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Need help with 15x15 master bath layout

kmur2013
February 4, 2019
last modified: February 4, 2019

Hi, I have a 15x15 master bath that I need help on. There are so many layout options, that I'm stuck and need design/practical advice on what makes the most sense. Here's my wish list:

- 4x7 toilet room

- 6' tub

- large shower (not sure what is the appropriate/practical size for the space)

- large double vanity (possibly with make up area between the sinks, same countertop height).

- windows for natural light / ventilation

I have narrowed down 2 options, attached. I'm stuck on the following:

1. Is it not desirable to have the toilet room in the sight line from the door?

2. Is Option 1 shower/tub placement ok to have the large 6' space between?

3. Is Option 2 shower/tub placement better to have more open space near the door. Maybe put a small make up table or full length mirror left of the door?

4. Seems like with such a large space, this master bathroom should be amazing. I would appreciate any other ideas.

Thank you!


Option 1



Option 2

Comments (39)

  • PRO
    Brittany Lyons Art and Interiors, LLC

    Hi there! With your space, I would suggest having the sinks on the same wall as the door and moving the tub and toilet room on the same exterior wall. So essentially walking into the bathroom will have vanities and cabinets on the left and toilet room on the right with a door that opens on that same wall. The tub will be next to the toilet room but it will just be a wall. The shower will be in the far corner (opposite the wall) and you could even put a bench or something under that window. I hope this helps!


    kmur2013 thanked Brittany Lyons Art and Interiors, LLC
  • AnnKH

    It seems to me that a big square room in which all the fixtures need to be along the wall is going to have a lot of wasted space in the middle. I've never worked with unlimited space or budget, so my definition of "amazing" leans more toward efficient rather than grand.

    Is there a way to arrange the space in the house so that the bathroom is more rectangular, to give you more wall space and less floor space?

    kmur2013 thanked AnnKH
  • PRO
    Brittany Lyons Art and Interiors, LLC

    This image was created from the dimensions on your drawing. You can definitely bring the 16ft wall in to decrease the space in the middle. Will closets be apart of this space? Another option would be to move the tub to the other side of the shower, slide the toilet room down and create a closet. A seating area is another option, if you don't mind having one in the bathroom.

    kmur2013 thanked Brittany Lyons Art and Interiors, LLC
  • AnnKH

    Isn't there already a seating area in the bathroom? ;)

  • PRO
    Brittany Lyons Art and Interiors, LLC

    If you are referring to the bench, I don't consider that a seating area. Hopefully, you can create the space you're wanting! I wish you the best!

  • Karenseb

    Here a couple of other options, keeping the toilet room more private.

    Option 1

    I like a window in the toilet room if possible. I don't have one and it works fine, but I prefer light. A pocket door would be good because the area is so private already, you may not close the door that often. Then you could hang towels behind the shower door, I have mine on hooks with rubber caps. ( the towels don't fall off and I don't worry about the door hitting the hooks). With a shower this large you could put the shower head on the side or bottom wall I should think.

    With option 1 you could make the toilet room as deep as the tub (5 feet) and also make a small storage area across from the toilet or extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc...

    Option 2

    You could do separate vanities or an L shape with a bench on the left wall. Or you could do a long vanity or L shaped vanity with the linen behind the door. The shower door should probably be a slider if you open the toilet room door out.

    kmur2013 thanked Karenseb
  • AnnKH

    I was being a smart a$$, and referring to the toilet.

  • PRO
  • PRO
    Designer Drains

    Option #1 feels like it has the most open space.

    kmur2013 thanked Designer Drains
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Do you have to have a gas chamber?

    kmur2013 thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • Mrs Pete

    large shower (not sure what is the appropriate/practical size for the space)

    Personal opinion, formed after measuring hotel showers and friends' showers over the course of several years: I like 4'x5' ... big enough to be large and luxurious, but not so wide that you can't touch both walls (think old age and grab bars; you need to be able to reach them) ... so you don't feel lost in a too-big area. Also small enough to hold in the warmth. If you're planning a large bench, I could see going up to 4'x6', but 4' is the widest I'd go.

    large double vanity (possibly with make up area between the sinks, same countertop height).

    You certainly have the size, but are repetitive sinks really something you need? Even something positive? Before you add duplicate sinks, be sure you have plenty of drawer space. Then think through paying for two sinks, faucets, installation ... cleaning two sinks. And for what purpose?

    windows for natural light / ventilation

    Definitely!

    Option #1 feels like it has the most open space.

    Yes, but I'm not convinced that a lot of open space is a positive in a bathroom.

    This is the best plan presented here: It gets you a lot of window (and if you use big mirrors, you'll really have a lot of natural light), and it tucks the toilet sensibly in a corner ... but not a claustrophobic closet. Nice big closet. Still a lot of open, wasted space in the middle.

    Other thoughts:

    You almost have too much space here. The square space pushes you towards empty, wasted space in the middle. Could you go with a more narrow room / use some of this space for another purpose? Even just a closet?

    I'd move the shower away from the window ... water + wood never ends well. On the other hand, I definitely lean towards pushing the tub towards the exterior wall ... because windows.

    Consider the hinge on the shower ... have you angled it this way because you anticipate disrobing at the bench? Typically it'd angle towards the main room. Think through your anticipated steps.

    With so much space, I'd definitely want a real linen closet in the bathroom ... not just a cabinet (note that a closet is infinitely cheaper than a linen cabinet) ... space for a hamper on the bottom shelf, extra toilet paper, towels, and more. I have a walk-in linen closet in my hall bathroom, and it's a wonderful luxury.

    Think beyond the big players (and looks) to the details:

    - Where's your trash can? A negative about the above pix is that you'll need a trash can at each sink and one at the toilet ... three trash cans to empty.

    - Where's your clothes hamper?

    - Where's the hook for your robe?

    - Where will your wet towels hang?

    - Do you store medicine in your bathroom? Bed linens? Extra toiletries? Toilet paper bought by the case? Scales? What else?

    kmur2013 thanked Mrs Pete
  • Lindsey_CA

    large double vanity (possibly with make up area between the sinks, same countertop height)

    Although some folks question the need for a second sink, this is something that I feel is a must-have. Hubs can be at his sink and I at my sink and still get ready at the same time. It really doesn't take much extra time to clean a second sink. Plus, it's easier having your own counter space for anything you keep out in the open.

    As for the make-up area -- years ago every time I would see a photo of a vanity area with a chair, I'd always wonder why some women would sit down to put their makeup on. Now that I'm older with arthritic knees and a bad back, I always sit down to put my makeup on. So, planning for aging in place, I'd vote for a make-up area that is a bit lower, so you can sit on a small chair or stool and be at the correct height. Also, I want the sink to be within easy reach of the make-up area because I use (Chanel) cake eyeliner which requires water, as well as a make-up sponge that requires water. So, when I see floor plans that have a make-up vanity placed away from the sink, I immediately discount that plan!

    But that's just me.

    kmur2013 thanked Lindsey_CA
  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    I'm still amazed that in all my years on GW, even when the budget for a house is huge, no one is doing separate his/hers bathrooms. I'd much prefer having two smaller baths than one huge one. My son had this in his last house and loved it. Needless to say, the "his" bath is usually quite functional - not luxury or bling. Guys need to be able to use the toilet, shave and shower. Women use their bathroom for more things than that.

    kmur2013 thanked Anglophilia
  • acm

    like to be able to chat while brushing teeth. some days would never see spouse otherwise! :) plus, some day, when the kid is gone, may manage to shower together again!

    kmur2013 thanked acm
  • Lindsey_CA

    "I'm still amazed that in all my years on GW, even when the budget for a house is huge, no one is doing separate his/hers bathrooms. I'd much prefer having two smaller baths than one huge one."

    Our house has three full bathrooms, and there are only two of us living here. Hubs takes really hot showers. I tend to run warm in the morning, cold at night. Hubs is the opposite. It used to drive me nuts when I'd be at my sink trying to get makeup to stay on my face while he was taking a steaming hot shower, causing me to "glow" (women don't sweat), making it difficult to get makeup on. So, we compromised. He showers and shaves in a different bathroom. Works for us.

    But I've seen master bathrooms with two toilets, which is cool.

  • David Cary

    So funny. I would never ever want his/hers bathrooms or toilets. My wife agrees. And she would never buy a house with a single sink in a master. And apparently the majority opinion agrees since I have never seen a spec house that had separate baths or 1 sink in a master.

    I have seen one house with separate toilet areas (and maybe extra sink area). It was a foreclosure in an amazing location. Had a full acre lot less than 1.5 miles to a hospital, Whole Foods and the highway. Just saying....

    As has been said, 15x15 is not the right proportion. It depends on preference and climate but that is too much volume. Since many people tile the bathroom and that is the most expensive floor in the house. If you want to heat the floor, you have a bigger area. My last bath was about 15x15 - can you tell?

    kmur2013 thanked David Cary
  • doc5md

    Mark's layout is great!

    kmur2013 thanked doc5md
  • AnnKH

    David Cary, DH and I have no need for 2 bathroom sinks. We manage to share the sink just fine - can even brush our teeth together, if we are in too much of a hurry to wait. I would much rather have the extra counter and storage space we get with a single sink.

    Everything else in a house would have to be perfect for me t buy a house with a gas chamber - and even then, I would probably remodel.

    Obviously bathrooms are not "one size/style fits all"!

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    Anglophilia, my parents designed their house to have his-and-hers. Worked great for them. "Hers" has a tub, "his" has a shower, but eventually "she" used "his" shower exclusively. The two bathrooms were connected by a niche for the linen cabinet. And there's not an overload of empty floor space this way.


    kmur2013 thanked bpath Oh Sophie
  • Mrs Pete

    I'm still amazed that in all my years on GW, even when the budget for a house is huge, no one is doing separate his/hers bathrooms.

    Two bathrooms is highly unappealing for me -- two to pay for, higher taxes, two sets of everything to break, and two to keep clean every week.

    However, the OP does have space for it.

    And apparently the majority opinion agrees since I have never seen a spec house that had separate baths or 1 sink in a master.

    I think it's become one of those mindless things that people do because "it's what nice houses have" ... even if the counter space isn't adequate to support two.

  • AnnKH

    Just because everyone else does it, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    MrsPete, that's an interesting point about taxes. I wonder what the difference is, for an additional bathroom? And, if one bathroom already has a tub AND and shower AND two sinks, maybe even two vanities, but one toilet,, well that's just one flush shy of an additional bathroom. I don't know how they define two bathrooms! My parents' his-n-hers is connected, but I suppose you could put a door in to separate them. Hmm...

    Maybe the OP's space could be configured as one bath plus a half-bath (toilet and sink)?

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner

    Maybe something similar to one of these layouts?





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  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    I am 75. I know NO ONE my age who still shares a bathroom with her husband. And they haven't for years. All the husbands have been kicked out to a 2nd bath in the house, down the hall. Of course, one is not going to see this in a low-end spec house, but I can promise you that in the early 2000's, in CT all the 3-4.5 million dollar houses had them. In CT, no one shares a bath - every bedroom has an ensuite bath. If one can afford a house that price, one can afford the taxes (how much could it possibly raise ones taxes to have one more bath?) and help to clean them.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner

    I agree with Anglophilia. Not only do the husbands have a different bathroom but often a different bedroom because of the snoring. When you get to this age it's hard enough trying to get a decent night's sleep without having it disrupted by snoring and trips to the bathroom.

    Builders should really start building in the real world and have adjoining master suites.

  • Lindsey_CA

    "If one can afford a house that price, one can afford the taxes (how much could it possibly raise ones taxes to have one more bath?)"

    A three-bedroom, 1-bathroom home won't be worth as much as a three-bedroom, 2-bathroom home, so adding a second bathroom to the first home will increase its value and, of course, the property tax.

    But adding a second toilet to a master bathroom that already has two sinks, a shower and separate tub isn't going to result in it being assessed as an additional bathroom, and it isn't going to substantially, if at all, raise the property taxes.

    Property taxes are based on the assessed value. The assessed value is a percentage of the market value. Market value is the most likely price of a home that is available in a competitive and open market. Adjustments are made (when appraising a property) based upon what a buyer would likely be willing to pay if all other factors are considered to be equal.

    So, how much more are you willing to pay for a second toilet in a master bathroom if everything else in that house is equal to the features/functionality of a nearby home that has only one toilet in a bathroom? (Answer, not enough to significantly raise the property taxes on the home with two master toilets.)

  • Cheryl Hannebauer

    >>following>>

  • David Cary

    "Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't mean it is a good idea."

    Absolutely true. But resale is resale. And just because you think something is a bad idea, doesn't mean that everyone does.

    Houses are not built today for 75 year olds. That isn't going to change. Most 75 year olds are not buying new houses. I am 48 and I don't know anyone who sleeps in a separate bedroom than their spouse. (I do know one but they are divorcing now....). Haven't looked at the demos but I suspect new houses are built/bought by 30-60 year olds with 40-50 being the peak decade.

    Snoring and bathroom issues are medical problems. Not always fixable for sure but should not be accepted as normal without adequate investigation.

  • Mrs Pete

    MrsPete, that's an interesting point about taxes. I wonder what the difference is, for an additional bathroom?

    I don't know how much more taxes would run, but I'm sure it's different across the nation -- and it's subject to change.

    Maybe the OP's space could be configured as one bath plus a half-bath (toilet and sink)?

    Or a bathing area ... connected to a half bath.

    I am 75. I know NO ONE my age who still shares a bathroom with her husband. And they haven't for years. All the husbands have been kicked out to a 2nd bath in the house, down the hall.

    I'm only 52, but I don't know any married couple who does this. No one my own age. Not my grandparents, whom I lived with during my college years /while they were roughly your current age. Not my parents who are currently your current age.

    If one can afford a house that price, one can afford the taxes (how much could it possibly raise ones taxes to have one more bath?) and help to clean them.

    I don't think it's about being able to afford; rather, it's about using your resources wisely. Having more doesn't mean it's right to waste.

    But adding a second toilet to a master bathroom that already has two sinks, a shower and separate tub isn't going to result in it being assessed as an additional bathroom, and it isn't going to substantially, if at all, raise the property taxes.

    That makes sense from a tax perspective, but it still leaves you with an extra toilet that needs cleaning each week, is subject to breakdowns, and is only going to be used for minutes each day. I maintain it's a poor use of resources.

    Absolutely true. But resale is resale. And just because you think something is a bad idea, doesn't mean that everyone does.

    I am convinced that the majority of homeowners look at price and finishings rather than function -- but you're right: that's resale.

  • Lindsey_CA

    "But resale is resale. And just because you think something is a bad idea, doesn't mean that everyone does."

    And just because you think something is a swell idea doesn't mean that everyone does.

    In the early 1980s I appraised a house (in Southern California) for which the owners were seeking a home equity loan. The house was built in the early-60s and was in an established middle-class neighborhood of similar quality homes. This particular home had been remodeled, to add a larger master suite and large, rectangular-shaped game room. The game room had three built-in arcade games (think back to the old PacMan and Donkey King things) along one wall. I noticed that the rug/carpet on the floor had a seam/bound edge several feet in from the each of the walls, so it was obvious that this portion of the carpet could be removed/rolled up. I asked the owner if there was a dance floor underneath the carpet. He said that, no, there wasn't a dance floor. What there WAS, however, was a pool table on a hydraulic lift that, when lowered, was in a temperature- and humidity-controlled vault. He proudly informed me that he had spent upwards of $35,000 to have that installed. Of course, he expected that the value of his home would be increased by at least $35,000. How large a demand is there for a home with this unique feature? Not much. How much more is the average home buyer willing to spend to get a house with this feature when there is another, identical house nearby for sale at a much lower price? Not much.

  • just_janni

    Why, exactly, do you have to kick your husband out of the master bathroom?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    I thought she asked for a layout?!

    I'd do one now but I'm in a bar with friends on a very ugly rainy/ soon to be icy day !

    kmur2013 thanked JAN MOYER
  • ci_lantro

    It's toooo big. Decrease the size and figuring it out will be easier.


    ETA---And if you're talking 10-12' ceilings and live north of the Mason Dixon, it's going to be really chilly in there for about nine months of the year.

    kmur2013 thanked ci_lantro
  • kudzu9

    "I am 75. I know NO ONE my age who still shares a bathroom with her husband."

    Anglophilia-

    Interesting...I wonder if this is a regional thing or...? Most of my friends are in their 70's and, as far as I can tell, they/we are all still sharing bathrooms with significant others. This is aside from the ones who don't have a choice as their apartments only have one bathroom.

    ci_lantro-

    Something's been bothering me about this whole thread and it didn't crystallize until I read your comment: that's when I realized what was bugging me is that the various layouts are boring precisely because the space is just a big square. It's an excess of space in search of a purpose. A smaller, more interesting shape could be more functional and much more aesthetically pleasing. Less is more!

    kmur2013 thanked kudzu9
  • kariyava

    This suggestion is a little over the top, but since you have a big square bathroom you could design it so you have a free standing bathtub in the middle. Something like this






    kmur2013 thanked kariyava
  • new-beginning

    two examples: cousin and her husband (never any kids) built a large 3 bed/2 bath home - as far as I know, once they moved in they never slept in the same bedroom, used the same bathroom (they were probably in their early 40s at the time).

    When I was early 60s, hubby decided my snoring bothered him (his snoring bothered me too), so I did the testing, got a C-PAP machine. Then the machine bothered him - we rarely slept in the same room after that for several more years (he then was diagnosed with cancer and pretty much slept in his recliner until he died).

    So no matter how much one might expect to sleep in the same room/same bed with their spouse/SO/partner - 'life happens' and ya just adjust.

    kmur2013 thanked new-beginning
  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    Life happens. Sleep becomes more difficult/erratic, gastrointestinal problems affect older people, often due to meds they take for chronic illnesses.

    But obviouly none of these reasons are why those CT multi-million dollar spec houses all in clouded his/her bathrooms as part of the master suite. The demographic buying such houses in mid 30’s to late 40’s. I think some is husbands getting up very early to shower before a very early train into Manhatten, but probably most likely it’s part of the separate enormous walk-in closets these houses also had.

    What surprised me more about these houses, was that there were no servant’s quarters (even SAHM have at least one nanny), and the 2nd floor laundry wasn’t in a room big enough for a maid to sit in and watch TV while doing what must have been mountains of laundry. In that part of CT , 4 children is the norm. Yes, it IS another world...

  • kmur2013

    Thank you, everyone, for all your comments and suggestions! It does seem like the space being so large is what's making it difficult to lay out (which seems counterintuitive). In some of the layout suggestions, I realized I should have mentioned

    1. The windows shown are on the only window wall; all other walls are interior walls.

    2. The door to the bathroom can't really be moved, and there is only 2 feet on the right side (as you enter the bathroom), so a toilet room wouldn't fit right of the door.


    Things I'll think about:

    1. Making the bathroom smaller: there is a laundry room on the other side of the vanity/sink wall, and a walk-in master closet on the same wall as the bathroom door wall.

    2. The various layout ideas you all suggested.


    Thank you!



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