April 2, 2010

Rethinking That Bathroom

The next house project is to be our tiny second bathroom. The plan has been to finish the goat fencing first, then get started on that bathroom. I'd carefully analyzed the bathroom's problems (in this post), and thought I had solutions (in this post.) I'd ordered the corner pedestal sink. I was getting ready to buy the rounded corner shower stall, but hesitated. Considering how tight things looked on graph paper, I decided it might be wise to tape out the shower's footprint on the bathroom floor.

The bathroom floor plan looked okay on graph paper, but the reality of that shower is that even with the largest pocket door we could manage in a 72 inch wall, entry space to the bathroom was just too darned tight. Needless to say, I am disappointed.

The next step was to brainstorm this problem, which we did extensively. The sad reality is that one can't put 10# of potatoes into a 5# sack. Without enlarging the size of the bathroom, there's no way to do what I wanted to do.

Is enlarging the bathroom a possibility? Yes, but a more realistic question is how much time, energy, and money, do we want to pour into this one small room when there's still so much to do on the rest of the house.

At the top of our list:
Not to mention the lingering details of the dining and living rooms, nor other rooms in the house we want to re-do.

My husband, bless his heart, is willing to do whatever I want. If this bathroom were the only project we had to do, then I would be willing to consider how to enlarge it and do everything I'd like to do. But it's not. It's not even the main bathroom, it's just a second bathroom off the kitchen for the sake of convenience. If we're going to be good stewards of our time and money, I need to keep that in mind. I'm still disappointed though.

What we can do, is to replace the sink and add a ceiling vent/light/heater, as planned. Dan can add shutoff valves to the plumbing and put in GFCI electrical outlets. I can tear up the old vinyl floor and put down ceramic floor tile. I can wallpaper, add hook, towel racks, and a shelf unit for tissues, extra TP, a few wash clothes, and an extra bar of soap. The trouble is, once I get my mind set on an idea, it's hard to change! It's difficult to switch mental gears once I have an outcome in mind. Have I mentioned that I'm disappointed over the whole thing???


  1. I'm so sorry that it didn't work out for you, but it sounds like it will still be a nice but small space.

  2. Hugs! perhaps there will be a better plan for you later.

  3. Renovating an older house is always full of compromises. While it's disappointing to not be able to make the changes you'd planned, imagine how much more so it would have been to have that new shower ready to install and then realize it wouldn't fit! Eeeks!!
    When you're all done, sitting back with a cup of tea, watching the chooks in the sunset and listening to the corn grow, you'll probably find that so many things worked out perfectly that it won't matter so much.

  4. What about making the entire bath a "Wet room" and waterproofing & tiling the floors and walls so that you could eliminate the shower stall? A curbless shower with an overhead rainshower directing water straight down would minimize splashing; you could use a shower curtain hanging from the ceiling which you keep pushed out of the way when not in use.

  5. Is this the only bathroom with a shower or tub in it? If the main bathroom has bathing facilities, why not turn this one into a half-bath and get rid of the shower altogether?

  6. Thanks Julie, sometimes the best laid plans .....

    Thanks Renee! I'm not sure if there will be a better plan, but we do have a plan and I think the bathroom will be functional if still rather small.

    Nina, I thought the same thing! And you're so right, in the end, it probably won't matter much at all.

    Ali, I suggested making it into a wet room, but Dan nixed that without a second thought. As a truck driver, he has to shower in lots of places with no shower curtains, and the problem in a small space is not having anyplace to keep one's towels and clothes dry. Not to mention the toilet paper!

    Benita, the hall bath has a tub, no shower, which is why this little bath gets used so much. The plan is to turn the spare room, hall bath, and part of the wide hallway into a master suite eventually, so that 2nd bathroom shower will be needed for guests.

  7. I'm sorry; that HAS to be disappointing. But I'm so glad you had the foresight to tape it out on the floor! You guys are doing such a good job on everything that I know I'll be impressed by your final solution.

  8. Leigh, maybe you could think of a way to rework it now that leaves room for an expansion later?

  9. Leigh, I understand the 10# of potatoes in the 5# sack thing...

    Even though it is disappointing - maybe the idea you had at the end of your post is the best idea. It will be pretty and new to you...

    And, since it is the second bathroom - you won't be using it all the time...

    Whatever you decide - it will be the right one...

  10. Michelle, I'm so glad I did too. I think weaving and knitting have taught me to expect the unexpected when it comes to project results! The bathroom is to big a project to un-do like a scarf or sweater. :)

    Barb, I'm sure I'll be happy with it. I suspect that the folks who put it in were a little surprised at the outcome. What looks perfect in one's head or on paper doesn't always work out the same way in reality.

    Cynthia, that's a possibility. Of course, we have so much else to do around here that it may be a very long while before we can do that. We talked about ways to enlarge the room but really don't want to spend forever on this project.

    Sara, thanks for the confirmation! The new sink will help with the space, and even if we have to leave the same shower, wallpaper and a new floor will help tremendously. So will a place to hang one's clothes!

  11. Sorry the bathroom of your dreams won't fit in the small space. How about this for an idea. Spruce up the bathroom you have so that you can live with it with the idea in mind that after other projects are completed this small bathroom will become the guest bathroom. You can then do an add on or use some part of the house for your dream bathroom.

  12. Callie, that's about the best plan I think. We use this bathroom because of the shower, but thankfully, we do have a hall bath. I need to work on plans for that one too, and get the entire house on an overall big plan. That may help me when individual details don't always work out!

  13. I know that feeling well--a sense of loss for something that did not exist in the first place. Ah, the best laid plans .. are those you don't have to rip out later. :)

  14. Lee, that should be the remodelers motto. :) Thanks!

  15. have you looked into a tankless toilet?

  16. Anonymous, no, we actually haven't. Someone else suggested a corner toilet, but in the end, we've decided to keep the one we have because it's in good shape so there's no real need to buy another. That is a good idea however.


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