Stair bulkhead taking up space in tiny bathroom

(16 Posts)
Springymajig Sun 31-Jan-16 18:17:10

We have moved into a house with a tiny bathroom (approximately 6 feet from the door to the opposite wall / window and approximately 5.5 feet across). The problem is that the stair bulkhead intrudes into the room next to the door; it is about 2'6" feet high, 2'3" long (perpendicular to the door) and 3' deep (parallel with wall / window / door).

At the moment there is a short bath along the wall, underneath the window and a hideous sink unit built over the bulkhead, with the toilet squashed in between. Is this really the best use of space? I've looked at various things online, but mostly people who have the bulkhead in the bathroom have the space to turn it into a ceiling height storage cupboard and put the sink or whatever elsewhere - I really don't think we have this luxury!

I'm vaguely toying with the idea of a shower / wet room type layout rather than a bath, but I think a bath would be better when it comes to selling the house so would prefer to make that work if possible.

If the only way of making this work is to keep the sink unit idea, does it have to be the same kind of monstrosity as we have now? Is there a stylish way of doing it?

Sorry, I know it's probably really hard to visualise, but I just wondered how other people have incorporated their bulkheads into a small bathroom space!

PrimalLass Sun 31-Jan-16 18:33:38

Could you post a photo?

Springymajig Sun 31-Jan-16 19:03:33

I was afraid of that grin

I will try to upload a couple. I know it's mega grim - it's been like that since before we moved in and it's why I'm desperate to change it! We aren't as gross as our bathroom would indicate blush

Springymajig Sun 31-Jan-16 19:03:56

Hopefully this'll work!

FishWithABicycle Sun 31-Jan-16 19:24:59

Layout-wise it's quite a clever idea. You could certainly update it to something more stylish. You could make it look something like this with the cupboards either being very shallow (just enough for a spray bottle of antiseptic cleaning product) or entirely "fake".

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 19:35:20

Ok, I grew up in a house where that was my bedroom. It had a floor to ceiling built in wardrobe, above the stair bit. It worked well - you might be able to do that, and have it as an airing cupboard?

You would need to move the sink to another spot though.

Do you need a bath, or would a shower cubicle do?

Wow at your lovely enamel sink though, that's so sweet despite the crappy unit it's built into! I actually have that exact sink and am waiting to use it somewhere smile

PrimalLass Sun 31-Jan-16 19:39:17

I think you can definitely improve on that smile I agree with FishWithABicycle that making the sink and loo build in would definitely make it look less like a 'cover up.

origamiwarrior Sun 31-Jan-16 19:55:46

Ditto previous comments, some clever cabinetry (probably custom made) building in the toilet (so concealed cistern) and the sink would really help. You toilet looks very cramped. Do you definitely have the narrowest bath available?

Also consider hanging the door the other way so it opens outwards as that will make the room feel much more spacious.

Springymajig Sun 31-Jan-16 20:11:19

Ah, replies! Thank you!

I like the idea of building the toilet cistern into the cabinet to make it more uniform. Some of it could be used as storage space, as obviously the bulkhead is at an angle so there is almost half of that space available in a triangle next to the toilet.

I'm not sure that there's room to move the sink anywhere else, as it's such a small space anyway. It could be done if we swapped the bath for a shower cubicle, but I'm assured that this would make it harder to sell the house. DH and I only ever use the shower, and DS could manage without a bath, but we don't intend to live here forever!

The toilet is very cramped. Without wanting to be crude and TMI, it becomes difficult when there is ever a need for any kind of movement beyond the absolute bare minimum. It's a very claustrophobic room and I would love to be able to make it feel less so. For example, DS sits on the toilet seat when it's time to brush his teeth whilst we sit on the edge of the bath. When he starts to fidget and play up, it really doesn't take long before it becomes very claustrophobic and unsettling! The size of the sink unit over the bulkhead is ridiculously large - it's about a quarter of the room, but it can't really be avoided!

I've vaguely considered one of those square bathtubs with an overhead shower (so a similar footprint to a shower cubicle) but I haven't yet looked into the logistics of it. I think that might be my next job!

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 20:16:37

Who told you you can't sell the house without a bath?

Taking into account and accepting the size of the room is very important. I can see it looking far, far more accommodating if you took out the bath, put a shower unit there, the sink or toilet under the window and the other one where the toilet is now.

Turn the bulkhead into either a flat topped unit, like a table, I suppose, or take it up to the ceiling as a cupboard for storage.

The whole room could look small but stunning, rather than as if you have tried to cram in as much as possible.

Some bathrooms are only big enough, comfortably, for a shower. That's fine - if it's modern and well fitted, it will sell your house far better than what you have now.

united4ever Sun 31-Jan-16 22:30:15

Maybe not to everyones taste but a japanese style bath would save space. Much shorter but deeper so you have to sit cross legged but the water can come up to your shoulders. I prefer them to a western bath but i can see if you are thinking of resale it may be too niche.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Mon 01-Feb-16 06:31:31

We have this. We turned it into a floor to ceiling cupboard with a massive built in space above the bulk head for towels etc. then we put in a big shower up against the wall of the cupboard. A toilet is squeezed in next to the shower. Huge sink fits in too.
It's a tiny bathroom but has lots in it. I would rather that than a bath! It looks okay because all the clutter is stored away in the built in cupboard.

Can send you floor plan/photo if useful.

bimandbam Mon 01-Feb-16 06:40:26

I would maybe leave a bath in because I love a bath and wouldn't buy a house without one. You could swap that sink for a much smaller one. And rather than using timber to box the slope in look into perspex, that frosted sort. That might not be as claustrophobic as a solid looking cupboard. Use the space on the slope as storage space. And maybe follow the slope so you don't feel as cramped on the loo. So you are claiming back some of the space that the slope takes with angles rather than boxes.

Blueprintorange Mon 01-Feb-16 20:45:25

If you remove the boxing in, the bulk head probably won't be that big. We have similar in our ensuite, and the slope was minimal once the boxing in was removed, and we actually fitted a bath over it.

Qwebec Tue 02-Feb-16 01:16:02

Second the idea of changing the way the door swings or pocket door.

Also, I once saw a tiny tiny bathroom the was not even space for a bath only a shower and when you where on the loo your knees nearly touched the wall. BUT il felt quite spacious because of the selection of tiles. It was a tiles specialist suggestion, a dark brown tile but it had lots of depth, if you've been in a roomwith venetian plaster you will know what I mean and marble has this effect too.
A big mirror will also help.

For storage the picture linked shows that you can use the space in between your walls for extra storage (I plan on doing something like this at home). You bathroom will never be big, but you can defintly make the most of it.

I by far prefer small bathrooms and see it as an asset

LeaLeander Tue 02-Feb-16 02:39:18

Definitely change to a shower. Free up the floor plan and look more modern.

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