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manbehindthecurtain 03-05-2013 07:25 PM

Toilet too close to clawfoot tub
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The house I bought has a bathroom I intended on remodeling by repainting the existing clawfoot tub, retiling the bathroom, and putting in new toilet, vanity, and sink.

The previous decor in the room was so bad (wood paneling with stickers on the wall of pink stilletto high heels. No lie.), so I started pulling the paneling down and got the existing sink and toilet out of there. Now that everything is out, and I started measuring the space I would need for a shower attachment for the claw foot tub (ancient 60" cast iron beast that my wife is very attached to), I notice that there is only space for about 11-12 inches from the center of the toilet to the edge of the tub. I understand minimum code for my area is 15 inches. I never noticed this before, nor did my home inspector, apparently. I'm ok with the 15 inches clearance to the wall on the other side.

My first thought is to trash the tub, and put in a shower stall in the corner instead. My wife really wants to keep the tub. There is absolutely no room in the rest of the bathroom to reorganize the rest of the fixtures.

Do I have any options here? This bathroom must have last been redone in the 70s, am I still required to meet that code or is there any chance I'm grandfathered in? If I go ahead on my own, am I at risk of not being able to sell the house in the future because of this? Other alternatives are to trash this tub and put in a smaller one (my wife likes this idea), but at this point I would rather just have a standing shower.

I can take pics if that would help. I'm pissed at my home inspector. Never should have bought this house and I'm becoming less inclined to sink more money into it. God knows what else he missed.

In terms of cost, I am more comfortable installing a tub than a shower pan, but that will require another thousand bucks or so on a new acrylic claw foot tub, and some hard core demo to get rid of this one. Plus I will still need to pay a plumber to move the drain and water supply so I can fit the shower attachment where the ceiling slopes. What would you do? What should I do?

nealtw 03-05-2013 07:53 PM

So the room is 85" x ? and the door is 30"? And the tub is 60"x ?

manbehindthecurtain 03-05-2013 08:05 PM

Room is 88x80, doorway is 29" wide. Tub is 60x30. Could make it out on its side.

nealtw 03-05-2013 08:40 PM

1 The first answer is a dormer would allow you to reclaim the last few feet out to the outside wall at full height.
2 Change the door to a 24", allows the tub to fit to the left of the door put the vanity where the tub was
3 Leave the door and put the tub to the left of the door and knock out enough of the knee wall to fit the round end of the tub and rebuild the nee wall to fit the tub.
Not sure you have enough head room to be code anyway.

bud16415 03-06-2013 04:55 AM

Looks like you have the tub sitting in the photos turned 180. If it were mine I would put the new toilet right back where the old one was and never think twice about it and the 15 inch dim on that side. The important one is against the hard wall. And I would see the other one as not being confining at all as its only involving the height of the tub. To me the real dimension is across the tub to the other wall. Unless I read your post wrong and you plan on adding a short wall and confining the toilet.

As to the addition of the shower feature I think I would figure out a way to route the supply lines around behind the tub and up the wall behind the tub and avoid the sloped roof area. You will need to mount one of those surround curtain rod from the back wall and ceiling.

nealtw 03-06-2013 09:13 AM

I think I would be looking for a shower, one piece would be best but they don't fit thru doors either.

bud16415 03-06-2013 09:34 AM

As to the claw-foot tub. I wouldn’t want one as my only bath and if you are only using it as a shower with a wraparound curtain then I also would remove it and put in something like a 36” two piece shower. But on the other hand these old tubs are amazing soaking tubs and I’m guessing one of the reasons the Mrs. is attached to it. As a second or more bathroom I think they are wonderful to keep. The one you have looks to be in good shape still and the outsides take paint well. If you add the wraparound curtain I like them so you can gather them back and use the tub as a tub.

Before you destroy it put an ad up and try and sell it, you might be surprised.

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