jblanknc

Thoughts on Master Bath/Closet & Powder Room design - new build

jblanknc
September 2, 2019

Hey Houzz experts. We need to lock in any changes this week, and thought I would post our layout to get your insight. We are fine with the master layout and powder as is, but wanted to post to get any critiques that we should consider.


I had 2 concerns, and wanted to get any thoughts. 1, Is there enough room between vanity and shower (I think it is about 3'). 2, The size of the Powder Room ~4'8" x 5'8"- is this okay?

  • Don't care about having a tub
  • Want a separate room for toilet
  • Shower 4x5 or 4x6
  • Double vanity
  • We are fine with walking through bath to the closet





Comments (62)

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    3 ft. minimum; ideally 40 to 42".

    jblanknc thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • jblanknc

    cpartist - concerning the vestibule size going into master - any thoughts on how to improve this?


    Powder room - hmm.. so a pedestal sink I'm guessing if we stick with this size? So, to back into this, what size vanity would be "comfortable/efficient" for a powder - 24"?


    Flip bath/closet - I'll play around with sketch


    Noise from Living Room - understand, and we do realize this


    Toilet Room frosted door - excellent idea. I like it. Would a transom work on a 9' ceiling?


    Sink/Shower flip - i see your point. Not sure which we will keep more tidy - shower or countertops on vanity :) But I get your point. Visually I think you are correct.

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  • cpartist

    Is this a tract home or a custom home?

    If it's custom are you willing to take your chances and post the full floor plan for review? Yes it may hurt but if you can get a better design out of it, isn't it worth it?

    Better to fix things on paper than realize once it's being built it needs to change.

    Of course to do that requires a thick skin and a nice glass of your favorite beverage. ;)

    cpartist - concerning the vestibule size going into master - any thoughts on how to improve this?

    Redesign the entry. Or add sliders to the outside?

    Powder room - hmm.. so a pedestal sink I'm guessing if we stick with this size? So, to back into this, what size vanity would be "comfortable/efficient" for a powder - 24"?

    24" is the minimum I'd go unless you were retrofitting an older home. I believe my vanity is 27" wide and it's the right size. In my upstairs bath I have an old fashioned looking pedestal that is 27" wide which allows for a soap dispenser and some hand towels on either side of the sink.

    Flip bath/closet - I'll play around with sketch

    What some houses do in my area (although I'm not a huge fan) is to walk into a "master hallway". To one side is the bedroom. Straight ahead (not in front of the door from the main part of the house but set off center from it) is the entry to the master closet, and then to the other side of the "master hallway" is the bathroom.
    Noise from Living Room - understand, and we do realize this

    Toilet Room frosted door - excellent idea. I like it. Would a transom work on a 9' ceiling?

    I'm not sure. I have windows on the opposite wall from my toilet room so frosted the whole door.

    Sink/Shower flip - i see your point. Not sure which we will keep more tidy - shower or countertops on vanity :) But I get your point. Visually I think you are correct.

    Plus when you walk out of the toilet you want to walk towards the bedroom to wash your hands.

  • auntthelma

    Wow the unhelpful meanies are out today

  • chisue

    Ditto Sabrina. Swap the MBA location with the closet, giving the bathroom natural light from two sides. The toilet room can have a window. Put the shower interior. (Clothes don't even *like* daylight.)

    We have two closets w/pocket doors (usually left open) flanking a short hallway between MBR and MBA, but you could have just one closet on one side of a passageway. I access my closets more often than the bathroom, and I don't want anyone *drafting* through the bathroom making me shiver.

    Most safety codes insist that a toilet room door open OUT. People faint in these rooms, blocking the doors. If the door is locked, you can take it off its *outside* hinges.

    The bigger the shower the more work to clean it. I'd skip the shower seat. Dangerously slippery. Hard to clean beneath one. Will you have enough hot water to linger in a shower anyway?

  • Lindsey_CA
    • We are fine with walking through bath to the closet
    • So is the mold.

    At the end of this month, we will have owned/lived in this house for 29 years. Our master bathroom has a separate room for the toilet (and that room has a window). The master closet is accessed through the master bathroom. And you know what? We like it that way!

    The closet not being accessed through the bedroom means more bedroom wall space to do with as we please. The closet being accessed through the bathroom means the person who is still in bed doesn't get disturbed while the other person is getting ready in the morning.

    And after 29 years, we have never, ever had a problem/issue with mold or mildew in the master closet.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    The OP is intelligent enough to understand the lightly veiled advice in my comment.

    For those that can not see it: I do not know how they plan to use the bathroom to determine if three feet is sufficient space between the vanity and shower; I do not even know where the shower door is. There is no space on the drawings labeled "Powder Room". Having a tub is a personal choice. Gas chambers are normally poorly designed as this one is. I do not have enough information to advise on their shower size. Sometimes one person uses more counter space in a bathroom and it impedes on the use of the second sink. Mold requires moisture, warmth, and limited air movement; many times provided by a clothes closet directly accessible from a bathroom.

  • Lindsey_CA

    There is no space on the drawings labeled "Powder Room".

    Guest Bath = Powder Room

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    "And after 29 years, we have never, ever had a problem/issue with mold or mildew in the master closet."

    Good for you. I have seen mold show up in closets accessible from a bathroom within a year of occupancy. I am not saying it will happen, I just do not like increasing the probability.

  • Danette

    I loved having a master closet off the bathroom. When I got up super early for work I could bathe and completely dress without disturbing my sleeping SO. No clothes kept in the bedroom. No need to even turn on the bedroom light. 25 yrs and never had mold or mildew in the closet, or in the bathroom for that matter. That's what good ventilation is for.

  • Lindsey_CA

    That's what good ventilation is for.

    Indeed. The window in our toilet room (gas chamber) is at least partially open all year. There are 7 windows in the main part of the master bathroom, 3 of which open. Great ventilation. No mold or mildew.

  • jblanknc

    Mark,


    Your sarcasm is not lost on me:) Thanks for commenting. Some follow-up comments:


    3' between shower and vanity - Based on the current drawing I think the shower door should be on the long side (opposite the vanity). This was one of my concerns - I'm not 100% on wall thickness - I'm guessing 4 1/2"? So if my math is correct with a 21" deep vanity, 4' wide shower, this leaves about 36-38" between vanity and shower. So, my question is, is there a typical/standard amount of room between a shower that opens out, and a vanity?


    Powder Room - labeled guest bath. CPArtists suggests a minimum 24" vanity for a powder room.


    Toilet room - we will have electricity so lighting and ventilation will not be a problem;) And my wife would NEVER open a window when going potty, so don't see the benefit:) Sarcasm aside, this would be low on our list of problems to solve, but I see some value in having a window in a toilet room, but we've lived in several houses with this similar design (3x6 toilet room, inswing door, no window) and it has not been an issue. Touchless light switches, and lever style door knobs along with light and a fan can provide some solutions.


    Shower size - 3x3? yes, we "get by" with a 3x4, but unless you are designing a bath from the 1970's with avocado green matching vanity, toilet, and shower, most showers in a new construction are a tad larger, don't you think?


    Double vanity deMARKation line? - we are thinking of 1' tall electric fencing to separate the 2 bowls. My wife heard somewhere in Modern Living that electricity and water go well together. 6' double bowl vanity has worked just fine in the past 4 houses we have lived in that had it.


    Mold - noted, but I'm not concerned. Unless the closet opens directly to the bedroom, and bath opens directly to bedroom, the same argument could be made regardless of location of closet/bath I would think. We have lived in 3 houses with this setup (current house is 90yrs old), and mold/mildew not a problem.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    How much space do you currently use in front of your vanity? Take that distance and add whatever you feel necessary for the door to the shower.

    I try to achieve at least a 6' x 5' powder room with a three foot vanity and three feet clear for the watercloset.

    I usually use a 3' x 5' shower in my designs, at least I start there.

    If the amount of counter space works for the users now and in the foreseeable future, it should be good.

    There is more activity in a bedroom than there is normally in closets where clothes may not have air circulating around them. A bedroom and a closet both experience different degrees of air circulation. Some walk-in closets do not have air supplies or good ventilation.

    jblanknc thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • jblanknc

    Mark - I just went and measured, and current vanity has 44" clearance in front of it. If we go with the current design then we would see 6"-8" clearance in front of vanity compared to our existing house. Considering the door swing of shower, I think reducing shower to 3 or 3'6" would be beneficial. If we reduce shower to 3x5 that leaves ~ 48" between vanity and shower. I'm assuming a typical shower door would be 24-32" wide? Is that accurate?


    Powder size - okay, thanks. So, we are off by both measures by about the thickness of both walls.


    Counter Space - 6' vanity is sufficient for us. Another foot or 2 would be nice I guess, but my opinion is more flat surfaces you have, the more stuff you find to put on them.


    Closet/bath air flow - noted.

  • fissfiss

    If you can adjust the toilet room, I would use a pocket door....and on the closet as well. I think the point about getting furniture into the master bedroom is a very real concern. I’ve just spent the weekend helping people move.

  • jblanknc

    Here is a very amateur attempt at "flipping" the bath/closet. I'm assuming this is what some of you are referring to. I'm sure there is a better layout than what I have created. Some said maybe reach in closets on both sides of hall/corridor between bed/bath?, but I went with a larger walk in to 1 side. The 2 windows on the side (in closet and at shower) are easier to move/change as there will never be a neighbor on that side, and most people will never see that end of the house. I'm guessing we could put a So, symmetry of the windows is less important on the side. However, the 2 windows on the front are a little more critical, however, I think we can split them apart as I have below. We can address that if this is a change we choose to pursue.


  • cpartist

    Nope, thinking more like this. You get a larger closet, and a larger entry.

    Linen closet doesn't need to really be wider than 24" but could be made wider.

    Toilet closet is fine at 5' long x 3' wide.

    Shower stays the same.

    Entry from public rooms is a pocket door for those times you need the privacy.

    Vanities were also made larger.


    jblanknc thanked cpartist
  • cpartist

    I take it back. Why are you changing Doug's design? It works so much better than what you keep trying to do. There was a reason you hired Doug I would think. Don't you trust his vision and his ability to truly visualize spaces?

  • shead

    "Toilet rooms inside bathrooms are just plain silly, no one should be using the toilet while someone else is in the bathroom just common sense. IMO a walkin closet should not be accessed through the bathroom either. "


    I call BS on both accounts. DH and I are sharing a bathroom with no toilet privacy now and I absolutely HATE it!!!!!! Neither of us need to hear or see the other doing our business. It's inconvenient and inefficient to make one wait to brush his teeth or shower just because the other needs the toilet or vice versa.

    And I will NEVER design a home where I can't go into my closet from the bathroom. It's totally a personal preference but I like being able to be in the bathroom in my "sanctuary" and not have to re-enter my bedroom to get to my closet. To me, THAT is just silly if it can be avoided. It's especially important if spouses keep different schedules. Blanket statements like these are just plain silly......

  • jblanknc

    cpartist - very cool ideas. thank you for taking the time to put this together.

  • shead

    We had a 4.5'x6' shower in our last last and it was too big and too much tile to keep clean. We now have a 3'ish by 5'ish and it's plenty big enough and much more manageable. Think hard about where your shower head/lever will be in relation to the door because if you're like DH and me, we we like to turn the shower on and let it heat up before jumping in. Sometimes we are still clothed when we do that and if you can't easily reach the lever by reaching in, you'll either be standing there naked in a cold shower waiting for the warm water or you'll get your clothes drenched trying to jump in and jump back out. We stayed in a vacation rental recently where you had to do that and the shower head faced right at the door so if you turned the shower on, there was water all over the bathroom floor before you could get the door shut.....HORRIBLE design!

    I find 4-5 feet a comfortable distance behind a vanity. 3' would feel a little claustrophic to me.


    jblanknc thanked shead
  • fissfiss

    For those of us who get up in the middle of the night, the new concept is a heck of a long way to trek...

  • jblanknc

    cpartist - Doug is very talented, and we certainly got a lot of inspiration from his design. In regards to the entry into the master we prefer the entrance where we have it now for various reasons.

  • cpartist

    For those of us who get up in the middle of the night, the new concept is a heck of a long way to trek...

    I get up in the middle of the night in my bedroom and the trek is not long. In my bathroom it's 12' from the bedroom door which is a total of five steps. Add in getting from the bed and it's maybe 10 steps.

    In this bedroom as designed from the bedroom door to the bathroom is about the same number of steps; 5!

    If a total of 10-12 steps to the bathroom is an issue than you have an even bigger problem. Maybe then you need a hospital potty?

    The advantage of not having the bathroom at the bedroom is also in the middle of the night you're not turning on the bathroom light and immediately waking your partner since there's a hallway defusing the light.,

  • cpartist

    cpartist - Doug is very talented, and we certainly got a lot of inspiration from his design. In regards to the entry into the master we prefer the entrance where we have it now for various reasons.

    The problem is when you change one thing, it changes everything else and not always for the better. Doug gave you a masterful plan with good flow and layout. Are you sure you're not winding up b@st@rdizing it? Care to post your updated plan?

  • suezbell

    You want a separate room for the toilet?

    Instead of a long vanity with double sinks, choose a midsize vanity with one sink and, in that separate room, have both a toilet and sink and put that room along an outside wall so you can have a window -- preferably with the natural light over your left shoulder as you sit on the throne so you can read if you choose..

    Instead of walking thru the bath to get to the closet, walk down a hallway with a closet (with doors) on each side -- his/her -- to get to the bath and be willing to walk thru the shower room to get to the toilet rather than the other way around.

    At the end of your short hallway would be the room with the shower and one sink vanity on the interior wall side and a separate room with a toilet and sink facing each other against the outside wall.

  • cpartist

    You don't need a vanity in the toilet room. Assuming your better half isn't going to barge into the toilet room while you're in it, just put a push plate on the inner door so no hands have to touch the inside handle.

  • suezbell

    "cpartist" Not a "vanity" for vanity sake in the toilet room but a sink -- a pedestal sink or a wall hung sink or a sink in a shelf that extends wall to wall would do rather than a vanity. Putting the second sink with the toilet makes sense for washing your hands as soon as you finish using the toilet and do so without splashing about next to someone brushing their teeth.

  • cpartist

    Of course then if someone needs to get ready at the same time as their spouse in the morning they can't.

    I put a push plate on my toilet door, without a lock. The door is on a hinge so it swings either way. There is a handle on the outside of the toilet and the push plate on the inside. Trust me, no one is touching the push plate with anything other than their shoulder when they walk out of the toilet room so nothing gets germs.

  • jblanknc

    Maybe something like this.


  • cpartist

    No you are making it more complicated. If you’re intent on changing Dougs version, then mine works better

  • jblanknc

    Doug's design - we do not want entry to bedroom on backside of house.

    Your design - don't want a pocket door to close in order to walk from bedroom to bathroom. Also, i do not know how to make windows on front of house work with your design.


    Not sure what is more complicated about mine.

  • cpartist

    Well for one your entry into the bedroom/hallway there is more complicated with having to walk in and around to get to the bathroom or the closet. Additionally it's going to be very tight and narrow in both the entry to the master suite area and going from bedroom to bathroom.

    In the plan I showed you, the hallway is wider and longer so it won't feel like you're in a too small closet. Plus it will give space to move furniture in and out. Yours won't.

    The toilet closet is a lot of wasted space since one doesn't need an almost 7' toilet closet and there's lots of wasted space in the bathroom.

    I gave you a walk in closet where you can hang clothing on two sides. Yours can't. Hanging clothes take up 2' of space so your closet would only allow an aisle of 2'3".

    don't want a pocket door to close in order to walk from bedroom to bathroom.

    Then make it a regular door.

    You keep playing around but what you're showing is you don't have a very good handle on spatial relationships.

    And if you didn't want the entry to the bedroom from the back of the house, why didn't you work with Doug to change it instead of you suddenly trying to be an architect?

  • jblanknc

    cpartist - there are a lot of positives to your design as you have pointed out, but i do not see how windows will work in your design, and I'm not seeing how a regular door could be used without swinging into Living room, which would be strange in my opinion. We are not using Doug's design. Basement has been poured, and exterior dimensions are set. My post was to get insight as to the spacing between vanity and shower. We can improve that with 18" deep vanity and 3'6" wide shower. The closet placement, and toilet room concerns are low on my list. Thanks for your opinion and time to post.

  • cpartist

    If the foundation is poured then making any changes to YOUR design will mean you'll be paying lots of money for change orders.

    And in my plan you put a single window between the shower and the vanity.

    My post was to get insight as to the spacing between vanity and shower.

    Then you should have said that you are not changing around the rooms and not wasted our time.

    We can improve that with 18" deep vanity

    You can but trust me it's quite narrow.

    The closet placement, and toilet room concerns are low on my list. Thanks for your opinion and time to post.

    The problem is the closet as set in your original plan will hold very little in the way of clothing. And clothes can't go around corners. And a closet doesn't need double windows letting in light and ruining the clothes.

    We are not using Doug's design.

    That's quite clear by your elevation.

  • shead

    @jblanknc, I like your last version the best of anyone's but you need to switch the shower and the vanity. I'd also make the linen closet smaller so that you can maximize the regular closet.




  • shead

    Or maybe this one. By moving the closet door into the bathroom area, you gain some hanging space on the right hand wall that you were losing with the door there.




  • jblanknc

    shead - thanks. the closet entry from the bath is fine with us. some will not like that, but we would be fine with that.

  • shead

    I'm a staunch defender of the closet entry from bath as previously expressed in above posts :) This gives you 4 more feet of hanging space you were losing by keeping the closet entry in that hallway leading to the bathroom. There is a lot of dead space in that closet, though :/

    jblanknc thanked shead
  • chisue

    Some thoughts:

    A hot water recirculating pump is the next best thing to an electric water heater right at the faucet. I have hot water in my shower and everywhere in 6 seconds. Small expense. Saves water. Instant gratification many times a day.

    A shower only *needs* to be big enough for an adult to face the spray and rotate with his elbows out. People of any age benefit from a hand-hold at the spray and at the door. Shower seats are dangerous and awkward to clean. Our hand-held spray is adjustable on a vertical bar -- no additional, stationary spray.

    A swinging shower door is easy to wash; must be far enough from the spray not to require a side seal.

    Our MBA would be drafty without it's own door. Spend for a *powerful* exhaust fan. I'm glad we installed floor heat under the bathroom tile.

    We have two large pedestal sinks with 'laying space' on them. Two mirrored-in-and-out 'medicine' cabinets are sunk 5" into the walls above the sinks -- doors close flush with the walls. A full closet holds towels, toilet paper, bottles, soaps, cleaning supplies. There's no stooping to root through lower cabinets, and the room looks larger.

    I find pocket doors cumbersome for daily use. They have a less secure 'seal', and the sliding motion is unnatural for me. We have only two, on our his/hers walk-in closets, and only close them for 'company'.

  • jblanknc

    Some layouts I amateurly put together. The 1st and 4th will require moving windows on front of house, which should be okay, but the 4th one will be tight fit to get window and shower to fit.









  • jblanknc

    Current front elevation, and what I think it would look like if we change the windows in the master bath/closet (far left side of house). I think we would want to separate the windows on the far right side as well to match. (note, I added another window over kitchen sink as well to see what that looked like)






  • cpartist

    Once again, your entry into the bedroom is not large enough. Period! That's why I tried to redesign it for you. And there will be absolutely no way to even get a bed or any furniture into the room with that small a vestibule.

  • cpartist

    Try putting walls up against a wall to simulate a 4'x 4' space to see what I mean.

  • shead

    I'm not so sure that a 4x4 vestibule won't work here. We had one at our last house that exact size and didn't have any issues getting large items in and out. I would get rid of the cased opening around it, though, as your OP shows because you lose some crucial "turn space" with it.



  • cpartist

    shead getting rid of the cased opening would make the look more contemporary which is fine if that's what they're going for.

  • shead

    We had wainscoting around ours and crown molding at the top so it didn't really appear contemporary at all. You can see it in this pic below.




  • Carolyn T

    Just a comment about the dark toilet room. We put an outlet in the toilet room so that we could have a nightlight in there and wouldn't have to turn on the light. Alternatively, they have outlets that have built in LED lights. One of the best things we did!

  • RNmomof2 zone 5

    Not to argue with CP but I don't see the vestibule as being a problem. We have a bedroom that has a 30 inch door and a wall on each side with a closet straight ahead. To turn from the hall and navigate around the corners is a little awkward but it is no where as tight as the pictured vestibule. We got a king sized mattress in that bedroom with minimal difficulty.


    The end of the closet is a little over 4 ft away when entering but the total width is under 4 ft. Our halls are wider than normal which gives us room to swing furniture out but the OP will be able to approach straight on.


    I would make the doors 36 inch wide but I would do that on any main floor bedroom also.

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