Bathroom layout

July 8, 2019
last modified: July 8, 2019

We are renovating our teenage daughters bathroom (so we can finally get them out of our bathroom!) They take baths, a lot, so we definitely want to put in a tub. We also want a separate shower since my mom often stays with us and she needs a walk-in shower. We have enough room to do both but I'm struggling a bit with the optimal layout which also moves the last amount of plumbing ($).

The toilet needs to stay in the current spot, and the shower drain would be the same as well in the proposed layout. The bath drain would line up in the same floor joist bay. The vanity would have to go from 84" to 60", but that plumbing shouldn't be too hard to change.

Here's the current bathroom:

Here is the proposed layout:

My biggest challenge is going to be storage space. I'd like to maximize the size of the vanity without compromising passage space into the room. If I move the tub away from the door it'll be too hard to get into it. I'd like to keep the width of the shower to no less than 39"; it is currently 4'6" long from front to back ledge. I had thought about doing an oval tub and rounding that edge, but that seems like it would incur more cost? Currently planning on a drop in tub.

Could I get away with a bigger vanity? I'd rather not do a storage tower in the corner because I think that would make the room feel cramped, but that could be an option.

I could do a 5' tub and have a small shower in the corner, but my daughter is 5'9" tall so I'd like to get a longer tub.

Am I missing anything?

Thanks in advance for feedback/suggestions!

Comments (27)

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    Rotate the toilet, keeping plumbing in place.

    Tub in bottom corner similar to current set up.

    Box out a 24x30" space in top right corner on plan. You can use some of this as open shelving next to the vanity for towels and bins full of accessories. Use the rest to put a shower niche in.

    Shower under window.

    Vanity 60" long with full height wall @ entry to hang art.

    Use the entry wall next to the tub for hanging towel bars.

  • felizlady

    You need to be able to reach the controls and adjust the water flow and temperature from outside the shower and outside the tub.
    I would make the vanity a bit longer to allow a separate bank of four drawers for each of you (between the two sink cabinets) in a master bathroom. I always have medications and other small items stored in medicine cabinets above the sinks.

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    It seems like a lot of wasted space in the vanity area - if the room is 7 ft across that means 5 ft of just open space. If you want to leave the door at the end, then I would consider doing the vanity on the outside wall with a window in between the 2 sinks. Leave the toilet on that inside wall but adding 18" deep cabinetry there for additional storage ( or a nice piece of furniture ) . I would also flip the tub to the window. Probably not a clawfoot tub - remember you have to be able to easily clean around whatever tub you put into a wetroom... Just an initial thought...
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  • Karenseb

    Can you move the door in the bathroom to the middle of the bottom wall. Then you could put the shower and tub on the right wall, leave the toilet and add the vanity to the left wall next to the toilet.

  • cpartist

    Your toilet area is too narrow. You need a minimum of 30" wall to wall but 36" is better.

  • smred

    All great suggestions - thanks!. I finally got the girls to sit in tubs today and I think we've found a workable tub that's only 5' long. I'm going to see if I can fit everything vertically along the 11'8" wall which will be the least expensive option and will allow for a larger vanity. chartist - you're right, the current toilet space is actually 33" - easiest to keep the toilet and existing wall if possible. karenseb - we can't move the door, but we did think of that! I'll post an updated layout with the 5' tub option!

  • pattyl11

    What if you switched the tub and shower places in your current plan, so you have full access getting in and out of the tub. Also glass shower walls, especially by the entrance, would open up the room.

  • smred

    Okay, going with a 5'6" drop in tub and a 4' x 3'3" shower, glass walls and a 5' vanity. Seems to fit and not feel too crammed. Towel storage in the vanity, with overflow in the hall closet. Now on to picking tile! Thanks all for the advice!

  • calidesign

    See if you can move the bathtub faucet and controls to the side near the door. As it is, you have to stand inside the tub to start the water.

  • Brandie Van Ee

    Agree - the faucet would be difficult to reach where it is currently
    can you switch it

  • smred

    Yes, faucet will be next to the glass as you step in the tub from the side. The drawing program automatically includes images for the faucet/handles at the end. Thanks!

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    In the long term you will regret this layout over the one I posted.

    That tub will be very inconvenient to use and you have no linen storage.

  • smred

    Sativa, Thanks for your concern. In your plan, the placement of a shower around a window is problematic for us. We'd have to get into the shower every time we want to open/close the window. The niche you've drawn seems like it is hard to use space. Your plan also calls for much more plumbing work which is costly. I have taped out the new fixtures in the current room and the spacing works for us. We'll have full medicine cabinets over the vanity and plenty of towel storage under the sinks. As a backup we can add a small shelf/cabinet to the right of the sinks. While the bath entry isn't ideal there is over 24" of access along the side, which seems workable. Always a give and take somewhere!

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    What would I know, I only went to school for 6 years?! But it is your house and your money, so enjoy saving 1K in order to spend an additional 30K in 10 years because this space doesn't work correctly.

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    If you move forward with this layout, you need to have about 6" of deck allowed for the faucet to mount between tub and glass wall. Using a standard 8" Center Set Faucet, turning on the cold water before getting in will be easy but the hot water will be just about impossible to reach and rotate. for this reason you will need to go with a single hole tub faucet that has a tub control lever.

    If the bathroom door swings in (I assume it does) than you need to have a minimum clearance between the door and tub. This varies per county but I doubt you would be able to meet that code with your plan.

  • smred

    Again, good points. Budget concerns aside, we'll have the plumber price out this alternative which would address the layout issues as well as the storage. Perhaps moving the shower plumbing isn't as expensive as I've been led to believe...

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    Looks good!

    Shower plumbing and sink plumbing don't tend to cost much to re-locate as they are simple hose and drain components (unless you are slab on grade). The toilet is the only major $$$ to relocate.

  • Karenseb

    Would you be putting your shower spray on the wall facing the window? With the door on the end, you would not want the shower spray aimed at the door.

    Here is another similar idea that gives you a longer shower. I like corner tubs. A lot of storage on the tub deck.

    You could do a 3 X 5 shower with the door on the long side next to the vanity. Put in a pony wall wall between the vanity and shower and put the shower control on the pony wall so that you can turn on the shower without getting wet.

  • smred

    Yes! I got down to the shower details and thought the same thing. Going with a 28" door will allow me to keep the shower to 50" since we're doing a tiled floor. Door will go next to the vanity with a pony wall as you've pictured with the controls on the pony wall. I had originally thought of a corner tub so I'll lay that out and see what tub we settle on. Girls want the kohler mariposa tub which is rectangular. Almost there - thanks again for the great feedback!

  • Mrs Pete

    I think the biggest issue is the door ... if you can figure out how to move it, everything falls into place so easily Its current position in the corner is cutting you off from a simple one-aisle design /is forcing your "big players" into odd positions around the edge of the room. If you can move the door, you can have a simple bathroom that'll work well.

    Move the door to the center, which allows the window to become a dead-ahead focal point, then go as simple as possible ... two pieces on each side of the room:


    - You have just over 11' the long way, which means you can have a 60x36 tub AND a 60x36 shower ... these are very comfortable sizes ... and still have a few inches of space for a wall between them ... maybe even a shelf behind the tub for toiletries. Place the faucets for the two items "back to back", and you'll save money.

    - You have complete access to everything, which makes for easy cleaning.

    - You can have a towel bar under the window and another (or two) on the back of the door.

    - This layout keeps the toilet in the same position. Someone else mentioned that it's the most expensive item to move, so keeping it in place just makes sense.

    - You must have 30" for the toilet /36" is better ... that leaves you a whopping 8' of space on that wall. You said storage is a big concern: I'd go with a 6' vanity, which will allow for one nice-sized sink and a full stack of drawers for each girl (oh, the storage!). Then you can have a 2' linen stack between the sink and the toilet. (Or it could be a small closet.)

    All great suggestions - thanks!. I finally got the girls to sit in tubs today and I think we've found a workable tub that's only 5' long.

    Pay attention to the depth of the tub as well as the length. I have no interest in a longer /wider tub ... but I sure do want a deeper

    What would I know, I only went to school for 6 years?! But it is your house and your money, so enjoy saving 1K in order to spend an additional 30K in 10 years because this space doesn't work correctly.

    When I was in school, my mom told me I might not always be the smartest student or the best athlete, but I'd better always be the nicest, most helpful kid in class. Didn't your mom tell you something similar?

    Yes! I got down to the shower details and thought the same thing. Going with a 28" door

    No, no, no ... I have a 28" bathroom door, and it is not good. It is noticeably smaller than our other doors, and it could be a problem for your mom in the future, if she needs a walker.

    Girls want the kohler mariposa tub which is rectangular.

    A rectangular tub lends itself to a modern design ... I'd go with rectangular sinks to match and sleek, modern accessories.

  • smred

    Thanks Mrs. Pete!

    Love your layout - that's exactly what we have in our MB! Unfortunately the door can't move so we're going to have to make it work as is. Since we're moving the shower, the pony wall next to the toilet can go too which gives the toilet more room.

    The shower door was what I was thinking would be 26", but I can now make the shower 38" x 50" and put in a 28" glass door with a pony wall for the controls. This bathroom is upstairs so If my mom's in a walker she'll be downstairs anyway!

    I'm planning on putting a "bench" at the end of the tub under the deck and will store towels underneath. I agree with you on the depth of the tub and I'm concerned because the Mariposa is only 14" deep, but many posters have said they've felt it's deep enough because of it's reclining angle and length. I've found another Hydro Massage tub that's deeper, but can't find any reviews on their tub, so that's a possibility. The tub in our master is a whopping 19" depth and we NEVER fill it. We're heading back to the tub store with the Mariposa to check it out one more time.

    I love the Kohler Ladena rectangular sinks and was planning on using them so we're on the same page there!

    Update layout (version #7):

    Back to looking at tile now...... Thanks again!

  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    @Mrs. Pete people don't hire me to be nice and tell them their layout which will not work is worth moving forward with. They hire me to keep them from making a costly mistake.

    Also being nice is over rated, I would rather tell people the truth any day. Emotion doesn't create livable spaces.

    And it resulted in her modifying the layout which will be much more livable and efficient.

  • smred

    Okay, well the bad news is that the plumber came and gave a rough estimate to move the tub to the other wall. Essentially it's about $3,000 more. Since this is not our forever home and it's the kids bathroom, and they're heading off to college in 3 years I can't justify that expense (especially since we're also trying to save for 8 years of college - ouch!). The good news is that the girls have settled on a 5' tub so that gives me enough room to put in a 36" x 46" shower. Here's the design. No, it's not ideal, but it'll work. I can also make the vanity longer which will give me the extra storage space.

    Still can't get over how expensive bathroom remodels are!

    Thanks again for all the great input!

  • katinparadise


  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    This layout looks good and will be very functional.

    You could extend the length of the shower if you wanted, a 4' or 4'6 shower would still allow the space to function nicely.

    What area are you in? We live somewhere I would consider expressive and my husbands plumber charges about $4K for redoing a whole bathroom.

  • smred

    Hi Sativa,

    We're outside Boston - plumber said plan on $1,400 for each fixture involved. We got two quotes from a GC and each one was $20k without the fixtures or materials, which I've estimated will be around $10k. We've decided to GC it ourselves - we've done 3 other reno projects so we have the contacts and experience.

    If we make the shower bigger, would you extend that past the tub deck, or extend both so you have a clean line for both?


  • PRO
    Sativa McGee Designs

    Wow, that is unfortunate.

    I would personally do an angled entrance, but that glass surround would cost more than keeping it rectangular. I would end it about 18" shy of the entry door.

  • smred

    I thought about an angled entrance as well - but you're right, it adds cost. I'll meet you half way on extending the shower :-) If I can keep 24" of wall space I can put a towel rack on the wall there and still have room for a hamper next to the vanity. I like having a little bit more room in the shower even if it adds a little bit more expense - maybe I can even fit in a ledge for shaving. I did see a few pics of a niche for a foot holder for that purpose. That seems like a good option too.

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