Being aware of bathroom types is important when buying, selling, building, or remodeling a house. Most houses have one or more types of bathrooms: a full bathroom, a three-quarter bathroom, or a half-bathroom, in a variety of combinations.
While homebuyers use many factors when researching homes, bathroom types are some of the most important factors. Bathroom types inform the homebuyers, for example, if the house can comfortably accommodate their six-person family—likely, two full bathrooms or at least a full bathroom and a half-bathroom are needed for this family. As a home seller, bathroom types give you an accurate fix on the value of your home. When building or remodeling a bathroom, you know how much the project will cost.
How Bathroom Types Are Calculated
Each bathroom component is considered to be one-quarter of four components. The bathroom components that figure into this calculation are the toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub.
Four Components Make a Full Bathroom
Much like slices of a pie, when four slices are combined, the pie is complete. When all four components are included in a bathroom, that bathroom is considered to be a full bathroom. Three components comprise a three-quarter bathroom. Two of those components make a half-bathroom.
On real estate listings, the bathroom type is often expressed as a decimal number. So, a half-bathroom would be listed as a 0.5 bathroom or a three-quarter bathroom might be listed as a 0.75 bathroom. In some cases, the two figures are combined, with a full bathroom and a three-quarter bathroom listed collectively as 1.75 bathrooms.
A toilet is nearly always included as a component. So, a common half-bathroom configuration is a toilet and a sink. But rarely will you find only a sink and a shower in a half-bathroom.
The shower and bathtub can be separate or combined. When combined, the shower/bathtub is still calculated as two components. To qualify as a shower/bathtub, there must be a bathtub served by a lower faucet and a shower served by a higher shower head. Usually, the bathtub and the shower share the same controls.
Full bathrooms have a toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub/shower combination or a separate bathtub and shower.
Most homes will have at least one full bathroom. A full bathroom is versatile and valuable, packing many functions into a relatively small space. It is common for low- to mid-priced two-bedroom homes to have one full bathroom.
A primary bathroom is one that is connected to the primary, or largest, bedroom in the house. A primary bathroom is also called an en suite bathroom or an attached bathroom. Typically, the primary bathroom is a full bathroom or a three-quarter bathroom.
A door permits entry to the primary bedroom, then a second door opens up into the bathroom. In a few instances, that second door is left off. If this is the case, the toilet is enclosed in its own space with a door for privacy.
As long as the house has a second bathroom of some type, a primary bathroom adds great value to most homes. Rarely will a home have only one primary bathroom, as this makes it difficult for users not sleeping in the primary bedroom to access the bathroom at night.
Three-quarter bathrooms have a toilet, sink, and either a separate shower or a separate bathtub.
As more bathrooms are being built and remodeled without bathtubs, this third component tends to be a shower. In this sense, the three-quarter bathroom and the full bathroom designations have begun to merge with each other.
Half-bathrooms have a toilet and a sink.
Half-bathrooms are also called powder rooms or guest bathrooms. Half-baths allow more privacy to the homeowner, as visitors can use the toilet and wash up without entering the bedroom areas. Also, since full bathrooms tend to be more personal spaces with garments and medicines, visitors never need to see those items.
Since half-bathrooms are more for brief and limited use by visitors, they usually have only a minimum amount of storage space.
A quarter-bathroom is a small room that contains either a toilet or a shower stall. Quarter-bathrooms are often called utility toilets or utility showers.
Quarter-bathrooms are sometimes found in the basements or lower levels of older homes. These bathrooms were often installed by the homeowner, not by the original builder. Quarter-bathrooms would provide a homeowner working outside or a handyman with a convenient toilet or shower, without having to walk through the house.