In terms of improving both your home’s value and your family’s lifestyle, adding a second or third bathroom might be your best investment. Unless you have the house to yourself, it seems like there’s always someone waiting to use the bathroom! Parents with teenagers know they practically have to schedule a daily time slot if they want some bathroom time.
For many people it’s a given they’re going to add a bathroom, but the question is, where? You might be pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t take a whole lot of space. As long as there’s room for electrical outlets, piping, ventilation, and bath fixtures, you can sneak a bathroom into areas you may not have even considered.
Secret Spaces for Adding a Bathroom
You only need about a 3×5 square foot area to handle a sink and toilet. Increase the size to 3×8 and you have enough room for a corner shower, too. While that makes for a tiny bath, that may be all you need, and it’s likely you can find a bigger area somewhere in your house.
Hidden extra space is scattered throughout many homes. Consider:
- Closets. Most homes have at least one that can be converted. A large walk-in often only needs a few adjustments to turn it into a powder room or full bath. Are there back-to-back closets in adjoining bedrooms? Take down the wall between them and you can probably install a Jack-n-Jill half bath.
- Hallways. Does your home have a hallway that runs to the end of the house with no rooms directly on either side? That may be a perfect location for your new bathroom.
- Bedrooms. If you have a large master bedroom, you may be able to section part of it off.
Other spaces to take a second look at include a walk-in pantry, under a stairway (with sufficient headroom), at one end of an oversized laundry room, or in the basement.
Once you’ve settled on some possible locations for your new bathroom, here are some things to think about before making your choice.
- How easy will it be to tie piping and electrical wiring into the space? No matter where you put the new bathroom, all electrical and plumbing work will need to be done to current code. This sometimes means updating your entire home’s systems. Either way it’s important to learn what changes will be need before settling on a location and starting the design process.
- Is our home on a septic system? If it is, you’ll need to determine if the system can still perform as well with the added bathroom. Otherwise, you’ll need to upgrade the system.
- How do you plan to ventilate the area? If you’re installing a shower, you’ll need to well-ventilate the room. For circulating air and preventing moisture build-up, an exterior window is helpful, as is a properly sized ventilation fan.
The easiest way by far to add a bathroom is to tie it into your home’s existing plumbing. If any of your options are in close proximity to another bathroom, laundry room, or the kitchen, they should be at the top of your list. Keep in mind that first floor bathrooms in a home with a basement or crawl space are easier to plumb; those on a slab almost always require breaking into the concrete.
Additional Bathroom Tips
As with all remodeling projects, take the time to do some research and put together an “inspiration guide.” Here are a few other design suggestions:
- Place new fixtures near existing water and waste lines to keep your sewer bill down.
- Make sure the floor joists in the new location can support the bathroom’s features and fixtures.
- Consider having the bathroom door swing out, or install a pocket door. (right photo)
J.T. McDermott Remodeling has now been designing and building quality bathrooms in the Greater St. Louis area for 25 years. We know what it takes to plan a bathroom remodeling project that your entire family will appreciate and enjoy. If you’re ready to get started on your adding a bathroom to your home, schedule a consultation with us today. We’ll show you how easy it is to find the perfect location and prioritize the bathroom features you want most. We look forward to meeting with you!