The Toilet Mistake You'll Want To Avoid Making In The Bathroom

When redesigning your bathroom, you will likely find dozens of remodeling ideas from which you can borrow. However, some of them may not work well because you are dealing with a small bathroom size, which may limit some of your design options. Regardless of the size that you're dealing with, you don't want to make one of the biggest mistakes that occurs with bathroom remodeling: placing the toilet in a location that is usable but that avoids uncomfortable sight lines, meaning people can see you from other areas of the home.

If you would like to move the toilet in your remodeling project to a better location, you may have some extra expenses. An average bathroom remodeling costs about $12,000, but that does not include moving any of the plumbing or sewer lines. Moving the toilet and the plumbing to a new location should cost around another $3,000. If this is the plan, make sure you have the money available in your budget to make this happen. Don't expect to be able to move plumbing and sewer lines on your own as part of a DIY project. 

Plumbers are required because they may need to move water supply lines, and they may need to adjust venting. Additionally, you probably need permits to be able to move the lines for the toilet, and a licensed professional plumber will be able to pull the permits for you while doing work that meets local building safety codes.

Placing the toilet inside a compartment in a bathroom remodeling

When you are deciding where to place the toilet in the new bathroom design, it's important to anticipate the sight lines that you will have. If the door is open, you don't want other people in the house to inadvertently be able to see someone using the toilet as they are walking past. You have a few options for pulling off this design setup. In a large space, you could choose to create a half wall or a separate compartment inside the bathroom that has its own walls — and perhaps a door — that block the view of a toilet.

The half wall is pretty easy for a professional to install. "I usually clad this wall in a material that can be carried throughout the whole bathroom to provide visual continuity," Kirsten Blazek of 1000xBetter told Living Etc. "An example of this would be painted bead board, which is an attractive and practical way to finish the lower half of a bathroom."

If you choose to make use of a separate compartment to encompass the toilet, you can maximize the space outside the compartment by having the door open inward to the compartment. The door needs plenty of clearance to avoid banging into the toilet and into the legs of someone sitting on it. If you really dislike the idea of people being able to see the toilet — let alone someone using it — the compartment is the best solution.

Moving the toilet to avoid unwanted sight lines

If you have a smaller space available, adding walls and compartments may not be an option. If your bathroom opens off a room where people are often spending time or walking through, the placement of the door to the bathroom is a key aspect of finding a place to hide the toilet from view. Sit on the toilet with the door open and look out to the exterior room. This will tell you exactly what people can see as they are walking past. 

You might be able to move the door to a new location that cuts down on or eliminates the sight lines from which other people can see the toilet from the exterior room. If moving the door is not an option, you may be able to move the toilet to a new location that is outside the sight line. Some people may prefer to place the toilet behind the entry door to the bathroom, meaning it's not visible from outside the room, for example.

Otherwise, stand in different locations in the bathroom space you have available. Look for a spot where you cannot see outside the room, ensuring there are no sight lines to the toilet from the exterior room. Perhaps it's on the same wall as the entry door, but toward the far corner. You may also be able to hide it behind the vanity that's already in the bathroom, as long as you have enough space.