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Bathroom remodeling question

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by three_bags_full, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    It may take a few minutes of explaining to get to the question, but I need some board input.

    My wife and I are going to upgrade our master bath (doing the lion's share of the work ourselves). And, just to be clear, we're not trying to make a bunch of money with these upgrades. We're just trying to make the place stand out a little and, thus, easier to sell.

    Our bathroom is fairly standard for this area, I think. Double sink and counter, large tub and a separate small shower stall. The off-the-shelf shower stall is about 36 inches deep by 32 inches wide. There is room for expansion on one side of the shower, where what I think is a "false wall" is built, so that it fits the off-the-shelf shower stall. Basically, they stuck a cheap, tiny shower stall in from Home Depot and filled in the rest of the space with a wall.

    The way we see it, we have three options, all increasing in price, difficulty and possible payoff.

    1.) Our first option is to tile the existing structure, with no expansion. Rip out the shower stall, tile the shower and floor.

    2.) Option two is to rip out the shower stall, knock out the "false wall" and tile an expanded shower and floor. This would give us another 16 inches, or so, of width in the shower and would definitely spruce up the place.

    3.) Option three would be the most expensive and hardest, but could have the most payoff. We could rip out the existing bathtub and shower stall. Build a custom shower where the tub currently sits and turn the current shower stall into a proper linen closet. This would completely remove the tub from the master bath. It would obviously be a pretty large shower space that could possibly be turned into something special. It would free up some space in the bathroom by moving things into a linen closet that we don't currently have. There would still be a tub in the house, in a guest bathroom, which is right beside our bedroom.

    Now, SJ, my question to you is: Which would you do? We're really struggling with this decision and need some input.
  2. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    I like option 2 the best, but that's because I don't like any idea that removes a tub. Unless you go balls out and get one of those awesome Kohler 700 nozzle squirt you anywhere the sun doesn't shine and all the places it does with 1000 degree water deals. Only then would I say go all out.
  3. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    If you have a tub already...good enough. Go all out. A linen closest is better in the bathroom than a tub and a larger standup shower is good also. Just my opinion.
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Option 3. Major upside if/when y'all sell.

    We did a bathroom remodel last summer. Be prepared for some wood rot around the shower. And, depending on the age of your house, having to redo some fittings.
  5. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Option three. The we have two tubs. One has never been used. The one I've used once.

    A whirlpool tub will impress some (which is what one of our tubs is) but it doesn't get much use. A big, walk in shower is much more functional and if outfitted with some bells and whistles, much more impressive.
  6. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Tubs are worthless unless you've got a baby or a relatively small dog. Either way, they can be bathed in the guest bathroom. Linen closets are nice. So are big walk-in showers. My dream bathroom, though, would have a urinal. Women would love that the seat stayed down and never had piss on it. Men would love everything there is to love about urinals.

    My vote would be for Option D: turn the tub space into a shower and the shower space into a urinal. One that stretches down to the floor.

    But, since none of that helps you at all, Option C is the way to go.
  7. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If you are good enough with your hands, do #3.

    But don't make it look half assed. Nothing kills value faster than shoddy work, but I don't think that is the case here.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    As a woman, and I believe the first one to post here, I would never buy a house with a master bath that didn't have a bathtub. No matter if the shower stall came with Taye Diggs to bathe me every day.
  9. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member

    Tubs are useless but some buyers who don't realize it will walk out of the house and never put a bid in because the master is missing one.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    "useless" is a bit strong. Most men don't use them. Every woman I know does. Not every day, but once or twice a week. Just to soak, read, etc.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    My 2 cents.

    Option 3 sounds nice, BUT I'd only do it if you have a really good sense that it will pay you back when you resell and that you are up to doing the work WELL.

    Otherwise, I'd go with option 2, especially if you want to play it safe.

    I gutted my whole apartment a few years ago and redid everything. My bathroom is kind of small and it was an "it is what it is" job, so I wanted to blow my wad elsewhere.

    I put a lot of money into the kitchen and the rest of the apartment -- everything was gutted and recreated, including rewiring the place, moving a fuse box, new fixtures, cabinets, countertops, appliances, furniture, etc.

    I went really basic in the bathroom, even though everything was new, and I even reframed it. My idea was to keep it simple and uncluttered since the bathroom is small. I decided to keep it basic white tiled, with blue accents. I tiled up 4' outside the tub and painted the walls above. The floor tiles were basic off-the-shelf Home Depot white tiles, with dark blue diamonds at each corner between the white tiles. That might not describe it well, but it is really simple and inexpensive. But my thinking was, if you are going to go inexpensive, keeping it simple helps it from looking cheap.

    The wall tiles are the most basic, off the shelf 6" white subway tiles you could get at Home Depot or Lowes. Pedastal sink, toilet, tub all white. Chrome for fixtures and mirror/medicine cabinet. But it works because of the blue accents all around the bathroom.

    I added some plain white chair rail at the top of the tiles so it wasn't too boring, and painted the walls a complimentary blue above. The tub is boxed in, and the end of the tub has a wall framed with see-through glass facing the sink (to give it an accent and make the bathroom feel bigger. It really is small!).

    My best trick was in the tub area. The tub area is tiled floor to ceiling. To break up the all white basic 6" tiles, I went into a nice tile store and bought some 3" strips of these cool-looking tiny glass tiles that alternate glassy dark blue and clear pieces. Again, hard to describe if you can't see it, but you have basic white tiles floor to ceiling, and then a few lines going around the tub area of these tiny glassy blue and clear glass pieces. It totally makes the tub area, because instead of noticing the simple white tiles floor to ceiling, your eye goes to the strips of small glassy tiles that kind of shine in the light. And the glassy blue matches up well with the blue paint on the wall and the blue diamonds between the white floor tiles, which breaks up all the white.

    As I said, I wanted to spend less on the bathroom than I was in the kitchen, for example, but I think the trick of going really basic (and relatively inexpensive), but adding a a few SMALLER more expensive touches to catch your eye really worked well. That might be worth keeping in mind when you do your job.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    As for tubs being useless, I kind of agree. But I live in a co-op, which means I own my apartment, but the building is like a corporation and we are all "shareholders." That means we have a board of directors (of shareholders) and more rules than you can imagine about what you can and can't do with your place. It's pretty common in New York, even though it can be really backward ass.

    When I did my bathroom, it made perfect sense to ditch a tub and go shower only. But most of the people who live here have it in their heads that shower-only bathrooms give a connotation of a lesser building, and the rules insist on all bathroom having tubs because of their perception that it boosts our apartment values (and perception of the building).

    So I had to put a tub in my bathroom, even though it is a nearly impossible feat if you want space to do anything else in your bathroom.

    What is amazing is when I moved in here, there was a huge clawfoot tub in the bathroom, with a huge lip. It took up so much space. I had an ex-girlfriend lived with me for a while, and there is a steam pipe that gets really hot during the winter (now boxed into the wall) that was exposed. And like clockwork, every morning she would get out of the shower (tub) and accidentally burn herself on the pipe, and I'd hear a scream followed by a stream of curses.
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