One Man’s Opinion: Jack and Jill Baths

by | Jul 22, 2018

I have always had a fascination with architecture, especially floor plans. Maybe it stems from those Sunday afternoons as a child that were spent riding around with my parents looking at open houses. Whatever the reason, by the time I was in junior high, I could be found with graph paper and a pen getting lost for hours designing and sketching plans for homes that I would never build.

Once I had my driver’s license, I would check out houses under construction or vacant waiting for their next owner. I was even reprimanded while in college in a class for religious studies. My crime – sketching plans and not paying attention. The professor stopped mid-lecture and said: “Mr. York, unless you’re designing a church, please put your graph paper away.”

However, after college I did enter the field of interior design which led me to sketch additions and/or reconfigure floor plans for my clients. Eventually my plans materialized into entire residences which were built in Tennessee, Florida and Texas. To this day, I still keep graph paper on my desk at work as well as, beside my chair and ottoman at home. I will challenge myself to design a residence for a vacant lot that I’ve found. Or, I will reconfigure the layout of an existing house to what I think would be a more desirable flow. Although I’ve been retired from the design field for a few years, I now find myself stepping back in to help a friend who is buying houses to remodel, improve and then put back on the market.

My purpose for this blog is to offer my design insight and experience by sharing my own personal pros and cons about design, construction and basically things that just seem like common sense to me. I’m not saying they are right or wrong but hopefully it will give you something to ponder. Now, where do I begin?

ron-york-Jack-Jill-homeplanSince I’ve used up my word limit by explaining what this blog will be about, I won’t be able to cover very much in this first article. Therefore let’s jump in and begin with one of my personal pet peeves: Jack & Jill baths. I know that there are exceptions to every rule and some things are already in place and/or too expensive to change, but if you are considering new construction, please, I beg of you, step away from the Jack & Jill bath layout. (A quick description would be a shared bath between bedrooms) A Jack & Jill can be one bath with two doors, but more often than not, in newer homes it is a dressing room with a sink for each bedroom leading into a shared tub and toilet room. Then there is the deluxe version which consists of a dressing room with sink and toilet for each bedroom leading into a shared room with bathtub.

The thing is, more often than not, there is adequate square footage in that configuration for two individual and private bathrooms. Maybe it’s because I am an only child or possibly so set in my ways, but now that I’m older I don’t want to share a bath if I don’t have to. Plus I want privacy when I am in a bathroom and not feel as if someone is lurking on the other side of the door. And please don’t even get me started on the name Jack & Jill. Seriously, what if in your family you have two Jills or two Jacks? Would one child end up using a bath not named for their gender causing them years of therapy?

Anyway, what I’m trying to convey is, if you are remodeling or building, consider having a private bath for each bedroom. Even if your Jack and Jill have gone away to college or moved out – if I was a guest staying in their room, I would prefer not having to share a bathroom!

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J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.

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