If you are looking for a home of your own or are just redesigning your house, you might have run into troubles with the bedroom-to-bathroom-ratio. Sometimes, the otherwise perfect house lacks an en-suite master bathroom or doesn’t have enough bathrooms for your personal space needs. It can be a deal-breaker for the buyer, and something to think about for the owner, as a good bedroom-to-bathroom ratio usually means an increase in property value. Whether you are a homeowner or a buyer, this article can help you make the right decision.
Why do Americans have so many bathrooms?
The bathroom as we know it (containing a sink, a toilet and a bathtub) is a product of a 19th-century idea that something called sewer gas caused disease. And since it was believed it came from the toilet and the other drains, all these fixtures were placed together in a single room to stop the sewer gas from spreading everywhere. While the theory was proven to be false later, the bathroom as we know it has remained the same until today.
However, it took some time and societal changes to reach the many-bathroomed houses of today. First, Americans started moving to suburban areas more, into single-family homes, which had space for more than one bathroom. Then, cheap but sturdy materials such as plastics and fiberglass became widely available, and bathtubs and their elements became more affordable to the public. Finally, as the suite master bathroom became a symbol of status, more bathrooms were needed for the other members of the family and guests.
In recent years, we have also started appreciating larger and more open spaces, as well as the personal time we get in the bathroom. Having a guest bathroom helps preserve the privacy of both the guest and the host, who doesn’t have to worry about laundry or cosmetic products being in sight.
How many bathrooms are enough?
One could say there can’t be too many bathrooms, however, as space is limited, there are usually better ways to use it than adding a fifth bathroom to the house. However, real estate agents agree on a minimum, and that is at least two bathrooms for a four or more-bedroom home. The most reasonable ratio is having two bathrooms for every three bedrooms. However, the safest way to think about it is to consider how big the family is and how frequently they get visitors.
Kids and guests
Depending on the number of children and the available space, they will either share a bedroom or each have their own. Then, depending on their age and personalities, it could be useful to think about the number of bathrooms that they need. Also, if you often get visitors, obviously a guest bathroom could be of help. It could take some of the maintenance stress of your back and ensure that the guests feel more comfortable.
Moreover, it is important to consider if the family will have more children, or take care of ageing parents so that any future changes to the space can be taken into account. In this case, bathrooms might play a significant role, so also pay attention to any extra space that you have. You can even consider a part of the attic or even garage. Also, get to know how the plumbing is distributed throughout the house in case you need to add another bathroom in the future.
An investment for the future
If you’re thinking about selling the house one day, having a good bedroom-to-bathroom ratio can give you a return on your investment. However, this does not mean you should overdo it and build bathrooms for bathrooms’ sake. If they take away from the more commonly used areas such as bedrooms or stand in place of a more convenient area such as a storage room, they might appear unattractive to potential buyers.
To get a better picture of what you need to invest in, think about priority. Buyers usually prioritize master bathrooms and powder rooms, guest bathrooms come next on the list, while any other additional bathroom usually comes last. Therefore, you could use this logic while renovating as well and focus on master baths and powder rooms, and only then think about guest and other bathrooms.
The setup of the bathroom
After considering space limitations and the household structure, remember that time is money and don’t go overboard with renovations. Take care of cosmetic and practical issues, as renovation costs, depending on the area, can get quite high. Also, be mindful of the aesthetic of the bathrooms, as some buyers are put off by particularly eccentric styles.
Image: Tatyana Kovalenko
When it comes to en suite bathrooms, a decade ago, they used to be considered somewhat of a luxury. However, nowadays, some buyers consider them a necessity. Also, en suite bathrooms are shown to add significant value to your property.
If you have a property with four bedrooms or more, it is practical to consider a combination of bathrooms that have both bathtubs and showers. Showers usually take up less space, and this is something to think about especially when it comes to flats. Also, remember that bathrooms that look desperate for an upgrade tend to be especially unappealing to buyers. Finally, if you still aren’t sure whether to add more bathrooms or not, err on the side of quantity. If you are buying a place, your needs might change unexpectedly and you might end up needing another bathroom. If you are planning on future sales, also remember that for most people, it is better to have more bathrooms.
The right bedroom-to-bathroom ratio is something that depends on personal preference, the habits of the family, as well as the rest of the space in the home. Although it seems like a simple issue, it is something that can make or break a deal, so make sure to have enough bathrooms. Suit your needs for comfort and privacy first, and then think about investments for the future. With some of these rules and tendencies in mind, hopefully, you can make the right decision for yourself.