Full Or Half Bath? Which One Makes Sense For Your Home?
Whether remodeling an existing residence or planning new construction, the number of bathrooms is always a tricky topic. Available square footage, number of family members, personal lifestyle, and of course, your home's resale value must always be taken into consideration. Sometimes it can be hard to determine when it's okay to install a half bath and when you really need that full bath.
Making the Case for a Full Bath
When a bathroom includes a sink, toilet, tub and shower (either combined or separate) it is considered a full bath. On occasion, a home will have a shower stall in place of a traditional tub but without that tub, the space isn't a true full bath.
For the sake of family harmony, it just makes sense to always try to have two full baths. This one major decision can also easily increase a home's resale. A 2006 study commissioned by the National Association of Homebuilders determined an additional full bath can increase a home's value by 20 percent. Then when remodeling, keep in mind including a full bath can easily recoup anywhere between 80-130 percent of total construction costs when reselling.
When a Half Bath is Best
One of the major advantages in considering a half bath is the fact anywhere you have at least 18 square feet of unused space, you can easily install a toilet and sink. Out-of-the-way or underutilized space including under a staircase, a large closet or a corner of an existing mudroom or laundry are all great areas for installing a half bath.
When working on new construction plans, the main consideration should be accessibility to the main living area without compromising the usability of those rooms. For example, while you want the half bath to be convenient, you don't want it to open into or be located right next to a heavily used space such as the kitchen or dining room. Adding a half bath is always a good idea if you entertain frequently, have a two story home with all the additional bathrooms located upstairs, or have lots of kids who are constantly running in from outdoors to "go potty."
Bottom line, if you have the space and can afford the extra cost of plumbing and installing a tub, then experts agree adding a full bath just makes good economic sense. But if both space and money is tight, add a half bath for convenience. Be sure to work with a professional plumber to make sur eeverything is built properly.