Sharing a bathroom
One bathroom designed to serve several bedrooms is a smart strategy for keeping down costs or when building a smaller house
On a cost-per-square-foot basis, the bathroom is typically the most expensive room in a house. Instead of several bedroom/bathroom suites, one bathroom designed to serve several bedrooms is a smart strategy for keeping down costs or when building a smaller house. The trick, however, is designing a bathroom that can be used comfortably by two or more people at a time.
Too often, a designer adds a second entry to a traditional bath layout with the hope that it will serve more people. Despite two entry points, the bathroom is actually less accommodating of multiple users than it would be with a single door. A person using the toilet in the middle of the night is left to wonder nervously whether she locked the other door when she hears a houseguest walking down the hall. And if she forgets to unlock the door when she’s done, that guest might not have access to the bathroom.
Typically, a bathroom like this also includes a double vanity with the aim of accommodating two people getting ready for work or school in the morning or preparing for bed in the evening. But even for spouses or partners, this arrangement is of limited use if the bathroom has an open layout.
If you want to replace several bathrooms in a floor plan with a single bathroom serving multiple bedrooms, it’s important to consider the users of the bathroom, the degree of privacy they need, and sightlines through the bathroom.
Deciding how the bathroom relates to the bedrooms it serves is the first order of business. Shared bathrooms usually fall into three categories: a bathroom with a single hallway entry that serves several bedrooms; a master bath with a second entry from the hallway so that others can access the bathroom without…