Advice/help with micro bathroom

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Advice/help with micro bathroom

Post by NailedIt » Thu May 10, 2018 9:44 am

Howdy House Improvements,

I'm in the process of turning an accessory building behind our main dwelling into a mother in law suite. The space is not the biggest, and we're currently trying to design the bathroom. The building is aprox. 14' x 14' from finished wall to finished wall. A micro apartment to go along with the micro bathroom.

Currently we have framed out a portion of the interior space for the bathroom that is aprox. 5' x 5' from finished wall to finished wall. We're going to need to bust up the floor to start the drain, and I"m unsure how to approach that. Is that something that requires a profesisonal plumber or is it something a homeowner can attempt?

I've got two different ideas in mind for the design, but don't know which would be better given the circumstances. I'll try to upload a drawing too.

Scenario one: Treat the entire bathroom space as a wetroom, with a drain in the middle and tiled wall to wall. Try to find a sleek sink that isn't too intrusive and a commode that can be stuck in the corner.

Scenario two: Section off a space for a stand up shower stall, or put a prefabricated one in. Similar design consideration as in design one.

Are there any inherent problems with making it a wet space as a whole, or is it poor practice to put the commode and a sink in that space?

I'd assume that there is a lot of artistic and creative approach when designing the plumbing along with the floor slope and placing the shower drain in relation to the commode drain.

Kind of an open ended question, I know; but we're kind of stuck and trying to get this project back going and completed. We'd started that framing and electrical a few years ago, and it's been on hold ever since.

Any opinions, critiques, and/or advise is more than welcome. Thanks, y'all are awesome for putting those Youtube videos up and running this forum.


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A. Spruce
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Re: Advice/help with micro bathroom

Post by A. Spruce » Thu May 10, 2018 10:42 am

I would caution against making the entire space a wet room, how you going to keep toilet paper, electrical devices (hair dryer, curler, toothbrush, night light, etc.)? IMHO, a 5x5 room is also way too small, I just spent a week with a friend who had a similar sized guest bathroom and the sink and tiny corner shower were nearly unusable, and I'm not a large person. It was uncomfortable to use for a week, I'd hate to have to live with something like that.

You can do a corner shower, anything less than about 32" is too claustrophobic and gets damn tight to move around in to do your showering needs. As far as what to make it out of, that choice is really up to you, you can get fiberglass units or you could use tile or faux stone, just depends on your budget and styling preferences. You can order custom sized shower doors or go with a preset size, which will be significantly cheaper. Custom size allows you to make the shower any size you want, preset size determines the size of the shower for you, so you may want to go shower door shopping first.

Running the plumbing isn't all that difficult. Supply lines are easy, it is the waste lines that can get tricky because too many kinks and turns and you will have constant backups, it's also got to have the correct angle to it so that the solids flow along with the liquids. I don't do waste lines, so Shannon will have to field this one for specifics.

The toilet should have a space that is at least 30" wide and you want at least 36" in front of it, or else you will be banging your face against whatever is there every time you sit down.

In tight situations like this, it may be preferable to use a pocket door for the bathroom itself, you just can't put it on a wet wall since the door needs the wall cavity to slide into. Another option is a barn door slider, with surface mounted hardware. These have actually become fairly popular and the hardware isn't all that difficult to find, though it will probably be an online purchase.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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Re: Advice/help with micro bathroom

Post by Shannon » Fri May 11, 2018 7:58 am

I would not do this as a wet room either.
I would also say this is pretty small, especially for a mother inlaw bath. Consider that at some point she may be using a wheel chair or walker and will need extra room to maneuver. I would say If you are doing a shower and no tub then you should make it barrier free if you plan on the mother inlaw living well into her years there.You should go to 5'x7' as a minimum IMO. If you wanted to stay 5x5 the only way to make it work is to have the vanity/sink outside the room. At 5x5 even a corner shower really does not work well, I would either have a 30" tub /shower or 30" shower and even with those the toilet area would be under code requirements for space but you could make it work. Consider this is her main space I would make the bathroom a little larger and spa like to pamper her.
As for the plumbing if you have no real experience then the drain and venting takes some planning but running the hot and cold supplies is not to difficult. I would consider hiring a plumber to do the plumbing in the floor and maybe you can do the grunt work like chipping out the floor?
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