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Water Closet in Master Bathroom

mqcola
last month

Hi,

Here I am again asking for some advice. Some of you probably noticed that we are planning a new home.. ( what a task... LOL). There is a thinking of adding a water closet to the main bathroom and would be wonderful if you could share your experience with us. The attached photo is what I was thinking, it would be better if it was on the external wall to allow more natural light, but I can't figure it out.

Thanks for sharing your thought and comment if it would work, if we should abort it, or if there would be a better layout for the water closet.

Thanks once again.




Comments (62)

  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    @bpath, would be possible to send me picture of your layout. I will read it again as I am not sure if I am understanding it. It sounds nice but I am not sure if I am picturing it correctly..

    The closet we will have doors on it to hide all the "not so organised stuff" .

    Thanks for the inputs.

  • Emily L
    last month

    The question of whether you share your bathroom is one of those weird things where half of couples are like "of course not!" and the other half are like "of course!" (Another one is whether you cuddle or sleep separate.) I can't remember a time when my husband and I did not chat and get ready while the other was showering or using the bathroom, regardless of whether the toilet has any privacy. But the half-wall or pony wall works well for our hall bath, since that is Grand Central for all my kids, and frequently both sinks are being used while someone else is using the toilet (semi-privately, thank you pony wall!) and yelling at everyone else to get out. Of course, YMMV, since not everyone has lots of kids sharing a bath. Builds character, lol.

    mqcola thanked Emily L
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  • AnnKH
    last month

    So you have clothes behind doors in a walk-in closet? It seems to me that completely defeats the purpose of the walk-in (not to mention the inconvenience of having to walk through the closet to get to the bathroom). You might as well save yourself a lot of space and put reach-in closets in the bedroom. Functional reach-in closets are far more valuable than being able to say you have walk-in closets, if those closets make the whole area inefficient.

    mqcola thanked AnnKH
  • jewelisfabulous
    last month

    I would find it very strange to not have a door on a closet, whether walk-in or not. In fact, even in multi-million dollar homes I've toured, the giant walk-in closet (basically another "wing" of the house) has a door at the entry.

    mqcola thanked jewelisfabulous
  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi,

    The closet will have its own door and we will add sliding door on the cabinets as some areas in our current WIC gets dusty. We are hoping with doors it will keep the dust out.

    I am also not a good fan of walking through the closet to get to the bathroom as our lot is narrow we can't figure out on how to avoid it. If you have any suggestion on how to eliminate it, I would love to hear the suggestion.


  • Mich
    last month
    last modified: last month

    To me, being able to close the door to the toilet is a must. I would never put in a master bathroom without it. To have one more level of privacy for the most discreet functions, is so important. :D


    We walk through our bathroom to get to our closet which works great when getting ready in the morning. Can you switch it around?

    mqcola thanked Mich
  • Mrs Pete
    last month
    last modified: last month

    NO to a toilet-in-a-closet. Putting a toilet in a closet gives you the same amount of space as a toilet stall at Walmart -- and no one likes that. A toilet in a closet has no storage, usually no lighting, and it's hard to get a broom or mop in that small space.

    An ideally placed toilet is at the end of a sink vanity /placed behind a pony wall. An ideally placed toilet also has:

    - a light above with a separate light switch (on a dimmer).

    - an electrical outlet in case you want to add a Toto washlet.

    - storage for toilet paper and any other toilet-supplies.

    - a wall-mounted toilet brush holder.

    - a window; if you can't have a window, forget the toilet closet.

    If you are going with a toilet closet in this space, you should turn it sideways. This is a better use of your floor space. It requires flip-flopping the tub and shower, but this provides more light at the sink area (coming from the window above the tub), and it allows either a larger sink area, a small linen closet or a door to the laundry room - all positive choices.

    A pocket door to a bathroom is a poor choice. They're great for doors that are rarely opened /closed -- like a pantry or a mudroom -- but bathroom doors are opened /closed constantly. The question isn't "Will my pocket door hardware fail and require a pro to fix it?" The question is, "When will my pocket door hardware fail?"



    The closet placement is problematic, but it looks like these spaces have to be placed in a straight line. If you flip-flop the closet and the bathroom, you can make the closet adjacent to the laundry, which will save many steps. This isn't ideal because you have to walk the length of the bathroom to reach the closet, but it is better than the original.



    mqcola thanked Mrs Pete
  • bpath
    last month

    CarrieB, you are not alone! We shall rise up en masse! I have lived with pocket doors to all kinds of rooms, including changing the swing door to a pocket door to my kids’ bathroom when they were young. You want to know the only problem we had? A guest headed there, then came out to ask me if there was a door to the bathroom. (Said guest also couldn’t figure out how to turn off the bathroom light: it was a solatube. )

    mqcola thanked bpath
  • Carrie B
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @bpath Let's you & I link arms in solidarity!

    I've had guests ask me if there's a door to the bathroom, too! Now, when expecting guests, I try to remember to close the door just a couple of inches to give them a visual clue.

  • PRO
    RES2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Its possible to switch the toilet room and the shower but it will be a close fit so give us the dimensions of the tub.


    mqcola thanked RES2
  • stiley
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We currently have a "toilet closet" in our master. Our home is from the 1980s and it was cool to not have a door to the bathroom! So no bathroom door, just a toilet room door. However, we're remodeling, and there was never a question of keeping it or not. My husband and I both like having a toilet room (even though our new plans will also include a bathroom door). It will have a light, fan and window. Our architect said they're minimum 3'x6', which is plenty of room. Plus I think it's an opportunity to use a fun wallpaper or paint color. And our remodel plans include pocket doors everywhere. I think they've come a long way; for example, they have soft close technology and can be framed in a way that they don't warp and rub. And another vote for flipping the floorplan and having the bathroom closest to your bedroom. It seems like you naturally walk through/around in a bathroom anyway, so would make more sense to walk through a bathroom than a closet. Plus, if you're not tidy all the time in your closet, you'll have to walk around clothes, shoes etc to get to the bathroom.

    mqcola thanked stiley
  • cd7733
    last month

    I was working on a layout and Mrs. Pete beat me to it! :)




    @Carrie B @bpath PDL Unite! I have 12 pocket doors in our new build. We've been here since May 2020 and loooooove all of them!!

    mqcola thanked cd7733
  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    @ RES2, the tube will be 32" x6ft.

    Thanks to all. It is amazing how much I am learning and it is making think "outside the box".

    I like the suggestion of an opening from the closet to the laundry room but don't think it will pass DH approval :) :) :)

    The window is only on the tub side, I will try adding a trason on the shower side to bring more light in.

    Thank you all for sharing your experience and knowledge with us.


  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    Opps, sorry, just to correct. tub is 32" x 60 " and not 6 ft

  • bpath
    last month

    Mqcola, here is a picture, I can’t believe I’m posting it but here it is.


    (so of course I have to make the disclaimer that this bathroom was a remodel by the previous owner in about 2001, but I have to say there are only a couple of things I would change—the baseboard tile and the arrangement of drawers—but other than that the layout works perfectly for DH and me.)

    mqcola thanked bpath
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Its beautiful.

    (ego support)

  • bpath
    last month

    Thanks, Mark, I think, Hey, it ain’t marble but it’s easy to keep clean.

    mqcola thanked bpath
  • Caroline Hamilton
    last month

    I think the toilet room or not is a personal preference. I cannot imagine not having one in a large shared bathroom like a master. To each their own. :)

    mqcola thanked Caroline Hamilton
  • crcollins1_gw
    last month

    We have the toilet closet in current layout that is so small I took the TP holder and door stop off the wall to have enough room to turn around in there. When you're married to someone 6'4" and 275, you think about such things. The remodel will remove the closet and allow 20" from wall to center of toilet, which will be tucked behind a linen closet. The bathroom has a door, which I expect will be closed when anyone is doing anything they don't desire an audience for.

    mqcola thanked crcollins1_gw
  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    @ Bpath,

    Thank you for sharing it with me and all. :) :)


  • PRO
    RES2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Any solution that meets all of your requirements will be tight; its a matter of distributing the space in an equitable manner. A wall hung toilet and under mount lavs help. The toilet room should have a window and an exhaust fan.



    mqcola thanked RES2
  • shead
    last month

    The biggest problem I see is the lack of natural light to the vanity area of the bathroom.


    Is a tub a non-negotiable?

  • pricklypearcactus
    last month

    My master bathroom has one of these small toilet rooms. It's the first time I've lived in a house with one. The bathroom also has a door and one has to traipse through the bathroom to get to the master walk-in closest. I am not a fan of having to walk through the bathroom to get to the closet, but I think I prefer that over having to walk through the closet to get to the bathroom. I personally find the toilet room beneficial. I prefer to keep toilet activities private and it allows either of us to use the toilet while the other is brushing teeth, showering, grabbing some hand lotion, whatever. There is a fan in the room and honestly I feel like any normal sized bathroom can become as much of a "gas chamber" as the toilet room. The room is really tiny though and I think it really depends on how comfortable you are in small spaces as to whether it's a comfortable room to do your business.

    mqcola thanked pricklypearcactus
  • kriii
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Our master bath /toilet is closed off with a door. We have a good venting system there so no "gas chamber" effect. We like the extra privacy when both need to be in the master bath at the same time. This was a must have in our current home.

    mqcola thanked kriii
  • just_janni
    last month

    I am not a fan of our current water closet / gas chamber. It's too small, no storage and generally unentertaining. However, the half bath in the house is GREAT. It's the most often used bathroom. So..... in new house, there's a half bath attached to the master bath.

    mqcola thanked just_janni
  • Mrs Pete
    last month

    So..... in new house, there's a half bath attached to the master bath.


    That is such a sensible choice. It gives you a sizeable toilet area ... with a sink, something that's never included in a toilet-in-closet. I assume the half-bath is open on one side for household use /opens to the master bath on the other side. Very practical.

    mqcola thanked Mrs Pete
  • PRO
    RES2
    last month

    The best solution would be to make the bathroom slightly larger but we can't help you without seeing more of the floor plan.

    mqcola thanked RES2
  • MongoCT
    last month
    last modified: last month

    "My 2nd option was to add a built in cabinet to separate ( hide) the
    toilet. "

    That's what I did when I built our bathroom cabinets. I designed and built a "pony cabinet" (lol). Roughly 34" deep, 16" wide, and about 50" tall. It has two pull outs; a deep drawer up top where my wife keeps most of her hair care stuff, and a vertically divided "pantry" pullout on the bottom. On the lower vertically divided pullout, when it is pulled out the shallow shelves that face the toilet side of the bathroom store toilet paper, toilet cleaning supplies, etc, and the shallow shelves on the side that face the sink my wife uses as her "medicine cabinet" storage. All sorts of lotions and potions.

    The unit as a whole provides complete toilet privacy, yet retains the open nature of the space itself. We've lived with it since I built it many years ago and the space still works for us.

    It all depends on what works for you. I originally had the bathroom designed with two sinks, two wall mirrors, and three wall sconces. My wife nixed that, she wanted us to share one sink. That resulted in a redesign of that wall of cabinets. In the middle of that wall of cabinetry we ended up with the the top part of a pedestal sink set on a teak countertop that covers a run of three breakfront cabinets. I built a floor-to-ceiling storage closet to the left, and the toilet hiding pony cabinet on the right side.

    A couple of photos are on an old thread here.

    Figure out what works for your family and embrace it.

    mqcola thanked MongoCT
  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    @Mark Bischak Architect,


    The folks at American Standard would agree with you that the term "water closet" means a "toilet." However the folks at Merriam Webster define "water closet" to mean either a toilet or a toilet compartment https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20closet Language does evolve over time.


    Whether to install a toilet in a compartment is a client preference that architects should be prepared to accommodate. A toilet compartment should be designed to deal with objectionable odors which is more easily accomplished than ventilating the entire bathroom owing to the smaller volume (I know this is a task you architect types are, well, glad to off load to engineers.) You could also consider an odor-expelling toilet seat such as Fresh Air Plus https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/fresh-air-plus.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Everyone knows Merriam-Webster dictionary has errors in it.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    You could consult the Cambridge Dictionary if you prefer. Their definition is similar.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Errors is in both; in the E's right after "Erroneous".

    Have a great night.

  • Emily R.
    last month

    This is the first time I've seen @MongoCT's bathroom and it is GORGEOUS! I think the pony cabinet solution is ingenious.


    mqcola thanked Emily R.
  • ldecor54
    last month

    Maybe I missed it but why are you not flipping the closet and bathroom?

    mqcola thanked ldecor54
  • PRO
    RES2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    A real "water closet" is a shower with 4 solid walls even if it has a glass door. My only experience with that kind of shower has been to open them up during a renovation.

    This isn't a renovation so make the bathroom large enough to serve all of your needs and wishes.

    mqcola thanked RES2
  • just_janni
    last month

    @Mrs Pete - nope - all mine. Accessible only to the master bedroom(s). The hall bath is an(other) unusual configuration in that it is has half bath area and then another area with a sink and bath/shower combo) that is attached to both a guest room and the hall.


    The only downside to my master half bath is that it's "kinda" far away from the bed (and worse for someone on the east side of the bed) although they could probably get to it in less steps by leaving the master, and going through the closet / secondary master and back into the bathroom and that would be shorter than navigating around the bed. But really - having worked on this house for so long - it just is what it is. Right now, taking a few extra steps to get to the bathroom isn't that big of a deal. If it becomes one, I can make all sorts of changes

    mqcola thanked just_janni
  • PRO
    RES2
    last month

    Try squeezing the laundry or stacking the washer and dryer.

    mqcola thanked RES2
  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great inputs. We are flipping the closet and bathroom after reading the comments. We will also flip the tub and shower to give more light to the sink area. We gave up the idea of the enclosed toilet.

    We don't like using the tub, it is there only for resale purpose as we don't want to add tub shower combo in the 2nd bathroom . We will have this combo in the basement.

    Thank you all for the wonderful information and help. When we have the floorplan updated I will share it with you.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    What will you do to prevent mold growth in the closet?

    mqcola thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • shead
    last month

    I have had my closets off the bathroom in three different houses and not once did I have mold growth in my closets. Put a powerful exhaust in the toilet room and one next to the shower. If needed, run them both at the same time.

    mqcola thanked shead
  • ldecor54
    last month

    I’ve always had the closet off the bathroom also. Never ever had a mold issue. I guess if it’s a teeny tiny bathroom that is kept closed up it could happen.

    mqcola thanked ldecor54
  • JP Haus
    last month

    We've always lived in very warm and humid southern states. FL and LA were the worst for humidity, but the others haven't been much better. Not once have we had mold in a closet that opens off our bathroom. We use the exhaust fans as recommended and manage the overall indoor humidity to the best of our ability. That means using a portable dehumidifier during the shoulder seasons, which we'd need no matter where the closet was located. The new house will have a whole-house ventilating dehu system.


    We much prefer a compartmented bathroom and separate closets that both open off the bathroom. If either of us is up late or rises early, the other one is not disturbed. If we need to get ready at the same time, we have more privacy. For over four decades this has worked well for us. Other folks have different preferences, but the negative responses (some rather rude) from a few here whenever these situations come up surprise me.

    mqcola thanked JP Haus
  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    We live in a mixed-humid climate and have a master closet adjoining the bathroom. We don't close the door between the two and we leave the door open to the bedroom whenever someone is not in the bathroom. We have a vent fan/light directly over the shower. We run it on a timer for 30 minutes after each shower. We don't get condensation on the walls, ceilings or mirrors and there's no sign of mold after almost three years.


    @Mark Bischak, based on your comments about odors in toilet compartments and mold in closets you might want to re-read whatever they taught you in architecture school about ventilation or get a better HVAC contractor. And I suggest you don't select them based on competitive bid.

    mqcola thanked Charles Ross Homes
  • mqcola
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi Mark Bischak and all,

    Some of you already described what we were planning of doing. We will discuss it with the mech eng designing the ventilation system and also thinking on having a small dehumifier in case we need extra help. Flipping the closet gives us a closer bathroom and more closet area . We also have the habit leaving the bathroon door 1/2 open when in the shower :) :) :)

  • Architectrunnerguy
    last month

    I've never understood the ongoing comment about mold in the closet either. Like those above, we had a closet configuration like that for 17 years in a house and never had a problem.

    mqcola thanked Architectrunnerguy
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have had a client with a previous house that they said the mold showed up after eight years. Every house, every ventilation system, and every person is different; but any closet accessible directly from the bathroom is a potential opportunity to encourage the growth of mould in the closet. I would never design it that way for my client without at least letting them know of its potential hazard. There is always a better way to design the bedroom/bathroom/closet arrangement. Would anyone locate a shower in their walk-in closet??

    I have seen plumbing in exterior walls here in Michigan and they have had no pipe bursting problems (so far).

    mqcola thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • shead
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Only one client, Mark? That's impressive.

    I was highly chastised on here once for using one anecdotal story to illustrate the potential for something ;)

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Other clients either did not discuss the length of time it took for mould to show up in their clothes closets or the length of time was not recorded, I did not take a tally. There was a discussion here on Houzz a while back where on the subject and experience was a mixed bag between those that have experienced problems and those that have not. I choose to error on the side of safety and design a separation between bathrooms and clothes closets, or whatever my client wants.

    mqcola thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    If mold occurred for the first time after eight years of occupancy it suggests a change in the performance of the ventilation system. It could be that someone in the household started using a particular shower and not running the vent fan (e.g., a teenager who started taking hour-long showers) or it could be a decline in the performance of the ventilation system. Bath room vent fans are susceptible to corrosion and accumulation of dust/lint, etc. Ditto for vent fan exhaust ductwork--particularly the screen at the termination. Like any system, they require periodic inspection and maintenance. That reminds me, it's time for my annual physical-- at which, my doctor will note the lack of maintenance.

    mqcola thanked Charles Ross Homes