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Old 05-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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Small bathroom options?


Hi everyone.

I'm renovating a small (8' x 6') bathroom in a c. 1913 row house. The door (opening) is 29" leaving 31' for the tub on the same wall.

I'd like to remove the pink cast-iron tub and put in a shower...the idea being to tile the two walls, put in a curb and then have a curtain that pulls around. Any kind of barrier will make it too narrow to raise one's arms, I'm sure.

Another option would be to get a small acrylic clawfoot tub...I've seen a couple that are ca. 52' x 27" that would make it up the stairs and into the room.

Third option is to refinish what's there...but I really don't like it and would prefer one of the other options above.

Walls are coming down (pink tile...), but floor and tub are still intact. Ugly, but intact.

Do any of the experienced folks have a recommendation/suggestion as to the best way to go?

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 05-20-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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Small bathroom options?


Pink sounds late 40-50's, so I am assuming what is there is not original?? Pics would help us, but can you enlarge the space?? Install pocket door instead of hinged?? Gives you more usable space. I agree, small shower is not workable, unless you are vertically challenged.

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Old 05-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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Small bathroom options?


To get better advice, I'd post some photos of the area. We might see things you can do, that you don't.
From the info posted, the shower base would be best in a small bath.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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Small bathroom options?


Thanks for the input so far. Here are some photos of the space.

And...

1. I've considered a pocket door, but the wall next to the door has the plumbing for the bathtub/shower. The other "bathtub wall" is brick (with an adjacent rowhouse on the other side)--so there's not a good option to move the plumbing around.

BUT-I'd love do to it if it could co-exist with plumbing somehow. Could the plumbing come up through the floor to a clawfoot tub, thus freeing the wall for a pocket door???

2. I'm pretty sure that the wall on the left side of the door is a load-bearing wall, and the wall in back is another brick wall (used to be the back of the house), so I don't think there are any good candidates for DIY wall-moving. Again, I'm open to possibilities.

3. I do think this is a ca. 1950 bathroom. The basement was finished around that time, so I think there may have been a burst of remodeling then.

4. Finally, in doing some internet browisng I found some corner showers from "Maax" that would fit in my 32 x 32 corner--so that might be another possibility--any experience (good or bad) with Maax products?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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Small bathroom options?


I don't see a door issue the way it is. The bath looks to be a 5'x7' standard size bath.
Unless your an anorexic, a 32 x32 shower will be like a phone booth(if your under 30, you might have to Google,"phone booth")
A 32 x48 shower will give you a decent amount of room and probably take up less floor space then the tub. A glass enclosure will keep the water in and not take away from the room size.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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Small bathroom options?


The first decision is "Tub, shower, or tub/shower combo?"

If you are going to be showering in here daily, I would strongly advise against the clawfoot tub. It might look cool but that would require one of those wrap around curtains. We have one of those in our second bath and they are a PITA to use on a daily basis. Clingy and no where to put the shampoo bottle.

Is there another tub in the house? If so, and you are shower people, I would go with just a shower. You could frame out a wall between the tub and toilet and either do a custom shower, or a prefab receptor.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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Small bathroom options?


Thanks for the helpful ideas.

I'm old enough to know what a phone booth is, and definitely not anorexic--so tiny corner shower is off the list. The tub is roughly 32x60. Would a glass partition make the space too narrow in the 32" direction?

I hadn't considered the lack of shelf space in the clawfoot tub. I'm a shower person (single), so the tub would lose it's charm rapidly. I'll do a some research on combos...maybe a potential resale issue down the road, but I never use a bathtub.

One more question: If I go the shower route, the long wall of the shower will be brick. It would be cool to leave the brick, but that seems problematic with all the water (it's ca. 1913 common brick to boot). If I tile over it, how can I get a good surface to tile in the minimum width? If I frame out a wall, then put 1/2" on top, my shower will shrink to about 30" wide. Currently there is mortar on the brick and the tile is set on that. Is that an option in modern times? I could try to be very careful and just chisel the tile off the existing mortar, but that seems almost impossible, plus there will be the space where the tub is now. Thoughts? Would it be possible to seal the brick and have a brick shower wall??

Thanks again; this has been very helpful.

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:32 PM   #8
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You can't use the exposed brick as a finished shower wall. At least not for long.
Where do you live where there's no insulation in the walls?
With no stud wall, you just made this a more complicated job.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
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I'm in DC. The wall is an interior wall, between two rowhouses. I know for sure there is just brick, then metal lath, mortar and tile there.

Bummer about the brick, but I'd be really nervous getting it wet repeatedly...
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fix-it View Post
I'm in DC. The wall is an interior wall, between two rowhouses. I know for sure there is just brick, then metal lath, mortar and tile there.

Bummer about the brick, but I'd be really nervous getting it wet repeatedly...
So the brick wall is an interior brick wall. Not subjected to the weather.
Then the only issue is getting the wall plumb, waterproofed sop it's ready for tile.
How are your skim coating skills?
You would also need to bond the mortar to the brick.
The concrete guys should be able to guide you with that.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fix-it View Post
The tub is roughly 32x60. Would a glass partition make the space too narrow in the 32" direction?
No. Actually a door that sits on the edge of the receptor would give more space than a curtain that fits inside. It would give you the same width as a standard tub/shower combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fix-it View Post
I hadn't considered the lack of shelf space in the clawfoot tub. I'm a shower person (single), so the tub would lose it's charm rapidly. I'll do a some research on combos...maybe a potential resale issue down the road, but I never use a bathtub.
Yep. I'm a firm believer that it is your house, do what you want, but unless you are planning to stay there the rest of your life, resale could be an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fix-it View Post
One more question: If I go the shower route, the long wall of the shower will be brick. It would be cool to leave the brick, but that seems problematic with all the water (it's ca. 1913 common brick to boot). If I tile over it, how can I get a good surface to tile in the minimum width? If I frame out a wall, then put 1/2" on top, my shower will shrink to about 30" wide. Currently there is mortar on the brick and the tile is set on that. Is that an option in modern times? I could try to be very careful and just chisel the tile off the existing mortar, but that seems almost impossible, plus there will be the space where the tub is now. Thoughts? Would it be possible to seal the brick and have a brick shower wall??
We have two bathrooms. One with a shower/tub combo and one with a shower only. BOTH have brick walls in the shower area. Both have windows. I really wanted to keep the brick too. The issue with brick is not only deterioration, but figuring out a waterproof way of connecting it to the shower receptor or tub.

With the tub combo I went with the wraparound curtain as the easiest and most practical solution.

With the shower I furred out the walls with 1 bys, so it would bring the CBU out to overlap the flange of the receptor. Then filled in the area between with foam board for insulation (exterior walls). Then put up my 1/2" CBU, taped the seams, roll on waterproofing, and tiled. Yes, I lost a couple of inches but I didn't see any other alternative.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:55 PM   #12
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Small bathroom options?


If you can totally redo the layout to that of a typical 5x8 bathroom - put the tub/shower across the back wall with the window - vanity where the tub is, just inside the door - the toilet moves over towards the new vanity location. This is the most space effecient layout.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
If you can totally redo the layout to that of a typical 5x8 bathroom - put the tub/shower across the back wall with the window - vanity where the tub is, just inside the door - the toilet moves over towards the new vanity location. This is the most space effecient layout.
While this may be a better layout, you would have to address the window as well. If you put a shower over a wood framed window you will have issues regarding rot and water penetrating the wall. You really don't want a window in a shower if it is at all avoidable.

BTW, I love the sink, very unusual. If you don't reuse it I bet a vintage resale place would want it.

Last edited by Blondesense; 05-23-2011 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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How long ago was the tub reglazed?
Ron

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