Are Jack And Jill Bathrooms Outdated?

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

Jack and Jill bathrooms are an excellent way for siblings to share the same space while enjoying the privacy that they need as individuals. Sadly, this style of bathroom is no longer popular and is seldom seen in modern home designs.

If you own a home with a standard Jack and Jill bathroom, what are your options for upgrading or remodeling it into a more modern or more stylish but still functional bathroom? This article discusses ways to modernize an outdated Jack and Jill bathroom or to simply get rid of it.

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! The need arose for more than one bathroom in a house with an available bathroom for siblings to share.

At the time, it was important that the bathroom was accessible from the children’s bedrooms but that the children could have their privacy by locking the door from inside the bathroom, leading into the other siblings’ bedroom.

happy smiling caucasian little boy looks into bright blue and white bathroom

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. The concept was of a second bathroom in the house for multiple people to share.

A Jack and Jill bathroom is helpful in any family home, not only for the children to use but also for overnight guests and day visitors to the house. Unless you have a guest closet or third bathroom, they will probably use the second bathroom and not the en-suite, ensuring that the parent’s private bathroom remains private!

I do have to note here that as a day-guest bathroom, Jack and Jill bathrooms are much less convenient than hall access bathrooms, especially if both bedrooms are occupied.

A Jack and Jill bathroom is ideal for overnight guests who have to share a bedroom and bathroom with other family members in the house. This type of bathroom ensures privacy to all the users of the bathroom. To avoid embarrassing situations, care should always be taken to lock the internal interleading doors while the bathroom is in use!

Ultimate Jack and Jill Bathroom Door Lock Guide

While second or even third or more bathrooms are still popular in many modern homes, not many private homes use the Jack and Jill bathroom concept anymore as they can be isolated and not accessible to the rest of the house.

Many modern homeowners are opting for bathrooms that lead out onto the hallway, making them more accessible to everyone in the house, instead of for the exclusive use of the adjoining bedroom inhabitants.

While the Jack and Jill bathroom concept might not be popular in private homes, many hotels and guest houses use the concept, especially for family sharing rooms. Generally, if a family books a double room, the rooms are connected with a bathroom with interleading 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!

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! What happens a few short years down the line when the children grow up and leave home? Is this type of bathroom concept still a good idea?

The Jack and Jill bathroom concept might be suitable for your family for a time, but when the children have no further use for the bathroom, which was so ideal for them when they were growing up, will it still work in an emptier home?

I guess the answer depends on you and your lifestyle. Some parents might remodel and modernize the bedrooms and update the bathroom perhaps keeping them as guest rooms.

Others might convert a single bedroom into a single en-suite bedroom and bathroom, converting the second bedroom into a hobby room, study, or home gym.

Still, others might sell their family home to a younger family in need of the bathroom setup!

Our informative article Pros and cons of Jack and Jill bathrooms provides some handy tips on the yays 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

three ways to update outdated bathrooms

The design concept might be outdated for today’s modern homes, with new home designs having two separate bathrooms in a house instead of a Jack and Jill bathroom, but unless you are thinking of remodeling your home, your Jack and Jill bathroom is here to stay.

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 new 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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