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mannewskie 02-13-2013 10:30 PM

Tricky bathroom remodel - any suggestions?
We live in an older row house in an older neighborhood in a large city. Our guest bathroom is quite small - it has a shower, sink and toilet, but it's all pretty tight. The current sink is a very nice bronze bowl, but it's only 9 inches across, so it's really too small to be used for simple things like washing your face. The sink is actually sitting in a small vanity, but it's an ugly old formica model. That vanity is also pushed up hard against the side of the shower and actually overlaps with the edge of the shower by a couple of inches.

Here are some rough dimensions for what I'm talking about:

* The shower (on the left of the room) is 42.5 inches deep by 28 inches wide
* The sink vanity (in the middle of the room) is 16.5 inches deep by 15 inches wide by 31.5 inches high and overlaps into the shower by about 2 inches at the top edge of the shower
* The sink vanity is 2.5 inches from the edge of the toilet tank on the same wall as the toilet
* The toilet tank (on the right of the room) is 28 inches high, 19 inches wide, and 3 inches from the exterior wall (to the right).
* T
he center of the toilet is 12.5 inches from the exterior wall

(Sorry if that doesn't help much, but my diagram of the room doesn't translate well on the thread.)

We aren't looking to change the size of the shower, the placement of the toilet or anything else major, but we would like to get a bigger sink. We also want to get rid of the ugly formica vanity, so we're considering a wall-mounted sink. Something like or both of which are around 16 inches wide and deep. In the process, we would also like to move the sink a few inches away from the shower to free up that space in the shower stall and to make the sink more centered in the space. To do so, we would envision raising the sink from it's current level to around 36 inches and moving it a bit to the right.

The problem is that if we move the sink and get something that would be a reasonable size, it would seem to cause code problems for the distance of the sink from the toilet. By shifting our sink up and to the right a few inches, we would essentially be moving it almost above the edge of the toilet tank.

Here are my questions:
(1) Am I correct that this alternative arrangement would not be up to code?
(2) Does it matter that our existing bathroom is not up to code and that it would be almost impossible to do any renovations in that space that were up to code?
(3) Should we look at a smaller sink? Would it be feasible to get any sink in there that would be functional and would also satisfy code requirements? (If so, any suggestions?)
(4) Should we also consider replacing the toilet with a model that has a smaller tank, and would that cause any code issues?
(5) Ultimately, we aren't looking to do a whole lot - just replacing and moving the sink a bit - so should we just go ahead and do the work and not worry about potential code violations, especially given that our old house is full of quirky code violations? What would be the worst that could happen if we were to do so? Is this something that could be an issue if we were to sell our house in the future, given that prospective buyers know that they're looking at a quirky old house?

Any advice that folks can offer would be greatly appreciated.

joecaption 02-13-2013 11:07 PM

Can you post a picture?

mannewskie 02-13-2013 11:49 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here's an attempt at some pictures, but remember, it's a really small bathroom. Also, you can see that the sink is really small and, given the placement of the mirror, how it's a bit off-center given the rest of the room. Thanks!

joecaption 02-14-2013 12:12 AM

Think about it, how many times has that shower been used?
Get rid of that and you would have room for a niec 1/2 bath with far better looking fixtures.

oh'mike 02-14-2013 05:18 AM

What Are The 'code' Space Requirements For A Toilet In A Three Walled Area?? - General Discussion - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum

This will help----Is there any way to expand the room a bit?

TarheelTerp 02-14-2013 08:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by mannewskie (Post 1116824)

We live in an older row house in an older neighborhood in a large city.
Our guest bathroom is quite small

Any advice that folks can offer would be greatly appreciated.

OK... It's a *guest* bathroom. Leave well enough alone.

I have a similar sized sink bowl in my RV.
The commode is right up against it.
It all works well enough.

The small shower was my complaint so I went and made the
WHOLE floor of the room into one big shower pan.

That's a compromise that might fit into your available space...
and give you more wall space for a larger lavatory.


AppealingSpaces 02-14-2013 11:41 PM

I see your dilemmas with your spacing and code. The proportions of everything is off in that the walk in shower consumes too much space, the vanity is large and boxy. The toilet seems to be okay. If I was in your situation, I would replace the vanity with a pedestal sink no more than 24" wide. The shower I would honestly shrink the width from the wall to the vanity and replace it with larger sized tile maybe 6x6 and some liners for borders. This will make the space seem larger. Also add a nickel or chrome oval mirror above the pedestal sink. You want to incorporate rounded edges to break up the square aspect of the space. :)

operagost 04-03-2013 04:14 PM

The sink and faucet are really cool. I would save those for a 1/2 bath project, or donate to the HFH reStore-- then smash the hideous laminate vanity to pieces. :-P I like the pedestal sink idea-- it will make it feel roomier in there, besides fitting better. New toilets are also available with very skinny tanks. Your toilet may still be too close to the wall to meet code, but you might be grandfathered in or simply exempt.

wkearney99 04-03-2013 06:26 PM

Man, that faucet is a hoot. Looks for all the world like a bar sink setup instead of a normal bathroom setup.

A wall-mount or pedestal sink is probably your best bet, just be sure to get one that has enough working room on the top for things. Nothing worse than trying to use a sink and having nowhere to put your stuff. Same thing goes for a toilet with a narrower (but possibly taller) tank. That'll give you a more open feeling between it and the new sink. Just don't forget to plan for where to keep the spare roll(s) of toilet paper.

Code is important and well worth following but unless you pull a permit nobody's going to come checking. Nor is anyone going to be breaking out the measuring tape when it comes time to sell. You didn't, right?

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