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Tiny windowless bathroom - move it?

(21 Posts)
cathbath76 Wed 05-Aug-09 16:17:08

We have a three bedroom Victorian terrace with a tricky layout. In order to keep three bedrooms upstairs, a previous developer has squeezed in the smallest of bathrooms between two bedrooms - it's just 4'4" by 8'4", and has no window. You can just fit in a bath, sink and toilet. It is perfectly functional but tiny!

We are now planning to spend £3K updating the bathroom and redecorating to make the best of the space.

However, after booking the plumber I am having doubts... We aren't planning to be here forever, and I can't help feeling that a small, windowless bathroom will make it hard to sell a family house - however nice we make it look.

Should we consider moving the bathroom? We can't afford to lose a bedroom, but we do have a loft room which could be turned into a bedroom. We would have to spend around £5K to get it legally passed as a bedroom.

So... would you get the loft legalised, and move the bathroom into one of the first floor bedrooms? Or is it best to leave the bathroom where it is and keep the bedrooms all on one level (plus usable loft room)? The latter option suits us better as we have two young children - but we are thinking about the resale value too...

Any advice would be much appreciated!

NoseyHelen Wed 05-Aug-09 16:29:52

I suspect potential buyers would have or plan children so all one level would be best.
Perhaps if you had plans drawn for upstairs people could see what they are getting potentially.

cassell Wed 05-Aug-09 16:50:35

When we were looking at similar properties a couple of years ago where it had been done as a loft room and then a large bathroom they actually never really worked that well and by the time you have a proper staircase/fire door etc the space can turn out to be quite small as a third bedroom. I would leave the bathroom where it is and just make it as nice as you can. However, depending on the area, it may still be worth you getting the loft room converted properly to a habitable room as £5k doesn't sound much and 4 bedrooms rather than 3 can add considerably to value, maybe ask a local estate agent what they think?

GrendelsMum Wed 05-Aug-09 22:09:31

We've been wondering about doing a boutique hotel look for our windowless bathroom - warm honey coloured ceramic tiles everywhere and a mirror right the way along one wall. We think if done right, it might look cosy and relaxing rather than small and dark?

alarkaspree Wed 05-Aug-09 22:15:51

I think bathrooms with no windows can be fine. I live in a large apartment building and I think 90% of the bathrooms have no windows, so that the rooms that are lived in get lots of light. Your colour scheme sounds great.

Or if you would prefer it, would it be possible to put a window in? My sister did this and it was a lot easier than I thought.

HerHonesty Thu 06-Aug-09 07:21:23

no bathrooms are where we spend the least of our time - so dont worry about it being small.

cathbath76 Thu 06-Aug-09 10:50:09

Thanks for the replies. That's helped me feel happier about keeping the bathroom where it is (my husband is very relieved!).

We are going for a very streamlined, minimalist look for our tiny bathroom - plain white metro tiles (just above the bath/shower area) and light bright walls.

Unfortunately there's no chance of putting in a window, but we are thinking of getting an illuminated mirror cabinet above the sink, and placing a picture on the wall where a window should be. We're also looking at using halogen lighting to emulate natural daylight - on a dimmer so it won't be too harsh at night.

Anyway that's our ideas so far. The boutique idea sounds great too.

Any other ideas on how to make a small bathroom look bigger, please let me know! I'm still undecided on the wall colour... is it best to go for pale blues, or warmer shades in a tiny room? It's magnolia at the moment but that feels really dingy.

We might consider getting the loft legalised at a later date, if the figures add up...

BonsoirAnna Thu 06-Aug-09 10:55:56

I would tile right up to the ceiling in a very small bathroom with no window, as you will have problems with condensation however powerful the ventilation system you install. Tiles will last much better than paint work, and by tiling right up to the ceiling you will make your bathroom look bigger.

I really wouldn't put a picture up, but I would install a very large plain mirror over the basin, with halogen downlighters above it. I would put a not very deep cupboard under the basin, but have the basin deeper than the cupboard to give some knee room.

Have you thought about ditching the bath and just installing a very large shower unit?

Mins Thu 06-Aug-09 11:31:46

We just moved from a house with a tiny bathroom and no window. We had a slightly smaller than standard size bath and a small wash basin. It was very tight but OK I think - we also had a high level wc to go with style of house and also good for space on lower level. I think our room was about 5' x 6' so a bit smaller than yours. We had a shower over the bath. We had pale blue tiles all around the bath and wood panelling up to dado rail height in the rest of the room which was painted blue also, rest of the walls were painted yellow. We had a fan and had no problems with condensation, had 4 halogen spotlights too. I have noticed that I see much more in my new bathroom though - certainly more wrinkles and it's easier to put on make-up! No-one commented on the size of the room or the fact that it didn't have a window when we were selling (maybe they were just being polite!) and even though it was small I do miss it. My new house has a much bigger bathroom which is OK but not as nice as my old one and not a priority at the mo' so need to live with it!

MrsBadger Thu 06-Aug-09 11:46:24

NB if your house has an upstairs bathroom and the rest of the street still has theirs downstairs behind the kitchen it doesn't matter how poky it is, it will still sell.

We looked at a house that had a light tube of this ilk in their otheriwse windowless bathroom and it made a colossal difference, so if you have the cash to splash it might be worth considering.

GrendelsMum Thu 06-Aug-09 12:54:47

Windowless but perfectly formed:

http://www.hotel-imperial.cz/catadmin/Pictures/orig/Marble_bathroom.jpg

http://www.ams terdam-hotels-guide.com/Amsterdam-hotels/Hotel-Weber/bathroom.jpg

http://www.luxury-insider.com/C urrent_Affairs/image.axd?picture=Kubik2.jpg

http://www.condohotelcenter.com/images/trump-las-olas -bathroom.jpg

I agree totally with Bonsoir Anna, and also that it might be worth looking into having a light tube

Pannacotta Thu 06-Aug-09 19:30:10

I was also going to suggest a light tube.

I also agree about tiles to ceiling and large expanses of mirror and decent halogen, or, even better, LED lights.
Light coloured floor is important plus plain glass shower panel not a shower curtain.

msled Thu 06-Aug-09 23:17:46

Have you just roof above your bathroom? I mean, no other room? If so, get a builder to knock out your ceiling, take it right up to the rafter height and put in a big velux. That's what I did in one house and it looked great. Made the bathroom look double the size, adds loads of natural light and ventilation, more than a normal window, and is much more private.

jicky Thu 06-Aug-09 23:48:04

We have a light pipe in our small windowless shower room - makes a huge difference to the room.

Pannacotta Fri 07-Aug-09 10:06:24

Not meaning to hijack but those of you who put in a light tube, who did you get to fit it for you?

cathbath76 Fri 07-Aug-09 10:32:14

Hi, thanks for all the suggestions. I'd love to have a light tube, but I don't think we can put one in. The bathroom is right in the middle of the house with the converted loft above. It is sandwiched between two bedrooms and our neighbours' adjoining wall.

I did think about light bricks, but they'd have to go in the dividing walls with the bedrooms.

The problem with our bathroom is that it's long and narrow, with a high ceiling, so it feels like a corridor. We are thinking of only tiling to the top of the shower area around the bath, not tiling right to the ceiling - so that it would provide a natural break for the eye and not be as cold as tiling right up to the ceiling. That's our thoughts anyway!

We'd love to get rid of the bath, but we need it for bathing the children, and I think most families would need one.

Anyway this thread is giving me loads of ideas. Despite the small bathroom I'm actually quite impressed with the efficient layout of our upstairs. We have three good sized bedrooms, compared with most houses on this street.

BonsoirAnna Fri 07-Aug-09 10:37:43

"so that it would provide a natural break for the eye"

You don't want "to make a break for the eye", as your eye will adjust and think that the space available in your bathroom stops where the tiles do. You want your eye to travel up to the very top of the ceiling to create a sense of space. It will feel less, not more, corridor like if you do this and place a large mirror on the side wall (this will give an illusion of a much wider bathroom).

You want to avoid anything that makes your bathroom "cosier" than it already is - so your point about tiles being cold is right, and you want to take full advantage of this.

Swedes Fri 07-Aug-09 22:32:26

Wall hung loo and sink are good for giving the illusioin of space by making the floor area look bigger.

jicky Sat 08-Aug-09 16:42:43

Our light pipe was fitted by the builder we use for everything - don't think it was especially difficult for him.

Glass bricks might work for an en suite but not sure about for a regular bathroom - unless you ran them very high up - that might work - the whole of the top as glass on both sides.

cathbath76 Mon 10-Aug-09 14:41:53

OK - you've all convinced me to tile the whole bathroom from floor to ceiling!

We had already bought some white metro tiles, but I think they might be too small and fussy to use for the whole bathroom? (I do love the brick wall look though...)

What kind of tile works best in a small narrow bathroom? Would using rectangular tiles and placing them horizontally help to make the room look bigger?

GrendelsMum Mon 10-Aug-09 15:33:50

I think you need to go for the big ceramic tiles on walls and floor and side of the bath, if you know what I mean.

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