Jack and Jill bathrooms are an excellent feature in many homes, but they pose a challenging and unique locking situation. Many homeowners who install a bathroom of this style find themselves wondering what the best methods are for ensuring privacy in a Jack and Jill bathroom without compromising safety.
There are several methods for securely locking both doors in a Jack and Jill bathroom to ensure both privacy and security while conveniently managing the locking of the two bedroom entrance doors. Let’s look at the door lock considerations and examine a few of the best methods.
There are many door lock options for Jack and Jill Bathrooms, each with its own set of pros and cons. These range from simple privacy locks to complex, electronic dual locking systems. A good Jack and Jill bathroom lock will provide access and privacy to each bedroom as well as the bathroom.
Jack and Jill Bathroom Door Lock Considerations
Locking Both Doors From Inside the Bathroom
The ability to lock both doors from the inside is a necessity to prevent intrusions when someone is using the bathroom.
While your children are younger, it may not seem so important, but it will become so when they grow older.
Furthermore, if you ever want to use the two bedrooms as guest rooms, then a lock on the inside of each bathroom door is non-negotiable to ensure that your guests feel more at ease with sharing the bathroom.
It’s also important when you are sharing a bathroom with a stranger in a public B&B, hotel, or another type of lodging!
There are several ways to achieve the desired privacy, and they span from simple deadbolts on the inside of the bathroom doors to complicated electric locking mechanisms that lock and unlock both doors simultaneously from one switch (we’ll be going through the options in detail further on in the article).
Locking both doors at once is the best option, but it is not possible in every situation.
The minimum requirement for Jack and Jill bathrooms is the ability to lock both doors from inside, even if it has to be done manually and one-by-one.
Unlocking the Bathrooms Doors From Outside
A common problem with Jack and Jill bathrooms is forgetting to unlock the other door after using the bathroom.
This leaves one person unable to access the bathroom from their bedroom. You can imagine how annoying that would be (and how many fights it could cause!), especially at night or in an emergency situation.
Many people simply choose to rely on their memory, but this is hardly a foolproof method—at least, it wouldn’t be for me.
A better approach would be to opt for a locking system for this bathroom design that prevents this problem or has a simple work-around for unlocking the door if this issue occurs.
Locking Bedroom Doors From Inside
Another important consideration to bear in mind with a Jack and Jill bathroom—and one which I think is often overlooked—is that you do not want the other person to have unrestricted access to your bedroom through the bathroom.
Between guests, this is a big “no-no”, especially if you are running a B&B or some other kind of lodging. But even between siblings, bedroom privacy is a priority.
This means that the doors should have the ability to be locked and unlocked from both sides, but the bedroom side of the door should have a lock that is only accessible from inside the bedroom.
There is a handful of locking systems that are able to achieve this level of access privacy.
Privacy Locks Controlled From the Bathroom
Privacy locks are a good option for Jack and Jill bathrooms.
A good example is a turn button privacy lock that cannot be unlocked from outside of the bathroom without a specialized tool.
Be sure that the privacy lock cannot be circumvented by using a coin or a screwdriver, especially when sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom with a stranger!
Pros and Cons
Pros of using privacy locks for a Jack and Jill bathroom:
- Both entrance doors can be locked from inside the bathroom.
- The doors cannot be unlocked from the bedroom side (without a specialised tool).
- These privacy locks are simple to install and are easy to understand.
- Privacy locks are readily available.
Cons of using privacy locks for a Jack and Jill bathroom:
- The doors can not be easily unlocked from outside the bathroom in case of an emergency.
- Forgetting to unlock one door prevents bathroom access from the opposite bedroom.
- Some privacy locks can be unlocked with common objects such as a coin.
- This type of lock does not allow the door to be locked from the bedroom side.
My Top 3 Picks
Some of the best options for Jack and Jill bathroom privacy door handles are:
- Brinks Ganyon Privacy Door Lock (amazon link) – this privacy lock is easy to install and fits most doors. It features innovative push-push technology for hands-free opening when unlocked. These locks have a lifetime parts warranty and cannot be easily unlocked with a common item.
- Kwikset 91550-001 Halifax Door Handle Lever (amazon link) – these privacy door handles are fully reversible, feature antimicrobial materials, and are easy to install. These handles are disabled person accessible and fit all standard door sizes.
- Monkemon Heavyduty Privacy Door Lever (amazon link) – these durable privacy door handles are suitable for all standard door sizes and are simple to install. These handles are tough, modern, and they have a 100% money-back guarantee.
Be sure to choose a privacy door handle that suits your style and your specific requirements.
How to Install a Privacy Lock
Installing a privacy lock is not a particularly challenging process. In most instances, the only tool required is one screwdriver.
Follow these steps for installing a simple privacy lock:
Step 1. Remove the existing door handle if present by removing any screws holding the handle in and pulling the handle out of the door from both sides.
Step 2. Remove the internal latch from the door by removing the screws from the faceplate and pulling the latch out from within the door cavity.
Step 3. Prepare the new privacy lock and handle by removing any pre-installed screws.
Step 4. Install the new internal latch first by placing it into the door and screwing in the face pate. Be sure that the striker is in the correct orientation for the door into which you are installing the lock.
Step 5. Install the lock and handle by aligning the locking rod into the inner latch and pushing it through. Install the screws holding this side of the handle into the door.
Step 6. Align the opposite of the handle with the corresponding grooves on the first handle. Align this handle with the screw holes on the inner handle mechanism.
Step 7. Install the screws holding the second side of the handle in place into the inner screw holes.
Keep in mind that this is the method for installing a combination privacy lock. A privacy lock with a separate handle and the locking mechanism will require both sections of the privacy lock to be installed.
Most locks come with installation instructions included.
This video is a helpful resource for how to install a privacy lock.
Slide Bolt Lock and Privacy Lock
Another option is installing a slide bolt lock in conjunction with a privacy lock.
The privacy lock access will be on one side of the door, and the bolt lock will be on the other. Which side receives which lock depends largely on which way the door swings but the layout and size of the walls next to the door also need to be considered.
Pros and Cons
Pros of using a slide bolt lock and a privacy lock are:
- This system allows the door to be locked from the bathroom side as well as the bedroom side for maximum privacy.
- Both of these lock types are simple to install.
- Both lock types are readily available.
Cons of using a side bolt lock and a privacy lock are:
- Both locks must be unlocked to gain access to the bathroom.
- The slide locks are not always the most aesthetically pleasing option.
Some good options for slide bolt locks include:
Ming 90 Degree Buckle Lock (amazon link)– this well-designed lock looks good and functions well. It is a modern alternative to the standard deadbolt type lock but just as effective. These locks are convenient and very easy to install on a well-aligned door.
National Hardware Spring-Loaded Sliding Bolt (amazon link) – this bolt lock has a spring-loaded mechanism that allows the bolt to be opened very easily and quickly. These locks are simple but well made and will suit any door type.
Renovators Supply Manufacturing Colonial Charm Sliding Deadbolt (amazon link) – this sliding bolt lock is elegant and well made, with a 9” bolt that is easy to use and very secure.
Apart from the previously mentioned products, some good privacy locks are:
- Amazon Basics Shelby Door Lever (amazon link) with privacy lock.
- Schlage F40 BWE 622 (amazon link) Bowery Privacy Lock Knob.
- American Interior Hardware (amazon link) Grade 2 Commercial Privacy Indicator Lock.
How to Install a Slide Bolt Lock
Sliding bolt locks are some of the most straightforward locks to install.
The tools required are a simple drill and a screwdriver. A pencil is a useful tool to have along for the process as well.
Step 1. Hold the main lock bracket and slider on the door where you would like it to be placed, and mark the screw holes on the door with a pencil.
Step 2. Using the drill, make holes in the door on the markings that correspond with the holes in the lock and the size of the screws that you are using.
Step 3. Hold the main bracket up to the holes that you have made, and install the screws to hold it in place.
Step 4. The final step – repeat the process for the slider latch on the door jam or door frame. Line the latch up to where the sliding bolt will be, and install it there in the same way.
Take your time to install this lock correctly, and it should be a simple process. Several tutorials are available to help along the way, including this video.
Double-Sided Privacy Door Locks
Another option for Jack and Jill bathroom locks is double-sided privacy door locks.
Double-sided privacy door locks function in the same way as regular privacy locks in that they do not require a key, and they can be locked by turning a button on the handle, but these locks can be operated from both sides of the door.
Pros and Cons
Double-sided privacy lock pros:
- The door can never be accidentally left locked.
- The door can be opened easily in case of an emergency.
- These locks are convenient and straightforward to use.
Double-sided privacy lock cons:
- The door can be unlocked while the bathroom is occupied, compromising privacy.
- These locks are more complicated to install.
A potential solution to these cons is to simply install two separate privacy door handles, although this can look a bit strange!
There are not many variations or options available for this type of lock as they are not very sought after, and they do pose some privacy and security problems that many do not appreciate.
However, one version of this lock that is available on the market is the Stylever Dependable Direct Contemporary (amazon link) privacy door handle pictured below.
This is a good option, but if it does not suit your style, take the time to visit your local hardware and home improvement stores to look at the options that are available for you.
How to Install a Double-Sided Privacy Door Lock
The installation process of this lock type, even in a Jack and Jill bathroom door, is no different from the installation process of a regular privacy door lock.
The only careful consideration to make is to be sure that the door catch is installed in the correct orientation to allow the door to close and lock properly.
These locks are easy to install with only a screwdriver, and the process should not take more than a few minutes to complete.
Dual Door Locking Systems
From this point in the article, we will be examining more sophisticated and technological solutions to Jack and Jill bathroom door locking mechanisms.
The first of these modern systems is the duel door locking system.
Dual door locking systems for Jack and Jill bathrooms are electronic locking systems that are configurable to several different modes for specific situations.
These systems are very effective but very elaborate and require a host of electrical components, smart locking systems, motion sensors, switches, and the help of a qualified electrician to install, rather than two simple locks and a screwdriver for installation.
There are multiple configurations options to suit your bathroom requirements.
Pros and Cons
Pros of a dual door locking system:
- These systems are highly effective.
- Dual door systems offer superior privacy.
- These systems are very easy to use once installed.
- These systems are configurable depending on your needs.
- Multiple parts options are available.
Cons of a dual door locking system:
- The system is very complicated.
- Installation is challenging and requires the help of a professional.
- These systems are very expensive.
- A dual door locking system may be overkill for residential situations.
- It relies on electricity, so power outages can cause issues.
- Electrical components introduce potential for lock malfunctioning.
These systems are designed for more secure rooms than bathrooms, but they have been adopted by a few manufacturers to function perfectly for Jack and Jill-style bathrooms.
Some of the best systems available on the market are:
Alien SM108b Door Interlocking System – This dual door locking system is very sophisticated and highly configurable. There is not a Jack and Jill bathroom scenario that is not covered by this dual interlocking system.
Dortronics Bathroom Interlock System – This system is a good option and can be equipped with optional extra features such as “occupied” light indicators and emergency call buttons.
Hoyles Advanced Shared Bathroom Solution Kit – This is the two-door version of the Hoyles dual door locking system. This system boasts more sophisticated security and emergency warnings than the other options, including alerts of extended bathroom occupancy and facility fault monitoring.
Installing Dual Door Locking Systems
Installing these sophisticated dual door locking systems is a challenge. It requires an intricate understanding of the system components and technical knowledge and experience that is only obtained from working with these systems. It is not as straightforward as replacing the handle on a bathroom door.
For this reason, it is critical to contract the expertise of a professional electrician to install an electronic dual door locking system.
Unless you are sure of your electrical installation abilities (and the laws of your area/country), do not attempt this process on your own. Self-installation can also void the product warranty.
Simultaneous Locking System
Simultaneous locking systems are similar to dual door locking systems.
These are electronic systems that automatically lock both Jack and Jill bathroom doors at once by the use of a single switch.
The difference is that these systems are simpler and not configurable, but they are more straightforward to use and install, and they require fewer parts to operate.
Using one switch will send a signal to an external power source and activate or deactivate both locks in the bathroom simultaneously, and the same process is used to exit the bathroom.
Both doors are either locked or unlocked, never one or the other.
Pros and Cons
Pros of a simultaneous locking system:
- These systems are highly effective for Jack and Jill bathrooms.
- Simultaneous locking systems are easy to use.
- Increased privacy and security with no chance of accidental intrusions.
- Both doors lock and unlock at once, preventing the issue of locking one person out of the bathroom if there are no occupants.
Cons of simultaneous locking systems:
- These systems are complicated to install.
- Simultaneous locking systems can be costly.
- Forgetting to use the locking switch may result in accidental intrusions, as the system is not automated.
- Electricity is required for the system to function, so power outages can cause issues.
- They are still difficult to access if you are trying to get into the bathroom in an emergency.
One of the advantages of simultaneous locking systems is that the components are easily available and can be individually purchased, or they can be acquired as a set from a manufacturer.
One complete system option is the Locks Online Jack and Jill Bathroom Locking System. This is the first complete system of its kind available, and Locks Online developed the system specifically for this bathroom type.
Alternatively, all of the individual components are available for purchase online if you are the kind of person who has the skills and know-how to assemble and install a system like this.
Here are links to all of the various components required for this system:
- Pull Chain Switch (amazon link)
- Electric Door Release (amazon link)
- Flat Door Latch (amazon link)
- 6-Core Cable (amazon link)
- 3-Core Cable (amazon link)
- 20mm Cable Stuffing Gland (amazon link)
- Cable Clips (amazon link)
- Sealed Plug Top (amazon link)
- Power Supply Box Unit (amazon link)
Installing Simultaneous Locking Systems
The installation process for simultaneous locking systems is more complicated than installing a door handle but less challenging than the process for installing dual door locking systems.
However, with that being said, properly installing a simultaneous locking system should be done by a professional electrician. These systems are complicated, and they deal with high-voltage power sources.
If the cables are installed incorrectly, it may lead to serious problems and even injuries. An incorrect wiring system may even result in someone becoming trapped in the bathroom.
The hardware can be installed in a DIY fashion, but all electrical wiring should be installed and connected by a professional to ensure that the system is safe and functions correctly.