Learn to Share with a Jack and Jill Bathroom

by Marc Dickinson

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Every family has to deal with hectic morning rituals. Wake up the kids, get them showered, get them dressed, get them fed, and get them out the door—all this hassle just to get ready for the day. And if you have teenagers, it's a whole new level of chaos. But the one room in the house that gets fought over the most is the bathroom. Everyone needs to use it at the exact same time, and it can be the cause of many arguments. If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to think about a joint resolution: Jack and Jill bathrooms.

Separate but Equal
A Jack and Jill bathroom is often defined as a shared bathroom that adjoins two separate bedrooms. They are often popular among larger families who have more than one child. It would be nice for everyone in the house to have their own place to get ready, but installing a full bath for each person in the house is expensive. And in big families, cutting down on household costs is essential. Therefore, these shared bathrooms offer full privacy when needed but can open up the space when busy schedule's demand it.

Common Conveniences
These rooms are very efficient and convenient for parents—it teaches kids to share, forces them to compromise their time tables, cuts down on the bickering, and it saves space and money—but it may not be so easy for the children. If they have to share everything, then what makes these rooms different than a traditional bathroom? It's true; you have to design the entire space with their intent in mind: efficiency and convenience.

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Jack and Jill Bathroom Addition

Sink Situation: If two people have to share the space, you have to double up when you can. Install separate sinks so that nobody has to fight over them. Or, if you really want to make things run smoothly, install a sink in the adjoining bedrooms: this way, when one child is showering, the other can still get ready in their own room.

Privacy Preferences: You don't want to make your house feel like a dorm. So though a communal bathroom is handy, there are some items that demand discretion. Always have one shower, bath, and toilet. Of course if you have a Jack and Jack or a Jill and Jill bathroom (kids of the same gender sharing the room), then you may be able to get away with some other shared fixtures without losing too much privacy.

Lock Dilemmas: To ensure privacy, there will need to be locks on both sets of doors. And both doors should be able to lock on both sides to guarantee duel protection from invaders. This may cause a few hassles: when using the toilet, you'll have to remember to lock both sets of doors from the inside and you have to remember to unlock them when you leave; otherwise your sibling will locked out. It's bound to happen at least once in the home's lifetime, but don't worry: when it happens once, it doesn't happen again.

Redefine the Room
This is a very permanent renovation to the home, so first off you'll always want to a hire a professional bathroom designer to help you with the remodel. What happens when the kids move away. You're now stuck with an isolated bathroom that has no access from the outside hallway. Ask your contractor for ways around this obstruction.

Maybe, instead of a Jack and Jill bathroom you could build a bigger full bath in another part of the house that can still be shared by two kids as well as other guests in the home. If you do build a Jack and Jill bathroom, once the kids leave, turn these into fully functional offices, duel guest bedrooms, or a home theater alongside a recreation room. Either way, sometimes unique predicaments create the most innovative solutions.

Bathroom Remodeling Project Guide
If you enjoyed this article, check out our free Bathroom Remodeling Guide, which features expert advice, design & material comparisons, and custom price estimates for your remodeling project.
Marc Dickinson has worked in both the general contracting and landscaping trades and is currently a home improvement freelance writer with over 300 articles published.