Bathrooms, believe it or not, come in all shapes and sizes. There are half baths, ¾ baths, primary bathrooms, full bathrooms, guest bathrooms, and more. But there’s one kind of bathroom that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves: jack and jill bathrooms. They’re a distinct kind of water closet, often found near a home’s bedrooms. Here’s how to identify a jack and jill bathroom.

What is a jack and jill bathroom?

A jack and jill-style bathroom is a bathroom that connects two or more rooms. They typically come into play as a second full bathroom in a home for multiple people to share. What distinguishes these bathrooms from others is that two or more separate entrances lead into this single bathroom. Usually, a jack and jill bathroom is situated between two bedrooms, but they can also connect a bedroom and a hallway.

Why is it called a jack and jill bathroom?

As you may have guessed, jack and jill bathrooms are named after the two children in the eponymous nursery rhyme. And, as the name suggests, jack and jill bathrooms are typically geared towards siblings that need a bathroom to share. 

Oftentimes in a jack and jill, there are separate sinks and a dual vanity to accommodate more than one person’s grooming needs, making getting ready more efficient. Other than that, all the other amenities are shared. 

“It has one shower and one toilet, typically, but you can close off the vanity,” explains Pamela Krenek of McJunkin & Associates, Inc. in Houston, Texas. This way, a dressing area with a vanity can be separate from the toilet and showering area. This can come in handy for buyers who want to emphasize privacy, and for siblings who need to share the bathroom’s mirror and the shower.

What are the benefits of a jack and jill bathroom?

There are many advantages to having a jack and jill bathroom. As plumbing is one of the most expensive aspects of building a home, having one bathroom that can service multiple bedrooms instead of multiple ensuite bathrooms is a way to save both space and money, especially for large families. An additional bathroom may not be necessary if one can be shared, freeing up space in the floor plan for bigger rooms or more storage. 

“It’s certainly favorable in a market if you’ve got more than two bedrooms,” Krenek says. 

“If you have a jack and jill bath upstairs, chances are you’re going to have one to three people occupying upstairs,” she continues. “Or maybe it’s just one bedroom and a game room. At least with a jack and jill, it’s more suited with adjoining two bedrooms so that one bath services two rooms.”

Additionally, jack and jill bathrooms provide users with privacy, as they are usually shared between two bedrooms and closed off from the rest of the house. To add to that, users don’t have to exit their bedroom to make their way to the bathroom. Even in instances where the bathroom is shared between the bedroom and a hallway, if the bathroom can be locked from either side, family members can still ensure their privacy. 

And while these bathrooms make privacy a priority, a jack and jill bath can provide the opportunity to teach children the value of sharing, cooperation, and patience. 

Mili Mansaray

Contributor

Mili Mansaray is a writer whose work covers everything from porch paint colors to voting rights. She received a degree in journalism and Africana studies from New York University, where she served as a staff writer for Washington Square News. Since graduating in May 2020, she has also been published in The Beacon and Cooper Squared.