Bathroom floor plans for Kate’s master bathroom remodel

master bath floor plan sketchesKateI have given you a whole list of reasons why I am going to do a gut remodel of my retro master bathroom, but the main reason doesn’t have to to with the condition of the tile, the color scheme or the lack of towel bars — I’m gutting my master bathroom to the studs and starting over, because the layout is just not working for how we live. When we first bought our retro ranch house about two years ago, I knew the bathroom was going to need some help. I’ve spent hours thinking, measuring and imagining how I could fix the floor plan to be more user friendly, and by golly, I think I have a plan…

To understand the improvements I’d like to make to the layout of my master bathroom, first we have to take a look at the current layout of the room:

Kate's current master bathroom floorplan

Above: The current layout of my retro bathroom.

As you can see, there is quite a lot going on in this layout. I can say for the first time in my life, that there is too much closet space in my bathroom. We can fit nearly everything we need in the small closet — the large closet is mostly empty. There are also doors banging against doors everywhere. The small closet door interferes with the shower door, and the large closet doors can only be fully opened when the main bathroom door is shut. Since I have so much extra closet space in this bathroom, I’ve decided to take out the small closet to expand the shower. That way, my tall, broad shouldered husband can have the larger shower space that he would like, and I don’t have to move the plumbing for the shower — which would add extra costs to the overall project. I’m also going to keep the toilet in the same place for the same reason. The only plumbing that will need to be moved will be the sink lines and sink drain.

Kate's master bathroom remodel floorplan

Above: This is the plan for the new master bathroom layout.

The new layout removes a lot of the clunkiness of the original floor plan. Yes, there are fewer closets, and the vanity is smaller, but the space is so much more user friendly this way. The shower will not only be larger, but also will have a curtain (the squiggly blue line) instead of shower doors — oh how I will love not having to clean shower doors! Once you exit the shower, there will be ample room for one large bath mat. Two towel racks (one for each of us) or one large towel rack will be within easy reach, no reaching around a shower door to grab them. You’ll notice that the new plan still only has one sink. That’s because two sinks are twice the cost (extra plumbing, extra sink and extra faucet), and I like having plenty of counter space to use when I am getting ready in the morning. I offset the sink to maximize the counter space and also because of the style of vanity that I’ve chosen — but more on that later. The last new feature of this bathroom is consolidating the two closets into one small closet. I’m also toying with making some built in wall shelving like Pam made in her crazy crafty epic big fat retro office remodel.

So there you have it folks, after much deliberation and nearly two years, I feel sure that this is my new master bathroom layout. Of course, that is only part of the job. I’m still working on the fun part — how to blend retro and modern styles into one happy, perfect for us master bathroom. More on that next time!

Follow all of Kate’s stories about her master bathroom remodel — Click here.

  1. Holland says:

    Love our new layout, Kate. I think the shower is generous enough — its occupant will undoubtedly stand with (broad -!) shoulders inline with the long dimension. And I second your choice of a curtain, which cuts out cleaning glass and also adds some spacial flexibility.

    I have one idea you might consider — that is to make your planned 21x 28 closet wider and shallower, say 11 deep x 43 wide, so it allows more room as you walk through the entry door and ends about parallel with the toilet. That gives more floorspace and still provides lots of useful storage.

    1. Holland says:

      Correction to my closet suggestion, above: 11 deep x 53 wide — really just a shallower version of your existing large closet.

  2. Dan says:

    How fun! After doing our bath I have two points for you to consider:

    1. Put the shampoo niche in an area that is not in the sight line of the shower when you are in the bath. Last thing you want to see in your sexy sleek shower is your collection of shampoo.

    2. I know you are doing a shower curtain, but if you ever want to put in a nice frameless glass door, make sure that you have good anchors into which to mount it, and that the tiles on the sill slope INTO the shower. Ours does not and no matter what you do, water eventually leaks out onto the floor. Such a drag!

  3. Katie says:

    Another thought on grab bars-you can have grab bars installed instead of regular towel bars, and then use them as towel bars. That way, if you ever need a grab bar, you already have it in place, and you also don’t have to worry about the weight of wet towels (or small children!) pulling the towel bar out of the wall.

  4. Marta says:

    Such fun! I’m wondering, Kate, what’s under this bathroom? Specifically, where the main drain stack is in relation to the toilet? Also, where are you planning to tie in to the vent stack for the new sink? I’m assuming if the shower supply lines are currently on the back wall, that’s where the drain is too, so theoretically you’ve got a vent stack there. Also, in which direction do the floor joists run, side-to-side or front-to-back?

    What I’d be most tempted to do (given that what’s below is amenable, which it probably isn’t :D), is move the toilet to the back wall next to the window, install the shower on the back wall (although I’d put in a 4′ tub with shower for ease in cleaning). I’d run the shower plumbing in the new wall between the toilet and shower with an access panel on the toilet side for maintenance purposes. Why builders don’t automatically provide for maintenance, I don’t know.

    I’d put the sink/s on the wall between the shower and the master bedroom closet. That outer wall from the toilet under the window to the bedroom wall would then be free. You could put in a half wall with translucent divider in front of the toilet for privacy if you wanted. I’d definitely have a girly vanity on the outside wall with a 50’s vanity stool, and there’d still be room for a bench/hamper and nice closet.

    I think I’d do some type of corner-type closet so the door doesn’t open against the wall or bedroom door. A corner closet with narrow double louvered doors to decrease the swing footprint and increase the airflow in what could become a damp spot. Speaking of which, an exhaust fan with the highest cfm and lowest sone ratings is really worth the added expense.

    That’s all I can think of on the fly. Thanks so much for letting us exercise our imaginations on your project! Imagination is cheap and doesn’t have to adhere to reality, lol. Cannot wait to see what colors you go with.

    Oh, and extend the wall between the shower and tub a foot so you can have towel bars right there next to the shower. The other side of that wall extension can have the recessed storage like Pam’s, for extra toilet paper, and other personal amenities. If you don’t extend the wall, you can put towel rings on the wall end.

    1. Kate says:

      Moving the toilet would be tricky and very $$$. The main stack is in the wall directly behind the toilet AND we have another bathroom (hall bath) that backs up to our master so the toilet from that bath shares the stack with our current toilet. For that reason, I’m leaving the toilet in position. Luckily our basement is unfinished, so I can see how all the pipes connect from underneath! Plus, I have the original plans for the house! I’ll have to share those on my blog sometime so you can all get a better idea of the floor plan. 🙂

    1. TappanTrailerTami says:

      OMG Keith – I did the same exact (EXACT!) layout/floor plan this morning for Kate and emailed it to her, LOL.

      The only difference in mine was I kept a swinging door into the bathroom (reversed the swing though), and designated a vintage accordian door on the linen storage so there would be no door conflict, haha.

    2. Kate says:

      Tami and Keith-Thanks for taking the EXTRA TIME!!! to draw up some sketches for my master bath! All of your suggestions are really helpful and I will definitely take them all into consideration before I come to my final conclusions.

      I really appreciate all the advice that you two and all the other commenters are giving me! Things I never would have thought of are now spinning through my head. Thanks so much everyone! 🙂

      1. TappanTrailerTami says:

        You’re welcome Kate! And I’m truly thankful you weren’t offended by our re-do’s or your re-do 🙂

        I don’t even open my own house plans anymore very often because it is almost like an addiction to think of different ways to lay something out. Like I said in my email, just when you think you have landed, some new idea pops into your head!

        No matter what you do, it will turn out wonderful, I have no doubt.

        1. Kate says:

          No offense taken at all Tami!

          I was just amazed that everyone gave my plans so much thought and effort! I like feedback…it will make me feel more sure of what my final decision will be because I have considered many other suggestions! 🙂

  5. lynda says:

    I know I have had my quota of comments. However, I made this mistake in our master bath–so I am passing on this tip. When you design the niches, make sure they are tall enough to accommodate whatever size shampoo bottles you like to use. I didn’t make my niches tall enough. Also, if there is an outside wall in the shower, you could install privacy glass or acrylic glass blocks for a window. We have that in our shower and I like it.

  6. cheryl m says:

    my 2 cents… I really like having towels (towel bars) reachable when I am still standing (dripping) inside the shower (i.e. not so far away that I have to step out and stand on the bath mat to reach the towels).

    1. Cynthia says:

      We had this issue with our master bath — is it new construction we added on the house, but because of the layout, there wasn’t room for towel bars right next to the shower. We put a hook on either side of the shower door, and we just move our towels to a hook before we get in the shower. Then, after we dry off, we hang the towels on the bars to dry.

      1. wendy says:

        this is exactly the suggestion i was going to make! hooks right next to shower are very important. that doesn’t have to be where they dry out, but i hate having to put my towel in some weird spot or on the floor so that it’s reachable from inside the shower. even if you only did half walls on the shower (glass on top), you could put a hook on that at the entry.

        i’ve just gutted my main bath and am looking forward to enjoying my new bath next month! marble floors (with heat), white subway wainscot and bath surround, boomerang laminate on vanity. sooooo excited. i luckily didn’t have to move anything, but i did have to have a custom vanity made, though i saved by reusing my sinks, toilet and bathtub.

  7. Sherree says:

    Just a few comments from someone old(er). I don’t see why everyone thinks the shower size is an issue; just turn sideways for more elbow room. The planned shower is 50″ long!!! I love the idea of your repurposing an item for the vanity 😉 I don’t think you need 2 sinks. You could use the money saved for something else. In my 31 years of marriage I have never even had a “master” bath, let alone double sinks. I am like you; I would rather have more counter space.You do have another bath if there is an urgent need to brush teeth STAT. I think grab bars are a good idea and would install them now instead of having to do it later at an unplanned time. One of you may need them sooner than you think. I do agree you need an hook for a towel outside the shower door. If you don’t plan to move/sell anytime soon then do what YOU want. You have lived there long enough to know your needs, wants and how to best utilize your space. I am looking forward to watching your progress!

    1. Kate says:

      Thanks Sherree!

      I agree, two sinks is not necessary. My husband and I have been sharing one sink for 6 years (3 of which were married years) and we have yet to have an issue. Both my parents and his parents have always shared one sink as well. I know it is a personal preference thing, but for us, two sinks just doesn’t make sense.

  8. Nancy says:

    If you shave your legs in the shower, make sure it includes a low shelf or bench so you can prop your leg up. That way, you’re not bending double, blocking the light, and having all your shaving lotion washed off by the water cascading down your body. We put one in our shower when we added a master bath and I am happy about it every time I shave.

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