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Question DetailsAsked on 3/21/2014

Converting and existing 3 feet by 9 feet closet into a bathroom. What is the minimum width required for a 3 piece.

We have a two bedroom one bath home. We are prepared to move a wall to achieve the required width for a 3 piece bath. The door to the bathroom will be located in the centre of the 9 foot length. We are trying to minimize the room we will be losing from an existing bedroom. Our house is located in Glendale CA. Thank you

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5 Answers


Sorry - you would probably have to explain what you mean by 3-piece bath - in different markets, I have seen that mean basin/toilet/shower, basin/toilet/tub-shower, or 2 basins and toilet.

I would say your best way to get the most out of your space, and the best lookingproduct WITHOUT reducing yourhouse value by changing walls, is talk to an architect. You are probbly going to be spending $20-30,000 plus on this - so $500-1500 for an architect could make all the difference between happy and disappointed. Plus, in SoCal, I would be shocked if you are able to get a building permit for this extensive a bath remodel without complete architect's plans anyway.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


The shortest answer and advice I can give YOU, is , FORGET IT !

There is not enough room in a 3 foot or 36" wide closet to work ,much less put a bathroom in the space.

To Install a typical toilet , you are required to have 15" on each side of center to install a toilet, this means both sides and front .Anything less and You FAIL INSPECTION !

A standard Tub is 30" wide at minimum and usually 36" is tite

That leaves YOU , 6"- six inches to get out of the tub, and you'll break your neck should

you loose your footing and fall . Much less have any room to dry off . Most folks foot prints are gonna be at minimum 24 inches wide

To be Honest , anything narrower, bathroom wise, narrower than 60 inches is just to narrow.................

FORGET THE IDEA , No way to make it happen !

If you do not believe me , call Your Building Inspection Department in Glendale CA. ,

and ask them !

Answered 6 years ago by BentheBuilder


Possible misunderstanding here, Ben - I think they meant have 3x9 foot closet now, AND are prepared to move the long closet wall as much as needed to achieve required room - to probably around nominal 5x9' finish space, I would guess.

To the questioner - as an example, we have two full (bath w/shower) back-to-back bathrooms that I just measured and are exactly 5 feet by 9-1/4 feet INSIDE dimensions - not including wall thicknesses, so with about a 2-1/2 to 3 foot wall move you will be in the ballpark. But as Ben said, you need to check your LOCAL code requirements for clearances both for walkway in front of toilet and vanity, and lateral clearances on toilet. Be sure to check also on walk-in room - because commonly you are required to have 3 feet turning room in front of a doorway (it will have to open outward relative to the bathroom), but you can commonly slip by with 15-24 inches between wall and vanity if a straight-in shot parallel to them. Some towns have really funny bathroom clearance numbers, some are more normal like Ben gave - typically about 15" to each side from center of toilet, and 15-18 inches in front of toilet and vanity. Generally, if you are code on space in front of the toilet, you have enough room for a normal vanity and walkway next to it. For room width, 5' is the length of standard tub size in that range, though you can get shorter on special order, and of course "standard" showers come commonly 4' or 3' in width.

One other critical thing to consider - find out up front which walls are load bearing, as moving one really drives your cost up.

Google this search phrase for "typical" (not necessarily code in your area) clearances, and lots of articles on optimizing a small bathroom. Lay out a large plan (say 1"=1/2 foot) with a grid on it, then do scale cutouts vanities and toilets and such and move them around to see what fits. Depending on your closet layout, if one end is near the hall, consider maybe punching through there for the door so it is a longitudinal entry instead of middle - might work better, though you would lose a bit of space by the bedroom door. Of course, that does not make it a "maser bath", if that is what you were going for.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


LCD , you have made good Point !

I look forward to a clarification should we get one .

Your statements ring very true especially the more I read and reread the question and it may appear that I am in great Error, and IF so , which it appears so , I stand greatly embarresed by my misreading of the question,,,OH well , not the first mistake or misunderstanding I have ever made or been involved in ,,,,que sara sara , ehH ?

Answered 6 years ago by BentheBuilder


That makes 2 of us Ben - I read it the same way first time, as a 3x9 bathroom after moving the wall - then I reread and figured the closet could not be much less than 3 feet to begin with, and saw the logical possibility of their being ready to move the wall as much as needed, which could give a workable size - so I went with that.

Oops - my turn to make a mistake - I forget to give the google search phrase to find typical bathroom dimensions and clearances - typical bathroom clearances

Also - to the questioner - if you want to give more info or ask more on this question, use the Answer This Question button to do that, same as if you were answering your question.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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