Friday, March 27, 2015

The Cost of Remodeling, Part 2: Moving a Shower or Tub

This Old House Top 2014 Bath Remodels

When I helped clients a couple of years ago with a major bath renovation, the goal was reconfigure their walk in closet and vanity, and adding a freestanding soaker tub as well.  The garden tub was dated, and blocking a beautiful window view of the Wasatch mountains and a tree lined trail behind their home

My initial plans for them moved the toilet to a more efficient location, but my plumber nixed the idea.  This was a second story bathroom and the dining room underneath had a beautiful tray ceiling that would be expensive to repair if we pulled it apart.  The solution was beautiful.  I blogged about it here.

With a bathroom makeover or remodel, moving a shower or tub is a lot different from moving a toilet.  Toilets have at least a 3" diameter pipe.  Showers and tubs can have a drain pipe that is 1 1/2" in diameter.  That is a lot smaller!  This makes moving a shower or tub much MUCH easier to move compared to a toilet.

Say you want that beautiful shower with the euro glass shower doors or the freestanding soaking tub with some Kohler floor mount fixtures.  What will it take?Sometimes it is just a matter of taking down a partition wall that divides a shower into a teeny weeny room and then ordering some glass from your local glass installer.

But sometimes you have to move the plumbing around.  The good news is, if you are going to rip up the flooring, this can usually be done through the floor joists of an exposed bathroom floor.  And . . . you have to get into the wall to move the supply plumbing (the place where clean water comes into the shower or tub) to the new location as well.

STILL--this is something that plumbers do every day!  And the change in the floor plan can really improve how your bathroom functions.

historic  black and white bathroom, solera group

Next in the series will be information about bathroom sinks.  How they are plumbed, and how to make them really work for you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Cost of Remodeling, Part 1: Moving a Toilet

Ah, the commode. The privy. The john.  The can.  And my Aussie friend's "favorite" word for the toilet: the potty.  Can you move it?  Yes!

Bath Reveal, Sarah Sutin at Aflutter

As my plumber likes to say, "You can move any plumbing you want . . . for a price."

Bathroom Before,

When we decided to fit our basement bathroom remodel into our budget, I was nervous to show my plumber my idea to move the toilet.  He snapped his fingers and said, "I can chip up concrete like that!" I was thrilled!  But moving a toilet isn't always that easy.  And there's a way to get remodeling ideas without breaking the bank.  Even with ideas for small bathrooms, moving the toilet is possible.

NY Bath Makeover, A Cup of Jo

With moving toilets, you need to find out the direction of the floor joists, where the plumbing vents are located, and how much of the walls and ceiling under the toilet you are tearing out before the moving cost can be added up.  How to move a toilet in bathroom, moving a toilet drain, and the diy of the toilet location requires planning!

The Solera Group

Here are some guidelines that makes moving a toilet easier and less expensive:

1. An unfinished area beneath the bathroom, or you can afford to tear open the ceiling beneath.

2. Movement is in the same direction of the floor joists the toilet will sit on.

3. New location is within 4' of the plumbing stack venting.

4. Bathroom wall will be exposed for running new clean water line to new location.

5. Movement less than 8-10 feet in main floor or 2nd story so that pipe slope is inside floor joists.
In short, if you want a diy makeover instead of a contractor remodel, moving the toilet is not for you.  But if you are already tearing out the flooring and walls for other work, moving the toilet is something to think about.

pedestal sink, penny tiles, plank ceiling;

The toilet is probably the hardest thing to move in a bathroom.  In my next post, I'll talk about moving showers and tubs.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Windows in the Bathroom, Shower Window

In our last house, we had a window in our shower.  It was so beautiful, but we had a system for keeping water out of the window: 3M hooks and a small shower curtain.  Protecting the window became really important after we had to have the window repaired.  The seal was failing, and inside the window pains was water from the shower.  It looked sort-of like this, only with an inch of water at the bottom (inside the glass):

 It makes me laugh now, because I just had no idea that the seal could fail, and was so surprised that the previous owners of that house hadn't been protecting the window.  It was an inexpensive fix, so lesson learned :)

MDD Architects - bathrooms - walk in shower, walk in shower ideas, white marble subway tiles, his and her shower heads, shared shower, shower for two, shower for 2, tiled shower niche, shower niche, shower stool, teak shower stool, shower window,
MDD Architects via

With a window in the shower or tub, the beauty of the light is worth-while!  I would hesitate to have anyone brick over a window in the shower--especially if it is the ONLY window in the bathroom.  There are so many ways to protect that window:

Cover up a window that has been oddly placed inside your shower or tub area. Great idea! Frosted glass window.

There is a great blog entry with great ideas for the nitty gritty on these shower windows

Dana did a great job updating her bathroom, and her engineering husband (yeah for those engineers!) made sure that window will be okay:

Love that light in the bathroom!  Shower windows and windows in the bathroom are great :)