Your shopping cart is empty.

Jack and Jill Bathroom

December 17, 2009

I appreciate input from any member.

What is everyone's opinion of jack and jill bathrooms?

Would you prefer that setup rather than 2 small separate bathrooms for the kids' room?

Also, how important is to have two sinks instead of one and a closed off toilet in the Jack and Jill?


Comments (74)

  • jimandanne_mi

    If you're going to do one, at least have one door into the tub/toilet area, which solves a lot of problems.

    I've stayed in two different relatives houses that had them. At one, 2 young daughters were in the other bedroom, and at the other 2 visiting adults. DH and I both get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and it was very difficult to use the facilities without waking the others up.


  • lakeaffect

    Our house has two bedrooms upstairs, one for us and one for the 11 YO kid. We have a J&J bathroom and it has worked out fine, there is a toilet room with a door (no lock), a shower room with an ample curtain and room to keep a robe and towel in there and not have it get wet, and an open vanity area. We have had one person on the throne, one in the shower and one brushing their teeth with no damage to anyone's psyche or modesty.


  • highjumpgirl

    I'm sure you've heard enough already, but had to post since I particularly hate J&J bathrooms. I have had them in my homes, and just stayed at MILaw's house, where it was VERY annoying.

    I have yet to see a home plan where a J&J bath was actually going to help the space planning, but it may exist. If you can do a 5 x 8 bathroom, attached to a bdrm, then by all means, please do the separate bath. It's very little cost difference, but a huge convenience plus.

    In one of our homes (we've had 12, we renovated & re-sold a lot), I had a dedicated guest room and bath. The bdrm was modest, 12 x 14, and the bath 5 x 8. I furnished it with a queen bed, dresser, bedside tables, 1 chair. It was light in color scheme (white, pale blue & green) and had dark furniture. A key to a guest room is clear all the junk off the surfaces! I kept very little on the dresser, etc. A lamp beside each bed, plus clock & full-length mirror. These are all necessities for a guest room, IMO. This room was light & airy and lots of space for the guest.

    Since I'm now getting ready to build my final home, I have polled & quizzed my family & guests a lot. They all LOVED that guest room and bath. Having their own private space that was clean & airy was such a treat. Not being put to lodge in a kid's room, etc. They all said the same thing---it doesn't need to be big---just having it all uncluttered and private was what made it so nice.

    I just stayed at MIL's, as I said, and they could have put my family of 4 in a bedroom with our own bath. But they didn't. The SIL who was already there (also a family of 4) was already set up, and didn't bother to move. So with 3 bdrms, 1 has private bath and 1 has HUGE J&J bath. For the other family to have shared the room with the J&J bath makes much sense, and give us the room with the private bath. But they didn't. Which just made me cringe & shudder at this J&J bath. There was PLENTY of square footage to make it 2 separate baths. I see no reason on earth that it needed to be J&J. It's a load of wasted space.

    Furthermore, this house was built custom for my InLaws, whose 4 kids were all grown with families. They built the 3 bdrms upstairs specifically for the 3 out-of-town kids' families. So why on earth not build a private bath for each room? The bedrooms are huge, way bigger than necessary, and I would MUCH rather have had privacy, at age 45, than share a toilet & shower with a 50 yr old brother-in-law I rarely see (but love).

    So I absolutely think, never build a J&J bath. Make every effor to provide a small bathroom for every bedroom.

    We have 2 boys, and on busy mornings, it's just a hassle for me for them to be sharing space. It's also a hassle to me when I need to tell them to clean up. Much easier on Mom if they have their own space, and are responsible for it.

    Now if it's not possible, I fully agree that there's no harm in sharing a bathroom, and it's good education. But if it's easy to do, give everyone their own bath! The question wasn't, should kids share a bath? but, should I build a J&J.

    We had one house with 3 bathrms, 2 were very small, smaller than 5x8 (an old house) and even that was way better than sharing a bath. Privacy is everything when it comes to bathrooms.

  • heathero_gold

    Our second story bath (single sink, tub/shower, toilet) actually has three doors. One to our young son's room, one to the guest room, and one to the hallway that adjoins the two rooms. Essentially requiring the closing of three doors for privacy. My first instinct was to close in the access to the bedrooms, creating much better bed walls in each room, and keep only the hallway access. Any reasons to reconsider?

  • mydreamhome

    We ended up taking highjumpgirl's advice in post above yours & just did 2 baths but hard to see how that would work for without seeing plans. Could you please post your plan?

  • heathero_gold

    Thanks for responding! Bath is a little bigger than 9' x 11'. Not to scale, but here's my go at it:

  • mydreamhome

    Take a look at these and see what you think. I spotted an opportunity in the layout of your son's room to give him a nice big closet vs. using the space as entry. With any of the plans, both bedrooms should have plenty of wall space along the bathroom wall for furniture placement. I had another plan in mind, but I needed to know the dimensions of the bedrooms to know if it would work. If you'd like to share those, I'll see what I can do.

    One other thought...how often will the guest room be used? If not often, and your son is the only one using that bathroom for most days out of the year, you may just want to opt for the J&J bath as locking the doors and forgetting to unlock one may not be such an issue after all. It would save you a toilet & tub and maybe a sink (if you opt for single bowl vs. double vanity).

    2 Baths w/ Guest Hall Entry (You could do a really pretty vanity as a focal point when coming up the stairs):

    2 Baths w/ Bedroom Access For Each (potential drawback is no access from hall):

    Shared Bath w/ Hall Entry (could add possible door from son's bedroom to make J&J if desired):

  • heathero_gold

    Wow! Thank you mydreamhome!!! Never thought of adding a second bath but it certainly could work really well (although I do like the storage in the single large bath). And a big closet in the BR is brilliant. I hadn't drawn in the chimney, so that would interfere with the proposed doorway, but still something to consider. The Guest room typically gets used one weekend a month, so not heavy usage. I grabbed some additional measurements and I'll post the drawing again as I don't see a spot to edit my first post. Thanks so much for your terrific ideas! There's quite a bit of underutilized space and new perspectives help to think about it differently.

  • rainlan

    They are terrible. I will never buy a house with a JnJ bath.

    To the poster who says "kids are spoilt, no need to each have a bath" - I agree. But there's still no need for JnJ. Just have a normal hall bath. What's the big?

  • stilldecorating

    My girls share a J&J bath and if I would have thought harder about it, I would have put the doorway in the hallway. Having so many doors in their bedrooms (bedroom door, closet, & bathroom door, not to mention their windows) really limits furniture layout. P.S. I have 2 girls so 2 sinks have been a blessing!

  • heathero_gold

    And if we were to eliminate the bedroom doors to the bath we'd get better furniture layouts too. Good point.

  • mydreamhome

    heather-the chimney does complicate things a little as far as that entry into the bedroom goes &definitely for my alternate floorplan idea. What kind of fireplace are you putting in--gas w/ direct vent or wood burning masonry? If you're going with a direct vent gas, from what I understand all you need is room for the piping, not the whole chimney. Having an exterior brick/stone, etc chimney is purely for aesthetics at that point and can be used to surround and conceal the pipe on the exterior. The exterior chimney can be supported in the attic area vs. extending from the 1st floor, through the 2nd floor and attic & extending through the roof. This would allow you to have more room in that "chimney area" of the hallway. If you're doing wood burning masonry, that's a whole other ballgame.

    Another question--the doorway in the far right corner of Son's BR that leads to back stair landing & finished room over garage--is this the only access to these areas on this level?

  • athensmomof3

    I would try to do two baths if possible. First, it would increase the value of your house on resale. Second, while having a child share with a guest is not unusual, it would certainly be nice to offer your guest their own bathroom if possible. As far as size of bathroom goes, I have a very small bath attached to my son's room now, and my two other sons share a hallway jack and jill. I much prefer the smaller arrangement . . . no waiting on someone to finish showering (we tend to send everyone up at once to shower) and it is super easy to keep clean. A large bathroom for a child seems to me to be not the most efficient use of space. You do have some extra storage but also lots of extra floor space.

    If you do the two baths, I would suggest the guest get the ensuite entrance and the child get the hallway entrance . . . but that would just be my preference.

  • heathero_gold

    This is actually a reno of a house we moved into a couple of months ago. The chimney is there to stay, so we do have to work around that. The master w bath is on the first floor. There's a half bath on the first as well. Second story has the two bedrooms pictured. The back stair "landing" is large ( approx 12x12 and used as son's toy room). Back stairs provide interior access to finished room above garage which was used as a fourth bedroom by prior owner. If we were to set this up as an additional guest space, they would need to cross thru son's room to use shower. Half bath located at bottom of back stairs though. I don't think use will be a common occurrence so not factoring heavily into decisions for existing
    Jack and Jill. No plans for resale as we hope to stay here "forever" but I hear you on that. If we are pulling apart the existing bath, its the time to
    factor in that decision and plumb all at once.

  • mydreamhome

    Thanks for clarifying Heather. Could you get me actual distances from the edge of the chimney closest to the bathroom to the bathroom wall that separates son's bedroom from the bath please?

  • jaynees

    The house we hope to build has a J&J for the kids' bedrooms. The sinks are in the "public" area of the bath and only the toilet and tub/shower are truly private. This is to avoid lockouts. Our daughter and son are 8 and 6 1/2 and are used to sharing - in fact, most times they actually come and use our master bathroom when it's time to shower. About the only thing they do in their own bathroom is brush their teeth. They've always shared and don't know anything different, so I don't know that it'll be an issue as they get older.

    It IS on our list to check with the builder to see if the bathroom can be moved to become a hall bath, but if the cost is too prohibitive, we'll leave it where it is.

    Fortunately, the house has a bonus room with bathroom over the garage which we'll be using as a guest bedroom (despite no closet), so our guests will still have a private bath all to themselves.

  • momto3kiddos

    I grew up with a modified JnJ shared with my brother. One entrance was from my room and the other from the hall at the top of the stairs going to the foyer. The vanities were separate and only the tub/toilet area had locking doors. The envelope door we had could easily be unlocked from the "wrong" side if needed - usually just one forgetting to unlock when leaving the other way. We had no problems with a shared bath other than his not closing the door leading to my room in the middle of the night when he had to go potty when he was half asleep. Not exactly the best way to wake up. :) I plan to have my daughters share a jnj bath when we move. In my opinion, it keeps them from having to cross the hall into a more public area when they are showering and primping. My son will use a hall bath because, frankly, I think a little boys privacy is less of an issue. Just my 2cents.

  • terezosa / terriks

    The sinks are in the "public" area of the bath and only the toilet and tub/shower are truly private. This is to avoid lockouts.

    I think that this is the best way to do this kind of shared bath. Keep the private functions behind one door.

  • LilFlowers MJLN

    I saw a house plan the other day that had a Jack and Jill bath with access to both bedrooms and the hall. The double vanities were separated by the hall door. It had a water closet for the toilet and another area behind a privacy door that held the tub/shower combination with a linen closet. I tried to find it again to post it here to give an example, but, of course, I can't find it. I thought I saved it to my hard drive for future reference since my husband and I will be building hopefully in the next 2 years. If I do find it, I'll post it here.

  • babs711

    We opted to NOT do a J&J in our plans. We have a 9 y.o. son and a 6 y.o. daughter. Sharing the bathroom in our current house is fine. But our thoughts go to them being pre-teens and teenagers and having to share those spaces and having friends over, etc. In our minds it avoids a lot of conflict. For that reason we went with private baths with pocket doors in both of their rooms.

    Our guest room is downstairs and will also have it's own bath. Win, win for everyone!

  • universlman

    The problem of locking out Jack (or Jill) can be avoided through the use of a small corridor between the bedrooms. If you run into someone in the corridor it is not like seeing them on the toilet - and the bathroom may be locked and will not be left locked by accident - the bedroom doors can not be locked from the corridor. I will post a drawing when I figure out how to do this

  • mountaineergirl

    We have a J&J bath and really like it. It was used by my 2 youngest, both boys. They were 10 and 11 when we built, and got along fine all the way until they moved out on their own. It has a double vanity in the "common" area, and the shower/WC in a private area. Never had any issues. Our 4th BR has its own bath, but much smaller. I've put guests in all 3 BRs, never had any issues. Keeping a total of 4 potties cleaned was bad enough, I wouldn't have wanted to divide one of them!

  • Laura Clardy

    When I was growing up we had the best set up. My sister and I each had our own powder room and walk-in closet. Each powder room opened to a joint space which was lined with storage shelves. From this small room you walked into the room with the shared toilet and shower. So it was very much like jack and jill but without the "two doors problem."

  • christinela

    I think Jack and Jills are so cute. I always shared a bathroom with my sisters and I think it is healthy for kids to learn to share. I agree that kids who lock each other out of somewhere, or even worse spy on each other in the bathroom, are a discipline issue not a home construction issue. If they're really that determined to fight, eliminating a J&J won't stop them. That said, one person made the good point that a J&J means less wall space in both bedrooms, as opposed to a hallway door. Down the line we want to add one more bedroom and one bathroom. I always envisioned a J&J but the bedroom will be small so the wall space issue is something I'll definitely consider.

  • bethohio3

    I really dislike having two doors into a bathroom. A family member has a setup where the main bath also has a door into the master bedroom. It seems like people are forever walking in on each other. I hate the thought of needing to lock and unlock doors every time I use the bathroom--or having to knock from your own bedroom, not knowing if the bathroom is occupied or not. When there's only one door, it's either open or closed.

    I don't like going into a bathroom where I have to close the door to someone's bedroom--that feels intrusive to me. If the door is left open at night, then I risk waking people when I turn on the lights, and they're not likely to think to knock if they're not used to having guests. (Yes, speaking from experience. Yes, it was embarrassing.)

    I've also stayed in military housing overseas where the billeting rooms had shared bathrooms--J&J setup. I *hated* it, since I was always worried about knocking, locking--that was when a stranger was there, though, which makes it worse.

    I don't think every bedroom needs to have its own bathroom (it might have been nice but wasn't important enough to make it into our budget)

    The upstairs 3 bedrooms share a (large) bathroom. I semi-regret not making our large bathroom into bathrooms, but not horribly. It hasn't hurt the two upstairs kids to share. They do each have their own sink, which I definitely did want, but they don't need a private toilet or tub.

    Although it'd be nice to give a guest an en suite option, no one has ever complained--and they all visit again and again! We built with a guest room (I think overnight guest(s) monthly is reasonably frequent and we do have at least that.) We now have a second guest room since one of the kids has moved out, and semi have a third guest room, since another is mostly moved out.

    I wouldn't like a house with a J&J and would be unlikely to buy one unless I saw an easy way to turn it into a single access bathroom from the hall. Even with individual vanities, I'd still rather not have multiple doors into a space as private as toilet/shower.

    Definite rules, though: nobody uses the master bath but us.

  • littlebug5

    Somebody said, "Why not just teach them to behave well to one another, instead? It solves not only conflicts about bathrooms but conflicts about everything else, too."

    Great plan, but tough to put into practice. Ever see Bill Cosby's routine about not really being a parent until you have more than 1 kid? hahahahahahaha

    littlebug5, mother of 2 boys (who get along great now that they're in the 20's but tormented each other when they were growing up just because).

  • nini804

    We have 3 secondary bedrooms upstairs (master down) and we did one bedroom with its own small bath, and the other 2 bedrooms share a J&J bath. We have 2 children, our 12 year old boy gets the small bath, and dd shares the J&J with the guest room. All of our family lives in the area, we hardly ever have overnight guests. So dd gets very large bath, and we have a good set up for the occasional guest or resale. I think if we had 3 children, I still would have kept this and let the same sex sibs share...I think sharing and negotiation are good for children.

  • Susan

    the jack and jill i'm putting in my addition has a giant walk in shower in between the two powder rooms.
    the toilets in the powder rooms are hidden behind half walls and the shower has opaque glass walls for privacy.
    i think it will work for us.

  • B H

    I am dying for another J & J. We've had 2 in previous houses but my favorite was the one where each had an entrance from each bedroom to individual sinks. Pocket doors opened up to a small hallway - on the interior side was a door to the toilet/shower/tub area and on the exterior wall was a huge built-in storage - drawers, cabinets, 2 sets of hampers - from floor to about 7 ft up. Above that - a long transom window. BEST bathroom set up between 2 bedrooms. At the time, one room was our kids' nursery and the other served as a guest room.

    That house had 2700sf, 4bd/3ba, both formals - it was the best tract house floor plan I've ever seen for that size. Aside from the high ceilings, my favorite part was that Jack n Jill suite.

  • lolauren

    Our jack and jill is the only type I'd consider: the bedrooms each have a door that opens to the double sink area. Those doors never need to be locked. From the double sink area, there is one additional door to the toilet/shower/bath area.

    Here is the layout:


  • Ecinele

    To all of those who don't like a shared bathroom, I tell you that you don't know what you are talking about. I have built 5 houses. On my last house each bedroom has a bathroom and this is the best house I have ever built.
    We have many guests and none of them need to get dressed up first to go to a bathroom. They can get up in the morning and walk straight from their bedroom to their bathroom.
    If you don't like two doors, then put a sliding door.

  • supergrrl7

    My sister and I shared a J&J bathroom when we were teenagers. We each had a sink in our bedroom and the toilet, tub and linen closet were shared. I can't remember it ever causing a problem for us, which is surprising since we didnt' get along especially well. I do remember her getting makeup on her bedroom carpet from the sink though. In retrospect, that area probably should have had tile extending from the bath into the little sink vestibule area.

  • gingerjenny

    I like the jack and jill idea. My daughter really wanted her own bathroom in her room. It wasn't in the budget but she really liked the idea of a jack and jill. We have two kids so couldn't do a private bath for one and not the other. We have a half bath for guests.

  • KareyM

    I hate our jack & jill bath! My kids are 8 and 6 and there is already a privacy issue. We are trying to teach them about modesty but the pocket doors have these chintzy locks that don't really work. You just need to tug lightly on the door and it pops right open. They constantly barge in on each other. The more pressing issue is that they use the bathroom as a secret passageway at night when they are supposed to be in their own beds sleeping. I'll hear something and go in to find them both in the same bedroom having a party of sorts. We are looking into having the door removed and the wall closed up in my son's room. He'll have to use the guest bathroom in the hall, which is right next to his room anyway. My daughter will have her own bathroom. As they get older I think this will be a better situation for them. They'll each have more privacy. Hopefully it will also help our property value as it makes my daughter's room almost like a 2nd master bedroom.

  • Houseofsticks

    Dislike if you have a "Jack" and a "Jill", I don't mind them so much in theory if it's a Jack and Jack and Jill and Jill. My worry is friends feeling free to visit between the rooms and not as accountable as they get older and I want both to be able to have great sleepover fun. Door locks, privacy, accessibility for a daytime guest...

  • mrspete

    I like the concept of a Jack-and-Jill. It allows the kids to go straight into the bathroom rather than walking down the hallway in their robes or nightgowns, which is nice.

    However, I would not do the Jack-and-Jill if it meant that guests would have to walk through a bedroom to get to a bathroom. I have no problem with the children's hall bath also being the guest bath.

    Yes, a bathroom for every bedroom is nice, but it's not a luxury for which we are willing to pay. My husband and I share a bathroom without conflict, and I don't see why our two children can't do the same. If you consider everyone in America's housing, one bathroom for two people is actually quite luxurious.

    Children, teens, I see no problem with any age sharing a bathroom.

  • chicagoans

    To those who think that not sharing a bath means the kids are spoiled brats - sorry but you're wrong. In our house it's mostly a time issue (in addition to privacy.) We have 1 teenage boy and 1 teenage girl; both have to leave the house by around 7:00 a.m. to catch the bus (high school) or walk (middle school.) They each have their own bath (both hall baths) and are using the showers etc. mostly at the same time. Don't get started on 'just tell them to get up earlier' - our local high school is very competitive and DD often has homework until the wee hours, and in the mornings they also make their own breakfast and lunches. So maybe they're not sharing their bathrooms, but then again they've both learned how to keep their own bathrooms clean.

    To the OP - my vote is separate hall baths as that is what has worked great for us. YMMV

  • worthy

    J & J baths are so common in my area on new higher-end homes I figured buyers must like them. Opinions certainly mixed here. I've never included one. Maybe now's not the time to start.

    Shared bath (Bedrooms 3&4)

    The designer still hadn't figured out how to put in a tub, not a shower.

    There was another design for a shared bath with a tub but with only one door from the hallway. Maybe the best? As it could be used as an "overflow" in case of a party.

    Private baths (Bedrooms 3&4)

    The emphatic choice of at least one architect here.

    My personal preference is separate baths. Indeed, I like the trend for his and her master baths and bedrooms in high end homes.

  • kirkhall

    Worthy, I prefer your private baths option as well. There is certainly room for it. I do think though, that the door placement for bedroom 3 is weird.

  • worthy

    I originally went away from the two separate baths in order to open up space at the back of the hallway to overlook the rear garden. As it is, the second floor hall is totally enclosed. That's something I just don't see in a house this size--4,600 sf with future to be finished space of 800 sf over the garages not showing in this floorplan.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • kirkhall

    Okay. That is easily solved--
    put your closet (WIC) next to the bathroom in bedroom 3 where the door currently is. Take out its reach in closet and create the hallway to the window. put a door in the open to window hallway to bedroom 2. You have the room to "waste" a little space to get light into that hallway.

  • worthy

    Excellent solution!

    Here's the other shared bath design, which still leaves four baths for five bedrooms. The savings are tempting. Most of the buyers have small families. However, I'm already anticipating the questions as to why big bedroom #4 has no ensuite but small bedroom #5 has one.

  • kirkhall

    Nah, I like my idea better. :)
    The reason is, if you are going to choose 1 bedroom not to use, it would probably be bedroom 5 (the small one), and in my solution to above, bedroom 5's bathroom is right off the hall anyway giving you easy access as a "hall bath" as needed.

    Yes, one extra bath, but I think it works better.

  • oksir83

    Here is how we ended up doing our J&J bath in a single story build. Original on the left, revised on the right. Originally the bath and toilet area had 2 doors, which we moved around to have those facilities behind 1 door. The kids still have their separate sinks with a small linen closet in between. I have been in a couple homes w/ similar set-ups and it still allows for some space and privacy at the sink area. Changing the plan around like this allowed us to move the entrances to BR #3 & #4 to the same hallway and close them off to the main living area with a pocket door. Doing so also allowed the BR #5 to be further isolated, which we will be using as a guest room. Yes, we lost a closet in the back hall, but gained a linen in the J&J bath and larger bedrooms for the kids.

  • worthy

    Bedroom 2 got its closet space halved. But still a better solution overall.

    Yes, five baths for five bedrooms. For someone who grew up remembering the privies around us in rural Ohio, this seems absolutely friggin' decadent.

  • oksir83

    The Bedroom #2 closet that got halved on the plan I posted was just a linen closet in the bathroom. There is still a walk-in closet in the bottom right that is not completely pictured, but remained the same size. This bedroom #2 will get used the least, so it was not a concern, although we still wanted a small closet in the bathroom for spare towels and sheets. I probably could have re-arranged it to give BR 3 & 4 each their own bathroom, but I'd rather my kids share a bathroom and give my guests a private bath.

  • Name Name

    Think the idea of a j&j bath is cute, still think it wasn't well thought out. If people aren't going to be regularly walking into each other while the other is on the toilet they're going to be accidentally (or maybe purposefully) locking the other bedroom out of the bathroom. To the person who said that it's more of a discipline issue than a construction one maybe but truth is I'm sure kids are still going to sometimes be kids even if they're well disciplined. And that a regular hall bath would cause much less fights.

  • Jason Yates
    We are dealing with an addition where we can’t have access to a hallway bathroom because of the stair location. We can do the jack and Jill with each bedroom having walk in closets, or two separate bathrooms very small with a standard 2’ deep closet that’s about 4’ wide. We are having a hard time deciding because a bathroom costs $8,000-$10,000 each and we think for kids getting older, closet space will become very tight.
  • cpartist

    Jason start a new thread with your floor plan. there might be another solution

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    An eight (8) year old thread...getting close to a record for bringing old threads back to life...pretty sure the OP has figured it out by now.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).