N/A Bathroom Remodeling Advice Needed N/A

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by wanttaja, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. wanttaja

    wanttaja Pattern Altitude

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    We've got a modern reproduction Victorian-style house with two and a half baths (half bath downstairs, two full baths upstairs with the bedrooms).

    Both the full baths have slipper-style ball-and-claw tubs. The bath off the master bedroom has a separate walk-in shower, but the "guest" bathroom has a shower head over the tub and a frame around it holding a shower curtain.

    This arrangement is practically worthless. Anyone using that shower has to step over an extremely high sidewall of the tub, and the full-diameter shower curtain sucks in and gives one little room to move. We hardly dare let visitors (other than kids) use it.

    We're getting ready to remodel the guest bathroom. The ball-and-claw tub is going to go, for sure. But I'm not sure what to replace it with.

    My preference would be to replace the tub with a walk-in shower. However, I'm concerned that NOT having a tub in there would hurt resale value. We could put in a conventional tub-shower setup, but I think a walk-in shower would be far more useful.

    So, what do folks think? I know we'll lose some visual appeal by getting rid of one of the ball-and-claw tubs. But will the fact that the house has only one bathtub (in the master bath) hurt marketability?

    I've considered a walk-in tub/shower...anyone have any experience with those?

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One popular thing I've seen in model homes is a shower stall and a jetted tub. Depending on how much room you have, you can usually find something that fits. The deal is - that tub is a selling point that buyers ooh and ahh over, but then never use. If this is an extra bathroom that might be used later for someone with kids, then a conventional tub and shower head is probably going to be the best bet.

    You can put the old tub out in the front yard, fill it with dirt, and plant flowers in it.

    I've seen a couple of those walk-in things, but I don't know anything about them. They seem like they would have a pretty limited demand.
     
  3. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I like those old tubs, personally. They have character. If the tub's vintage, you could probably get some money for it.

    Even if the tub has to go, I wouldn't install just a shower. The next potential homeowner could have kids (or just prefer baths) and want a tub.

    Is there no way to solve the shower curtain dilemma? I mean, those tubs have been around for a long time. Surely someone's figured out a solution...

    -Rich
     
  4. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    don't install a jetted tub,... PITA to clean, especially if there are kids that are getting baths regularly.

    For a guest room, a regular tub with shower and a vinyl wall liner would do the trick.
     
  5. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'd need to see a current layout, in order to see what could be accomplished.
     
  6. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some disorganized thoughts:

    When we added an addition for my Mom and Dad, we put in a walk-in shower. We later converted that to a regular tub/shower. The cost wasn't too bad.

    Note that the code for a shower drain and a tub drain can have different minimum sizes (it does in my city). I would recommend that the plumber make provisions for being able to change from a walk-in to tub or the other way around. Assuring a potential future buyer of that kind of forward thinking might be a useful point for resale.

    I don't think walk-in shower vs shower/tub has a big impact on resale, especially with the guest bathroom.

    What's an appropriate style of bathroom for your type of architecture? Wouldn't the existing style of tub be kind of neat?

    A shower liner frame that curves out, combined with a liner with magnets/weights along the bottom, should alleviate the problem with the liner billowing out. By the way, I have that problem with my conventional tub/shower - I just haven't bothered to get a different liner yet.
     
  7. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    One thing I noticed about jetted tubs, they sell houses and get used once for the most part.

    What I have seen advertised that I thought was excellent was this walk in, sit down (rather than lay down) tub with shower. It has a door that seals so there's nothing tall to step over and solid support to hold when you do. I'd want to take a closer look at the mechanism of the door seal before I bought one, but the idea is solid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  8. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    How long do you expect to be in the house? If 10 years or longer, do what meets your needs. You'll get the benefit for 10 years and can do whatever retrofit is popular when time comes to sell the house.

    We're about to convert our jetted tub/shower to a walk in shower. Sure, the jetted tub shows really well, but we never use it and a walk in shower will be much easier to use 365 days a year.
     
  9. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's the kind that I've seen advertised, and at some home shows I've been to. The ones I've seen have a hollow silicone gasket around the door that gets compressed against the tub frame, and the door opens to the inside so water pressure helps seal it. I think the latch mechanism is just a simple handle that swings down/up to hold the door shut. Having dealt with family members that require a lot of assistance, sometimes a walk-in shower with a sturdy shower seat is good enough. I'd be worreid with that kind of tub that someone who does need a lot of assistance runs the risk of slipping off the seat, into the water, and not being able to pull themselves up.
     
  10. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I did a bathroom for an ex GFs grandpa with severe arthritis. I just made the whole bathroom into a shower so he could just roll in in his chair and turn the water on. I did 5 shower heads on 2 walls and the ceiling with one of the wall units being a handheld. That way by just leaning around he could rinse pretty much anywhere with the hand held to finish up. He really liked it.
     
  11. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's the way to do it - I had to add a bunch of grab-bars by drilling through the tile into the wall studs. Talk about "measure twice, cut once". We then added a handheld showerhead attatchment. Even then, that little 2"-3" step over into the shower pan was something we had to be very careful of.
     
  12. DaleB

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    We're about to undertake a complete remodel of the master bath in our house. I figure once that's done it's airplane time. :) Anyway, we currently have a tub with water jets. We do use it but not as much as we would if it weren't so bloody loud or if it had room for two. The new one will be quieter, have room for two, and I'll use an in-line heater to keep the water warm. We're looking at a number of possibilities for the shower, including something similar to what Henning described - basically a mini car wash bay. :) That, or just a big shower with one or two glass sides.

    In your case I'd say that for a main bath, a tub will be a bigger draw for buyers if you intend to sell any time soon. As someone else noted, if you plan to stay in the house until about the time the bathroom will need freshening up again, do what YOU want. Either you can re-do it before you sell, or let the next owners put in what they want. Then again -- if you're selling soon, the cool tub will be a big draw with people who don't know what a PITA it is. You might also try a different type of shower curtain, or weight the bottom with some hefty chain or lead shot. I don't think people in the 1920s were using lightweight vinyl shower curtains.
     
  13. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yep, that was the issue, I wanted him to be able to stay seated, so we just planed down the joists and and drained the whole damned room.
     
  14. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We took the tub out when we remodeled, replaced it with a 4x4 shower and a closet. Much better use of space, nobody used the tub during the first 10 years we lived in the house.

    OTE=kyleb;880681]How long do you expect to be in the house? If 10 years or longer, do what meets your needs. You'll get the benefit for 10 years and can do whatever retrofit is popular when time comes to sell the house.

    We're about to convert our jetted tub/shower to a walk in shower. Sure, the jetted tub shows really well, but we never use it and a walk in shower will be much easier to use 365 days a year.[/QUOTE]
     
  15. ron22

    ron22 Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is the way I ussaly look at it.
     
  16. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One consideration with that sitdown tub: You have to wait for it to (partially) empty before you can open the door and get out.

    A different solution is the tub chair that you sit on outside of the tub, and then slide it into the tub - all you have to do is lift your legs over the edge of the tub, but you are already seated. It takes up space in the bathroom, but can be really effective.
     
  17. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    When we remodeled our master, we went with a steam shower. A few extra bucks, but gotta tell ya, worth every cent. Nothing relaxes like a good schvitz...
     
  18. Piloto

    Piloto Line Up and Wait

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    Recommend elongated toilets for all the bathrooms. They are much more comfortable for the guys than the round ones. I don't know why they still making the round ones.

    José
     
  19. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    You need modern heated computerized crack washing happy poopy time toilet from Japan.:rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  20. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ron, I've remodeled, um, hmm...12 bathrooms so far in our Texas project, so this is pretty fresh for me. Of course, a hotel situation is different than a home, but the mechanics are the same.

    I would recommend a stand-up shower, for sure, in a guest room. Bath tubs are seldom used anymore -- other than hot tubs, I can't even remember the last time any of us actually took a regular "bath" in a regular "bath tub".

    We have converted about half of the rooms to showers, and people like them -- a lot. Tubs are nothing but hard-to-clean trip hazards, in my world.

    Be thankful that you've got a free-standing tub to remove -- it should be a snap. The standard dimensions for bathtub drains have changed over the years, from 17" on center to the drain, to, um, something else. (Can't remember now: 15"?) This, of course, effs up an entire remodel, since the drain either has to be moved, or the walls have to be re-framed. Neither job is fun.

    Moving a drain can be an adventure in itself. If you're lucky, the floor joists run the right direction, and moving the thing is relatively easy. If you're unlucky, you'll have to move the drain to the other side of a floor joist, at which point you may as well take cyanide, cuz you'll wish you were dead soon anyway -- depending on the plumbing-to-joist relationship.

    I had one that required moving a 6" pipe out of the way first, THEN moving the drain to the other side of the joist. I wanted to put C4 under the whole building by the time we got THAT one done.

    Ya know, in retrospect, indoor plumbing should never have been invented. Whatever it is -- toilet, shower, sink, or tub -- no matter what the cost, it will eventually leak, and it will eventually destroy everything around it. Just once I want to do a bathroom remodel, and find no rotten wood. It hasn't happened yet.

    I therefore strongly recommend an outhouse for the guestroom...
     
  21. wanttaja

    wanttaja Pattern Altitude

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    Here's a quick sketch:

    [​IMG]

    Someone commented that their shower curtain sucked in, too. The difference is that most folks' only sucks in ON ONE SIDE. The shower curtain for this tub goes around the entire tub...so when it sucks in, it's like a reverse banana peel... it sticks to you on two or three sides. It's a VERY creepy feeling.

    The claw-foot tub goes well with the architecture... as I said, it's a Victorian-style house. It's just that it's useless as a tub-shower.

    I didn't state the status of this bathroom really well... there are two bathrooms upstairs, one huge one off the master bedroom (which has both the ball-and-claw tub and a six-foot wide walk-in shower) and the one I want to remodel, which is in the main hallway upstairs, between the two other bedrooms. It's not attached to a guest bedroom, like I implied.

    Years ago when my wife's first romance novel came out, they did a publicity shoot in our master bathroom, using a young woman in the tub (full of bubbles) reading my wife's book and drinking a glass of wine. After the main shot was done, the photographer (male, hairy-chested, about five days growth of beard) and the model switched places, with the guy in the bubble bath, drinking a beer, and reading the same book. THAT was an interesting shot....

    I don't anticipate us staying in this house another ten years (We've been in it for 15). If someone with kids moves into the house, this is the bathroom the kids would use (in fact, one of the actors in the first Twilight movie grew up in this house...the family wrote their names in the concrete in the garage).

    So...sounds like it'd better be a tub/shower setup.

    Thanks much to everyone!

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  22. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The conventional wisdom 'round these parts is that there is no resale impact (positive or negative) between a house with one bathtub/one shower and a house with 2 bathtubs. There is negative value to two showers/no bathtubs. If there is one tub, one usually sees it in the guest bath (but that's not a necessity).

    My house has two baths: one tub, one shower. The shower is in the bath in the master BR, the tub is in the guest/hall bath.

    Probably more important is to make sure that any older plumbing is redone to avoid leaks.

    BTW: claw foot tubs do have real character. If there were any way to add a shower and keep the tub(s), I'd certainly think about that.
     
  23. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    First, the shower curtain. The reason it always sucks in: Cold air wants to always move towards warm air. Air inside the curtain is warmer so the curtain pushes in. I have a tub/shower with an opaque sliding door. More to clean, but no attacks of the curtain, either.

    As far as the bathroom layout, there's only so much to do with that. The easiest fix is just replace it with a shower-tub, and do tile and decorative work to keep the Victorian look. The other option, depending how much remodel work you want to do, is you do have the room for a shower and a tub in there - and can still keep a Victorianesque look.
    Ditch the 78" vanity, and put in a 42" one, or even a pedestal sink. Slide the toilet towards the sink, turn the tub sideways from the way it is now, and put it in it's own room, that has a shower next to the tub. Wait what? Yeah - something like this (shower head and controls not shown):

    [​IMG]
     
  24. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Screw resale. If I've got a half-mil tied up in a house, it's going to be the way I want it not the way somebody else wants it.

     
  25. wanttaja

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    Yes, I prefer a door, but that's part of the reason I'm looking at replacing teh clawfoot tub...hard to incorporate a door! The other problem with the clawfoot tub is that it has a strong taper...the top is wide, but the area to actually stand in is fairly small.

    Thanks much for the design diagram...never even considered turning the tub sideways like that. Great idea.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  26. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Check with an experienced renovator over the cost of moving the toilet drain pipe. This is the second floor, and moving the pipe can get expensive! With that as a caveat, Ed's suggestion is a good one.

    -Skip
     
  27. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I'm planning on staying in the house for >10 years, I agree with you. If I'm not (and my track record seems to be more "not"), then resale is a consideration.
     
  28. bluee

    bluee Line Up and Wait

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    Is the tub cast iron? Then you could put magnets in the shower curtain.

    I wanted to add, I have a jetted bathtub, and I don't think I've used it in at least two years. Don't waste your money on a jetted tub. I have to dust it because no one uses it. But on the positive side, it is big enough for two. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  29. upstateny

    upstateny Line Up and Wait

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    Not so fast!! There seems to be no consensus on the cause.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shower-curtain_effect
     
  30. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow. There are actually multiple theories about this. I always just assumed it was Bernoulli and never gave it any further thought.

    I learn something new every day, it seems. Usually trivial things, but still.

    -Rich
     
  31. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    Says the man who has never installed or cleaned the drain on a pedestal sink. How do I know? You suggested that someone (someone I assume you don't hate to very depths of your sole) install one.

    Bernoulli gets blamed for a lot of things. The process of entraining air into an accelerated flow stream is often uses as an illustration of Bernoulli's equation. But, that type of flow violates all of the assumptions that his equations are based on. And, thus, instead of demonstrating Bernoulli's equation, what one is demonstrating is that one did not read the fine print.

    Oh, and I just installed a ball and claw tub in the original bathroom in the house (1.5 have been added since the house was built).
     
  32. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I like Ed's idea except for the possible logistics of moving the toilet as regards the drain pipe.
     
  33. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Correct, I haven't done one. But if they want the Victorian look, a pedestal sink helps. Personally, I would go with a 42" vanity and try and still keep the look. It provides a bit more storage if you get one with some drawers in it.
     
  34. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    Speaking only of my own tastes, I couldn't live with an isolated sink - I need someplace near the sink/mirror to put my electric razor, contact lens stuff, deodorant, and other toiletry junk. It tends to sit on the counter day in and day out. Only a few things manage to get stowed in the vanity drawer. Even a guest using a guest bath will need someplace to spread their stuff in their morning bathroom ritual.

    Also - who cleans the bathroom? In my house that is my job, and since we're planning a remodel of the master bath sometime this year, I'm taking into consideration ease of cleaning during selection of tile (which needs replacing), kinds of sinks and how they mate to any counter, shower stall, and such.
     
  35. Chip Sylverne

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    i hear ya. Solid surface countertop, undermount sink. Top mount sinks get that little ring of crud around the joint after a while that gives me the heebies. If you go with a marble floor, get the joints as close as possible and use sandless grout. And sealer.