The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Envisioning a convertible bathtub

Bathtub pondering

Mark and I work well together on building problems. I'm good at measuring the box, then Mark thinks outside it.

Case in point: next week's kitchen-renovation project. Our bathtub trials are a long story, but the short version is we've finally decided to put a conventional bathtub on one side of the kitchen right beside the hot-water heater. In a small space, though, you don't want to waste ten square feet with a one-use object. So we plan to make the bathtub convertible --- kitchen counter by day, bathtub by night.

I measured everything out and decided that, of the two bathtubs we possess, the smaller one that came with the trailer is the only one that will really fit the space. I figured we'd make some kind of hinged counter to go above it, but I didn't want the counter to fold up since it Convertible bathtubwould block my view while bathing. On the other hand, there's limited space for the counter to fold down, meaning the cooking work space would have to be less wide than the tub. Stubbed toes were bound to ensue.

So we cleared out the area in question and brought in the tub for Mark to look at. He poked and prodded for about half an hour, then came up with an ingenious solution. How about if the bathtub folds up when not in use? Stay tuned for next week's posts in which Mark (hopefully) turns that vision into a reality.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Could you make the countertop hinged so that it folds over on itself, and then over the side of the tub? You could close it like a book, with the spine running the length of the tub, and then maybe have a latch to keep the pieces held together, and have hinges to let you fold it over once more over the side of the tub, so that it sits upright pressed against the side of the tub. Bonus: If something falls/spills into the crack in the middle of the counter where the hinge is, it would just drop into the tub for easy cleanup!
Comment by Rae Sat Jan 9 09:36:30 2016

Have you considered using an inflatable bathtub?

When using a metal tub, you might want to cover the bottom with e.g. polyurethane spray foam to help keep your bath warm.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Jan 9 15:01:05 2016
Have you considered building a wood fired bathouse in the Japanese style? Imagine relaxing in a wood fired bath in a timber framed dedicated structure with the perfect view. The perfect end to a day working around the homestead.
Comment by Eric in Japan Sun Jan 10 09:00:52 2016

I love everybody's ideas!

Roland --- I actually did ponder that exact model when I was brainstorming random bathing ideas. I figured I'd puncture it, though. I tend to be rough on furniture.... :-)

Eric --- That was a top contender for a while. But the reality is that I don't think we'd heat an exterior bath house very often in the winter, so I'd end up in a washtub on the kitchen floor once again. Having a bathtub right by our main source of both heat and hot water seemed like the most likely to induce frequent bathing. :-)

That said, I do still want an outside bathtub with a good view someday for summer use. I have a feeling I'll still end up in a washtub in the yard when it's warm outside in the meantime.... :-)

Comment by anna Sun Jan 10 09:50:34 2016
Fix the countertop where Mark's hands are resting in the second picture. It would then serve as a support for the bath when rotated down. With rotation points approximately in the center of the bath on each side, and a way to lock it in the up position you'd be set.
Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jan 10 15:14:36 2016
I was just thinking, what happened to the bathroom in your trailer? Was it converted or walls ripped out?
Comment by Eric in Japan Sun Jan 10 20:47:22 2016
Folding tubs are an old item. Here's a pic of one: Old folding tub Hope yours works out well.
Comment by Kris Thu Jan 14 07:06:00 2016

profile counter myspace

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