Four Bath Types: Which Is Right for Your Home? 

If you plan to update an existing bathroom or add a new one, consider what type of bathroom you need and what type of bathroom works in the space you have available. Check out these four types of bathrooms to plan which will work best for you and your family.

Half Bath

Usually placed close to living rooms or entryways, half baths have a toilet and sink. If the term “half-bath” isn’t familiar, you might have grown up calling this the guest bathroom or powder room. These provide a bathroom for guests to use without having to use family bathrooms or walk through bedrooms to reach bathrooms.

At a minimum, a half bath should be three or four feet by six or eight feet, though they can be larger. Homeowners looking to add one of these convenient bathrooms should consider where they have unused space they can remodel. Can you tuck one beneath the stairs, convert part of the garage to a half bath, or find a space in the basement?

A half bath’s small size doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You can use more expensive flooring or paint, for instance, because you don’t use as much. (Tip: Neutrals are especially good for small spaces like a half bath.) The downside: Half baths don’t have much storage space, so seek out options like floating shelves over the toilet or recessed cabinets in walls. Don’t forget to plan for ventilation, especially if you’re adding a half bath that won’t have a window. Plan for good insulation to muffle sound, too–after all, a half bath is often near the living area.

Full Bath or Primary Bath

A primary (or “master”) bath is usually a full bath, but not all full baths are primary baths. Got it? If you’re confused, don’t worry.

A full bath is one with all four of the key fixtures–toilet, sink(s), bathtub, and shower. Most homes have at least one full bath and larger homes might have more. Sometimes the shower is part of the bathtub and sometimes there is a shower stall separate from the tub.

When a full bath is attached to the largest bedroom, it’s usually called the primary bath, a term the real estate industry increasingly uses in place of “master bath.” Of course, you can have a full bath elsewhere, like in the main hallway where it serves more than just the primary bedroom.

Full baths tend to get a lot of use. Durability, a practical layout, and ample storage are three key elements for any full bath. Double vanities, with two sinks side-by-side and plenty of counter space, are a recent trend in full baths. The double sink allows two people to use the bathroom to get ready for the day without crowding each other, and a double vanity offers extra storage space.

Design considerations include:

  • Should we install a double vanity?
  • Should we create a separate toilet stall or privacy wall, so one person can use the toilet while another is in the shower or at the sink?
  • How much do we need to store in this bathroom and what kind of storage works best? Do we need a linen closet inside the bathroom, or space for a hamper?
  • How much will we truly use a bathtub? Do we want a free-standing “soaking tub” for spa-like baths or do we want to save that space for storage or a larger shower?

Three-Quarter Bath

A three-quarter bath has three of the four main fixtures–toilet, sink and, usually, a shower stall. This bathroom makes a compact but complete guest bathroom and can fit neatly into spaces as small as six feet by six feet.

Increasingly, the distinction between a three-quarter bath and a full bath is blurring. Homeowners who prefer showers rather than baths are doing away with bathtubs in full bathrooms and devoting the extra space to more luxurious shower stalls or additional storage.

Kids’ Bath

A kids’ bath is about much more than just adorably themed towels and a stool for reaching the sink. A bathroom designed for children–especially if more than one child will be sharing the bathroom–might include features like these:

  • Double vanity with two sinks
  • A single sink with two faucets, if there’s no room for a double vanity
  • A hidden, pull-out step slides out from the bottom drawer of the vanity. This eliminates the need for stools, which take up floor space when not in use
  • Niches and shelves built into tub or shower walls, for storing bath toys or toiletries
  • A pivoting mirror for optimal views for either kids or adults
  • Towel hooks and bars kids can reach, and towel storage accessible to kids
  • Lockers or cabinets recessed into the wall so kids can store their own gear out of the way
  • Lower, smaller toilet and sink kids can reach easily–through this option means replacing those fixtures when children outgrow them

Whatever type of bathroom you choose, whether you remodel or build from scratch, your local Bath Tune-Up experts are ready to help. Bath Tune-Up curates choices so you don’t have to wade through countless options. Call your nearest Bath Tune-Up today.

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