Although bathrooms may not be at the top of your house-hunting checklist, the number, and type, of bathrooms in a house is important to consider. Additional bathrooms, regardless of whether they are full or half baths, give you the flexibility and privacy to comfortably host guests, have friends over, or accommodate a growing family.
A half bath is different from a full bath, ¼ bath, and ¾ bath, and these are all terms you will hear from your agent throughout the home buying process so it’s important to understand what is included in each.
A half bathroom is a bathroom that contains a toilet and a sink. Full bathrooms, on the other hand, include four elements: a toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub. The reason a half bath is called a “half” is because it contains two (or half) of those four elements.
Half bathrooms, also called half baths or powder baths, are typically smaller than full baths since they only have to accommodate a toilet and sink. They are often found on the main floor of a house near gathering spaces like family rooms, basements, and kitchens. They are a great way to add value to a home since they’re a desirable feature for many buyers.
A ¾ bath includes a toilet, a sink, and a standing shower. Some ¾ bathrooms include a tub instead of a shower, but those are less common.
The same way half baths are named because they have half of the elements of a full bath, a ¾ bath has three of the four elements of a bathroom. It differs from a full bathroom because it does not include both a shower and a tub.
¾ bathrooms are commonly found in apartments, condos, and non-master bedrooms in houses. They make for great guest bathrooms since they aren’t as costly (or usually as large) as full baths but provide all the necessary amenities.
A ¼ bath includes one of the four elements found in a full bath (sink, toilet, shower, or tub). While it typically includes a toilet, it could be any of the four.
These types of bathrooms are rare and often serve a very specific purpose. For example, many houses with pools have ¼ baths that only have a standing shower for rinsing off. In other cases, houses have quarter baths with only a toilet and include a sink just outside the bathroom for washing up.
On average, it costs between $5,000 and $15,000 to add a new half bath to your home. This estimate includes labor and materials (tile, a toilet, a sink, light fixtures, plumbing, a window if applicable, etc.). Costs vary depending on a variety of factors, including the bathroom design, the size of the bathroom, and the quality of the materials you choose.
If you are debating whether to add a half bathroom to increase your home’s value prior to selling, consult your realtor. A real estate agent can advise whether the additional bathroom will appeal to buyers in your area and help you make an informed decision.
Most homes have at least two bathrooms (one half bath and one full bath). However, it’s important to remember that the number of bathrooms in a house depends on several factors, including home size, number of bedrooms, and age of the home.
Larger houses with more bedrooms may have additional full or half bathrooms to accommodate more family members or guests. On average, homes have two bathrooms for every three bedrooms.
Older homes, however, are likely to have different bathroom configurations. Since many old homes only have one floor, bathrooms tend to be smaller to save space. To accommodate the small space, bathrooms often have pedestal sinks (without under the sink storage). These older homes tend to have only one full bathroom. For this reason, homeowners may choose to add additional half baths to increase the value of their home and make everyday life easier.
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