Master bath choices

It used to be that your master bath HAD to have a tub, it was a necessity, and if you had the good fortune to have enough room for a separate bath and shower all the better. But let’s face it, that’s not the case for everyone. Considerations like space, storage, personal preferences all play into what goes into the bathroom.

You may not take baths, or you would rather opt for a luxurious shower or a double vanity. You may want a water closet or linen closet inside the bathroom. Maybe you want a sauna instead of a bathtub. Conversely, you may want a bathtub and will do anything to get it.

If you are living in your “forever home” then, by all means, do what you want. If you think there is a chance you may move then there are certain considerations. If you don’t want to eliminate families with children from your prospective buyer pool then there needs to be a bathtub somewhere in your home. But does that mean it has to be in the master bath? Probably not.

All this brings me to my latest bathroom renovation. The bathroom had a laundry closet attached which I thought was fabulous and the owner didn’t mind. It also had a clawfoot tub but no shower. Now, I love a clawfoot tub but the owners were not too pleased with not having a shower and they didn’t like the idea of adding shower hardware to the vintage tub.  Have you ever tried to stand in an antique clawfoot tub? Believe me, it’s not that easy.

So the clawfoot tub is out and a new floorplan was drawn. Of course, it would not be without issues. We had to deal with 2 doors, one of which was a double bifold door for the aforementioned laundry closet, and 2 windows which the owners really wanted to keep.

To fit a shower we had to lose 1 window, but it allowed us to move the toilet and gain space for a larger vanity.

This is where “thinking outside the box” comes in. To keep at least one window we had to make the shower smaller than I would have wanted. If it were me I would have said goodbye to both windows and opted for a HUGE shower but this is not about me, it was about the client’s personal preferences. They love the window and would forgo a big shower to keep one. That meant the shower would be 42X54 but instead of having the door on the long side where you would expect, we had to put it on the short end. They also wanted a niche and a foot ledge, a lady’s got to shave her legs, right? So off we go….to try and fit as many “must-haves” into an odd-shaped shower.

Here is the “inspiration” shower we were working towards.

Now that I have a layout, I had to make it work……on a budget! The first issue was finding a 42X54 shower pan. For those that don’t know, that’s the floor of the shower. This is pretty much a special order size but special orders were not in the budget. Then I remembered the requested foot ledge! If I took 12″ away from the floor for the ledge I could get a 42″ square pan from stock. Yay!

Now just need to build the walls, install the new plumbing, tile the shower, drywall, and paint. Easy peasy. But just as I think things are running smoothly we hit an old house snag: one wall is a 1/2 ” out of plumb, or as I like to say, it’s wonky. Mostly this just makes my husband crazy, but even I could see the “lean” in the wall and we had to live with it.

Here is a look at “the build” of the shower, from 2X4 build to completed shower. We flipped the shower controls to the right side because that was the new wall and it was easy to install the plumbing there, made the niche a bit smaller, and used a glass shelf instead of tile to not obscure the tile mosaic.

I think it turned out great but more importantly the clients are ecstatic. And as usual, here is the learning, think outside the box, especially if your box is small!

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.