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Struggling with a bathroom layout

casabian | Posted in General Questions on

First time renovator.

I’m creating bathroom off the primary bedroom I haven’t been able to figure out. Should I use a pocket door, where to put shower, etc. There is a sloped wall along the roofline which adds to the challenge.

The space is 99 inches by 73 inches. The sloped area is about 36 inches long on the 99 inch wall.

Here is my rough drawing using magicplan app (very cool app btw!) The red dot is where the slope evens out for a 9 foot ceiling.

The builder originally had vanity and toilet against sloped wall but I think the vanity will be very awkward in that position.

One thing I don’t like about my drawing is the bathroom door will basically be directly across from the bedwall :/

Any tips, ideas, or resources greatly appreciated!

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  1. Expert Member


    With a few tweaks I like your layout.

    In small bathrooms large mirrors really expand the perceived size of the space. Consider using a pedestal sink with the side several inches off the wall opposite the door, and completely mirroring that wall from the corner to the shower, floor to ceiling.

    It may not work with the bedroom layout, but I'd swing that door out of the bathroom, not in. When access to bathrooms is at the foot of the bed, it's great for getting up in the middle of the night from both sides.

  2. charlie_sullivan | | #2

    In the 3D view, the door to the shower is on the toilet side, which makes it hard to get into the shower. Do you have a shower stall option with the door on the side facing the sink? As for other aspects, Malcolm has much better advice than I would be able to provide.

  3. Jon_Lawrence | | #3

    The bathroom in the pictures is 65" x 108" with a 36" vanity so this layout would work in your space with a 24" vanity. It has a pocket door which saves quite a bit of room. You could also do a wall mount toilet instead of the floor mount. I have one that only extends 20" from the wall which would give room to add shelves or a hamper opposite the toilet. Depending on where the sloped wall is and how far down into the headroom it is, you might have to switch the location of the shower head and the toilet to the opposite wall.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


      That works well, and yields a nicer layout for the shower. I know it's something people object to, but I've never cared whether the toilet was visible through the bathroom door.

      1. Jon_Lawrence | | #6

        Thanks Malcolm. I don't mind if the toilet is visible either. I do like to place the toilet against the wall vs between the shower and sink so I can hang the toilet paper the correct distance from the front of the toilet. Since there is a nightstand on the wall opposite the toilet, I had to place the door opening opposite the vanity.

    2. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #5

      If you go with a pocket door, BE SURE to use the better track, which has an enclosed track with two "sides" to it, and a trollet that runs inside with rollers in both sides of the tracks. This type of track is FAR FAR superior to the older/simpler style with a simple, single rail with a single row of rollers riding in it. This is one example of this style of track:

      Be careful to leave enough clearance on each side of the pocket so that the door doesn't scrape up. Be especially careful with the length of the nails you use for trim, and the depth setting on your nailer (ask me how I know...).

      If you need some extra glides for the lower part of the door, strips of UHMW polyethylene work well, and you can machine simple shapes using a regular router and wood cutting bits.

      I'd also try to arrange things so that you can just remove a bit of casing to get the door out if you ever need to. If you're careful about that now, you'll make things a LOT easier for yourself down the road if you ever have a roller break.

      My house has many pocket doors. They are nice and compact, but they do bring some additional complications. Another thing I'd recommend is when hanging drywall, try to use 5/8" around the pocket door (I use it everywhere) if at all possible, and try very hard to avoid having any joints in the area of the pocket door frame. The reason for this is that the wall will be a bit "squishy" in the area of the pocket door frame due to the lack of real studs, and I've found that flex can cause drywall joints to crack, especially in corners of the door.


      1. Jon_Lawrence | | #7


        I too used 5/8" drywall throughout the house. It just makes everything so much stiffer. I used the Johnson pocket doors with double rollers (about 10 doors). I installed the first one myself and used the metal studs that came with the kit. Then my framer told me we should use 2x's instead, which we did and it is stiffer with the 2x's. I like the soft open and close feature too.

        I have been a bit frustrated with the door handle pulls/locks. I bought 2 different Emtek versions, one round that fits in a standard 2 1/8" handle cutout and one square that requires a notch cutout. The round one was defective and the square one was supposed to fit both 1 3/8" and 1 3/4" doors, but the screws were not long enough for the wider door. Thankfully I never throw away screws so I was able to find some to make it work. Emtek is owned by Assa Abloy so you would think quality control would be important to them. I found the same designs from Deltana, they don't feel as solid as the Emtek, but they work.

        The picture below shows how we addressed the casing issue you mentioned. If I do need to service the doors, we can take the screws out and remove the casing.

        1. Expert Member
          BILL WICHERS | | #11

          I have to mention that that casing looks beautifully installed -- a perfect miter and clean lines. It's almost like its a single, molded piece :-)

          I like your screwed-in piece idea too, to make it easily removeable for future service work. I'm a big believer in thinking things through to make sure they are servicable, probably because I've often been the guy doing the servicing. I would probably add one thing, and that would be to pre-paint that removeable piece, then install it after painting the rest of the casing. This would leave a very small line, probably not really noticeable, but it would mean that the piece could be removed in the future with no fear of damaging the paint job on the rest of the casing.


          1. Jon_Lawrence | | #12

            Thanks Bill and I like your idea of pre-painting.

            My trim guy's van has the phrase "Fine European Carpentry" written on it and it shows.

      2. user-2310254 | | #9

        I used Hafele for the pocket doors in my last house. It's a great product for the price. A few things I would suggest if going this route. Get the self closing feature. Frame the door opening with LVL or metal studs. Use a standard height door, and make sure it is absolutely flat.

  4. Expert Member
    RICHARD EVANS | | #8


    How tall is the shorter wall?

    Ideally, the shower head head fixture will be 80" high. Because they are usually bent downward, I would want to plan on placing the fixture at 7'.

    Also, I think code requires that there be 80" clearance at the center-line of toilet. (Though there may be exceptions for Reno's.)

    If you have a steeper ceiling then these factors might be an issue. Most shower/tub units are 7' high so make sure the one you like will fit if the knee wall is on the shorter side.

    Overall, I like your design though. Sliding barn doors are also great and easy to install. But I think your door is just fine.

    1. Expert Member
      RICHARD EVANS | | #10


      I just saw your 3D version. I think you've solved the shower fixture height already by placing it in middle. Also the shower fixture in 3D model is perfect for shorter ceilings. Bravo!!

  5. casabian | | #13

    Thank you all! Helpful tips here. I think we're going to stick with a regular door (the pocket door sounds a bit daunting, but good to have this information for future reference.

    Wishing everyone a happy new year.


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