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Old 01-24-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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bathroom(s) remodelling idea


Howdy all. This is a 1979 bilevel. The two original bathrooms are highly dated and small. And further, there's an addition built through the master bedroom to a master suite with a nice full bathroom there. (That part is slightly odd but it actually works pretty well) So total there's 2.5 bathrooms in the house. I was thinking of renovating these two original ones and knocking out the wall between them and combining them into one larger bathroom. Probably close off the doorway from the master bedroom. Maybe even putting a window in cause the north wall is exterior.



Anything you think I should consider about this?

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Amateuralex
Howdy all. This is a 1979 bilevel. The two original bathrooms are highly dated and small. And further, there's an addition built through the master bedroom to a master suite with a nice full bathroom there. (That part is slightly odd but it actually works pretty well) So total there's 2.5 bathrooms in the house. I was thinking of renovating these two original ones and knocking out the wall between them and combining them into one larger bathroom. Probably close off the doorway from the master bedroom. Maybe even putting a window in cause the north wall is exterior.

Anything you think I should consider about this?
That was exactly the layout of my house I just bought. The blank space on the other side of the bathrooms was a 4th small bedroom. Knocked wall down between bathrooms, close door to main bath, that became all master bath and made that bedroom a big main bathroom.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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The real question is....can you get by with just 2 toilets in the house vs 3? If so...go for it....
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #4
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Careful...if all the houses in the neighborhood have 2.5 baths and yours is 1.5 it will take a resale hit.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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Where are your water lines and drains?

Is they are in the wall separating the two bathrooms (likely) then tearing out that wall might be...problematic.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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Careful...if all the houses in the neighborhood have 2.5 baths and yours is 1.5 it will take a resale hit.
Thanks for the warning, this is the kind of thing I was worried about. This will take us down from 2.5 to 2. Also, theoretically in the future we'll put a bathroom in the lower level. So you're right, it may take a resale hit, but maybe not a huge one. I'll ponder this.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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Where are your water lines and drains?

Is they are in the wall separating the two bathrooms (likely) then tearing out that wall might be...problematic.
The water and drain lines for the half bath are in that wall, but all the stuff for the full bath aren't, and those are what we'll use for the remodeled bathroom, so I think we're OK. I'll basically just cap those off, move or reposition the others, and declare victory.

When I do it, I'll gut the whole thing so it will be relatively easy to move the plumbing.

Good idea to consider tho, thanks.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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The real question is....can you get by with just 2 toilets in the house vs 3? If so...go for it....
There's just two of us right now. A miniature version of us may be coming, but just 1, so I think we'll be OK. Thanks for the comment.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by zakany
Where are your water lines and drains?

Is they are in the wall separating the two bathrooms (likely) then tearing out that wall might be...problematic.
As mentioned above I just did the same thing with same layout. The wall between was 2x8's and had 1"2 copper for master shower, a 4" vent for toilets. We cut all lines at the floor and tore floor out to studs. We had it in mind to run all new plumbing and water due to fact that we were turning a bedroom into a bathroom.
First pic is of the master bath and second of the main bathroom. It is now one master bath.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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If you do go through with this do not, DO NOT, skimp on the little luxuries. Make up for the lost bathroom with a really nice on. Get the high end (best you can afford) tile, heat the floor tile, get a really nice vanity (as budget will allow), ensure HVAC is sufficient, ensure proper ventilation, if glass shower enclosure use seamless glass (expensive but really does pay dividends for resale and oh so nice), add proper lighting, get a good flushing toilet, add adequate sound deadening/insulation, and get a nice SOLID CORE DOOR (don't want to hear people during their business). If the main bathroom a tub is really needed so child, especially infants can be bathed.

Take a moment and actually add the costs up before you decide. Although the missing bathroom can effect overall value, a really well done NICE bathroom can over come some of it. On the other hand if you make a really nice bathroom and it outdoes the rest of the house buyers will feel it is too nice and may make them wonder why it is the only really nice room.

Some of this is from personal experience and some from my home buying quest/realtor passed pointers. When I redid my small master the two things I passed on because of the added costs was in floor heating and seamless glass shower surround, now every day I cuss myself for not doing it. Oh and don't forget storage space. Several of the houses I walked into had great bathrooms with ZERO storage space and that is big turnoff.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rebelranger View Post
If you do go through with this do not, DO NOT, skimp on the little luxuries. Make up for the lost bathroom with a really nice on. Get the high end (best you can afford) tile, heat the floor tile, get a really nice vanity (as budget will allow), ensure HVAC is sufficient, ensure proper ventilation, if glass shower enclosure use seamless glass (expensive but really does pay dividends for resale and oh so nice), add proper lighting, get a good flushing toilet, add adequate sound deadening/insulation, and get a nice SOLID CORE DOOR (don't want to hear people during their business). If the main bathroom a tub is really needed so child, especially infants can be bathed.

Take a moment and actually add the costs up before you decide. Although the missing bathroom can effect overall value, a really well done NICE bathroom can over come some of it. On the other hand if you make a really nice bathroom and it outdoes the rest of the house buyers will feel it is too nice and may make them wonder why it is the only really nice room.

Some of this is from personal experience and some from my home buying quest/realtor passed pointers. When I redid my small master the two things I passed on because of the added costs was in floor heating and seamless glass shower surround, now every day I cuss myself for not doing it. Oh and don't forget storage space. Several of the houses I walked into had great bathrooms with ZERO storage space and that is big turnoff.
Good advice for the most part, but I also think you have to be careful about "over improving." Unless you're in an expensive area/very nice neighborhood, you may not get your money back should you go all out on your bathroom reno. Especially if you're just redoing one bathroom. As the previous poster said, if you have a 10/10 bathroom, unless the rest of the house is nice, it's honestly going to be a little out of place. Also, me personally, in floor heating and true frameless shower doors are not must haves. If I went to purchase a house, in floor heating is a big luxury item that someone may not be willing to pay for, and the same goes for the frameless shower doors.

While true frameless shower doors look great cosmetically, functionally you have to remember that many leak by the joints/seams, which can be a pita. For the money (and for functional reasons- no leaking), I think the nicer framed doors are the way to go for most homes. They're 1/4 or even less the cost of true frameless doors.

Finally, it all depends on what you want/what your plan is. If you never plan on moving then just do what you want. But, if you conceivably could be moving, just be careful about overimproving your home, as buyers in your market may not care for the top end features, and be more than happy with well designed and good quality renos..

I'm a big fan of these shower doors. For ~$300 you can't beat them imo. This is a tiny master bath that was gutted and redone in my townhouse.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:38 AM   #12
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In floor heating = $1 per sqft and can be the heat source for a tiled room....VERY CHEAP! I still kick myself in the butt for not doing this! You don't even have to do all the tiles, just so the heat source touches half of each tile. Thus 1 10 foot x 1 foot wide in floor heat pad can do 20 sqft.

Seamless door = I went framed in my small bath and saved $1800, however if I did a true master I would pay the $1800. As for leaks, quite the contrary (at least in my parts) seamless doors leak less and last longer due to the thicker and higher quality installs. Remember I went framed glass in my last remodel.

Just stuff to think about
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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I agree in floor heating isn't that expensive, but definitely more than $1/sq ft when you add everything else in. I looked into it before and it was considerably more expensive than that.

I agree for a very nice master bath frameless doors are the way to go, but then it also comes down to whether that money could be used elsewhere.. If you have the nicest pimped out bathroom in your neighborhood, but your other bathroom isn't renovated and is very old, or you have old carpet throughout the house, then you might be better off not going all out for the true frameless doors and either renovating the other bathroom ($1500 goes a long way) or installing nice HW floors in your home.

Regarding leaks.. The framed doors (one in the picture above) don't leak at all. I'll take that over "leak less" any day.

Edit: To comment on the OP. If you added an en suite for the master bedroom (not shown in your diagram), I'd say what you're doing is a great idea combining the two bathrooms, as you don't need two bathrooms for the master.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:32 PM   #14
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Edit: To comment on the OP. If you added an en suite for the master bedroom (not shown in your diagram), I'd say what you're doing is a great idea combining the two bathrooms, as you don't need two bathrooms for the master.
I guess that's where the details for this house come in, that I didn't include in my original post. The house is a bilevel. An addition was built on the back, that you access from the master bedroom shown in the diagram. On the northwest wall of the master bedroom, a hall/half stair leads down to an addition that includes a huge walk-in closet, huge bathroom, and gigantic room that's a living room and bedroom in one.

So the master bedroom shown in the diagram cannot technically be a bedroom since it leads to another room. I think the previous owners turned it into a library. It's still a nice, big room and we use it as the master bedroom, and I use the addition as a music studio (which it is glorious for - and my wife graciously allowed for several practical and generous reasons).

So even in our configuration, if we were to remove the half bath off of the master bedroom (the one shown in the diagram), it's still a short walk down the half stairs to the bathroom in the addition. So I think either for us, or for future owners, the 'master bedroom' has a nice onsuite.

Thanks a ton for the input!
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #15
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I'm working on a similar issue combining a full bath immediately next door to a 1/2 bath. The full bath had no room for a vanity, a wall hung sink right next to a toilet that was literally 3" from a wall so you had to sit a little to the left and a tub, right in front of you. Made no sense. 2 bedroom house originally, but in the 70's, someone added a master bedroom and a bathroom with a shower stall. So, I've torn out everything in the old master bath and waiting to tear out the adjoining 1/2 bath and turn them into one nice sized full bath with a total space of 7x11. Somewhere in there I want to get a linen closet too, cause I figure storage is always an issue. I'm working with a contractor, but so far his ideas are uninspiring.

Good luck to you on yours; I'll be keeping an eye out for updates. I'm building a laundry room right now and remodeling my kitchen. When those get done, I'm tackling the main bathroom. Hopefully by then, I'll have more ideas or pimped the forum here for some. And yes, I'm doing about 70% of the work myself and hiring only what I don't feel I can do efficiently or want knocked out fast. I'd rather do it all myself, but it gets old living in the midst of an ongoing project... I'm in year 2 now... and my goal is to get the house completely done by late this summer... gotta have goals, right?

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