The Benefits of a Jack and Jill Bathroom

Jack and Jill Bathroom

Studio set of the Brady family's 'Jack and Jill' bathroom. Photo: fullofsnark.com

Do you know what a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom is? If you grew up watching The Brady Bunch in the 70’s, you may already know, because the boys and girls had one. It’s a bathroom shared between two bedrooms, with doors entering from each room. Mr. Brady was an architect, after all, so he understood the value of a Jack and Jill arrangement. For the uninitiated, here are some of this design’s best assets.

Saves Space and Money
Bathrooms are expensive and take up valuable real estate in a floor plan. Using one bathroom to serve two bedrooms can save space and money for larger families or for people who have homes where guests visit, but a private bath for each bedroom is overkill.

Jack & Jill Bathroom

Sample 8' x 13' Jack & Jill bathroom floor plan, courtesy of homeplansforfree.com

Equal and Shared, but Private
Jack and Jill bathrooms can be shared between a bedroom and the hall, but most often are between two bedrooms. In that latter case, it gives equality to family members. Since the bathroom can be locked from either side, the bedrooms still remain separate and private. And with those locks, the bath can be made private as well. A Jack and Jill bath can help kids learn to share and to compromise on their toiletry time tables.

If you do decide to create a Jack and Jill bathroom, you should make sure you add in some conveniences that will ensure its success.

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Colorful kids bath with two sinks. Photo: Fresh Home

Two sinks – A Jack and Jill shares a toilet and bath/shower, but it should have two sinks, so the less-private activities (e.g., teeth brushing and hair combing) can take place in concert.

Locks – For both bedrooms and their occupants to have privacy in both the bathroom and their bedrooms, there need to be locks on both sets of doors. And those doors need to lock on both sides. Everyone just needs to develop the habit of unlocking all the doors when they leave, so as not to lock the other bedroom out of the bath.

Double Up on Accessories & Storage – To keep things equitable and running smoothly, make sure to have adequate vanity mirrors, towel bars, and storage areas for all the things you never dreamed would be necessary in a bathroom.

One drawback to the standard Jack and Jill bathroom is that it’s landlocked between two bedrooms, thus inaccessible to the rest of the house. Unless, of course, you design yours like Mike Brady did his, with a third entrance from the hall. And if you are as brave as Mike and Carol were, let six kids share that Jack and Jill bath. Then post in the comments section to let me know how it goes!

For more on bathroom design, consider:

5 Small Bathroom Space-Busters
Kid-Friendly Bathroom Design
12 “Decorator-Worthy” Bathroom Vanities