Small bath remodel wish list

We're getting ready to gut and remodel our only bathroom. We're hiring it out as we're not handy people.
The existing bath is 1950s in structural vintage. The toilet and sink were replaced about 15 years ago; tub, its plumbing and tile surround, floor and wall tiles are original. Serious damage in the walls under the window and in tub area mean everthing's going down to the studs.
The available floor space is about 5 x 6, not including the tub. There are really no options for reconfiguring the space, which will keep the budget down, but we'd still like to make the most of it. Here are some things we're thinking about; I'm wondering if the resident experts might chime in with any comments, pro or con:
- White fixtures, keep it light, use accessories for decorating interest.
- Basic toilet, round bowl, small profile as possible with good flushing.
- There's a heat register in the wall at the base of the current pedestal sink that has to remain in place, so a vanity is out of the question. We found an attractive console sink with stainless frame and bottom glass shelf at Great Indoors that I think will work nicely there. Absolute max width we can do is about 26"-27" and this unit fits well. Bonus is the side bars that can be used for hanging towels, as towel bar wall space is nearly non-existent.
- Wall space over side-by-side sink and toilet is a 5 feet in width. DH wants a 48" mirror but with no other storage space for shtuff we need a medicine cabinet behind it. Contractors said surface-mount rather than recessed mirrors are 'the thing.' Whatever, the 'thing' we need is storage space. Ideally, a recessed 48" cabinet frame with 2 or 3 hinged mirror panels would probably work. I also want outlets *in the cabinet" for the electric toothbrush and Waterpik that have to be constantly charging. Contractor thought I was nuts with that one. Sorry, but I hate the snaking extension cords we have right now, not to mention it's unsafe, GFCI or no. I can't believe I'm the only person with this problem. Any thoughts on this problem are very welcome.
- When standing facing the sink, the tub area is directly you, running perpendicular to the sink front. DH wants mirrored shower doors. I think the overall space is too small for bulky shower doors, period. Yea? Nay?
If we have large mirrors over the sink and directly opposite on the shower doors, won't that be a carnival fun house?? I agree we need visual tricks to make the room appear larger but I'm afraid too many mirrors will have the opposite effect.
- Speaking of visual tricks, is diagonal placement of floor tiles worthwhile? What would be a good size tile for this space? Any other visual tricks with the flooring to open things up?
Thanks for any comments, Hera
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

<SNIP>
Couple quick notes:
Don't rule out the vanity; the register can be extended under the vanity base and out thru the front or side. Takes a little thought and design but gives you storage.
Do the recessed med cabinet with mirrored doors and get the one with recepts built-in. The recepts can be wired to a GFCI wall recept, giving you the best of both worlds.
Jim
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wrote:

Better still, put plugs in the vanities. Great for things on chargers (razors, trimmers, toothbrushes, ...) We did that in one of our previous houses and loved it.
We also put a recessed shelf/magazine rack next to the toilet instead of a toilet paper holder. Kept the reading materials out of the way. I built a box that fit between the studs.
--
Jim Sullivan
seattle, washington
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perpendicular to the sink front. DH wants mirrored shower doors. I think the overall space is too small for bulky shower doors, period.

Think of you standing at the sink brushing your teeth while someone wants to exit the shower. Is there room to open the shower door? Instead, you might want to put in a curved shower rod (e.g. http://amos.shop.com/amos/cc/pcd/6325591/prd/9051672/ccsyn/260/ccsid/262763167-12447/adtg/09210423 ). Gives you a ton more shoulder room in the shower.

shower doors, won't that be a carnival fun house??
Yes. Do you really want to see so much of your crumpled self first thing in the am?
Another idea: As long as you're going down to the studs, why not put a reading light above the tub? Don't know if you're the type to take baths but it's nice to have a good reading light if you're doing the bubbles/wine/candles gig.
I like another poster's encouragement r.e. the heating vent under the vanity. We snaked the vents under the vanities in two of our bathrooms and it works just fine.
Good luck! skg
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Do not be afraid of using color. Just because you might be sick of the existing color (pink? yellow?) Check out some high-end bathroom displays and pay particular attention to the colors used instead of the outrageously priced fixtures. Never remodel to suit the tastes of, or attempt to not offend the tastes of, a future owner. This is YOUR bathroom. And you only have one!

As others have replied, the register can be relocated into the vanity base. There's even kickspace fan-forced heaters which connect to the existing heating plumbing.

Absolutely. But you may have drain stack issues in the plumbing wall above the toilet and sink area.
Consider a plain mirror and loacte a smaller recessed mirror or a "niche cabinet" in the wall space above the sink next to the door. (If the door is on the opposite wall from the tub)

If there's a window over the tub, definately get creative with tile work and go with clear, frameless sliding glass shower doors. If you like something softer, you can always add shower curtians to "frame in" the tub. I say your bathroom is too small to lose 30" of depth, and the mirrored shower doors are soooo 80's.

If you do nice tile work and focus on color and pattern, the overall impression will be "look how beautiful" instead of "look how small."

Get the largest tile with the least number of grout lines! It's still a bathroom and functionality and easy-to-clean still count for something.

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I did a remodel on a very small 3 piece ensuite. I believe it was about 4 1/2 x7 and had a closed in shower. A few things I did for space and for personal preference:
I wanted the look to be like a bathroom stall, very clean, very simple. - used subway tiles for the entire room, floor to ceiling. -used a tile rope at the top to give height and a finished look. -Installed pot lights for good bright, non-obtrusive lighting. - installed a good medicine cabinet for storage. - used a nooks and shellving to max space. - installed a clean marble tile floor with a low profile shower base. - used seamless glass enclosure to max size of room. - used small low profile toilette to max space - elevated height of wall mount sink for more comfort. - heat the tile floor - a true luxury! - used white - because we like it.
Have a look at the pics if you like: http://www.mceniry.ca/09%20sep%2003%20master%20bath/index.html
This group, as always, was very helpful.
Louis

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