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Jack and Jill Bathroom | What Is It? (Floor Plans)

When I first heard the term “Jack and Jill bathroom”, I had no idea what it meant; surely a bathroom is just a bathroom, right? Well, I was wrong, and I don’t mind admitting it. There are actually several different types of bathroom designs that are used in homes all over the world. These unique bathroom types are designed to meet a specific purpose or perform a specific function. One such bathroom is the Jack and Jill bathroom.

Jack and Jill bathrooms are growing in popularity, and many are considering using them in new home developments. Let’s further explore the Jack and Jill bathroom, and identify some of the pros and cons of this design, and discover some of the unique features of this bathroom design.

Jack and Jill bathrooms get their name from the popular children’s nursery rhyme about two siblings. These bathrooms are directly accessible from two bedrooms and were originally designed to be shared by siblings, hence the name. The term is catchy and so it has never been replaced.

What Is a Jack and Jill Bathroom?

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a unique bathroom design. This type of bathroom is situated between two bedrooms and has a door into the bathroom from each room.

Some Jack and Jill bathrooms have a third door leading to a hallway, although this does alter the design.

A Jack and Jill is effectively a shared ensuite bathroom for two bedrooms. These bathrooms are meant to be used by two siblings, which reduces bathroom limitations for big families.

These bathrooms often feature a double sink (often with separate storage attached to each sink) and all the amenities of a full bathroom, including a bath, a shower, and a toilet.

While this design is intended for siblings, it could be used by any two people, so long as they are willing to share a bathroom.

Privacy in Jack and Jill bathroom is ensured by installing internal locks on all doors, allowing any occupant to keep others from entering the bathroom unexpectedly.

“Jack and Jill Went up the Hill”

These bathrooms are more common than you may expect, but why were they given such a unique name?

The Jack and Jill bathroom style is so-called because it is intended for use by siblings. The name is based on the popular children’s nursery rhyme written about two siblings, Jack and Jill, who went up the hill.

This name has prevailed due to the nursery rhyme that it is based on and the fact that it is a catchy and iconic bathroom style. This bathroom style is featured in several popular media appearances, such as The Brady Bunch, which has helped etch the name into bathroom design history.

Variation of the Jack and Jill Bathroom

The Jack and Jill bathroom design is fairly commonly used internationally. There are some variations of the design, but the only true Jack and Jill design is a bathroom that is between two bedrooms with an entrance each, and with no hallway door.

Some designs that are commonly called Jack and Jill bathrooms are any bathrooms that have double facilities such as a double sink and a shared bathroom that opens into multiple rooms.

However, these designs are not considered to be true Jack and Jill bathrooms.

Related article: Are Jack and Jill Bathrooms Outdated?

Bathtubs/Showers: Number and Setup

Because a Jack and Jill bathroom is usually, by definition, a shared full bathroom, technically, both a shower and bathtub are included.

Jack and jill bathroom layout with two basins separated from the room with bathtub, shower and toilet

However, the most common trend in modern homes seems to be that there is either a bathtub or shower in a Jack and Jill bathroom.

The likely reason for this is that more space is required for a separate bathtub and shower to be included in the floor plan, depending on how many basins are in the room.

Nevertheless, space limitations can be overcome by including a showerhead and curtain within one bathtub.

Jack and Jill bathrooms with a separate shower and bath are the next most common layout.

Three-piece Jack and Jill bathrooms with just a basin, toilet, and shower do occur, but they are not common.

A rare configuration that is usually limited to larger, more elaborate homes is the inclusion of double showers in addition to a bath.

There are a number of ways in which the bath and/or shower can be placed.

Depending on space requirements, the bathtub and/or shower can be placed in the same shared area, including the toilet.

However, they can also be placed in a separate compartment or area with a door from the general area.

There is a lot of variation in how Jack and Jill bathrooms are designed, so it is difficult to say which setup is more common.

Having a compartmentalized bath/shower section has the advantage that one occupant can enjoy privacy while the other can continue using the basin.

Toilets: Number and Setup

There is always a toilet included in a Jack and Jill bathroom.

The toilet may be separated in its own compartment sectioned off by a door or pocket door or it may be located in the same space as the shower or bathtub.

Alternatively, the toilet may be located in a shared space with the shower or bathtub while the basins are kept separate (although the main doors will lead to the area with the basin and then another door will lead to the bath/shower/toilet space).

The way in which the toilet is incorporated and whether or not it is compartmentalized is influenced by a few factors.

  • If there is limited space, the most convenient option would be to have the toilet, bathtub and/or shower and basin(s) in the same shared space. However, this option does not allow for much privacy.
Jack and jill bathroom with one full bathroom including toilet basin and shower
  • If the toilet is separated from the bathtub and/or shower, it means that one person can bathe while the other uses the toilet and both can maintain privacy.
Jack and jill bathroom with two basins separated from toilet room and shower room
  • Alternatively, if the toilet and bathtub/shower are compartmentalized into the same space, there is more limitation for how many people can use the facilities at the same time, but one can use the basin while the other showers and uses the toilet.
Jack and jill bathroom with separated two basins and a room with toilet and bathtub

It is very rare for there to be two toilets in a Jack and Jill bathroom, and this setup is usually confined to larger, more elaborate houses.

Basins: Number and Setup

One or two basins may be included in a Jack and Jill bathroom.

Since the space is shared by two people, it is more common for there to be two basins so that both parties can use them simultaneously. This is kind of the main purpose of a Jack and Jill setup as opposed to a bathroom off the hall.

The basins are usually located within a shared space and may be placed as double basins right next to each other, or on either side of a bathtub or open space.

The basins are usually separated from the toilet unless all the plumbing fixtures are shared within one space, and it is not common for there to be a third basin where the toilet is located.  

In some layouts, there may be a small, compartmentalized section leading off from each of the bedrooms before additional doors lead into a shared space with the bathtub/shower and toilet.

Jack and jill bathroom with own compartmentalized basin for each room before the entrance to shared toilet with bathtub

In setups where the bathtub/shower and toilet are separated, one person can brush their teeth and get themselves ready while the other can shower or use the toilet in privacy.

However, if there is limited space available, one basin is used, and in this case, all plumbing fixtures are usually located in the bathroom with little or no compartmentalization.

Another option is for the basins to be located in the bedrooms, with the rest of the fixtures shared in the Jack and Jill bathroom.

The basins can be simple pedestal basins or wall-hung basins.

Usually, however, there will be some storage space below the basin, allowing each user to have their own sections to store belongings and toiletries.

Some Jack and Jills Have Closets/Cupboards

Some Jack and Jill bathrooms may also have closets or cupboards in which the occupants can store their clothes, linen, and belongings.

Again, the closets can be included as one shared closet within the bathroom, or two closets can be allocated so that each user has their own storage space.

Where two closets are used, it works nicely to have the closets located opposite each person’s basin, if two basins are present, and especially if the basins are in compartments before the shared space.

However, this depends on how much space is available, and it is less common to have closets or cupboards in Jack and Jill bathrooms that are smaller with fewer fixtures and less compartmentalization.

Can You Access Jack and Jills From the Hall?

Jack and Jill bathrooms are accessible from doors in bedrooms on either side of the bathroom.

However, it is also possible for Jack and Jill bathrooms to be accessible from the hall.

With this setup, one or two basins can be used, and these may be located within the same space as all the other fixtures.

Alternatively, the basin may be located in the same room as the toilet, with the bathtub/shower in a separate section.

Additionally, using a Jack and Jill bathroom for guest and bedroom access conserves space within the home, as there is no need to provide an additional half bathroom for guest use.

How to Address the Door/Lock Issue

Since Jack and Jill bathrooms are a useful way to conserve space while maintaining privacy, it is important to be able to lock the entrance doors, but this comes with some challenges.

Both doors should be lockable from the inside but should also be unlockable from the outside in case someone forgets to unlock a door after use.

Similarly, it is important that there is no access to the other occupant’s bedroom from the bathroom, especially in a B&B situation.

Hence, occupants should be able to lock and unlock the doors from inside and outside the bathroom.

However, there should also be locks available only from within the bedroom side of the door to achieve all of the requirements for privacy.

Addalock the Original Portable Door Lock by Rishon Enterprises Inc. (1 Piece), for Home Security, Apartment Security Lock, Travel Door Lock, AirBNB Lock and Dorm Room Essentials

One option to satisfy these requirements is a privacy lock, which requires a specialized tool to be unlocked outside the bathroom.

Alternatively, one can use a slide bolt lock on one side of the door, and a privacy lock on the other.

JQK Sliding Bolt Gate Latch, 6.3 Inch (Thick 2.4mm) Heavy Duty 304 Stainless Steel Barrel Bolt with Padlock Hole, Interior Door Latches Brushed Finish, DL300-BN

Another option is a double-sided privacy door lock, which is locked with a button on the handle instead of a key from both sides of the door.  

More sophisticated options are dual door locking systems, which are electronically configurable to different modes, a

Pros and Cons of Jack and Jill Bathrooms

Jack and Jill bathrooms are designed for the specific purpose of use by siblings or two members of the same household. These bathrooms are connected only to two bedrooms and allow the occupants of both rooms private access to the bathroom.

This type of bathroom is very convenient in some ways, but there are some drawbacks to the Jack and Jill design.

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of Jack and Jill bathrooms:

Pros of Jack and Jill Bathrooms

  • Jack and Jill bathrooms save a significant amount of space.
  • Building one bathroom instead of two reduces costs.
  • Jack and Jill bathrooms offer more privacy than other bathrooms, as they can only be accessed by two people in the house.
  • Jack and Jill bathrooms offer more internal space than regular bathrooms.
  • Dual amenities in these bathrooms, such as two sinks, are very convenient.
  • A Jack and Jill bathroom can be customized to suit the needs of those using it, rather than just being a general bathroom.
  • These bathrooms can be decorated and painted according to the taste of those who use them, rather than looking like a generic bathroom.

Cons of Jacks and Jill Bathrooms

  • Jack and Jill bathrooms cannot be accessed from the hallway, limiting the bathrooms available for the entire household.
  • Jack and Jill bathrooms can be a challenge to design and construct well.
  • Having two adjoining doors may lead to embarrassing moments shared by those who have access to the bathroom.
  • Sharing a bathroom with another person is not always pleasant.
  • Sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom must be well coordinated by both parties, or it may lead to frustration.

For a more comprehensive guide, you can visit my article on the Pros and Cons of Jack and Jill Bathrooms.

Differences Between His and Hers and Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill bathrooms are uniquely designed for the use of two people, usually siblings, who reside in different rooms but share one bathroom. This design is not to be confused with other types of shared bathroom designs.

Many consider a couple’s bathroom to be Jack and Jill bathroom, but these bathrooms are known as His and Hers bathrooms.

Jack and Jill bathrooms are usually shared by two siblings, while His and Hers bathrooms are designed for use by a couple. 

His and Hers bathrooms are equipped with features that are not present in Jack and Jill bathrooms. His and Hers bathrooms are designed to be used by a couple and allow for portions of the bathroom to be used simultaneously. 

Some distinguishing features of His and Hers bathrooms include:

  • A two-person shower, large enough for two people to shower simultaneously.
  • A separate toilet room, allowing one person to use the other sections of the bathroom while the toilet is occupied.
  • A double basin designed for a couple, with unique sides for each person.
  • His and Hers bathrooms often have neutral colors, which is common ground between the taste in the style of both persons using the bathroom. 
  • Ample storage—enough for the use of two people.

Differences Between Unisex and Jack and Jill

There is a misconception that the term Jack and Jill refers to a unisex bathroom when the truth is that a unisex bathroom is a different design altogether.

A unisex bathroom is a bathroom that is designed to cater to both men and women, but these bathrooms do not usually have features that are present in other types of shared bathrooms such as Jack and Jill and His and Hers bathrooms. 

Unisex bathrooms typically have only one set of amenities, rather than employing the use of double sinks and larger showers. 

These bathrooms can be used by either gender without catering specifically to one group or the other; men and women should have no problem using a unisex bathroom.

A bathroom of this type is not necessarily a shared bathroom; it is simply a bathroom that caters to everyone and can be installed in any home for the use of all occupants. 

For a clear description of many various types of bathrooms, their histories, and specific uses, this article is an excellent resource.

Related article: Ultimate Jack and Jill Bathroom Door Lock Guide


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