Planning for a Wet Room in the Kids’ Bathroom


Currently I’m working on the floor plan for our kids’ bathroom. Personally, I’m not into tubs. Give me a walk-in shower any day – or even better, a steam shower! However, given that this bathroom is just outside the rooms that I think any homeowner will use for kids’ bedrooms (we do), a bathtub seems like it will be a necessary evil. To that end, I’m trying to see if we can manage a ‘wet room’ where the tub sits inside a shower enclosure, like the inspiration shot above. I would LOVE advice from anyone who has used a small-ish tub regarding comfort, or anyone who has an acrylic standalone tub – not sure if there are any drawbacks!

Our kids’ bathroom actually has  pretty large square footage, but is long and narrow, and has a cut out for a closet in the hall. Here is the current floor plan so you can orient yourself:

Tons of space, but the door location, window location and closet location make layout tough.

Currently, the room is organized like so:

It’s not a bad layout. Very livable, though the vanity is oversized for something that just has one sink, and I don’t particularly like a tub/shower combo if I don’t have to have one. I’m pretty sure this inspiration image is the only tub/shower combo I’ve ever liked, and even here I’d rather have something else:


SO, I’m trying to fit a tub and a shower in a ‘wet room’ area, as in this beautiful space:


Here is layout option 1. As you can see, I’ve allowed for a standard 6” threshold between the wet room and the rest of the room:

The tub in this design is 55” wide. The #1 most challenging thing about this process is finding a tub that will fit yet be comfortable for a grown-up, and that doesn’t weigh 1 million pounds (which I’m concerned would mean we’d have to do structural work). It is quite irritating how the footprint of a standalone tub will be reasonable, but then the seating area is incredibly small (like 16” wide – there is no grown person with a butt so narrow that would be comfortable).

This design leaves plenty of space for a shower area, and plenty of space for a glass door and glass wall. I am very concerned, though, that a tub will look silly this close to the threshold. Also, as an FYI, we’re not initially planning on putting in glass. I would have my contractor frame it so glass could be installed in the future, but right now my kids are little and the glass makes me nervous. We have a glass door for our walk-in master shower, and it is terrifying seeing that thing open and close with little fingers around. So for now we’re going to do a curtain, but leave the option to add glass later.

Here is layout #2:

This moves the toilet to the ‘bath side’ of the room. This is appealing because it would make the bath area look more open, and give what I think will be a less crowded look and better visuals all around. A peek of the vanity through the door, and ability to see the pretty freestanding tub better. The things I don’t like about it? Moving the plumbing stack for the toilet (which may involve way more work than I’m willing to pay for), and having the vanity approximately 28 inches away from the widest swing of the door. The last thing you want is to have a door nipping at your heels while brushing your teeth.

Finally, here’s layout #3:

This is the same basic design but with a double sink vanity, which is a nice feature to add if possible! A lot depends on what furniture I’m able to find and convert for a vanity in here, but the issue with this space is I wouldn’t want a vanity deeper than 22 inches. Which isn’t much in the world of vanities!

As I said, the toughest thing times a billion has been finding a decent standalone tub that has small but reasonable proportions. Ideally, I’d like at minimum an 18 inch by 40 inch interior seating area. That sounds simple, given that I could have a 55 inch by 27 inch tub in here, but NOPE. All the tubs I can find slope so extremely that I’ve looked at hundreds of tubs and can’t find a thing.

Interestingly, most tubs that are smaller scale are acrylic. This is honestly ideal for my space. Why? Because my house is old, and I’m just not sure it could handle the weight of your classic cast iron tub without seriously reinforcing joists. That is just not money I’m willing to spend, since it would mean busting through the entirety of my living room ceiling. Do any of you have standalone acrylic tubs? Any drawbacks? Their light weight and good looks are pretty appealing to me right now, but I worry they might scratch, stain or just generally look cheap…