Private Areas

Within the private areas of the home, a bathroom that opens off a hallway is common in older homes. The hall is usually serving several bedrooms. However, if it is the only bathroom, or is also serving as the guest bathroom, it may also be close to social areas. In homes with more than one privacy area, the hall bathroom may serve the needs of occupants in secondary bedrooms. Tradi­tionally, the hall bathroom includes a lavatory, a toilet, and a bathtub with shower. More recently, in homes with multiple bathrooms, this space may include a shower, but no tub.

Shared or compartmentalized bathrooms are also suitable for private spaces of the home. These bathrooms are divided so more than one person can use the space and still have privacy. In one version, the lavatory and toilet are in the same room, and the tub or shower is in a separate com­partment. In another configuration, the lavatory is placed in the forward area, and the tub and toilet are placed together. These designs allow one person in the household to use the lavatory and/or toilet, while another is bathing. If visitors will also use the space, the lavatory and toilet compartment might be made available as a powder room.

Another version of the shared bathroom is one located between two bedrooms and only available for the bedroom occupants. This type of bathroom might have three compartments: a lavatory and toilet room on each side, with a tub and/or shower in the middle (see Figure 6.3).

All shared bathrooms provide the opportunity for more than one person to use the space at once, a real timesaver for families on a busy morning. The designer should determine the household’s privacy comfort level with this type of arrangement, and be aware that extra space will be needed for circulation paths and doorways.

It may work better to provide two small bathrooms in the same area, so that each person has their own space. If guests and family members share a compartmentalized bathroom, it is best to have only one door in order to control access.