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Are Jack And Jill Bathrooms Outdated? (We Asked 1,000+ People)

Jack and Jill bathrooms are an excellent way for siblings to share the same space while enjoying the privacy that they need as individuals. However, in my experience, only older houses tend to have these types of bathrooms, which can lead to the assumption that they are outdated.

We asked over 1,000 people for their opinions, and the results were quite conclusive.

Jack and Jill bathrooms aren’t commonly seen today. They were popular in the 1960s, when people often had five or more kids. These days, families are smaller and the need for Jack and Jills has decreased. They are still a popular design, great for families with young kids or in homes converted into B&Bs.

When Did Jack and Jill Bathrooms Become Popular?

Although Jack and Jill style bathrooms have been around for many years, the first time they were actually called a Jack and Jill bathroom was around the mid- to late-1900s.

The first-ever report on a Jack and Jill bathroom was an article found in the Abilene Reporter-News in Texas in the 1960s.

Read through my article Why is it called a Jack and Jill bathroom for more information.

Jack and Jill bathrooms made an appearance in family homes around 1965 when it became popular for couples to have families with five or more children!

Old style of bathroom with jack and jill doors inside

Each child could not have their own bathroom, but sharing with four other people was impractical. There were also often large age differences between the older and younger children, which made sharing difficult.

A bathroom shared by the occupants of two bedrooms was a good solution.

In addition, in the 1960s, wandering around the house in your pajamas or walking to and from the bathroom in a towel was not always “the done thing”.

So, having a bathroom directly attached to the bedrooms meant that the occupants of the adjoining rooms did not have to worry about this when going to the bathroom at night or when guests were over.

Modern Opinions of Jack and Jill Bathrooms

We set up a Facebook poll on a DIY home improvement advice page and over 1,000 people responded.

Jack and Jill bathrooms are not considered outdated by 48% of the responders.

17% said that they were outdated, 26% did not recognise the term, 3% said that it depends on the situation, and 1% had no opinion and just want wanted to see what everyone else was saying.

Now, 1,000 people is not a massive sample size, and the participant pool is not likely to qualify as random.

However, I think that a result of almost 50% consensus in favor of Jack and Jill bathrooms, along with the 3% who though they were good sometimes, means that they are, by no means, outdated.

Poll regarding if the jack and jill bathrooms are outdated

Jack and Jill Bathrooms Are Still Useful

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a very clever design introduced into modern homes around the time indoor plumbing was beginning to appear.

Jack and Jill bathrooms are helpful in any family home. Many of the poll participants commented that they are a great design for children.

Kids bathrooms are almost always messy. It’s really a losing battle trying to keep them neat. A Jack and Jill means that guests are far less likely to see inside these rooms because it will involve walking through a bedroom.

Dark hallways are also really scary to a kid. So, if they can go directly from their bedroom into the bathroom, they’d feel more comfortable. It might even help to avoid accidents in younger children.

Then there is the feeling of having a special bathroom. Yes, you are sharing it with your sibling, but typically there are two basins in a Jack and Jill, so you can still feel like you have a special bathroom like mom and dad.

They can also be ideal for overnight guests. An en-suite bathroom is always the nicest option for a guest. I know that I hate walking through someone else’s house in my pajamas, and I hate advertising to everyone when I am going to the bathroom.

However, it’s not a great use of space to have a bathroom that is only used on occasion. By putting a Jack and Jill between the guest room and the bedroom of one of the residents, the bathroom gets used year-round, and the guest only has to worry about sharing with one other person.

Of course, there is a greater risk of being walked in on with Jack and Jill bathrooms because you have to remember to lock two doors! In general, not just for sharing with guests, the lock situation was cited by most to be the reason that they did not like the design.

Still, there are solutions to this problem like specialized door locks or asking the resident to share a bathroom with one of the other family members for the duration of the guest’s stay.

People argue that if you are going to have a second or third bathroom, it’s better to have it accessible from the hallway so that guests can use it when they visit without having to go through someone’s bedroom.

However, you do get Jack and Jills with hallway doors as well.

Cream colored hallway walls with a bathroom on the end leading to it

Many hotels and guest houses also use the concept, especially for family sharing rooms. Generally, if a family books a double room, the rooms are connected with a bathroom with inter-leading doors into both rooms.

The beauty of this type of bathroom in a hotel is that the rooms can be rented out as a single en-suite room or a double family room. Of course, the staff needs to ensure that the doors are locked from the inside of the bathroom when renting out a single space!

The Difference Between Private, Attached, and Shared Bathrooms

Usefulness Becomes Limited Over Time

Jack and Jill bathrooms are helpful for a growing family when all the children live at home and are learning how to share, but they may not remain useful forever!

One of the most common reasons why our poll participants did not like the Jack and Jill design was that they became far less practical when the children became teens or when the bathroom was shared between adults.

Teenagers going through emotional and physical upheaval can often come to blows over any shared space, but there’s something about sharing a bathroom that makes it worse.

Our informative article Pros and cons of Jack and Jill bathrooms provides some handy tips on the yeas and nays of this bathroom style.

Do Jack and Jill Bathrooms Add Value?

A Jack and Jill bathroom might not add resale value to your home, but it could add to your quality of life and make your home more comfortable while living there and raising your family!

When selling your home, statistics show that you can expect a moderate return on your investment in a bathroom addition for mid-range and upscale homes.

If you are perhaps looking for a better return on your investment, invest in a kitchen remodel or a siding replacement instead.

Having said that, if you are thinking of selling your home, which has a Jack and Jill bathroom, it will attract a specific buyer.

The buyer for this type of home will either be a young family, a buyer looking for a particular novelty look, or a buyer who will turn the house into an Air B&B or guest accommodation.

Modern Jack and Jill Designs

How to modernize your jack and jill bathroom

A Jack and Jill bathroom certainly has its place in a busy home, even in modern times! There are ways that you can update an existing bathroom to ensure it has a more modern appearance.

Children have different needs during the various stages of their lives, and older children will enjoy an updated, more modern space. Of course, a more modern design will suit your overnight guests too!

1. Update the Décor

A fresh coat of paint, new light fittings, and perhaps new floor tiles will work wonders on an old bathroom or a bathroom designed for younger children. Depending on your budget, replace the cartoon character childish décor with fresh, bright colors.

2. Upgrade the Fixtures

As your budget allows, upgrade and replace the old, outdated fixtures with modern contemporary fixtures to suit your new décor. Replace the outdated tub with a shower/tub combo and add a trough sink instead of the double vanity.

A square or rectangular sink is also a great idea for modernizing a bathroom.

3. Change the Doors

A traditional Jack and Jill bathroom has swinging doors leading into the bedrooms off the bathroom. Why not replace these with sliding doors? And, if you have a separate toilet stall, install a modern door to suit your new décor.

How to Get Rid of a Jack and Jill Bathroom

Well, the children have grown up and left home, and you are wondering what to do with your Jack and Jill bathroom. If you have decided that you don’t need it anymore, we have some ideas on how to get rid of it.

Convert The Bathroom Into An En-suite

The bathroom can be turned into an en-suite with access to one bedroom only. To complete this remodel successfully, the door leading into the second bedroom should be walled up.

Alternatively, convert the single Jack and Jill bathroom into two smaller en-suite bathrooms! That way, you will have enough guest rooms for those overnight guests, or you can have the luxury of a dedicated guest room en-suite and a separate study or den with a private en-suite!

Convert The Bathroom Into A Separate Guest Bathroom

This is an excellent idea if you need to use the two bedrooms as separates offices or even bedroom spaces. Simply wall up both interleading doors from each bathroom, and install a door leading into the bathroom from the hallway.

Upgrade the existing fixtures and create a new modern look.

Remodeling Your Jack And Jill Bathroom

If you need the extra space in your home, you can permanently remove the Jack and Jill bathroom altogether! By removing the bathroom, you can extend the size of each bedroom or simply create one large room!

Bear in mind the costs involved when remodeling your home or bathroom. According to recent statistics, the full remodel of a Jack and Jill bathroom could cost, on average, $7 000.00 – $18 000.00!

If you are remodeling intending to sell your home, refer to our earlier section entitled “Do Jack and Jill bathrooms add value.”

Related article: Single vs. Double Sinks in Guest Bathroom: Which is Better?


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