bec_g8

Bathroom renovation for small space

Bec G
last year

Hi all,


Many thanks in advance for your advice and assistance.


We have a small bathroom that's well and truly in need of a renovation. The previous owners painted the shower tiles and the paint is now all peeling off; there's wasted space with gaps in between the vanity and bath, and bath and shower; and the placement of the vanity is under the window so you have to bend over to see yourself... really a terrible design all round!


Dimensions of the room are: 2780 L x 1860 W (5.17m2)


My husband is in favour of getting a second toilet put in the bathroom (our other toilet is in a seperate room to the right of this bathroom), whereas I'm torn between getting a second toilet, and retaining the bath (but resurfacing it). I don't believe we would have the space for both a bath and a toilet... however if any of you could come up with a design that could incorporate both I would be very interested?


While this isn't our forever home, we do intend to live here for the next at least 5 years, and have a growing family. We would like to keep it as an investment property. What adds more value to a property, a bath, or a second toilet? 50% of our friends say keep the bath, the other 50% say a second toilet adds more value to a property over a bath?


I've attached a couple of photos of the space as it is now, and some designs i've put together, some retaining the bath, others removing the bath and placing a second toilet in there.


Would love to have some advice/ideas etc. on this.


Many thanks













Comments (47)

  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls
    last year

    So much depends on the size of the home, the age of the household, and the potential market who would rent, so there is no straightforward answer. Is this the only bathroom in the house, or is there an ensuite with another toilet? How many bedrooms in the house?


    If there is an ensuite with another toilet then a bath would be more valuable than having three toilets. If this is the only bathroom a bath is pretty important for people with small kids. Not having a bath may exclude family renters in the future. But if there is a strong demand for share households in the area, such as near a hospital or university, with adults sharing a house (and no kids) the second toilet is more valuable than a bath.


    Who would make better tenants for your home in the future? Your decision of bath versus additional toilet may sway the types of households looking to rent your home.


    Best of luck,


    Dr Retro

    Dr Retro House Calls/Dr Retro Virtual Visits

  • bigreader
    last year

    I’ll leave the layout design to others with skills but I will say don’t discount adding a small basin to your existing separate toilet. It increases functionality greatly.

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    Thanks for all the input! Lots to think about here. To answer the questions, to the right of the door is a bump out from a linen cupboard in the hallway - we won't be moving or resizing that. There are no windows (all walls are internal). Yes, we were thinking of a 'ladder' style towel rack to use some height. The doorway is 700mm and the toilet wall to the doorway is 1150mm. We don't have a specific stool or vanity selected yet. Re why we wanted to include a seat of some sort - I use the edge of the bath every day, both for putting a foot up while drying off or applying moisturiser etc, and for sitting on for foot care / clipping nails etc. I have to admit that I hadn't considered just using the toilet seat as I'm used to those older, slightly domed lids that 'buckle' if you sit on the centre of them. But I can see now that newer toilets appear to have flatter and more solid lids, so perhaps that is an option afterall. We also wanted to select a stool that could go in the shower - my husband is quite sporty and would love a sit-down massage shower on occasion. I'm thinking now that we perhaps just have a 'wet' stool live in the shower recess (bottom right corner of the plan should be out of the way) and then the toilet lid for 'dry' use. The last picture shared by dreamer is a very nice solution, though if we extend the vanity all the way to the left hand wall we'll have to look at narrower towel racks. Hmm, all very interesting! I'll experiment some more and probably come back to bounce some more ideas off you all. Thanks. :)
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  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks for your response Dr Retro House Calls

    • The size of house: 3 x 1 duplex, with seperate toilet.

    • The age of household: Parent in mid-late 30s, currently one 2-year-old child, potentially another child next year.

    • This is the only bathroom in the house - no other ensuite with another toilet.

    • While a bath would be excellent for our family (and potential family tenants), we are also located near a hospital and a university so professionals may also be very suitable tenants. This is what's making the decision difficult as well, because we have many variables that could sway it either way.

    So more for us to think about!

    Thanks also for your suggestion of a small basin in the existing seperate toilet bigreader. That’s a great idea. While the separate toilet is a very small room, I have seen those toilet where there’s a small basin that sits above the cistern to enable you to wash your hands after flushing. Are these a good option?

    Thanks

  • oklouise
    last year
    last modified: last year

    my suggestion include the extra toilet and bath with handbasin for the separate toilet..the compromise would be that there's only enough space for a basic 900 square shower cubicle, a standard 900 wide vanity and mirrored wall cabinet but plenty of space for a generous built in bath with an extra handheld shower and the extra toilet makes a convenient seat while bathing small children and for that reason taps should be at the toilet end of the bath...a built in bath can be a much more generous size than a free standing bath that needs to allow space all around for cleaning and rescuing lost bath toys but a wall hung vanity and a bath built up higher off the floor than the old bath will add to the spacious feeling and there's a wide range of small wall hung hand basins for the toilet that can be combined with an in wall mirrored medicine cabinet to give more options for several adults living together..all the fixtures are standard sizes but care should be taken to select a toilet that is no more than 650 back to front and extra towel rails could be mounted on the wall at both ends of the bath


    Bec G thanked oklouise
  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Wow @oklouise thank you for taking the time to come up with a great design for our bathroom reno, I really appreciate it! The detail you've provided is fantastic :). I'm just thinking about trying not to overcapitalise on a duplex...from my next-to-nothing understanding of bathroom renovation costs, I would assume this type of reno would be well over $20K? I was really hoping to keep it below $15K if that was at all possible? I'm wondering if there may be any other options available to retain the current bath in it's location (just resurfacing it) as a means of keeping the costs down, while at the same time having the shower, vanity and toilet? Totally understand if there's really no other 'functional' way of doing this though... I'd played around with the idea of having both the bath and shower on the same side they're placed now, and then having a toilet and small vanity on the other side, however this just left absolutely no space to operate comfortably in, yet alone get changed in :(. Thanks again for your help!


  • bigreader
    last year

    A new inset bath is less than $500. It would be false economy to try and work around the old one. And you lose the opportunity for a functional bathroom. A bathroom with toilet, and a second toilet with a basin will increase both rentability and saleability.

    Bec G thanked bigreader
  • dreamer
    last year

    How do you bathe your 2 year old now? I would assume, in the bath. If you are staying in the home for at least 5 years, then that bath is very important. Do not leave it out of your design.

    Bec G thanked dreamer
  • oklouise
    last year

    the cost of the new bath etc can be the smallest part of the expense but the appearance and comfort of the new bathroom will be what you appreciate most and if you plan to replace tiles there's no better time to rearrange and invest in new fixtures and using carefully sourced basic styles will be the best cost savings

    Bec G thanked oklouise
  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Good points made bigreader and dreamer, thank you :).

    The size of the seperate bathroom is actually 980 x 1460, so a good enough space for creating the basin with medicine cabinet.

    Thanks again for all your help!

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thank you oklouise, that's great!

  • Kate
    last year

    Keep the bath, take up the space between bath and shower to make shower bigger. Add basin to toilet room, this will make it much more functional than a second toilet in bathroom. If can can, take a little space from bathroom to get a decent basin in the toilet room.

  • siriuskey
    last year

    You say it's a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom semi, if it was mine I would be looking to add a small ensuite, shower vanity WC, floorplan would help.

    Cosmetic update of the bathroom with a shaving cabinet in the corner above the vanity and then run a rectangle mirror from that back towards the door of approx 1200. new shutters on the window and no extra toilet it's too small.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Kate and siriuskey, I don’t have floor plans for our duplex so I’d have to make them myself (which won’t be able to happen until tomorrow evening). Our bedrooms are tiny so a don’t think we’d be able to explore the option of an en-suite unfortunately

  • siriuskey
    last year

    You can get one from the council

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks! I didn’t even know this 😃

  • siriuskey
    last year

    Even if there's no where for an ensuite it could just be a powder room to give you a second toilet. OKL did a great job fitting all that you wanted into the bathroom but keep in mind this is a family bathroom and you will all the space you can get with kids. So I think your money will be better spent on a Powder room. Give the council a call they should be able to work up a copy but will charge for this but it will be worthwhile having

  • ton12h
    last year

    Would putting a shower over the bath be an option for you? You might be able to fit everything thing you want in that way, I know not everyone likes that option but I have lived in homes with the bath over the shower and I think it is a good use of limited space. I don’t think I would get rid of the bath, I can’t imagine people not wanting to live in a house because it had a bath in it but I can imagine that some people might not want to live in a house that doesn’t have a bath

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi all, just a quick question. I floor mapped out oklouise’s plan on the bathroom floor and I only seem to be able to get 500mm between the corner of the 900x900mm shower and the edge of the 650x650mm toilet, not 800? What am I doing wrong? In addition, I’ve measured the separate toilet room and it’s only 1460mm Long, not 1800mm, so unsure whether a washbasin will fit in that space now 🤦‍♀️. Any suggestions would be great! Also I underestimated how long doing a house floor plan would take while also looking after a toddler and working... i won’t get it done by tomorrow, will hopefully get it sorted by the weekend ! 😊

  • oklouise
    last year
    last modified: last year

    if your measurements are different then we must have started with different sizes..measure the bathroom again and make sure we have the correct dimensions..and, if the toilet is only 1460 and not 1800 that means that either the bathroom is shorter or the wall outside the bathroom door is wider...

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks oklouise, it must be something I’m doing wrong with the floor map... the bathroom is definitely 2780 L x 1860 W, and the separate toilet next door is 1460 L x 98 W but the door swings outwards from l-r. Not sure what I’m doing wrong when trying to gauge the size in a visual manner on the floor?

  • MC Hamilton
    last year

    With regard to seperate toilet, we have added a tiny vanity from Sink Warehoue. Our toilet is slightly longer with door opening inward but is only 880mm wide and it doesn’t feel cramped and we are a family of tall people. Is definitely worth the investment. It’s also great for when visitors come so they don’t need to go into the family bathroom

    Wishing you lots of luck. My only suggestion is to spend money and time on getting the design right. There are always opportunities to shop at auction houses, online, during sales etc to save money on fixtures and fittings but you only get one shot to get the design right

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi MC Hamilton thanks so much... this vanity looks fantastic, and given you’re separate toilet is around the same size as ours I think we’ll go with this option! We have a builder coming round soon to have a chat about our options so I’ll keep you all posted on how we go with that 😊

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Also very true about getting the design right and saving by being smart and going to auction houses and online sales, thanks MC Hammer 👍👍

  • siriuskey
    last year

    and if you want more space have the whole vanity recessed into the wall cavity and continue that cavity up so as to add a mirror into it, looks great and as mentioned gives more floor space if your are going with a base cabinet.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Siriuskey that is definitely another option my hubby and I are exploring, thanks for the suggestion about the long mirror I think that will be really practical 👍

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi oklouise I had a builder come out earlier this afternoon and he measured the space and there’s definitely only around 400-500mm between the edge of the shower and the edge of the proposed toilet unfortunately - the bathroom is indeed 2780mm L x 1860mm W, and the wall the proposed toilet sits against is 1900mm. (Separate toilet area is 980mm W x 1460mm L). I suggested making the shower narrower but longer... 800mm x 1000mm and he said even doing that he feels the space would still be too tight between the shower and toilet - about 500-600mm give or take. Would you have a spare moment to take another look at your design and see if there’s any other way around this? Many thanks, Bec

  • oklouise
    last year

    the on site builder's measurements must be correct so the discrepancy between his estimated distance and mine must be based on the size and shape of the toilet and shower but if the wall behind the proposed toilet is 1900 then the wall on the other side must be 1900 and if the inside of the existing toilet is only 1460 there must be something preventing the toilet door wall being moved out to 1900 especially if the door opens outwards ..is there an outside window in the toilet? we need a plan of the spaces adjoining the bathroom and toilet but in the meantime maybe some photos may help explain the existing spaces

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks oklouise! Okay I’ve attached photos below, including one showing the entrances to both the bathroom and the separate toilet, as well as some with towels to make out where the edge of the bath would be as well as the 650x650 toilet. Our current shower is 900x900 + a step, so I’ve included a photo of the length between edge of toilet and where the toilet would end (400mm). Thanks oklouise I appreciate you’re help 😊

  • siriuskey
    last year

    Just wondering $500 for a copy of floorplan from council sounds extreme, what council is it

  • siriuskey
    last year
    last modified: last year

    you could try this without the toilet which gives you a large shower wet area. Going by the photos you are missing length because the separate toilet doorway is set back from the bathroom door


    This bathroom example is by PandA Studio Architects, love the towel hooks instead of towel rails


  • oklouise
    last year

    the photo looking into the toilet shows that the door is not as far away from the toilet as possible..perhaps the answer is to enlarge the toilet by moving the door to make space for a small handbasin and forget the extra toilet in favour of more space in the bathroom

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi siriuskey and oklouise, thanks for helping me work through this, you’re suggestions are invaluable. I can see now the extra toilet is definitely off the cards unless we opted to get rid of the bath, so that’s given me more space to play! I love siriuskey’s idea of the shower wet area... looks very clean, and hooks instead of rails (this didn’t even cross my mind). How length would the fixed pane of glass need to be? I also will explore oklouise’s original design but without the toilet as that would look great too, with the bath and shower divided by the vanity on the far wall. My next question would be what size tiles for this small space? Most appear to come in 600mm which may look a bit odd in our small bathroom? Thank you again 😊

  • oklouise
    last year

    some will suggest that a big tile makes a small room feel more spacious and are easier to keep clean..we prefer small to medium sizes tiles but now you're talking about personal taste but, as you plan to later use the property for investment, i suggest that you use good quality big plain white tiles, make sure to keep a few extra tiles for repairs and add colour with gorgeous towels

  • Kate
    last year

    The bigger the tile the less grout to clean. Very large tiles need really flat surfaces. I use medium around 450 tiles. Avoid white grout on floors as it will go brown with age, I use silver in wet spaces. This is why Grey floors are so popular now.

  • siriuskey
    last year
    last modified: last year

    The wet space gives a big shower, you could allow an opening the same size as a normal door 750 or even add a glass door opening back tot he wall if you were worried, I would go without.

    Tiles are personal taste and depending what style house you love. My favourites are large rectangle for floor and wet area, non slip. and just the basin wall done in stacked upright small pencil look tile. I would paint everything else as this can be changed if and whenever you might have a change of heart.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Awesome info everyone, thanks so much 😊. Will keep you posted on the design we decide to go with, question we have (I’m sure I’ll have quite a few during this 😂) and our finished product of course 😃

  • dreamer
    last year

    Example of oklouise design, without toilet. With larger tiles.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Woooow that’s gorgeous! 🤩

  • Austere Hamlet
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Everything is a compromise. The compromise in your home is that your bathroom space was created without a toilet in mind. Personally if the need for a second toilet in a house isn't that great that I wouldn't create a cramped bathroom in the name of it. Here's your choices.


    Extra toilet in the bathroom and shower over bath.

    Extra toilet in the bathroom and freestanding shower only.

    Renovate your bathroom as is and cope with one toilet in the house.


    I would weigh up how often you actually have a need for 2 toilets. Is it common that someone is waiting for the toilet in your household? If not, then it's probably something you could live without. Houses were created with powder rooms to over come the issue of the toilet being unavailable when someone is showering. They weren't really created because there are so many people needing to use one that multiples are needed to be used at the same time.

  • siriuskey
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Having children helped to create the need for a powder room so that when you had visitors they didn't share the mess in the family bath room.

    Bec a couple of ideas for creating a "wet room" bathroom which helps maximise space in small bathrooms.

    Picture them from the doorway view into your bathroom looking at the 1m vanity with the wet room on the right, you don't need a shower on two walls and just a single glass panel should be enough.




  • Heather Gustin
    last year

    My two cents - I'd install a bath over shower along the back wall (under the window) so there is a full bath. If possible, fit a toilet between to the bath and vanity, and a nice vanity where the shower currently is.


    I'm not sure an extra toilet will add value, but removing the bath I would think would limit your market. Personally, I would not buy a house without a full bath.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Austere Hamlet, yes, you’re right about everything being a compromise. We purchased our duplex in 2017 knowing the rooms were small, bathroom included, but loving the handy location and just knowing we needed to “make it work” for the time being. Hubby feels baths are a total wastes of space, hates showers over baths, and would see ripping it out and making way for a second toilet the way to go 🤷‍♀️. I see it differently, not just on a personal note but also because with one child (and potentially another in the future) a bath is pretty essential! That’s a great point to raise around how often we actually “need” the second toilet... I will raise that with him to help make my case stronger for keeping the bath.

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    ... he needs to find another place to sit and read the paper... 😂🤦‍♀️

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    These are absolutely beautiful examples of the “shower wet room” sikiuskey, thanks for sharing. I absolutely adore the freestanding baths but fear my daughter will use them to deposit all her dollies and teddy bears, ready for me to discover a soggy mess a few days later 😆. The onset baths aren’t nearly as attractive but I think perhaps more practical for our situation. I have seen the “square edge” freestanding baths though, which could be another option and less tiles and grout to clean 👍. Perhaps a single 900mm shower panel would be enough in our space... only concern would be the splash that would obviously occur outside the area but some decent bath mats should help minimize that 😊

  • Bec G
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Heather, some good ideas, and I agree, removing the bath would limit the market. I see a bath as the “statement piece” of the bathroom. I love them!

  • sashajenner
    last year

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