Transcona Master Bathroom

Finding Space Within The Home

This extensive bathroom renovation combined three separate spaces on the main floor of a small older home – the main bathroom, the en suite bathroom and the hallway closet – to create a modern master bath that is both luxurious and practical.

With two points of entry and the ability to lock the doors from the inside, the space now functions as both the main floor bathroom and the master ensuite. In a home where square footage is limited, and generous room sizes are desired, making a room do double-duty is a smart decision.

The homeowner really wanted a window in the new bathroom, but with no exterior perimeter walls we had to get creative. We designed and built two recessed frosted glass light boxes backlit with daylight LED’s to give the impression of windows. The frame is flush with the tile surface, totally waterproof, and easy to clean.

The entire wet-room style bathroom is waterproofed and great care was taken with tile layout, soundproofing, functionality, and durability in order to ensure that the space be enjoyed for many years to come.

Before And In-process

The main floor and en suite bathrooms were original to the home built in 1989 and were in need of updating and repair.

In order to achieve the curbless shower, and to properly support the heavy tile floor, the joists were double-sistered (two extra joists were laminated on either side) and resting on both the foundation wall and the supporting beam underneath the adjacent hallway.

Once they were installed, the shower pan was measured out and the supporting laminated joists were notched to accommodate the slope. Once that was completed, two layers of staggered sub-floor were installed and covered with Schluter-DITRA – an orange waffled membrane that acts as an uncoupling layer, waterproofing membrane, and vapour management layer that accommodates moisture from beneath the tile covering.

Adding structure to the floor allowed us to cut into the now-oversized joists rather than building up to create the necessary slope for drainage. We wanted to avoid a huge build-up of finished floor height, especially since we also added in-floor heating beneath the tiles (which further adds to floor thickness).

PLANNING + MECHANICAL: Where the existing bathrooms met, they shared the stack that vented up and out as well as drained down to the sewer in the basement. In order to be able to achieve the open concept, all of the plumbing and mechanical was relocated within the vanity wall. Some of the existing joists had already been compromised. They were replaced and reinforced with the rest of the floor.

Craftsmanship + Details

There are a lot of tricky details that require exhaustive planning and meticulous workmanship to create a clean-lined aesthetic. For example, the glass panel is recessed directly into the floor rather than supported by a frame at the base. The recessed shelving niches are lined up perfectly with the tile pattern, and avoided the typical metal or plastic edging by polishing and exposing the once-raw edges of the tile itself.

CUSTOM ELEMENTS + LIGHTING: We designed the custom white concrete vanity sink with a local fabricator. The vanity and linen tower are made of rift oak in a deep red-brown stain and integrated handles.

The vanity is wall-hung and under-lit for a dramatic lighting effect. Along with the two light boxes and other sources of artificial lighting, this allows the homeowner to manipulate the different light sources and levels as needed.

FUNCTIONALITY: The shower is an open concept walk-in design. This wet-room approach allows the homeowner the freedom to utilize the entire space as a shower, and the transparent glass shower wall minimizes any visual barriers that would take away from the powerful statement of the floor-to-ceiling black slate tile.