Jack and Jill Bathrooms: What They Are and Why You May Need One

Jack and Jill Bathrooms: What They Are and Why You May Need One
08/10/2020

When our clients imagine the ideal home for their family, they would often love to give every family member and guest their own private bathroom.

Unfortunately, they quickly discover that having one dedicated bathroom for each bedroom really eats into the floorplan space—not to mention the budget! As a compromise, we will sometimes suggest a Jack and Jill bathroom.

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a bathroom that is situated between two bedrooms for shared use by the occupants of those bedrooms.

The most famous example is the Brady Bunch bathroom, located between the boys’ and girls’ rooms and shared by all six kids. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend having six kids share one bathroom, it’s a very workable set-up for two or three.

We’re here to answer your questions about Jack and Jill bathrooms and help you determine if this is the right design choice for your custom home.

Where does a Jack and Jill bathroom work best?

Just like in The Brady Bunch, the most popular place to put a Jack and Jill bathroom is between two children’s bedrooms.

The bathroom is shared by those two children (or more if your kids share bedrooms) and is for their exclusive use.

A Jack and Jill bathroom can also work between two guest rooms, but it may be less ideal for guests who don’t know each other as well. Keep in mind is that, unlike a hallway bathroom, a Jack and Jill bathroom provides access to the other bedroom.

The Jack and Jill concept can also be applied to a bathroom that is en suite to a bedroom but has a second entrance door on a corridor or other common area.

You’ll typically find this arrangement off of a first-floor bedroom, where the en suite bathroom is primarily used by the occupant of that bedroom but is also available for guests as needed.

This is particularly useful if the bathroom is ADA-compliant, allowing visiting guests or family to have easy access.

Why should I consider a Jack and Jill bathroom?

As previously mentioned, bathrooms take up a large portion of both the budget and floorplan. Having one bathroom shared by two bedrooms is a great way to save on both money and square footage.

Also, despite the fact that it is a shared space, a Jack and Jill bathroom has more privacy than a hallway bath since the only way to access it is through the two bedrooms.

Most siblings can learn to successfully share a bathroom. And who knows? Doing so might even teach them valuable life lessons about communication and cooperation.

How do I make a Jack and Jill bathroom functional for my family?

For maximum comfort (and maximum harmony) within a Jack and Jill bathroom, consider the following recommendations:

Tip #1: Two Sinks, Two Mirrors

In a shared space, it’s nice to have an area that each user can call their own. A double vanity allows two kids to get ready at once instead of elbowing each other over counter space.

Tip #2: Ample Storage

With two (or more) people in one bathroom, you can assume there will be double the cosmetics, double the towels, double… well, everything!

Make sure each person has their own dedicated storage areas for their personal items along with extra towel bars.

Tip #3: Neutral or Blended Design

Your kids are unique, with their own personalities and preferences. To create a space that works for both of them, one option is to keep the design somewhat neutral.

The other option is to try to create a blend of their two styles. Consider letting each child pick out one element of the bathroom design so they both feel included and represented in the space.

Tip #4: 3-Way Lighting

Naturally, users of this space will be entering through both doors. We’ll make sure there’s a lightswitch by both entrances for easy illumination.

Tip #5: Locks that Open from Both Sides

For a Jack and Jill bathroom to function, users have to remember to lock all doors when they enter and unlock all doors as they exit. Simple enough, but particularly with children, a lockout or two is inevitable.

Given the landlocked nature of this type of bathroom, with traditional one-way locks, the only solution to a lockout is to make a trip through the other bedroom to unlock the bathroom door from that side.

To keep the peace, one solution is to install locks that can be unlocked from both sides.

Tip #6: Privacy Walls

For maximum flexibility, keep the sink and vanity space communal but consider adding an additional door or privacy wall in front of other areas, like the toilet and shower.

That way one child could be taking a shower while the other is brushing their teeth, allowing the space to be used more efficiently.

Sliding or Pocket Doors

Given its nature, this bathroom will have two entry doors. Save some space by choosing sliding or pocket doors instead of swing doors.

With proper planning and a few ground rules, a Jack and Jill bathroom can be a great way to save both money and space in your new home.

If you’re thinking that a Jack and Jill bathroom is right for your family, give us a call and let’s work out the details together.

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