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Understanding the Rules of Thumb for Master Bathroom Layouts

For many homeowners, master bathroom layouts tend to be an area where dreams and reality butt heads. Sure, you can imagine anything you want — especially if you’re starting from scratch with a master bath addition built from the ground up. But first, you must ask yourself whether your current floor plan actually supports your fantasy master bathroom. Otherwise, could you adapt the space you currently have into something you’d grow to love?

A professional bathroom remodeler like Ayars can often answer that question with a resounding “yes.” Below are a few of the things we look at when we’re helping our clients plan their spaces.

Size

Obviously, size matters when you’re discussing the floor plan for any room — the more space you have available, the more you can do with it. When we’re planning a master bathroom floor plan, we must make sure we accommodate the essentials first:

  1. A shower and/or tub
  2. A toilet
  3. A sink

Storage is another biggie. A double vanity — with a “his and hers” sink — is a pretty standard request in master bathroom floor plans, and that alone usually offers a good deal of storage space, both on the countertop and in the drawers and cabinets under the sink. If that should prove insufficient for your needs, we might start looking at various wall shelving solutions — either hung or recessed. For some of our larger master bathroom remodels, we’ve included a floor-to-ceiling linen closet. 

Plumbing

More than anything else, plumbing sets the parameters in a master bathroom layout. Although it can be moved, it’s a labor-intensive process that comes at some expense. Unless budget is truly not an issue, you’re best served to leave plumbing fixtures where they are and basing the plan around that. 

Generally speaking, master bathroom floor layouts fall into one of two main categories:

  1. Those that have only one plumbing line.
  2. Those that have two or more plumbing lines.

With the first category, we’re restricted to the “three-in-a-row” concept, where the toilet, sink, and shower and/or tub are all located along the same wall. It’s more common in smaller or hallway bathrooms, but it’s worth mentioning.

In the latter case, we open ourselves up to “opposite wall” concepts and a whole host of possibilities, depending on how much space we have. 

Functionality

Once you’ve determined what your current setup does (or doesn’t) allow, we can begin to consider functionality. Think about user demographics — will master bathroom access be limited to adults only? How many? Younger or older? Working or (semi-) retired?

Honestly contemplate how much time you spend in the bathroom, how you like to spend it, and whether that time needs to be shared between more than one individual. Does each individual value privacy, or are you the type of couple that likes to do everything together?

From there, you can start to “zone” your master bathroom layout according to function. Again, size will dictate how many zones you can create within the large space, but here are a few of the more popular requests we get:

  • Powder room/makeup area
  • Separate or enclosed toilet/water closet (with a pocket door)
  • Standalone tub/bathing area — use rugs, furnishings, and decor to reinforce this as a “spa-quality” space. Locate in front of a window to create a focal point to the room.
  • Walk-in shower area — a custom shower enclosure with full or partial walls can make your shower feel like an oasis within an oasis. 

An Ayars master class in master bath functional zoning

This spacious modern master bath remodel in Clarksboro, NJ demonstrates functional zoning to a tee. 

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj vanity and toilet

Back: Vanity and toileting area

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is the beautiful double vanity straight ahead. The vanity is divided into separate “his” and “her” areas, and the backlit mirrors enhance the room’s sense of depth. A floor plant and painting help fill in and add color to the open space to the left.

The toileting area is hidden out of view, tucked away in the back corner of the room, behind the bump-out created by the shower enclosure. The sliding pocket door keeps obstructions to a minimum.

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj free standing tub walk in shower and double vanity

Center: Showering and bathing area

A huge window frames a gleaming white standalone tub on the left side of the room; on the opposite side we have a luxurious shower enclosure with a custom mosaic, built-in bench and recess, and computerized temperature controls.

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj walk in shower double vanity and powder room

Front: Makeup and laundry area

The shower bump-out also creates a natural nook in the front of this master bathroom, which we turned into a powder room with its own sinkless vanity and backlit mirror. 

In the other corner, we installed a stacked washer-dryer unit with a matching head-to-floor linen closet. As you can see, dirty rags and towels do not have far to travel in this setup!

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj stacked washer dryer custom cabinet

Plan your master bathroom layout with Ayars

Not everyone is so fortunate to have the same amount of space to work with as our Clarksboro customers, but you’d be surprised how much can be done with even a more modestly sized bathroom. Even if you don’t like your current layout, you could learn to love a reimagined master bathroom from Ayars Complete Home Improvements.

Custom Showers: Your Master Bathroom’s Main Attraction

If you were to poll folks on what they most look forward to when starting or ending their day, a hot shower would probably be near the top of the list. A custom shower design will have you looking forward to it even more, as you curate every aspect of the experience from your head to your feet.

There are many ways to go about designing a custom shower enclosure for a master bathroom, and few of them are objectively “wrong.” The “right” design all depends on the space you’re working with and personal preference. Let’s explore the options!

Custom shower layout

One of the very few constraints you’ll have when customizing a walk-in shower (other than budget) is the master bathroom layout itself. Its dimensions and setup will force some decisions about the custom shower’s size, shape, and location. Given the number of choices you’ll be making otherwise, that may actually come as a relief!

Size

Generally speaking, most people prefer a shower that is cozy but not claustrophobic. You should be able to fully extend your arms and spin around in a circle without bumping into anything. The standard size for a walk-in shower is 48” x 36,” but larger or more upscale master bathroom remodeling projects might want to consider an enclosure that is 60” x 36” or larger.

Shape

A square or rectangular shower enclosure will work for most master bathrooms in a corner or along a wall, whereas a circular shape is typically only possible in the middle of a larger space. Of course, some homeowners opt to forgo an enclosure entirely, in an effort to capture the vibe of a steam room or spa.

Door

Once you’ve determined the shower size, location, and orientation in the room, it will be a lot easier to choose a door.

  • Sliding doors are good for smaller bathrooms and shower enclosures flush with walls
  • Hinged doors swing outward so you’ll have to account for how an open shower door may interfere with (or be interfered with) by other master bath elements, such as the sink, vanity, or the entrance to the bathroom itself.
  • Pivot doors are a more modernized cousin to the hinged door, operating by the same outswinging mechanic. However, since it is either hinged at the very top and bottom or hinged continuously, the door is tighter to the frame and does not swing out as far. 

From there, you might consider whether you want clear or obscure glass, a partial wall, or windows depending on your aesthetic preferences and privacy needs.

Shower tiling

The selection of shower tile materials available today are virtually limitless, and can pretty convincingly mimic many aesthetics and textures found in nature. 

  • Ceramic and porcelain tiles, which are both formed from clay, remain the most popular option — they’re typically more economical and easier to clean and maintain (porcelain even more so).
  • Natural stone materials such as marble, slate, and travertine are among the most striking and beautiful ways to finish shower walls and floors. However, they’re more high-maintenance, and may fade, discolor, or degrade more quickly without proper sealing and regular cleanings.
  • Man-made materials such as engineered quartz, cultured marble, or solid surface (e.g. Corian) combine ground stone with other binding and fortifying substances. They’re available in a wealth of colors and patterns, replicating materials that would otherwise not be recommended for a shower environment (such as natural wood). 

Shower systems

When we talk about shower systems, we are talking about how water temperature is controlled and regulated. There are three main types.

  • Manual mixer: Features one or two valves that adjust the ratio of hot to cold water flowing through the system
  • Thermostatic: Allows precise temperature control through a thermostat, sometimes digital.
  • Electric: A heating unit directly heats cold water from your water supply continuously. This occurs separately from your hot water system. 

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj shower control panel

Showerheads

Water pressure and spray patterns are governed by showerheads, which greatly influence the sensory experience of your custom shower. They are classified in one of two ways.

By mount position

  • Fixed showerheads are mounted to a shower wall.
  • Hand-set showerheads are also mounted to a wall but attached to a hose. This not only allows you to hand-maneuver the spray to virtually any angle you desire, but also makes for easier cleaning.
  • Ceiling mounted showerheads rain down water from above at low or medium pressure.

By control settings

  • Single-setting: Offers only one spray setting and flows at a constant pressure.
  • Multi-setting: Variable spray patterns and pressures, from beads to mists.
  • Rainfall: The most coveted type of single-setting showerhead; like showering under a gently cascading waterfall.
  • Shower tower: If you’ve ever wanted to use a jacuzzi standing up, this is for you. You’ll be able to adjust several vertically-oriented jets and nozzles to caress you from all angles for the ultimate spa experience.

master bath walk-in shower west deptford nj

Custom shower features

Now that the essentials are taken care of, we can turn our attention to finer details. Liven up or tone the mood with LED lighting and Bluetooth speakers. Accommodate all your sundries with built-in shelves or cubbies. Incorporate a shower bench to make personal grooming tasks that much easier. 

If all these possibilities excite you, you’re not alone! The professionals at Ayars Complete Home Improvements take a true craftsman approach to master bath remodels — a beautiful custom shower is just the beginning!

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