Having a private bathroom for each bedroom is an option that offers the most privacy for occupants. Instead of one hall bathroom serving several bedrooms, each bedroom has a bathroom connected to it. In secondary bedrooms, this might be a small bathroom with a lavatory, toilet, and bathtub or shower. However, the primary or master bedroom often has a more expansive master bathroom.
The master bathroom is often part of the master suite, an area that can be envisioned as the retreat for the homeowners. In its simplest form, the master bathroom has a lavatory, toilet, and bathtub/
shower. However, more expansive options are often planned into the space: double lavatories, separate vanities, separate tub and shower, oversized showers, whirlpool tubs, compartmentalized toilets, bidets, dressing areas, and closets. Luxury master bathrooms might include exercise spaces and spa areas, discussed in detail in chapter 9, "More Than a Bathroom."
When planning a master suite, consider the relationship between the location of entry to the suite or bedroom and the location of the bathroom area. Circulation and visual focal point should be considered so that these spaces flow into one another (see Figure 6.4). From a task analysis perspective, clothes storage and dressing areas should be adjacent to the grooming and bathing areas of the bathroom and not separated by the bedroom. However, placing clothes storage too closely to the wet areas of the bathroom can create dampness and humidity in the area leading to mildew and mold. See the section on closet planning in chapter 9. Also, consider the issues of auditory privacy when placing the toilet adjacent to the bedroom.
Some couples prefer two separate bathrooms, so that each person has their own space. Depending on the size, the two spaces might have each of the basic fixtures. In some arrangements, a tub is in one bathroom and a shower in another. However, some have both fixtures in both bathrooms. These "his and her" bathrooms might be adjacent to separate closets and dressing areas, to provide complete grooming areas tailored to each individual. If the master bath is shared, then two lavatories in separate locations may be convenient and allow for each person to have their own space (see Figure 6.5).
Many homes have a guest room that is part of the secondary bedroom area. Guests are expected to use the hall bathroom or the private bathroom adjacent to their room. Occasionally, a separate suite with many of the features of the master bedroom and bathroom may be planned to provide guests with a more luxurious experience. This arrangement can be comfortable for short-term and long-term guests. It can also serve as a second master suite, should a family member find that differences in nighttime and sleep patterns indicate a need for separate sleeping areas. It can also serve as a caregiver’s suite if the need arises.