Adding a bathroom to your home remodel could change your life. Just think of how different your mornings would be if the vanity in your teenagers' bathroom was separate from the shower. Or if you never had to have a guest use the kids' bathroom again.
It's amazing the difference a well-placed, well-designed bathroom can make. Fortunately, when you are considering a bath in your home remodel, there are several options available to meet your family's needs.
Powder room: "Powder room" is a fancy name for a guest bathroom. Also called a half bath, this tiny bathroom has just a sink and a toilet and needs at least 16 square feet of space. Its primary function is for short-term guests; therefore a powder room is generally located near the front entry or another public area. A powder room can be elaborately decorated, serving both a functional and decorative purpose in your home. It can include rich materials and luxurious accents, such as a granite counter and a decorative mirror. It is a functional way to keep public and private spaces in your home separate.
Family half bath: Some floor plans will include a half bath near the garage entry, possibly in conjunction with a laundry or mud room. These tend to be more practical. This half bath provides a place to clean up from outside work or play before entering the main part of the home. Only larger homes tend to have both a family half bath and a powder room, so generally this bath would also serve guests, and it tends to be less formal.
Family bathroom: Assuming you have a master bathroom for the use of the parents, a family bathroom is for other family members. The family bath may include one or two sinks and a bathtub, shower or bathtub/shower combination. Separating the sinks from the toilet and shower allows more than one person to use the room at the same time. This type of bath requires at least 40 square feet.
A "Jack and Jill" bathroom: This type of bathroom is located between two bedrooms. Each bedroom has an anteroom with a sink, and both anterooms share a center room where the toilet and bathing facilities are located.
Guest bathroom: If a bath is associated with a guest bedroom, a half bath is not sufficient. You will need at least a three-quarter bath (sink, toilet and shower) or a full bath (sink, toilet, bathtub/shower) connected to the guest bedroom or in close proximity.
Expect your budget to be about $8,000 to $12,000 for replacing a bathroom in its current location. A powder room would be proportionally less, while installing a new bathroom or relocating an existing one would be more due to additional framing, plumbing and electrical costs.
No matter what kind of bathroom you decide to add to your home remodel, you can count on adding value. When the number of bathrooms is approximately equal to the number of bedrooms, an additional half bath adds about 10 percent to the home's value, and converting a half bath to a full bath adds another 9 percent. So one additional full bath adds about 19 percent to the value of your home. When the home has fewer bathrooms than bedrooms, the percentage gains associated with an added bathroom could be somewhat larger.
Remember, when designing a bathroom, visual and acoustical privacy needs to be taken into account. If you can see the toilet from the living room or front entry, go back to the drawing board and try again!
Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the founding principals of Renovation Design Group, www.renovationdesigngroup.com, a local architectural design firm specializing in home remodels.