Pop out bathroom
Okay, I seem to have mostly used up the ideas I had been meaning to post on the web in some way, from my notes file. Now I enter into the realm of blogging what I am thinking rather than what I have thought through a fair bit already.
A pop out bathroom. A tankless toilet, plumbed with flexible rubber tubing, could be attached to a hinge, so it can swing away under a countertop. The shower base can fold down or actually go under the toilet, if the hinge mechanism is capable of supporting the weight of the individual sitting on the toilet. Or you could make the hinge such that there is very little clearance between the bottom of the toilet (the stand or base which would normally be attached to the floor) so when you sit on it, the toilet touches the floor, and the force of your weight is transmitted directly to the floor.
I wish I could draw this in 3D for y’all, but like I said, my computers’ graphics cards are underpowered.
The walls are an issue, they could fold away, though. You could use a mechanism similar to 2 boxes, one slightly smaller than the other, one one of which fits inside the other, sliding into it.
Or, you could basically take a shower base, toilet, attach the shower head to a wood board which is then attached to the shower base, then put the whole thing on casters. Then, suppose you have a big floor-to ceiling cabinetry thing standing right next to it. Certain cabinets could be arranged so that when they are opened, the whole shower + toilet assembly can slide right in.
Then, again, the walls. You could again use the sliding box mechanism I mentioned in the fold-out shower post, but this means the cabinet has to be sticking out from the wall far enough to accommodate the width of the wall, which is a pretty deep cabinet. The wall of the bathroom directly opposite the cabinet doors could itsself have doors in it. So, when the bathroom is in the stowed position, you open the door on the bathroom wall to reveal the cabinet doors.
What this is all in aid of, or course, is being able to make use of all that space that a bathroom would otherwise consume when it is not being used.
Another approach could be to take a relatively ordinary wet-floor bathroom, of the sort typically used in tinyhouses, and basically remove one wall. Then, have a big, sliding storage unit with wheels on the bottom, that can slide into and out of position. When you are using the bathroom, the storage unit would be in the common area, the great room or whatever. When you are not using the bathroom, you side the storage space back into position. This could give you quite a bit if extra storage space, but one problem is that the storage unit would be pretty heavy when it was full, so pretty hard to move back and forth.
Thus, moving the toilet and shower assembly might make more sense.
If you can make use of all the storage space opened up using this sort of approach, (remember storage and food storage is a standing problem for tinyhouses), it might be the easiest way, being relatively simple to build.
But, what if you could stow the bathroom without the need for such a big cabinet space, when it is stowed? I.e. the box-within-a-box method only gets lets yo reduce the volume of the cabinet+bathroom assembly to half of it’s deployed volume, when it is stowed. Increasing that ratio would be good.
The shower base can be folded up, but the walls? Well, you could put hinges at the corners of the walls, so they can fold up into a big, flat 3 layer board (the 4th wall would be the cabinet, the ceiling… hm, could also fold up, or be omitted?)
Another way could be to use those multi segmented folding doors sometimes used for kitchens, etc.
Another way that occurred to me was to use tough silicone rubber for each wall, a bit like those silicone baking sheets but probably a different rubber. It could be rolled up for storage, though you’d need to decide on an exact mechanism. Some silicone rubbers are very tough, and could last reasonably well.
I found 2 supposedly folding bathrooms in a short search, the “vertebrae” and the MVR folding bathroom. Neither is suitable for a tinyhouse, really, to expensive, and takes up to much space, plus there is no point in having 2 sinks.