Why Choose a Jack and Jill Bathroom?

Ikea basin units rest on a wooden shelf with another below for storage in bathroom wth tongue and groove wall panelling

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Jack and Jill bathrooms, also called shared bathrooms, are a feature that may be right for you and your family. If you're building a custom home or renovating, you may want to add a shared bathroom to your plans.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to having a shared bathroom, and you'll want to take each one into consideration to see if it's something you want in your home.

What is a Jack and Jill Bathroom?

Jack and Jill bathrooms are shared bathrooms that can be accessed by at least two doors that lead out to two different bedrooms. There is a door in each bedroom leading to the bathroom, so those in the two bedrooms each have direct access.

In a shared bathroom, there are usually separate sinks or double vanities—one for each bedroom—but this isn't always the case. The shower, bath, and toilet are shared and are sometimes in a separate room or area for privacy.

With some shared bathrooms, there may also be a third door that leads out to the hall. Sometimes, a shared bathroom can also refer to a bathroom that has one entrance to a bedroom and another to a hallway.

What Are the Advantages?

Shared bathrooms have plenty of advantages. Here are a few that may convince you that it would be a good fit for your home.

  • Provides convenience. A shared bathroom allows for two or more people to share a bathroom with still having the convenience of direct access to the bathroom from their bedroom. It's the second-best thing to having a private bathroom.
  • Saves space. You can save space by having a shared bathroom. Having lots of bathrooms is convenient, but if there's one bathroom for two bedrooms, you're going to save space in your floor plan. This means you can use the extra square footage for more space for larger rooms or additional storage.
  • Saves money. Since you're only having one bathroom per two bedrooms and forgoing two individual bathrooms, you'll save money while building or renovating.
  • Ideal for large families. If you have a large family, a shared bathroom is a great idea. It lets more than one bedroom have access to a bathroom. This means that a lot of family members have access to a bedroom attached to a bathroom.
  • Great for visitors. Shared bathrooms are great for visitors, and they'll be thrilled if you put them up in a guest room that's directly attached to a bathroom. Just be sure to explain to them that the bathroom is shared.

What Are the Disadvantages?

Shared bathrooms aren't without their disadvantages. Here are some reasons you might want to reconsider having a shared bathroom.

  • Lack of privacy. The biggest drawback of a shared bathroom is the lack of privacy. Since two bedrooms are using the same bathroom, there may be a time where both people want to use the bathroom. You can help fix the lack of privacy by making sure there's a lock on both sides of the two doors.
  • Shared amenities. A shared bathroom means that you're going to be sharing the amenities, and this means that everyone is going to have to take turns using them. One way to help solve this is to make sure that your shared bathroom has double sinks to allow more than one person to use the bathroom at once.
  • Lack of storage. Since two people are sharing the bathroom, there's going to need to be double the storage. Unfortunately, shared bathrooms usually don't have extra storage options.
  • It can be isolated. If you have a shared bathroom that only connects to the two bedrooms, and doesn't have a hallway door, the bathroom can be quite isolated. You'll need to walk through a bedroom to get to the bathroom, which isn't ideal if you're having guests over. But, if you have other bathrooms in your home, this may not be an issue.
  • May cause conflict. Sharing anything can bring about conflict, and this is certainly true for shared bathrooms. Everyone will need to take their turn and respect each other's time. A good bathroom layout can help alleviate conflict.