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converting a bedroom into a master bath/walk in closet - layout help

Wendy Callendar
May 23, 2019

I'm converting a 10.5' x 12.5' room into a combination master bathroom and walk in closet. I've come up with some layout ideas, and would love some opinions or suggestions for things I may have not thought of.

In all of my drawings 1 square = 6".

Requirements/wish list:

*The bathroom needs to be on the hallway side for water/sewer access.

*Ideally, space should be saved for a closet for the neighbouring bedroom. It is currently used as a spare room, but that won't always be the case. The opposite side of the spare room is the furnace room and we can steal space for a 3 foot closet from there, so we don't need to create a huge closet here, and if we're super stingy, we could skip the closet all together.

*A 5' dresser needs to fit in the closet; there's no room in the bedroom space for it. (If necessary I will sell it and get a 4' dresser, but would prefer not to)

*I don't want to have to worry about the steam from my shower affecting my clothes, so some barrier between the closet and the bathroom (even if it's just a pocket door that's only ever closed while the shower is on)

*Walk in shower (ideally 5' x 3'), no tub.

*Water closet

*I can't take any space from the master bedroom - the master bedroom is the result of an addition that was put on the house and the foundation wasn't cut all the way through to separate the two rooms, so there's a concrete wall that extends from the exterior wall 21" into the room and 5'8" into the room from the hallway wall (this is represented by the wall that is 1' wide between the bedroom and the bathroom/closet). This obviously also restricts the area where we can enter this space from the bedroom.

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3 (note that there are two options for the dresser here. not sure either is ideal)

Comments (9)

  • jslazart

    I like option 2, though I window would sure be nice, even if the natural light has to go through the closet to get into the bathroom. I assume there's an existing window or two in this bedroom? Is this a long low dresser? Something tall and narrow would probably give you more flexibility.

    ETA: Compromising on the need for a water closet would give you a lot more options.

    Wendy Callendar thanked jslazart
  • rainyseason

    Will you be hanging clothes in the closet? Hanging requires about 24” of depth I think— doesn’t leave much room to walk or access the dresser in those designs. If you add that detail to your plans I think it will help clarify what works.

    Wendy Callendar thanked rainyseason
  • Wendy Callendar

    jslazart - no windows in this room. The master bedroom was the result of an addition, and the only window in the bathroom/closet room was on the wall that is now open to the master bedroom.

    I would be willing to sell my dresser and get something else, but I'd prefer not to unless I can't find a design I'm satisfied with using the current one.

    I would be happy to forego the water closet, but my husband is firm on that point. I might see what kind of drawings I can up with without the water closet to see if I can convince him.

    rainyseason - yes, hanging clothes! My understanding is that a minimum of 5' is required for width in a walk-in closet if clothes are hung on both sides. Option 2 is really only a few inches shy of that (since the wall is drawn at 6" width, which isn't necessary), option 1 is 5' and option 3 is very open. In my current setup, I have 19" between that dresser and my bed and it's fine, so I think the width drawn here should be okay. Definitely open to discussion on opening that up though!

  • jslazart

    You need 2' per clothes rod, so 5' would give you 5-2-2 = 1' to walk. You need at least 2' to walk. 3' is more comfortable, particularly in a deep room. Here's an idea without the water closet. .. you get a big shower and decent hanging space. If your dresser is low enough, you could maybe add a hanging bar above it as well.

    Wendy Callendar thanked jslazart
  • Wendy Callendar

    ahhh, thank you for this! I had it stuck in my head that I didn't want the door to open onto the toilet so I didn't even consider this setup, but it really is very logical and has so many other things going for it!

  • Steven

    I second @jslazart’s plan, however, you could just do a regular door to the bathroom (and closet) and switch sink and toilet. Pocket doors can be problematic, normal doors would work just as well.
    You could also retain a decent 5’x8’ bathroom and moving the guest bedroom closet to occupy space from the bathroom half to give you about 4 linear feet of extra storage. You’ll lose about 2’ of vanity space storage, but you’ll get double that in closet space (some of which can still be used for linens). Btw, the single plumbing wall on the left will also be cheaper than all your original plans. I hope you go for it!

    Wendy Callendar thanked Steven
  • cpartist

    Hanging clothes take up 2’. You need 3’ of aisle width for a walk in closet so a 5’ wide closet would allow hanging on one side. You need a minimum of 7’ for hanging on both sides

    Also double check your dresser. Most are 21” deep, not 18”

    Wendy Callendar thanked cpartist
  • Steven

    Also, something I didn’t mention: By making your bathroom 5’x8’ you’ll be giving yourself a significantly bigger WIC (>7’x10.5’). This is significant. I’d center the WIC door in the middle of that space to allow for a U shaped layout and I’d relocate the bathroom door next to the WIC door. You’ll have an excellent WIC and a standard bathroom.

    Wendy Callendar thanked Steven
  • Wendy Callendar

    cpartist - you're absolutely right, the dresser is 21"! I think I started drawing it at 18" for convenience and then eventually assumed it was 18". As for the closet width, I swear google suggested 5' with clothes hanging on both sides, but now can't find that. Regardless, thinking about it, you're right, it does seem like it would feel narrow.

    Steven - The master bedroom is only 10.5'x11', so I think it would feel out of proportion to have such a spacious closet with a moderate bedroom size and bathroom. Besides, we were looking forward to more counter space than our current 36". I'm leaning towards trading in my dresser for a smaller one to make more room in the closet (and include a linen closet); a smaller dresser would also give me the option of having it in the bedroom. As for the bathroom door location - there's a wall that juts out from the hallway side between the bathroom and bedroom that is 5'8" long that we can't move (without significant difficulty and mess), so that precludes a door to the bathroom from the bedroom. I do like swapping the toilet and vanity though; my husband is now saying he's fine losing the water closet.

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