03, 2015, 05:51:56 PM

TMI warning.  I made a modern bathroom upgrade mistake that hopefully nobody else will follow.

I replaced the old and leaky toilets in our house a few years ago with fancy modern dual-flush toilets that we got at a great price.  They look cool, have large and comfortable seats, and are pretty tall.  The dual flush thing uses less water, but is well designed and clogs less often than the old toilets being replaced.  Turns out this was a tremendous mistake though.

Your body is designed to poop in a squat (or near squat).  When you poop like this, your colon makes a straight line and the poop shoots out easily.  When you poop in a more upright sitting position, it puts a kink in your colon and you have to strain/push harder to poop.  The lower your toilet is to the ground, the closer to a squat position you end up in, and the less likely you will strain/push hard . . . which is the cause of hemorrhoids.

So, about three months after installing these toilets . . . with no other change to my life/lifestyle . . . I started having butt problems.  Eventually I read something on the internet about squat pooping, stuck a small stool in washroom next to the toilet, and with the elevated leg position my problems went away.

The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.

I'll reiterate what I posted before as well.  Comfort height/chair height/16"/disability toilets are about the only thing you find on the market!  And I despise them.

I went out of my way to purchase a standard height/14" toilet.   There are very few options at your big box home store. (2 options vs 15?).

Having trouble getting on and off your toilet?  Install a grab bar.

Since we're reiterating, I'll point out that a wall-mounted toilet can be installed at any height you want (give or take code, I guess).
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on October 13, 2015, 06:45:28 AM
So we got the bids for the new bathroom, and I have to admit I am flummoxed. This is not our first time to get bids -- we paid 75K for an addition a few years ago--, but this is the first time there has been such a vast discrepancy. The first bid we received was for around $12,250. The second was for $6,100! Neither of these include the plumbing work, which is going to be about $5,000. Neither included the cost of the tile or fixtures, which will be around 2.5K, mainly because the custom tile was over $600.

After looking at the cheaper bid, we realized he neglected to include tiling the non-shower walls, so that might add about 1K at the most. Otherwise, the bids are pretty much the same. I'm particularly confused because the sense we got from our neighbors who had used these people was that the 12K contractor was a steal. He lives a few blocks over, doesn't have the overhead of a fancy truck with his name on it, and he routinely works in our neighborhood. The other guy used to work for a huge trusted firm and started his own contracting business a few years ago. He did the ginormous addition/whole house renovation on our neighbor's house, which included two bathrooms.

I guess I'll just be happy and go with the cheaper guy. We trust both of them based on reviews. But I am very confused. I know the 12K one was wholly unthrilled with the thought of the putting the cast iron tub in place in a second floor bathroom, so maybe he jacked up the price for that.

So, back to bathrooms, what concealed trapway toilets have you guys bought? I am pretty Toto loyal, but the concealed trapway really raises the price on that brand. Anyone have luck with American Standard? I will not buy a Kohler toilet, as I have had bad experiences with them clogging in the past.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Matt_D on October 13, 2015, 07:43:51 AM
To answer the original question: I mostly just wish it was bigger! I think we have about 3ft x 5ft of actual floor space. Also, there is no vent... we have a window we can open but on days when it's raining/snowing/etc. that's not terribly helpful. Also, during the winter that method of ventilation gets COLD when I've just taken a shower and then need to see in the mirror to shave! Actually, now that I think about it... my bathroom might be a big part of why I tend to grow a beard during the winter!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: partgypsy on October 13, 2015, 08:16:48 AM
We remodeled our main bath, about 10 years after the first remodel which was done in a hurry and inexpensively as possible. Some things we did that were nice: replace the old long window for one that is higher and squarer, that has the kind of glass you can't look through, and is awning style. That way you don't need a curtain, and get lots of natural light and can crank it open for extra ventilation. We kept the cast iron tub, and oriented it so you can walk all around it, better for cleaning and ventilation. replaced old pedestal sink with a long vanity with lots of drawers that is big enough for 2 sinks, but only installed 1 sink for more counter space, with quartz countertop. My husband and I have opposite schedules so using the sink at the same time is not an issue with us, and this way get to have plants and extra countertop space. Medicine cabinet inset between the studs, with mirrored inside and back (in case you need extra angles for viewing). Multiple lights above the countertop for more even lighting. We couldn't afford a heated floor, but we did get a heated towel rack which is AWESOME! It dries and heats the towels and washcloths between uses, so they stay fresh and can use more than once, plus it feels nice getting out of the shower. We also oriented things so we could have for example: a stool below the towel rack and next to the bathtub for getting out, room for a storage shelf near the toilet, and also room for a linen closet for storing our linens.
I don't remember the brand but something like this. http://www.walmart.com/ip/22401776?wmlspartner=wmtlabs&adid=22222222222016404133&veh=sem
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: soupcxan on October 13, 2015, 09:08:37 AM
- I hate double sinks.  Extra expense for no point.

If you have two people who have to get ready to go to work at the same time every day, two sinks is incredibly convenient. Totally worth the expense.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Wilson Hall on October 13, 2015, 10:31:02 AM
So we got the bids for the new bathroom, and I have to admit I am flummoxed. This is not our first time to get bids -- we paid 75K for an addition a few years ago--, but this is the first time there has been such a vast discrepancy. The first bid we received was for around $12,250. The second was for $6,100! Neither of these include the plumbing work, which is going to be about $5,000. Neither included the cost of the tile or fixtures, which will be around 2.5K, mainly because the custom tile was over $600.

After looking at the cheaper bid, we realized he neglected to include tiling the non-shower walls, so that might add about 1K at the most. Otherwise, the bids are pretty much the same. I'm particularly confused because the sense we got from our neighbors who had used these people was that the 12K contractor was a steal. He lives a few blocks over, doesn't have the overhead of a fancy truck with his name on it, and he routinely works in our neighborhood. The other guy used to work for a huge trusted firm and started his own contracting business a few years ago. He did the ginormous addition/whole house renovation on our neighbor's house, which included two bathrooms.

I guess I'll just be happy and go with the cheaper guy. We trust both of them based on reviews. But I am very confused. I know the 12K one was wholly unthrilled with the thought of the putting the cast iron tub in place in a second floor bathroom, so maybe he jacked up the price for that.

So, back to bathrooms, what concealed trapway toilets have you guys bought? I am pretty Toto loyal, but the concealed trapway really raises the price on that brand. Anyone have luck with American Standard? I will not buy a Kohler toilet, as I have had bad experiences with them clogging in the past.

Hi Justajane,

We are in the process of remodeling the upstairs master bath in our 1970s house. Your experience with quotes sounds remarkably similar to ours: $11,000+ for the full remodel with a licensed contractor vs. around $6,000+ for a partial (shower and pocket door only, cash only). Everything was ripped out down to the joists. Here's what our remodel will have:

-walk-in tile shower replacing old tub; beige tile/grout for easy cleaning, bench for sitting/shaving; glass door w/ handle;
-same tile as flooring/border;
-comfort-height toilet;
-recessed lighting (a light box was built for this);
-pocket door;
-two undermount sinks w/granite countertops, each at a different height (husband is over 6' and got tired of stooping);
-rice paper over the window for privacy;
-cabinets/storage TBD; we think we'll have one above the toilet and others adjacent to each sink.

Because the husband is handy, he's only contracted out parts of the work, mostly involving the shower-building and tile installation, and even then he assisted with the work to 1) keep the price down and 2) learn the skill so he can do most of the work next time. A plumber has been paid a few hours' labor to handle things like moving the tub drain and the shower head. We have a few licensed-contractor friends who have been happy to come over after work to lend a hand for an hour in exchange for libations. All in all, we're still looking at close to $10,000 in materials and labor costs for the whole project, but that's still at least $1k less than if we'd contracted out the entire job. We still have to pay for the glass shower door and buy/build cabinets, but that should be about it.

I love your idea of having a clawfoot tub! Both our full baths are too small for a big tub and walk-in shower, which means separate remodels. We did a minor remodel (think $500) on the guest bathroom a few years ago: paint, new hardware, light fixtures, faucet, mirror, and exhaust fan. That should hold us for a few more years until we are ready to rip out the old tub, put in a larger one, retile the room, and put in a new vanity. In terms of time, effort, and money, it should cost far less than the master bath since we won't be building a new shower from the joists up. I do love soaking in a big tub...my garden tub from my previous residence is the one thing I miss most about that home.

Did I miss something about why the plumbing for your remodel will cost $5,000? That seems awfully steep!

Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on October 13, 2015, 10:56:18 AM
Did I miss something about why the plumbing for your remodel will cost $5,000? That seems awfully steep!

Thanks for the reply, Wilson Hall. I love hearing about others' remodels, what they are doing, and what they cost. To clarify, we are actually putting in a cast iron alcove tub. The bathroom originally had a clawfoot tub, but since the bathroom will moslyt be used to shower, I didn't want the inconvenience of climbing in and out of a clawfoot. Plus the clawfoot with shower will cost approximately four times what an alcove tub will. That exposed plumbing and circular shower rod are damned expensive, as is a clawfoot itself.

Yes, the plumbing is steep, in large part because they are removing the original cast iron stack that runs through the wall of 2.5 stories. It is literally built into the brick of the home, i.e. carved into the brick. Plus this will include a new vent for the shower, all new plumbing, and the finishing plumbing work in the bathroom. I guess I could get another bid from another company, but we have asked people in the past, and it's always come out over 4K. We've compared notes with neighbors and that's what they paid as well. We paid 4K for the brand new plumbing on our addition bathroom as well. It seems to be the going rate when you're talking about building a bathroom from the ground up, which is essentially what we're doing here. It's going to be approximately four full days of work for the plumber.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: SandyBoxx on October 13, 2015, 01:13:58 PM
The best thing we did during our bathroom reno was our "poor man's towel warmer/dryer." (Attached a photo below)

We had them change the style of the floor vent, and recess it into our wall.  This way the warm air keeps our towels warm, and dries them quickly - helping to prevent moisture issues, and a warm towel in the winter is an awesome luxury!  Not smashing elbows on the now recessed towel bar is an added bonus!
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: BlueHouse on October 13, 2015, 02:20:04 PM
I had a 1950's condo with a wall heater in the bathroom, directly across from the toilet.  It was just a big metal box recessed into the wall and a big orange heating element like on an electric stovetop.  Gosh it felt great on cold mornings.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on October 13, 2015, 03:23:30 PM
This thread has inspired me to change what I can (without major $) about my bathroom:

Replace nasty old caulk in shower/tub enclosure (done)
Replace caulk at tub/floor and toilet/floor junction
Paint
New vinyl floor (maybe--we have to remove the toilet to paint, so why not do the floor, too)
Lower medicine cabinet so i can see my entire face in the mirror, not just from the nose up
Replace nasty old water taps with one-handle faucet

I plan to do most of this myself. Doing the caulk was way easier and smoother than I expected, so I have new confidence.

We have the plunger and the toilet brush standing on the floor next to the toilet. I really want them off the floor. What do you do with yours? Do they fit under the sink, or ?
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Zaga on October 13, 2015, 03:31:19 PM
Our plunger is one a scrap of cardboard in the closet.  Perhaps not ideal, but at least it's out of sight.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Goldielocks on October 13, 2015, 04:57:23 PM
Hi -- re Toilet brands

We have a Toto (put in by prev owner, circa 2005); and two American Standard Toilets.

I had put in a different brand (with elongated bowl, hidden trapway, nice looks) from Costco at one location, (to replace a round bowl American Standard Cadet), but ripped it out after only 1 year of horrible toilet issues.   Replaced with American Standard Champion.

Review:

Toto works amazingly well 10 years later, looks nice.  The handle broke 3 years ago (inside reinforcement connection to the lever) and DH fixed it with heat polymorph plastic (the stuff that "melts" in hot water, then firms up).   Parts seem expensive, so we are happy to not have needed any other than the handle fix.

American Standard Cadet and Champion, are by far the best flushers.   We now have the ultra low water versions, 1.3L (because of our local municipal zoning) and the biggest issue is a small diameter water "spot" that results in the occasional track. 'nuf said. The Cadet with the normal 1.6L flush was an amazing performing toilet and huge value.   Always flushes, large water spot, just keeps working.

I installed the Am. Std. Champion toilet myself and it was the easiest toilet EVER to install, from the handy plastic "wrenches" for the tank bolts to the provided floor bolts and self leveling (pretty much)..  easy peasy.   I have now installed maybe 8 toilets in my lifetime and the Champion has thought through a lot of the newbie challenges very well.  It is easy to keep clean.


These toilets come in many variations, including hidden trapway.  I do find that the exposed trapway we have for them is quite subtle and very very easy to quickly wipe down -- easier than the Toto which somehow attracts dust from the floor and is obvious when in need of cleaning.

Hope that helps.


Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: labrat on October 13, 2015, 06:08:20 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...).

THIS!  I have a window in our 1953 bathroom and can run the house fan to force the air out, at least.  A timed fan was mentioned above and sounds great. I had a continuously running, super-quiet vent fan in my last rental condo which was a brand new bldg.  It ran slowly enough that the bathroom would steam up during the shower, but cleared within a minute or two afterward.  I imagine a timed fan would be more efficient.

I have to say that my 1953 cast-iron bathtub is in fabulous condition.  It was a bit grimy when I moved in, but the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda cleaning method worked wonders.

My dream bathroom includes many of the things already mentioned:
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Jakejake on October 13, 2015, 07:25:16 PM
My husband replaced the toilet in our master bathroom with the Toilet of Misery.

It's too tall. It puts all my body weight on the backs of my thighs and my feet don't rest right on the ground - generally uncomfortable, but after a serious leg workout when those muscles are already sore it fills me with pain and secret bitter resentment.

It has the Observation Shelf. I do not need or want to observe anything happening in the toilet in that much detail.

It is low flow. The theory is that it saves water. The reality is that if you have to flush 50 times to get yer shit off the observation shelf, it's counterproductive. It's worth driving to Canada to smuggle in a real toilet.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: labrat on October 13, 2015, 10:00:10 PM
Something like this might help with too-tall toilet issues: http://www.squattypotty.com/

Extra short toilets are not fun when you have knee issues - otherwise I wouldn't care. I agree that there is pressure on the thighs with the taller toilets.  Observation shelf?  WTF?! 
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: PFHC on October 14, 2015, 01:44:52 AM
Put it on a 30 ft sailboat making its way around the world.

Seriously, I'd make it smaller, and I plan to. 5' x 8' absolute max for the main floor. Study hotel bathrooms, especially European ones for inspiration. Even smaller for the upstairs. Basically a 3' shower with a sink in it and a toilet in a closet. Put a floor drain in and tile the whole thing. Done.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Wilson Hall on October 14, 2015, 11:36:32 AM
Did I miss something about why the plumbing for your remodel will cost $5,000? That seems awfully steep!

Thanks for the reply, Wilson Hall. I love hearing about others' remodels, what they are doing, and what they cost. To clarify, we are actually putting in a cast iron alcove tub. The bathroom originally had a clawfoot tub, but since the bathroom will moslyt be used to shower, I didn't want the inconvenience of climbing in and out of a clawfoot. Plus the clawfoot with shower will cost approximately four times what an alcove tub will. That exposed plumbing and circular shower rod are damned expensive, as is a clawfoot itself.

Yes, the plumbing is steep, in large part because they are removing the original cast iron stack that runs through the wall of 2.5 stories. It is literally built into the brick of the home, i.e. carved into the brick. Plus this will include a new vent for the shower, all new plumbing, and the finishing plumbing work in the bathroom. I guess I could get another bid from another company, but we have asked people in the past, and it's always come out over 4K. We've compared notes with neighbors and that's what they paid as well. We paid 4K for the brand new plumbing on our addition bathroom as well. It seems to be the going rate when you're talking about building a bathroom from the ground up, which is essentially what we're doing here. It's going to be approximately four full days of work for the plumber.

My goodness! That does sound like some pretty invasive work that needs to get done. No wonder the price is above $4k.

Once it is complete, you should have no regrets. I can't walk into our (almost) renovated bathroom without grinning. You will enjoy the upgrade for as long as you own your home, and it should be a selling point if you ever decide to move.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Wilson Hall on October 14, 2015, 11:39:14 AM
My husband replaced the toilet in our master bathroom with the Toilet of Misery.

It's too tall. It puts all my body weight on the backs of my thighs and my feet don't rest right on the ground - generally uncomfortable, but after a serious leg workout when those muscles are already sore it fills me with pain and secret bitter resentment.

It has the Observation Shelf. I do not need or want to observe anything happening in the toilet in that much detail.

It is low flow. The theory is that it saves water. The reality is that if you have to flush 50 times to get yer shit off the observation shelf, it's counterproductive. It's worth driving to Canada to smuggle in a real toilet.

Observation shelf? I'm not sure I want to know...

I'm with you on the low-flow problem. Our new toilet is dual-flush, which seems like the ideal solution.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: 3Mer on October 14, 2015, 11:44:32 AM
My bathroom is really small, and has this plastic wallboard material on the lower halves of the walls, a really old lighted mirror and really old flooring.  The only thing that really bothers me is the lighting / outlets need updating, the wall board material, and the size of it. 
It would be nice to have a little bit bigger counter around the sink.  But it isn't a must-have so I live with it.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Lookilu on October 14, 2015, 07:00:01 PM
Re: Concealed trapway toilets

Both of mine are from Toto: the Acquia I in the bathroom that has a 10" rough-in and the Acquia II in the other. No problems to report with either one.
I ended up ordering mine from Amazon for about $350 each.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: oneday on October 17, 2015, 02:57:30 AM
- I hate double sinks.  Extra expense for no point.

If you have two people who have to get ready to go to work at the same time every day, two sinks is incredibly convenient. Totally worth the expense.

Ha, I was just going to +1 MrsPete's comment!  You make a good point about two people at the same time.  DH & I have opposite schedules, so our double sinks are a waste.

Believe it or not, I would make the bathroom smaller. Unused second sink area for one, and the tub for another.  We aren't bath-takers...I would change to just a 4x4 shower or something.  We could use the extra space for storage or just general living area.  Actually, our 935 sq ft could be laid out better overall...oh well.  Fixtures ideally would be smooth & with space between like another poster mentioned for ease of cleaning.  Sink can't be too shallow.  Faucet has to jut out over sink enough to wash hands etc.  These last two I didn't ever think I would need to mention, but have recently had experiences with shallow sink/short faucet.  Who makes that kind of crap? Anyway I'm not looking for luxury, it's just a room to go in, get the job done & move on with life.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: justajane on October 17, 2015, 06:08:33 AM
@oneday, I can't stand wasted square footage in bathrooms and, I might add, in closets as well. We are lucky to live in a 1920s home that has a walk in closet in the master. That is almost unheard of and was original to the home. I don't imagine the original home owners used it as a walk in closet but rather another room adjoined to the bedroom. Well, when we bought the house, we immediately removed all the closet hardware and shelves and turned it into an office (we called it the "cloffice") and later a nursery (actually the "clursery"). I mean, we just don't have that many clothes and there was another closet in the room that worked just fine.

Oftentimes when we watch House Hunters (usually to mock it), we think with square footage, "Wait, this house is supposedly 2,500 sq ft but the living room isn't that large. Where is it?" It's usually in the bathrooms and closets. And when new houses are designed that way, it is very hard, sometimes impossible, to change it and gain that square footage elsewhere.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Zamboni on October 17, 2015, 06:45:45 AM
At the moment I would change my shower door, since it is broken and will not close. That is this weekend's project. Next I would change out the ugly light fixtures that the owner before me picked out. Then I'd replace the commode with one that always flushes properly. After that I'd replace the cheesy faucet fixture with the single central plastic fake crystal handle. Lastly I would smooth out the popcorn ceiling. But other than that, the bathroom is great. Big size, big tub, light-colored neutral vanity, molded sinks, giant mirror, white tile, walk in closet attached.

I second rethinking the cast iron tub, or even a much bigger tub, in an upstairs bathroom unless you have someone make structural calculations on floor reinforcement. Bathroom floors are usually quite sturdy already (because a tub full of water is heavy), but I've looked at a low-priced investment house where the tub clearly fell right through the floor into the room below.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: enigmaT120 on October 18, 2015, 01:33:18 PM
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

OK, that was funny.

I want that big antique urinal that they used to have in Grant's Brewery and Ale House in Yakima, WA back around 1989.  I don't know what happened to it though, and they went out of business.

I definitely don't have room for it though, and since I live in the woods I pee outside as often as not.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: aspiringnomad on October 19, 2015, 07:32:35 AM
TMI warning.  I made a modern bathroom upgrade mistake that hopefully nobody else will follow.

I replaced the old and leaky toilets in our house a few years ago with fancy modern dual-flush toilets that we got at a great price.  They look cool, have large and comfortable seats, and are pretty tall.  The dual flush thing uses less water, but is well designed and clogs less often than the old toilets being replaced.  Turns out this was a tremendous mistake though.

Your body is designed to poop in a squat (or near squat).  When you poop like this, your colon makes a straight line and the poop shoots out easily.  When you poop in a more upright sitting position, it puts a kink in your colon and you have to strain/push harder to poop.  The lower your toilet is to the ground, the closer to a squat position you end up in, and the less likely you will strain/push hard . . . which is the cause of hemorrhoids.

So, about three months after installing these toilets . . . with no other change to my life/lifestyle . . . I started having butt problems.  Eventually I read something on the internet about squat pooping, stuck a small stool in washroom next to the toilet, and with the elevated leg position my problems went away.

The moral of the story - tall toilets are designed to make you unhealthy.  Buy the shortest ones you can.

I'm 6 foot but have always strongly preferred the lowest possible toilet seat because it's always produced by far the best....results. I think the "comfort" toilets were initially made for folks with disabilities and then successfully marketed to non-disabled American consumers who see squatting as an unbearable burden. When I redo my bathroom, I hope it's not too difficult to find a good, old-fashioned low toilet seat.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 19, 2015, 10:06:28 AM
Our master bath is grossly oversized,  It could literally be three feet narrower and lose nothing except empty floor space.  So "more space efficient" would be desirable.

Things we especially like about our bathroom:
--toilet in its own room
--plenty of light

Other things I wish were different:
--we have a 6' garden tub, but it's not deep enough to actually soak in (seriously, who designs these things?!)
--glass shower walls + hard water = bad idea.
--I want a walk-around shower, tiled from floor to ceiling, with alcoves for soap/shampoo/etc
--linen closet NOT in the toilet room
--there's more counter space than we need--two sinks, and about 10' total counter space.
--shower is 36x48.  I wish it were just a bit larger.
Title: Re: If you could, what would you change about your bathroom?
Post by: Etihwdivadnai on October 19, 2015, 02:34:21 PM
We finally got round to renovating a '70s bathroom that was originally light-grey tiled round a bright pink bath + sink + toilet with a separate 760 mm x 760 mm shower cubicle with a shower curtain. I shudder to think how we put up with for so long.

We chose:

1) White bath + sink + toilet (so that they did not "date" as horribly as the pink stuff did)
    with both sink and toilet hung from the wall for easy cleaning.

2) Neutral tiles floor and walls (no under-floor heating).

3) Combined towel-rail and radiator.

4) LED lighting, some user-controlled and some under PIR "occupancy" sensor control.

5) 1200 mm x 900 mm (approx 4' x 3') low threshold 2-person walk-in shower
    with all glass enclosure with wide-opening double door.

Actually picture(s) make this description so much easier.

We did all the work except for the actual tiling ourselves.
The room was stripped back to joists and wooden stud-work
and then new plywood floor and then everything overboarded with cement-board

We do not intend to renovate this room again - ever!