And since bathrooms are generally the smallest rooms of the house, how much square footage you have to work with will usually dictate a layout. “The size of a powder room is typically 20 square feet, but they can be as small as 12 square feet,” says Leslie Eiler, a design manager with CRD Design Build, a boutique residential design-build firm in Seattle.
Powder rooms are typically the bathroom guests will use, and they offer a fantastic opportunity to show off your unique style. “Don’t be afraid to introduce an eye-catching sink basin or unique lighting fixtures,” says Eiler.
“This makes getting ready a little less arduous, as both ‘Jack’ and ‘Jill’ can use a feature of the bathroom at the same time instead of banging on the door waiting for another to finish.” Keep in mind that Jack-and-Jill bathrooms—while an extremely versatile and efficient use of space—need to be bigger than some others because the interior space is taken up by the two doors instead of one.
(Most real estate professionals recommend retaining at least one tub to optimize resale value to families with young children.) Also known as a roll-in, curbless, or low-curb shower, this layout originated from the movement toward universal design—spaces that work for everyone’s needs, including those with disabilities that may require a wheelchair. “Everyone loves a barrier-free shower entry, and it’s a beautiful feature from a design sense.” Just be sure your contractor properly waterproofs the entire bathroom. In a three-quarter bath, opt for a vanity size that is at least 30 inches wide with a small undermount sink.
“Guests like to lay out personal items and toiletries, which is really difficult on a pedestal sink,” says Eiler. Master baths are typically afforded the most square footage in a home, and with good reason.
Too many master baths waste valuable square footage with outdated or suboptimal designs. If space allows, install a standalone soaking tub separate from the walk-in shower, says Eiler.
“A two-person vanity with a single sink leaves more usable countertop space for laying out cosmetics, hairstyling tools, shaving kits, and other items,” says Eiler.