Creating Two Beautiful Bathrooms Out of One
A builder cleverly borrows space from adjoining rooms to fit an efficient and stylish master bath into a tight floor plan.
Synopsis: This article details the creation of two baths from one. By taking a little space from the bedroom and closet, and by eliminating a traditional bathtub in the master bathroom, the builder left room for a walk-in shower and a new soaking tub in the secondary bath. Existing utilities were relocated and built-in closets make up for lost storage. With the entries to the bathrooms converging in a tight space, the solution was to modify and join two individual pocket-door frames to create a bypass pocket door, which is featured in the article in a detailed illustration and before-and-after floor plans.
When my wife, Doris, and I decided to upgrade the master bedroom of our 28-year-old home, we turned to our most trusted source of building information for help—family. Dale Berns of Metro Homes, a builder and remodeler in the Minneapolis area for over 30 years, is Doris’s brother. We had dreamed about a master-suite addition for years and had developed several plans, which included everything from absorbing an adjoining bedroom to accommodate a large master bath to creating a completely new space built over the garage. In the end, Dale came up with a plan that didn’t require an addition or losing a bedroom but gave us exactly what we were looking for: a dedicated bath for the existing master bedroom.
A full bath was serving the entire house, and itself was in need of a remodel. Dale developed a plan that took a small amount of space from three areas—the existing bath, the master bedroom, and its adjoining walk-in closet—to create a new master bath.
Dale didn’t require the space of a typical master bath to provide a luxurious, spalike experience. His innovative plan showed that utilizing a single vanity and eliminating the traditional bathtub in the master would require less real estate. This provided room for a generously sized walk-in shower. A new soaking tub with a tiled surround would replace the old alcove tub in the main bath. A slightly smaller footprint also meant that we would spend less overall on materials, allowing us to choose higher-quality finishes for both baths. A new walk-in closet would be positioned directly off the master bath, separated by a pocket door with a mirrored panel. To accommodate the new bath and closet configuration, the bedroom area was reduced by less than 10 sq. ft. As part of the plan, the existing main bath would get a complete remodel at the same time.
“It’s a game of inches,” says Dale. “The most important thing is to look at the way the space will be used and then make the most from what you have to work with.” We couldn’t agree more.
Originally published as “Game of Inches” in the 2018 Fall/Winter issue of Kitchens & Baths.
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