With emphasis on privacy, many are hiding their toilets

October 30, 1994|By Beth Smith

"Most of the people who ask me to design bathrooms for them have one major request," says architect Tom Clark. "They don't want to see the toilet."

As hard as designers try, toilets still aren't attractive and, while they are necessary, not many people want to draw attention to one of the few tasks still deemed private.

So a growing group of people are building water closets or toilet rooms.

The 1994 Remodeled Homes "Consumer Remodeling Survey" found 17 percent of respondents planned to add a toilet room to their bathrooms.

Architect Jeff Love, who says he has been adding toilet rooms to his bathroom designs for about 10 years, said he has seen them enter homebuilders' designs in the past two years.

But Mr. Love warns that "compartmentalized toilets can be claustrophobic if they are too small." He suggests building them on an outside wall and adding a window.

While most bath designers say the move toward toilet rooms is not significant enough to be called a trend, they are watching the public's interest.

But most homeowners probably won't end up with one -- because of lack of space or money. Mr. Clark estimates a separate toilet compartment adds, on average, about $3,500 to building costs.

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