Stealing Space for a Larger Bathroom

One of the biggest reasons homeowners renovate the bathroom is to gain or rearrange space. If more space is what you need then you better start looking for it in other areas of the home (or outside the home) because in a finished house there just isn't any. This is where bathroom design companies come in handy.

Space: A Bathroom's “Final Frontier”

Most bathrooms built before the 1980's were a rectangle. When you walked in bathroom the toilet was on the left or right followed by the vanity sink (or vice versa). Facing you was the showertub or it was on the left or right wall. In many cases the window was at the end of this space. So creating more space in a room like this might be as simple as adjusting the space that is already available to you.

Rearranging Space in the Bathroom

Some bathrooms have an old-style vanity with 2 sinks and a tiled top. If 2 sinks are not being utilized (especially in a bathroom that is not an ensuite, then over 9 extra square feet can be freed up just by taking out the vanity and replacing it with a modern basin sink with cupboard. A pedestal sink is not advisable because then you lose storage space in the room. But with the extra space you can pull out your old showertub ensemble and have room for a jet spa tub or a new wall shower-tub to replace the old tub. If you choose that latter then you have space for more storage but in an ensuite always keep the tip arrangement. To add a shower to your jetspa you can suspend the circular curtain rack from the ceiling.

Invading Another Space

This sounds like a science-fiction proposal but many spaces next to the bathroom are not being utilized and could be “assimilated” into the new bathroom. For example, many towel storage closets are next to the bathroom and could also give you the 9 square feet you need for the bigger tub. Other places might include a utility room, broom closet or bedroom closet in another room. You may be able to create space for another closet on the other side of the bedroom.

In the older homes a second bathroom was often built next to the main bathroom so that they could share the plumbing. If the second bathroom is the same size and has extra space sometimes you can rob unused space from it. For example if the bathrooms are mirror-images of each other and one is the guest bathroom then take out the storage or second sink and put in a shower. Why? Well, in most cases a shower is all you need for a guest bathroom and it takes up half the space. And guest bathroom do not the storage.

First, find the shower and new sink you want to buy and get the exact measurements. Start with the guest bathroom first so you have an extra bathroom to use. This is a good time to bring in your plumber and explain what you want to do so he or she has a game plan for your project. There may even be a toilet that has to be moved. When you have the exact measurements for the “new” bathroom mark them on the ceiling and walls with a permanent marker. Rip out the old bathroom and build a wood frame along the markings you made making allowances for the new green or cement board (5/8”). Frame the bathroom and finish it off from ceiling to floor.

Now that the first (guest bathroom) is completed you can go around and gut the main bathroom. You can also take out the old wall between the bathrooms and there is your space. Get your plumber to make the changes and put in your new fixtures.

Going Down

You may want to change the previous plan a bit by taking over the entire space and building the guest bathroom downstairs. In many cases the guest bedrooms are in the basement so you can build this area first and then take over the whole space upstairs for both a large bathroom and storage area.

If you have an older home and you don't have an extra bathroom then the basement is an excellent place because most of the plumbing is already available. You will, however, have to check and see that the bathroom is below the sewer line or you will have to install a pump for this.

Building More Space

Many homeowners include a new bathroom with a room addition. Since this is a major renovation, in many cases requiring a new roof line, a bathroom can also be included. The nice thing about a new addition is that the bathroom is built and plumbed from scratch so you won't have the shuffling of fixtures like in a remodel. In addition the new storage cabinets can be built in and a separate shower and jetspa can be enjoyed.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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