Turn Your Closet Into A Bathroom: Five Things To Consider First

Argh! Someone is always in the bathroom! If so, it's time to add another bathroom to your home, and a bedroom or hall may be the perfect place. Here is what you need to consider before you get started:

1. Assess Feasibility

Whether you want to convert the kids' closet, the master bedroom closet or even a hall closet into a bathroom, you've got to think about feasibility. Surprisingly, this question is about location more than space – you can put a bathroom in even a very small closet.

If the closet is on the other side of your existing bathroom, that is the perfect location. If it is a bit further away, consider how hard it will be to bring plumbing to that corner of your home.

If your home sits on a crawl space, a plumber simply has to pop down there and bring pipes from underneath your existing bathrooms to your new bathroom space. If you don't have a crawl space, things get more complicated (and more expensive), as your plumber will have to bring the plumbing through the walls, a huge endeavour.

2. Pick Your Battles

Once you've assessed feasibility, it's time to decide what you want. If you are converting a walk-in closet, you can have a full bathroom with tub, toilet, sink and shower. However, if you have a smaller closet, you need to pick your battles and choose one or two items.

When you can't get into the bathroom, think about what do you urgently need. Do you need an extra spot to take a leisurely poo? Do you want a private bathtub in the master suite? Do you want a shower in a closet by the backdoor so you can wash off dirt before coming into the rest of the home?

3. Embrace Small Designs

If you can fit a giant claw foot tub into your closet, go ahead, but in most cases, you are going to need to embrace small designs. Look for slim toilets, corner sinks or narrow tubs, but in addition to seeing what small designs you can find at the local hardware store, embrace small ideas from other cultures or traditions.

For example, consider putting in a Japanese soaking tub, a tall barrel that allows you to submerge your body without having a tub that takes up a lot of floor space. Or, take a cue from an old beach house, and make the whole closet into a tiled shower with the toilet and small sink actually in the shower.

4. Add Finishing Touches

While planning your bathroom, think about the finishing touches that you want. Do you want to paint the walls a color that corresponds to the adjoining area? Do you want to extend the tile work out of the bathroom and into the bedroom?

Also, think about small odds and ends such as towel racks, shelves and other accessories. Then, consider the door.  

5. Consider the Bathroom Door

If your bathroom closet is just going to be a luxurious tub connected to a master bedroom, you don't necessarily need doors. Instead, you can keep it open and adjoining the room. Without doors, you could even extend the tub into a large jacuzzi tub for two.

However, if your closet bathroom is in a hall or if it involves a toilet, you probably want doors for privacy. Whether the doors are hollow core panel doors or traditional bi fold closet doors, keep them if you like the look.

Alternatively, replace the existing doors with something that makes the space look more like a bathroom. For extra space, consider installing pocket doors, substituting a curtain instead of a door or even building a wall over part of a long closet and putting a small door in on one side.

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