Master Bathroom Reno Advice

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Topic Author
msj16
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:16 am

Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Dear Bogleheads,

I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

About Fans: The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Their next option was the Broan Model QT110E - a fan (no light) (Sones rating of 1.5). Reading previous posts here I see everyone loves the Panasonic WhisperQuiet fans (.3 Sones). Surprisingly my contractor does not typically put in a Panasonic or seems to have even heard about it (worrisome). My master bathroom is not big (3 by 4 shower right next to toilet). Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?

About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?

About placement of Shower Control: There is an option of putting the shower control away from the shower head (next to the shower door behind the knee wall to the left as you open the door). Has anyone done this for convenience and do you like it?

Thanks for your wisdom!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Sandtrap »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am Dear Bogleheads,

I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

About Fans: The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Their next option was the Broan Model QT110E - a fan (no light) (Sones rating of 1.5). Reading previous posts here I see everyone loves the Panasonic WhisperQuiet fans (.3 Sones). Surprisingly my contractor does not typically put in a Panasonic or seems to have even heard about it (worrisome). My master bathroom is not big (3 by 4 shower right next to toilet). Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?

About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?

About placement of Shower Control: There is an option of putting the shower control away from the shower head (next to the shower door behind the knee wall to the left as you open the door). Has anyone done this for convenience and do you like it?

Thanks for your wisdom!
To OP:

Contractors typically go with what's easily available, easily sold, and simple to install.
(if a contractor hasn't heard of something means nothing).

Get the best for "your" home.

1. Panasonic
Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling 80 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan,
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

*** fan located over toilet. ( absolutey not in the shower )

2. Wall timer switch for the bathroom fan.
Why?
Because you want the door closed and the fan left on to get rid of certain smells so they don't stink up the home.
Leviton LTB02-1LZ Decora 1800W Incandescent/20A Resistive-Inductive 1HP Preset 15-30-60-120 Minute Countdown Timer Switch,
(the 10 minute timer is useless)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

3. No shower bench. Slip and falls. . . head hits the bench edge. . .etc. . . (safety first).
If someone needs to sit in the shower, etc, then at that point, get a shower seat, etc, made for that.

4. Shower control, below the shower head and inline with shower head.

j :D
dis laimer: zillions of ways to do things and opinionizations based on nil to extensive experience, etc. This is only one.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Jul 29, 2022 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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chickadee
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by chickadee »

I renovated last year. Put a Broan light/heater/fan in the hall bath and a nicer Panasonic in the master. The hall bath Broan has blown it’s heating fuse twice already. I am going to replace it with a Panasonic. I’m other words, even if you aren’t getting a unit with heat, I’d still recommend Panasonic. I should have consulted Bogleheads before buying!
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TinyElvis
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by TinyElvis »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?
I installed that NuTone model (or very similar) several years ago. It's not very loud at all and does a fine job.
"Give a cat a fish and it will eat for a day. Teach a cat to fish and it will just sit there waiting for you to give it a fish."
brown3d
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by brown3d »

We have renovated 8 bathrooms in our last two houses. I would also suggest no shower bench. If you are bent on a shower bench, do not go the route of teak or any type of wood (breeding ground for microscopic insects), have it built in/tiled.

In terms of shower controls, having the shower control close to the door is very convenient (not having to be completely in the shower to turn on water, and wait for it to get hot/warm). If the appearance does not look good though, put it in line with the shower arm. If you can afford, buy a shower control/mixer, they are very convenient.

I would never put a fan inside a shower enclosure if that is what your contractor is suggesting (too much moisture going through the piping). Your shower will condense quickly on its own. We even had a steam shower in our last master bath and had zero problems with mold, mildew (we had a glass opening that helped ventilate. If you have no exhaust fan in your bathroom, you definitely need to have one in the ceiling near the toilet, or in the middle of the room, just purchase one with the proper CFM for your space. I have bought expensive fans ($250+) in the past and have been gravely disappointed due to noise. Just purchase something middle of the road, low decibel.

I would add two items to your master-bath, if the budget allowed, the first being a toto toilet/washlet, and #2, a heated floor. They are true luxuries until you have them, then you will never want to go without.
Kiter
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Kiter »

Only wish we had put in a hot water outlet mixer at toilet so as to add bidet hookup
brown3d
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by brown3d »

Kiter wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:06 pm Only wish we had put in a hot water outlet mixer at toilet so as to add bidet hookup
No need to have a hot water outlet mixer for a Toto Washlet, but you do need an electric outlet. Toto washlets (bidet) heat the water on their own.
liverpooloratorio
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by liverpooloratorio »

brown3d wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:47 pm
I would add two items to your master-bath, if the budget allowed, the first being a toto toilet/washlet, and #2, a heated floor. They are true luxuries until you have them, then you will never want to go without.
Which of the toto toilet/washlet models did you install?
dan7800
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by dan7800 »

We had a large shower installed. One thing that we did that we really like is to have extra shower heads installed and additional plumbing brought up from our hot water heater (also got a tankless installed).

Also not a bad idea to have cabling such as ethernet etc... run while you have walls out. Cheap to do now.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by MrBobcat »

TinyElvis wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:07 pm
msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?
I installed that NuTone model (or very similar) several years ago. It's not very loud at all and does a fine job.
As did I. Really like it. I will second the timer switch for the fan sandtrap mentioned above.
WhyNotUs
Posts: 2291
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by WhyNotUs »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am Dear Bogleheads,

I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

About Fans: The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Their next option was the Broan Model QT110E - a fan (no light) (Sones rating of 1.5). Reading previous posts here I see everyone loves the Panasonic WhisperQuiet fans (.3 Sones). Surprisingly my contractor does not typically put in a Panasonic or seems to have even heard about it (worrisome). My master bathroom is not big (3 by 4 shower right next to toilet). Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?
Personal preference. I personally like a little more noise as it shields other ...bathroom noise. I also like having a light in the shower. I also like a timer but in my case it is because I have a relatively tight house without a mechanical air exchanger and it is part of my air exchange strategy. Letting it run for 15 minute extra pulls fresh air into the house.

About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?
I can see putting in grab bars but not a bench unless it is needed for physical limitations. They also make ones that fold up and are bolted into blocking that you add in the wall. If I wanted a bench, I would do one of those but even then probably not in a shower that size.

About placement of Shower Control: There is an option of putting the shower control away from the shower head (next to the shower door behind the knee wall to the left as you open the door). Has anyone done this for convenience and do you like it?
Now that PEX lines are common, this is a more doable scenario than in the past with additional copper joints. That would not be convenient for me so I am not sure what it accomplishes. I would not do it just for cosmetic reasons but that is just me, it might really bug you seeing the control. A knee wall is pretty low for controls IMO.

Thanks for your wisdom!
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
Tavistock1
Posts: 157
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Tavistock1 »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am Dear Bogleheads,

I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

About Fans: The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Their next option was the Broan Model QT110E - a fan (no light) (Sones rating of 1.5). Reading previous posts here I see everyone loves the Panasonic WhisperQuiet fans (.3 Sones). Surprisingly my contractor does not typically put in a Panasonic or seems to have even heard about it (worrisome). My master bathroom is not big (3 by 4 shower right next to toilet). Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?

About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?

About placement of Shower Control: There is an option of putting the shower control away from the shower head (next to the shower door behind the knee wall to the left as you open the door). Has anyone done this for convenience and do you like it?

Thanks for your wisdom!
Good answers- if you’re in a temperate climate, consider radiant heat in floor- a few hundred $ and heaven
hicabob
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Location: cruz

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by hicabob »

I prefer a shower control that controls both volume and temperature. So many just do temp nowadays. Strong agree on the outlet by the toilet for a modern bidet. An exhaust fan right over the toilet works really well for odor control.
mrb09
Posts: 481
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by mrb09 »

We put in a Broan 791LEDM, it looks pretty similar to the QTXE110 except the rim is a built-in LED ring, there's no bulb. Very happy with the fan, it is really quiet.

Also have a corner teak bench. Not sure it actually gets used, or is just there for looks.

We have a rain shower head with the controls on the opposite wall. There's a hand shower on the wall with the controls. It is slightly more convenient to be able to turn the shower head on without getting wet, but I think the opposite wall location is mostly for looks.
brown3d
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by brown3d »

liverpooloratorio wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:24 pm
brown3d wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:47 pm
I would add two items to your master-bath, if the budget allowed, the first being a toto toilet/washlet, and #2, a heated floor. They are true luxuries until you have them, then you will never want to go without.
Which of the toto toilet/washlet models did you install?
You can get the washlet paired with any toto toilet. Pick your washlet first, by the features you need, then find the pairing that they sell with the toilet that you like best. Here is a the link that compares the features of their washlets, just scroll to the bottom to see the table comparison: https://www.totousa.com/washlet. The S550e is the one that we like the most.

We have a few different ones, this is the latest one that we purchased: SKU: MW6243056CEFGA#01 It was one of our most expensive Toto/Washlet purchase because we wanted the auto flush feature. Toto can be a little confusing at times with features/options. But know that the prices can go way below this first choice, plus you can buy just the washlet if you don't want a new toilet. I personally love the Toto toilet design though due to it's flushing capabilities. We do have two wall hung toto toilets but those require a lot of plumbing work for a remodel.

I feel like a Toto salesperson, but we love these products and bemoan when ever we travel and have to use a regular toilet.
shess
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by shess »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?
WRT bench, we finished renovating two bathrooms earlier this year. We thought the bench was a good idea. In practice, it sucks. Part of this is because our design/build group are idiots. I think they sized the bench without considering the glass inset, so 53yo me can use it fine, but it is really too narrow for me to expect 70yo me to get any use out of it. Additionally, the bench is opposite the showerhead, which means the wall and glass around it are COLD. I 100% wish we had gone with a teak bench.

A bonus of omitting the bench is that we could have had the back wall rise higher to provide a ledge.
Topic Author
msj16
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:16 am

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Thanks all for the great feedback!

Based on the feedback I will look into a wall timer for the fan, nix the bench (leaning towards putting in a triangular 12 by 12 by 17 shelf), consider a shower control/mixer, ask about radiant heating for the floor, add an outlet by the toilet for a Toto toilet/washlet and probably go with the Panasonic fan in a central area. I appreciate all of the additional suggestions as well.
Saving$
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Saving$ »

1. Panasonic Fan. Nothing is better. You can get a Whisper Value with a condensation module. Just make sure they wire it up properly and it will automatically go on at x condensation and go off when the condensation is cleared. you can also turn on and off from wall switch. Install it in the middle of the bathroom - not in shower, not right over toilet but between the two.
2. Tiled shower bench if you have the space.
3. No step shower especially if you plan to age in place
4. Shower controls on the wall right next to the entrance so you can turn the shower on without getting wet
5. Recessed shower nook for shampoo, soap, etc.
6. Outlet behind toilet
7. Good lighting around mirrors
8. Niagara brand toilets
9. Wall mount sink faucets - so much easier to clean
10. No slip bath floor, especially if you plan to age in place
11. Blocking in the walls for towel bars, and for future grab bars, especially if you plan to age in place, but even if you break your leg at 35...
12. Heated bath floor if you can swing it
13. Outlet or j box for heated towel rack
14. Epoxy grout in the shower so you don't have to clean it as much
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Sandtrap
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Sandtrap »

Saving$ wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:51 pm 1. Panasonic Fan. Nothing is better. You can get a Whisper Value with a condensation module. Just make sure they wire it up properly and it will automatically go on at x condensation and go off when the condensation is cleared. you can also turn on and off from wall switch. Install it in the middle of the bathroom - not in shower, not right over toilet but between the two.
2. Tiled shower bench if you have the space.
3. No step shower especially if you plan to age in place
4. Shower controls on the wall right next to the entrance so you can turn the shower on without getting wet
5. Recessed shower nook for shampoo, soap, etc.
6. Outlet behind toilet
7. Good lighting around mirrors
8. Niagara brand toilets
9. Wall mount sink faucets - so much easier to clean
10. No slip bath floor, especially if you plan to age in place
11. Blocking in the walls for towel bars, and for future grab bars, especially if you plan to age in place, but even if you break your leg at 35...
12. Heated bath floor if you can swing it
13. Outlet or j box for heated towel rack
14. Epoxy grout in the shower so you don't have to clean it as much
Nice list.

“Aging in place” can happen anlot sooner than we expect.

J🌴
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HereToLearn
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by HereToLearn »

Does anyone shave in the shower? If so, the bench is very convenient to place one's foot.

Agree with the comment about needing both a volume and temperature control.

I have a separate wall-mounted handheld spray and a diverter that allows me to choose overhead or hand held sprayer. While recovering from foot surgery, having that handheld sprayer was a lifesaver. The sprayer had not been used for 20-something years other than to clean the shower walls. There are probably easier ways to accomplish the same thing, but I wanted to mention its usefulness.

The marble bench in the corner of the shower is too far away from the water controls to sit on, so I had to use one of those Drive Medical surgical recovery benches with rubber feet inside the shower.

I have the feeling that the size of your shower will require a several inch step up into it, but if there is any way to remove the barrier to entry, do so. Again, was never an issue until I had surgery, but if this is a home where you plan to live for years, plan for the future.
Last edited by HereToLearn on Sat Jul 30, 2022 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Normchad
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Normchad »

I’d prefer to *not have* a built in bench. For me, I’d just want a bigger shower, and I’d add a Teak shower bench if I ever needed that.

+2 to having an outlet near the toilet for a fancy bidet. I don’t have one of those, but I wish I did.
Topic Author
msj16
Posts: 319
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Thank you Saving$ and HearToLearn.

Posters have recommended WhisperGreen, WhisperQuiet and WhisperValue and am not sure of the difference between them but will look into it.

I was told that the heated bath floors are 1500 to install (unfortunately this well-known company charges a lot for everything).

Regarding shaving needs, We are putting in a small corner shelf low enough to prop a foot up to shave. It can also serve as a shelf to place a bottle or 2.

Great idea for the volume and temp control - I believe that is called a Thermostatic valve and that is what I will go for.

My shower is going to have a 31/2 inch threshold. I discussed curbless but they suggested they would have to raise the whole floor and do a bunch of things which would add to the cost. We choose Candelight custom inset cabinets so the price has already gone a bit higher than we wanted and the bathroom is on the second floor so not great from a disability standpoint. I am still torn though and haven't yet signed the contract so could yet ask for this.

I was told that the wall mount sink faucets are hard to service and as a style often go in more modern bathrooms than ours.

We have asked for outlet behind toilet and blocking in the walls to add grab bars.
Topic Author
msj16
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:16 am

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Thanks NormChad.

Yes I am nixing the traditional bench and agree that more space is better. I am putting in a small corner "bench" which is really more like a shelf in that you can't possibly sit on it (12 by 12 y 17).
WhyNotUs
Posts: 2291
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by WhyNotUs »

HereToLearn wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:49 am Does anyone shave in the shower? If so, the bench is very convenient to place one's foot.
There is a much simpler solution to this.
https://www.amazon.com/Mounted-Bathroom ... f=sr_1_21?
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
donaldc
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by donaldc »

My Reno

Highly recommend
Panasonic fan in shower and over toilet. Panasonic replaced Nutone
Rain head and hand shower. Grohe replaced Kohler
Toto with S300 bidet (S500) replaces Kohler.

Regrets
Heated tower rack. Never use. Not effective
Didn’t slab the shower. I have marble tile with travertine pattern. Slab looks better and cleaner
quietseas
Posts: 823
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by quietseas »

msj16 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:33 am Dear Bogleheads,

I am renovating a master bath and would really appreciate some advice.

About Fans: The contractor recommended the NuTone model 744 NT recessed light/fan in the ceiling right above the shower (Sones rating 1.5) since it does not look like a fan. Their next option was the Broan Model QT110E - a fan (no light) (Sones rating of 1.5). Reading previous posts here I see everyone loves the Panasonic WhisperQuiet fans (.3 Sones). Surprisingly my contractor does not typically put in a Panasonic or seems to have even heard about it (worrisome). My master bathroom is not big (3 by 4 shower right next to toilet). Does anyone recommend the Nutone light/fan combo since it looks better to hide a fan or is it Panasonic Whisperquiet all the way?

About Benches: I was told they put in benches even in a 3 x 4 shower. I am considering ditching the bench which goes wall to wall and either putting in (a) triangular bench - approximately (12 by 12 by 17) or slightly bigger (15 x 15 by 21 1/4) or (b) skipping the bench entirely. I could purchase a Teak Bench. Thoughts?

About placement of Shower Control: There is an option of putting the shower control away from the shower head (next to the shower door behind the knee wall to the left as you open the door). Has anyone done this for convenience and do you like it?

Thanks for your wisdom!
Are you pulling a permit? That type of fan (NuTone 744) may not comply with building code in some states (may need an integral LED bulb for example). I did it anyways but expect I may be asked to swap it out when I sell the house if there is a picky home inspector and buyer.

I would put in a large (at least 8" wide) shelf not a bench. There's always a need to set down bottles of soap or shampoo. I prefer the shelf to a niche. If I ever need to sit in a shower I'd get a movable stool which would be more flexible.

Yes, it is convenient to place the controls near the entrance so you don't have to reach in (especially in a larger shower). Just make sure its as easy to turn it off as it is to turn it on.

One other point I'd mention is that although it is popular right now to do walk in showers (without a door) and large showers or even a wet room where the tub is in the enclosure with the shower, both of these design features prevent steam from building up in the enclosure which is part of the nice feeling of taking a warm/hot shower. You may want to consider a design that keeps the steam around your body. Sometimes the old way of doing things was done that way for a reason. Wet room work arounds such as a separate steam generation system to me are a lot of maintenance and extra cost I just don't want to deal with.
rennale
Posts: 90
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by rennale »

I just did my bathroom renovation and the suggestions here are excellent. I would highlight:

- Blocking in walls for future grab rails and seat if you plan to age in place.
- I put in a teak fold down seat. Get one with a wooden back so that you don't lean against cold wall tiles (they also provide a more solid fitting to the wall). The earlier comment about the wood rotting is interesting, I haven't found this but time will tell. An occasional rub with linseed oil (as recommended by the vendor) will hopefully eliminate that possibility.
- Having the controls under the shower head results in a cold armful every time you turn it on. And they can't be reached if using the seat. So I put the controls in the middle of the rear wall. Overhead shower to the right, hand shower to the left (for use with the bench, which is also on the left). Works very well.
- Glass door swings both in and out. Vital for easy entry/exit to both sides of the shower. I could have used a sliding door but never saw one that floated my boat.
- The towel warmer is nice but not life changing. But it was an easy and cheap upgrade. Include a wall timer so that you can have it turn on/off at appropriate times. Put it where it can be reached directly from the shower stall, not the other side of the room. The same with a robe hook.
- Epoxy grout for the shower floor. Some grouters don't like to use it because the epoxy sets quickly so is tricky to work with. But once it's down the floor effectively turns into a single slab.
- LED lighting is cheap so think up some neat way to light the shower. Flood the rear wall with a line of 2" spotlights or something. It adds some drama.
- I assumed that state flow restrictions - say 2 1/2 gallons per minute - meant that a huge shower head will provide a light gentle shower, while a small head will provide a strong blast. I'm not sure this is correct and nobody seemed to understand my feeble attempts to describe the concept - so I split the difference and chose a medium size head. It provides good pressure and good coverage.
- Dimmers for all lighting. With modern LEDs the brightness can come as a surprise.
- Power outlet next to the toilet for a bidet for you or the next owner.
- I wish I could have fitted a heated floor but it wasn't practical. But I've found that the new textured/leathered tiles feel much warmer than the original marble tiles. That came as a nice surprise.
- A floating vanity makes the room feel a little larger.
Last edited by rennale on Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BIGal
Posts: 218
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Location: NW Iowa

Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by BIGal »

https://www.amazon.com/Delta-BreezProfe ... 2264&psc=1


Not pushing Amazon, in fact, I think I bought ours at a Costco several years ago. It is amazingly quiet and the best is that it has a humidty gauge that turns on the fan whenever necessary, or, an on/off wall switch too.

Fantastic fan.

Give it a look, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
shess
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by shess »

rennale wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:13 pm - Blocking in walls for future grab rails and seat if you plan to age in place.
...
- Dimmers for all lighting. With modern LEDs the brightness can come as a surprise.
If they put blocking in the walls, verify that they actually do it, and make sure they provide you with some sort of design doc and instructions on same so that you know what is where. If you're not adding grab rails now, it's presumably because you don't think you'll need them for awhile, so assume that it's 10 years in the future and whoever did the work has moved to Mars and burned all of their records.

WRT the LED lighting, I agree. They are also visually sharp and pointy and make sharp shadows. I really wish I had had the time to develop the language to communicate desires about color temperature and the like to our build team. A lot of it was "Tell us what you want", but I think we really needed some guidance. Their design people seemed aware of the issue, but their guidance was all "Tell us what you want". [A general problem here is that they don't live in or use the space, so their primary feedback is "Does it look good?" But lots of things look good without feeling good.]

Something I didn't realize I wanted was an outlet in the under-sink cabinets. Because a few months after everything was finished, I realized that it would be nice to put in strips of soft LED lights under the toe kick.
Kookaburra
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Kookaburra »

quietseas wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:03 pm One other point I'd mention is that although it is popular right now to do walk in showers (without a door) and large showers or even a wet room where the tub is in the enclosure with the shower, both of these design features prevent steam from building up in the enclosure which is part of the nice feeling of taking a warm/hot shower. You may want to consider a design that keeps the steam around your body. Sometimes the old way of doing things was done that way for a reason. Wet room work arounds such as a separate steam generation system to me are a lot of maintenance and extra cost I just don't want to deal with.
It’s healthier to let the steam out. Sadly, steam aerosols count as PM 2.5, which makes them unhealthy to inhale. The old way of doing things was wrong in this case, much like it was about wood-burning fireplaces.
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Watty
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Watty »

Several people mentioned having it set up for future grab bars.

It would go on and install them now. Even younger people can slip in the shower.
edge
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by edge »

I have put the shower control to the right of the door on a wall on the inside of the shower. The vanity was on the other side of the wall. It was very convenient because you could start the water without getting wet. That shower also had a thermostatic control. It was a larger shower than 3x4.

It gave the shower a very streamlined look because the shower control was mostly hidden except if you were in the shower.
Chip
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Chip »

A few things we did when renovating a 3x4 shower:

No bench; not enough room to be worth it.

Used 12x12 tile on the walls, which make the shower look more spacious than it did with 4x4 tiles.

Installed blocking for grab bars and measured & documented the positions.

Put in two small triangular shelves for shampoo, etc., mounted one above the other. DW gets the lower one; I get the upper.

Put the projecting soap dish (on an outside wall so we couldn't inset it) at waist level (vs. higher) to minimize damage when whacking it with an arm or elbow (thanks to the contractor for suggesting this).

Installed a pressure-compensating shower valve. We don't have volume control but it doesn't bother me.

Shower controls were placed to be reachable from outside the shower. Shower head is on that same wall.

I later installed a fan timer and a Panasonic FV08VFL4, which moves 70 cfm through a 3" duct at .6 sones. I have to listen carefully to hear that it's running.
quietseas
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by quietseas »

Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:29 pm
quietseas wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:03 pm One other point I'd mention is that although it is popular right now to do walk in showers (without a door) and large showers or even a wet room where the tub is in the enclosure with the shower, both of these design features prevent steam from building up in the enclosure which is part of the nice feeling of taking a warm/hot shower. You may want to consider a design that keeps the steam around your body. Sometimes the old way of doing things was done that way for a reason. Wet room work arounds such as a separate steam generation system to me are a lot of maintenance and extra cost I just don't want to deal with.
It’s healthier to let the steam out. Sadly, steam aerosols count as PM 2.5, which makes them unhealthy to inhale. The old way of doing things was wrong in this case, much like it was about wood-burning fireplaces.
Do you have a source that this is a valid concern for most people?
Kookaburra
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by Kookaburra »

quietseas wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:14 am
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:29 pm
quietseas wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:03 pm One other point I'd mention is that although it is popular right now to do walk in showers (without a door) and large showers or even a wet room where the tub is in the enclosure with the shower, both of these design features prevent steam from building up in the enclosure which is part of the nice feeling of taking a warm/hot shower. You may want to consider a design that keeps the steam around your body. Sometimes the old way of doing things was done that way for a reason. Wet room work arounds such as a separate steam generation system to me are a lot of maintenance and extra cost I just don't want to deal with.
It’s healthier to let the steam out. Sadly, steam aerosols count as PM 2.5, which makes them unhealthy to inhale. The old way of doing things was wrong in this case, much like it was about wood-burning fireplaces.
Do you have a source that this is a valid concern for most people?
Sure
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msj16
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Thanks for the continued advice!

The 12 by 12 tiles in a 3x4 shower sounds like a great idea. I will make sure to document the positions of the blocking. I will also have my shower control hidden by a 42 knee wall - I just reach in slightly and pull it by the door.

I will have to consider installing the grab bars since my elderly mother does come to visit.

I will have to consider the color spectrum for the LED light in advance.

I will request Epoxy grout.

Yes to a shelf not a bench.

Will consider a slab for the shower.

Question for those who are still with me: Outlets in the vanity: Our current plan is to have one on each side and one in the middle of the vanity. They would all be placed not on the wall but in the countertop backsplash. I am having reservations about having one right in the middle of the vantity. My concern is that it would break up the spacious look of the vanity. Thoughts?
SlowInvestor
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by SlowInvestor »

Ask what your contractor is experienced with. Not all contractors like working with epoxy grout.

Your most important detail how the waterproofing is done. Make sure you understand the system they are using and no corners are cut during installation. You won't know there is a problem until much later on.
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msj16
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Thank you SlowInvester - They use the Schluter system for waterproofing and they make it sound like they are very thorough about this. She said if they reposition the vent onto the wall away from the bathroom floor that it could be a swimming pool in my bathroom without any leaks!
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msj16
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

Signing the contract tomorrow!

Last Question (two fans in bathroom?): We are thinking of asking for both the Panasonic fan installed in the main area as well as the Nutone fan/light above the shower (it is designed for a high moisture area). The reason for this is that we would end up putting a light above the shower anyways - why not a fan/light for some noise when needed and additional moisture removal to reduce mold. When I initially broached it with the contractor they were resistant but I am imagining this is because it would be more work for them.

All the help here has been awesome. Thank you Bogleheads. I feel much better committing to this high expense/high impact project after getting advice here.
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lthenderson
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by lthenderson »

msj16 wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 5:26 pm Question for those who are still with me: Outlets in the vanity: Our current plan is to have one on each side and one in the middle of the vanity. They would all be placed not on the wall but in the countertop backsplash. I am having reservations about having one right in the middle of the vantity. My concern is that it would break up the spacious look of the vanity. Thoughts?
Unless you have a double vanity, I wouldn't put an outlet in the middle of the backsplash. With a single vanity it would end up most likely behind the faucet knobs or spout and not very handy. I also prefer to have the outlets to the side of the vanity because it allows the cord to be out of the way of any water in the sink bowl.

I think two exhaust fans is unnecessary. It would require additional vent plumbing, more switches and possible some backdraft devices to keep from exhausting air into the other exhaust fan. We have just one above our shower and it works fine. If you had shower walls that go floor to ceiling, I might offer different advice.
BuckyBadger
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by BuckyBadger »

I agree a bench of any sort might be too much in a shower of that size.

But, somewhere to place ones foot while shaving is VERY important! Luckily they have little toe rests they can put in to help elevate your leg. A small corner bench would accomplish the same thing, but I think you should have SOMETHING of that sort.

We re-did our entire master to put in a bigger shower since we had only about a 3.5x3.5 shower, as well. We used the space where the tub was (we have several other tubs in the house). Consider if this might be a possibility for you. We have a large shower with a bench that I do really love and find myself using quite a lot. We also have two shower heads - one mounted high on the wall, and a hand held mounted lower on the adjacent wall. It's come in very handy for washing dogs, toddlers, the shower itself, and filling buckets.
BuckyBadger
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by BuckyBadger »

Also consider an outlet inside the vanity cabinet. It's nice to keep charging toothbrushes or hair dryers out of sight.
homebuyer6426
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by homebuyer6426 »

I have a NuTone fan in the bathroom that came with the house. Not the model that looks like a light, the standard type. It runs as well as it did 5 years ago. Would consider it it medium in its loudness. The cover started rusting slightly with the condensation, I scraped, primed, and spray-painted it this summer and now it looks almost as good as new.
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msj16
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

lthenderson - Yes I have a double vanity. The outlet in the middle would enable a hair-dryer to be plugged in and rested in the middle when in use. My only concern is the way a middle outlet might break up a spacious appearance.

Buckybadger - Thanks for the suggestion of an outlet in the vanity cabinet. We will be installing a very small triangular bench which can be used to prop up a leg for shaving.

homebuyer6426 - Thanks the feedback on the Nutone fan.

Signing contract this morning. Thanks all!
JS-Elcano
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by JS-Elcano »

BIGal wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:24 pm https://www.amazon.com/Delta-BreezProfe ... 2264&psc=1


Not pushing Amazon, in fact, I think I bought ours at a Costco several years ago. It is amazingly quiet and the best is that it has a humidty gauge that turns on the fan whenever necessary, or, an on/off wall switch too.

Fantastic fan.

Give it a look, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
I agree with getting a humidity fan. I installed one over the toilet, which is next to my glass shower enclosure, and it comes on automatically when the humidity increases over a certain threshold and switches off when done. Whisper quiet too. I think it's an AeroPure.
JS-Elcano
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by JS-Elcano »

msj16 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:23 am lthenderson - Yes I have a double vanity. The outlet in the middle would enable a hair-dryer to be plugged in and rested in the middle when in use. My only concern is the way a middle outlet might break up a spacious appearance.

Buckybadger - Thanks for the suggestion of an outlet in the vanity cabinet. We will be installing a very small triangular bench which can be used to prop up a leg for shaving.

homebuyer6426 - Thanks the feedback on the Nutone fan.

Signing contract this morning. Thanks all!
Congrats on signing the contract!

When I renovated my main bathroom I tiled three walls to the ceiling with the same large tile. The only wall without tile is the one with the door. I Love it.
tibbitts
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by tibbitts »

rennale wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:13 pm - I wish I could have fitted a heated floor but it wasn't practical. But I've found that the new textured/leathered tiles feel much warmer than the original marble tiles. That came as a nice surprise.
I haven't heard of these tiles. What's considered the best combination of low-maintenance and comfort for bathroom flooring?
shess
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by shess »

msj16 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:23 am lthenderson - Yes I have a double vanity. The outlet in the middle would enable a hair-dryer to be plugged in and rested in the middle when in use. My only concern is the way a middle outlet might break up a spacious appearance.
If you're concerned about an outlet making things look bad, imagine how bad a hair-dryer and curling iron will look!

On our results, IMHO my biggest gripes are all functionality, not looks. Basically, after two weeks I stopped thinking "Oh, that's some high-quality backsplash right there!", it just completely shifted to "This is bathroom". But the little functional issues bugged me every single day, so they are harder to ignore. So we rather quickly got back to keeping most nightly-use stuff on the lovely countertop, rather than putting it all away to admire the countertop.
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msj16
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by msj16 »

JSelcano - Thanks for the recommendation for the humidity fan.

shess- Thanks for the reminder that functionality is most important. I don't know how others deal with hair-dryers but for us the hair-dryer would be stored in a larger drawer beneath the sink when we want to hide it and otherwise kept on the counter space between the sinks. I am putting in a flush good-looking medicine cabinet because I have always used a rinky dinky one to store items vertically and want to still do that. Under each sink instead of a traditional cabinet one side would be a cabinet and the other side of the cabinet would be 2 drawers since we find drawers are more functional.
MJS
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Re: Master Bathroom Reno Advice

Post by MJS »

msj16 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:00 pm ... I don't know how others deal with hair-dryers but for us the hair-dryer would be stored in a larger drawer beneath the sink when we want to hide it and otherwise kept on the counter space between the sinks.
Great discussion - thanks!
1. Put the outlet in the drawer.
2. Use a pop-out outlet, or two, in the middle of the vanity. https://www.legrand.us/wiring-devices/d ... rptr151gm2
Ipsa scientia potestas est. Bacon F. Meditationes Sacrae.
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