Melbourne, FL Level 2
Fellow host extraordinaires,
For those of you who have microbathrooms, or who have used them, what have your or your guests' opinions on them been? Have they responded positively? Would you be willing to post pictures?
The story motivating my question: Our place could use more bathrooms, but we run into the space conundrum. I'd love to put in "microbathrooms" so that we could actually offer en-suite bathrooms. We have a 3-bedroom, 1 bath apartment that we rent out fully or that we rent 3 separate rooms in. It's my opinion that the shared bathroom keeps us from earning our max potential for the separate room listings, as well as the full 3-bedroom, 1 bath listing. However, I'm concerned that I'd put the work and money into putting the microbathrooms in and then find reviews like "the room was great, but the bathroom was so small I could touch both walls", etc. I suppose it could all be in the marketing, a la being clear and positive about the "micro" in the listing "if you like tiny homes, you'll love checking out the design of this microbathroom! It might just give you ideas for turning your own bedroom closet into an ensuite bathroom!"
Thoughts? Pictures? Ideas? Warnings?
We had a very compact space to work with. When we bought the house the toilet was where the shower is now and there was a huge bath under a much lower window. The space might be bijou but the 1200 X 900 mm shower
is some compensation. We lived in the guest room for 6 weeks while other building work was done and found the bathroom to be more than functional.
I do not like micro bathrooms.
I recently renovated my bathroom by hiring bathroom renovation San Jose experts https://homequalityremodeling.com/bathroom-remodel-san-jose/ . They completed the renovation in a short span and now I have an updated bathroom of my choice.
Got to say, I wouldn't want those plumbers to fit my bathroom. Without a hole in the floor, the water isn't going to drain away from the tray!
I have three bathrooms in my house (plus an additional toilet/powder room) which are shared between four bedrooms, two of which are guest rooms.
One of the bathrooms is a couple of floors below the guest rooms, so the guests don't use it. Near the guest rooms is a large, quite grand, bathroom with a walk in shower and roll top bath. Still, I'd say that more than half the guests opt to use the compact bathroom next door to it, with the 80x80cm shower cubicle. It goes to show that size isn't always the priority.
However, the example you've shown does seem slightly too small to be comfortable. It looks like you would have to open the shower door while standing outside in order to get into the shower. It looks too narrow for a sliding door to be an option, but maybe a bi-fold door would work.
I understand what you're saying re private bathrooms/en suites. I really do think they would make a difference to bookings/price. However, you do run the risk of guests complaining about their size if they are that small.
I've never had a guest complain about the size of my smaller bathrooms, but then they are different in layout and don't look so cramped. Also, they have the option of using a large bathroom if they want.
@Huma0, thanks for your thoughtful comments! It is so interesting that guests choose to use a smaller bathroom, though the larger one is available to them. So, to clarify - are all the bathrooms, including the large bathroom, shared between all guests? Have you ever tried assigning one of the bathrooms privately to one room - and if so, did that make a difference in what a guest paid or how the room booked? We also have one big bathroom and I love the idea of keeping that available (shared) for any guest to use if the others are too small... but then I also wonder if the "shared" aspect would detract from people using it enough that it would just be better to assign it to one of the rooms, so that each of our rooms could have its own private bathroom (even if one of them wouldn't be en suite)... Hmm... you've got me thinking! 🙂
My problem is that I have three bathrooms between four bedrooms, so it's a bit tricky to assign private bathrooms. One obvious solution would be for my housemate and I to share the downstairs bathroom and toilet, thereby freeing up the two upstairs bathrooms for the two guest rooms. However, that doesn't work because only one of those bathrooms has a toilet.
When the upstairs bathrooms were renovated, I had the option of having a toilet in both, or having a large walk in shower and bath tub in one but then no space for a toilet. I wasn't designing the space with Airbnb guests in mind back then, so didn't see the need to have a toilet in both bathrooms, which are next door to each other.
I do believe that private bathrooms would allow me to charge a higher price and perhaps get more bookings. It is also a factor in becoming eligable for Airbnb Plus. However, I don't generally have any complaints about the bathrooms being shared. There are enough of them that guests don't need to queue and often end up having one to themselves anyway. I think that guests who have a problem with sharing a bathroom simply wouldn't book my place.
However, I would say that this means I have to keep the bathrooms sparkling clean at all times. This isn't too difficult, except when I occasionally have guests who are very messy, in which case it is a bit of a pain. I have to really stay on top of it so that one guest is not put off by another guest's mess. In general though, if guests are presented with spotless, sparkly bathrooms when they arrive, they are more likely to be respectful and not leave them in a state.
I personally am not a fan, but I also suffer from claustrophobia. But on a practical level, as mentioned about, if one cannot bend to shave/clean oneself - it's a useless space. Many years ago, our home had a shower that I couldn't extend my elbows to wash/rinse my hair. I was never so happy to leave that house. And as much as I enjoyed a trip to Italy, one of the things I ALWAYS mention to friends who will be visiting, is a warning about how tiny the shower doors were. I'm plush size... as you can see in my photo, I'm not thin or super large... but a shower I had to squeeze into sideways may be novel, the first time one uses it... but looses it's novelty by the second use.
But that is all personal opinion and as I'm localish to you, my opinion has virtually no value, lol.
What I think is more important is long term value to the property. I can't help but think that Airbnb in it's current manifestation is not going to last. As more and more regulations about STRs are put into place, I think the best use of your improvement monies would be a single, larger bathroom. A 3/2 would still be more desireable both for resale and rental purposes. Even a 3/1.75 would help.
@Willow3, thanks for your reply! Based on your great point, I've situated myself in the showers/spaces we're looking at putting in and I've pretended to shave my legs and wash my hair! It's a great point. And, in small spaces, there is a lot of awkward finangling.
I also appreciated and have thought quite a bit about your comment on the long-term value to the property. I've asked myself, "would this bathroom design be good if this room were to go back to a long-term rental"? I personally wouldn't want my personal shower, for more than a couple nights, to be one that I was constantly bumping into things.... 😕 . It's a good point that I'm still pondering.... and scouring design images for to see if I can't just find the design that meets both goals simultaneously. 😉
I don't mind them at all, but I think you need to get the design exactly right, and spend a little extra on hi-end tiles/sanitaryware to give it a luxury feel (even tho it's tiny). Although my bathroom isn't a 'micro', I've found a wall hung (and hidden cistern) to fit the bill and hidden shower kit too, like the pic.
As for a one-bathroom, three BR place, I wouldn't touch it, however nice. I think you'll regret not doing it.
@Gordon0 - hidden cisterns and shower kits - awesome! If you don't mind sharing it, I'd love a link to what you're using (maybe through private message since I don't know if it will post here) so I can find it and possibly order it.
I also couldn't agree more on putting in luxury features for a small bathroom -- it's win-win: not only does it look great and take away from tightness of the space, but it is much more economical to use luxury tile, flooring, counter materials etc in a small space than a large bathroom. If you came across any design sources that were muses/inspirations for you, I'd love to hear them! I am addicted to the website De Zeen; there's so much out-of-the-box design there... sometimes literally!
Yes, we have lost a lot of potential bookings because, while our space can accommodate LOADS of people comfortably, the one bathroom often cannot. We've tried to get around it by putting mirrored vanities and blowdryers in each room, but at the end of the day, some big groups aren't all equipped to stagger showers or coordinate with one bathroom. For us, getting in another bathroom is priority #1 for our AirBnB right now. 🙂
You can see my bathroom here, although I'm afraid you'll need to flick through the photos. I go for wall-hung toilets so that a) they take up less space and b) they're much easier to clean around/under. Geberit do a good range of flush equipment etc.
I love the small amtrak style bathroom you have shown.
Many People really want a private shower/bathroom and are willing to give up the luxury of a large bathroom.
In Seattle however, this bathroom would need powerful ventilation and or a dehumidifier to dissapate the moisture
Paul, thanks for your response! You have a really great point about the ventilation/dehumidifier, too. That can't be understated in climates like ours. If you happen to have any good recommendations for ones you've found reliable and trusty, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 🙂
Your comment make me have an idea, @Paul0 !
Instead of building only a micro bathroom, why not spliting one bedroom into 2 as well?
Yes, all inspired in a Amtrak sleeper cabin?
It is not so bad for one night and maybe more. I and my wife, once we went from L.A. to Flagstaff in one of them! 🙂
A shower enclosure that is 80 cm x 80 cm or 70 cm x 90 cm works well, but I have found that you need to take care with the mixer - it is better to have those with the controls either side rather than in the middle.
Slinding doors with a corner entrance to an 80 x80 works well. A 70 x 90 - entrance at the 90 side, sliding doors, something like these
A mirrored cabinet above the sink is practical.
@Marit-Anne0 (sorry, I'm having trouble getting the @ to tag you),
Thanks so much for these great suggestions! 🙂 Do I understand correctly that you suggest putting the mixer/controls on the side walls rather than the middle? I'm curious as to why? It seems like it would be good to provide a little more space in between one's body and the mixer/controls (so there's a little distance between the person showering and the water spout). However, when I think about that, if it's a rectangular shower, that would mean that, facing the mixer with elbows out (washing hair, for instance), there would be less elbow room. I guess one doesn't need to face the mixer/controls, though. Hmm... you've got me thinking! 🙂
When you say sliding doors, are you thinking of something like this corner shower with curved sliding doors (below). As I look at the mixer and controls on this, I'm wondering if I could even tile the back and do a "cut-in" into the wall (between studs) to have the controls in, so elbows/body won't knock into them.
I love your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
I was trying to suggest that you should choose a mixer that has the controls either side rather than in the middle, especially those that have a handle mixer sticking out. When in a confined space, one tends to hit the handle and either get scolded or litterally having a cold shower. They are very common as they are the most reasonable and I hate them with a passion 🙂
Here goes what I can say based on my experience.
One of my listings is a studio that has a small bathroom. The layout is the same as the picture you put in the opening posting. Anyway there are basically 3 differences:
1- In the small batheroom of my property there are more room between the washbasin and the toilet and it is a bit less narrow. Honestly speaking, considering that type of layout (shower box, washbasin and toilet in line) I think that less than 1 meter wide X 2,4 meter long is not recommendable. ( Anyway, if it is not possible, 2,2 meter long can be acceptable). Having this measures, the bathroom can be very functional, except for people that may have mobility difficulty and overweight people.
2- I have installed an sliding door. Sliding door is much better for small bathroom or even small kitchen. Other type of door are not practical in terms of normal usability for small rooms.
3- The mirror in my property is above the washbasin. Actually, it must be above the wash basing otherwise it is not functional.
Most of my guests are from Europe, UK, Brazil and South America. As for guests reaction, I have never received any complain about bathroom dimensions! If you show the pictures properly in the listing, the guests will see in advance the type of accommodation they are booking. So, when thay are staying, if they find something functional and pratical, there will not be complains.
@J-Renato0, thanks for these wonderful suggestions! I'd really love to see pictures of your bathrooms - they sound really well-thought out and cleverly designed. 🙂
I LOVE sliding, pocket and barn-style doors for making the most of a small space, too. I've seen curtains sometimes used, but I always wonder about that for privacy reasons... I'd love to see what hosts do who don't even have room for sliding doors - if they use curtains, how do they make it work? If they use other options, what are they? Small-space design absolutely intrigues me!
About mirrors above the washbasins - love it! When we bought our place, one of the washbasin mirror-cabinets was actually set into the wall, between studs and I thought that was such a clever use of space. I'm hoping that my layout might accommodate that again.
I have only 1 considerably small bathroom in one of my properties, which is in a studio apartmet. It is the one I am refing to as an example. You can see it by visiting my profile or clicking on the following link.
It is simple/plain, not hi-end, but practical and functional.
I would not say what I have said is about cleverly designed. It is a basic and and practical solution in terms of design for this kind of bathroom. There is not other way.
As for sliding door, I mean the door to enter the bathroom. I am not refering to the shower box door. I think that, for small shower box, a curtain is better. In the bathroom pictures of the studio (one of my listings) you can see the sliding door I am refering to. I dont say barn-style door because it sounds somewhat rustic, anyway it seems to be the term for the US architecture 🙂
As for mirror "above the washbasin", I should have said, the mirror sould be place hanging on the wall above/over the washbasin. It can sound somewhat obvious, but in the picture you put in the opening post of this topic, the mirror was hanging on the wall on a strange place to be. Well, in the picture there was a window above the washbasin... somewhat complicate a situation. Can you imagine someone shaving your face and having to put one foot in the shower box and the other one out of the shower box? It is an awkward way to shave if the lay out you presented in the opening post is chosen 🙂
You may ask Why I as a host dare to give some opinion on this matter. I have a degree in civil engeneering and studied about 3 year in an architectural college. I have worked with design/projects, construction and renovation works, during many year of my life. Now almost retired. So, It was just my 2 cents 🙂
Anyway you are in the US, which addopts different styles and standars in terms of architectural design (and constructive techniques) if compared with countries that had its civilization more influenced by Portugal, Italy and France, which is the case of my country and reality. So, my opinion may not have value in this specif context and area you are in 🙂