Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Downstairs Bath: First Look

Well, actually, it’s a first look at the floor plan of what the bath may look like. I have about 2 weeks to go on the exterior house painting, but after that it’s all-bathroom-all-the-time. The space is not huge so I have to maximize it. Also, the room has never been a bathroom before, so there is a lot of work to be done.

I have only one priority for the room and that is a shower. The original 1895 bathroom upstairs has no shower, and really, that’s fine with me. I don’t think I’ve taken a shower in about 5 years now, and I don’t really miss it. I love soaking in my canoe of a claw foot tub, and as Churchill said, “Why stand when you can sit”. Still, some freaks out there can’t live with out a shower, so I’m caving to popular demand and putting in a shower. Incidentally, the first showers sold at the end of the last century were for men only. It was felt that a woman’s delicate skin could not stand the harsh blast of a shower spray.

The issue is, I want to use the claw foot tub as the shower, but I’m not a fan of the 360 degree shower curtain. It’s not bad, it just seems there should be a better way. The room is 10X6, roughly, and there really isn’t room for a tub, sink, toilet, and shower. I realize they make small neo-angle showers, but I’m not a big fan of those either. And even if I was, I couldn't fit it in.

So this leaves me with a bit of a dilemma. How to I use a claw foot tub as a shower with out the surround shower curtain. Well, here’s what I’m thinking. The picture below is a second draft of the bathroom.

What I’m thinking about doing is getting rid of the window behind the tub and making the walls on either side of the tub, and the wall behind, floor to ceiling tile. The floor would be tile as well. The plan all along has been to do subway tile 36 or maybe 48 inches up the wall in the entire room. In the tub area it would just extend the remaining 5 or 6 feet to the ceiling.

The space is 68 inches wide and the tub is 60 inches, so I could (I think) mount a shower curtain across the front of the tub and use the area as a shower stall. The tub would collect most of the water and what misses would go in to the floor drain under the tub.

It’s just a thought at this point. The tub will go in that spot regardless, because there is no other place for it to go. If it’s doesn’t work, or if I don’t like how it looks, I can always put in a shower curtain ring.

Like I said, this is a first look.


Paul said...

It's possible I'm misunderstanding your plan, but it seems like the tile behind and next to the tub would be virtually impossible to clean. You might end up with a lot of gross stuff (soap scum, mildew, etc.) back there and no good way to get at it.

Greg said...

Well, cleaning behind a tub will be an issue no matter what. It is the nature of a claw foot tub. I've lived in a house with a tub like that for 10 years, so for me, it's not a great concern. I think it might be easier to clean than most because of the drain under the tub. I can pour as much water as I want back there and it will all go down the drain.

StuccoHouse said...

One of those freaks here :-) Couldn't you just tile the walls & floor and grade a bit more than usual to a drain under the tub and forget about adding walls ('m thinking by this you mean short walls to keep water in)? I'm thinking that this would look just like a regular bathroom...unless you notice the drain below the tub. This would make cleaning things fairly easy. I hope I'm describing this understandably.

Anonymous said...

Although not germane to your question, I would suggest reversing the sink and the toilet. Your current plan has the toilet right by the door. If you reverse them, the vanity will act as a bit of a "shield" from the doorway. While possibly not relevant to you personally, a future family with young kids who don't yet understand the concept of privacy would probably appreciate the reversal.


Greg said...


That is basically the plan. The wall you see that seems to be added to the left of the tub, and then runs behind the toilet and sink, is really part of a chase for plumbing, electrical, and tele-com to the second and third floor. The chase only needs to be about 12 inches wide but I'm thinking about extending it all the way to the cabinet by the door for a few reasons. First, I think it would look better to have a continuous wall, but also because I can use the 6 inch space as a "wet wall" for plumbing for both this bathroom and the laundry room on the other side. There is also a plan to do some radiant floor heat down the road and the plan is to put the wall mount heater in the laundry room. Lots and lots of pipes and drains in this area. Rather than have to run everything around a joist right under the existing wall I can shift all water, gas, and drains over a few inches and just come straight up in to that 6-inch wet wall.


I had the sink by the door first for that very reason. The problem is space. The 32-inch entry door will need to swing past what ever is there. In my initial, crude measurements the door was very close to hitting the vanity so I swapped it with the toilet to give me more room. Once I actually get the door hung and purchase the vanity it may be moved back.

Anonymous said...

I would create a "lip" of tile in front of the tub to keep water from leaking into the rest of the bathroom.

Greg said...

I would create a "lip" of tile in front of the tub to keep water from leaking into the rest of the bathroom.

Very interesting idea! I'll have to give that some consideration!

Durf said...

I don't like the look of a shower curtain all the way around a clawfoot tub, either. In Israel I saw a bathroom that had a shower somewhat like the old gym showers in high school that are tilted in the middle for drainage and have a slight lip for possible overflows. You have such good ideas!

Greg said...

Good ideas or hair-brained schemes? it could be ither one.