Bathroom Expansion - Finding Space When Remodeling a Master Suite

Bathroom Expansion Tips For a Master Suite Remodel

If you live in an older home (40 + years) back in the day, having a grand bathroom was not generally a selling point. Buyers were more interested in spacious living areas, larger bedrooms, and breezy porches. The bathroom was considered a utilitarian space that was meant to be functional and not much else.

Today, tastes have changed. Homeowners are seeking to create spa-like relaxation retreats complete with steam showers, large soaking tubs, and spacious dressing areas. It's hard to do that in a standard 5' by 9' bathroom. If you're seeking to add more than the standard sink/tub/toilet you'll need to find the space somewhere.

Bathroom Expansion Options

When considering a bathroom expansion you have a few options to consider.

• “Borrow” space from an adjacent closet, bedroom or hallway

• Reconfigure the existing space to improve flow

• Convert a spare bedroom close to the existing bath

• Add an addition to create an entirely new space

In terms of economics, reconfiguring the existing bathroom is the most affordable, followed by moving a wall to borrow space. Even a small amount of space “borrowed” from an existing bedroom can provide enough space to significantly improve your bathroom. Reconfiguring an existing bedroom or adding an addition are more costly. Here are some ideas for bathroom expansion.

Consider “Borrowing” a Closet

While it's true that no one has enough closet space, if it comes down to sacrificing some to create a spacious new bath, it could be a smart investment. A larger bathroom can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. Using closet space inside or outside the bathroom is a great way to gain space without disrupting your homes existing floorplan.

Convert a Guest Bedroom

Do you have an unused guest room, or maybe a small office? Commandeering the room to create a spacious bathroom, or using part of the space can be a great way to expand your current bathroom. Using a portion of the room can still give you the space for a desk, or futon so when you need it, you still have the extra room.

What About The Unused Space Under The Stairs?

If you choose to use a closet to expand your bathroom, converting the unused space under the stairs into additional storage is a smart decision. Or, if space is large enough, you can turn it into a powder room or a cute guest bath. While it's most likely a smaller space, with a little creative thinking, it's often is possible to put this space to good use.

Building Additional Space

If you find that you just don't have the space to borrow, or reconfiguring your bathroom isn't viable, you do have two other options, that while a bit more costly, can provide you with the space you need.

Bumping Out A Wall

A bump-out consists of removing the exterior wall, extending the floor an additional two feet and replacing the wall along with a small roof to cover the new space. While two feet might not seem like a lot of space, it's enough to increase the floor space in a typical small bathroom by 25%. That's enough to add a soaking tub or move the vanity to improve flow. This option may not work in all homes, for example, if the floor joists run the wrong way, this option is not possible. Another option is a bump-out bay. This is bolted to the home's exterior and can provide the extra space you need. But be aware, a bump-out bay does have weight limitations.

Building An Addition

Adding an addition is the most costly option, but if you are in need of additional space, it can perform double duty by being used for a complete master suite, or a luxurious bathroom and a media room the entire family can enjoy. The great thing about an addition is that you get to start from scratch. Rather than designing the bathroom to fit the existing space, you can build the addition to fit the bathroom of your dreams! The only restrictions you might face are lot size, setbacks and of course your budget.

Creating Space Inside The Bathroom: Effective Design Options

Once you've addressed physical space issues by borrowing, bumping out, or building, you can still maximize the space through creative design. Great bathroom design is about efficiency, a sense of openness and great style into a small space. Today, manufacturers are offering space saving options in terms of bathtubs, showers, vanities, and toilets.

Simple changes like reversing the door swing so it opens into a hallway, or using a pocket or sliding barn door can free up significant floor space. Replacing a bulky vanity with a shallow wall hung cabinet can open up floor space making the room appear larger. Downsizing a typical 21” deep vanity with one that is 12” deep may only open up an additional 9”, but it can make your bathroom feel more spacious.

New, sleek, slim fixtures are another way to increase space without losing functionality. Using a pedestal or wall mounted sink can give you the functionality you need using much less space. If you have older kids who take showers instead of baths, replacing your old tub with a shower can take much less space than a full sized tub, often up to 50% less!

If you're considering a bathroom expansion, you have options. Here at Toulmin Design Build our design team are experts at finding the space you need to create the bathroom of your dreams. If you're ready to build your perfect dream bathroom, give us a call. Let us show you how with a little creativity you can create the perfect spa-like oasis in your home!


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.