Column: The benefits of a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom

A “Jack and Jill” can increase the privacy and functionality of your children’s shared bathroom. (Submitted photo)

A “Jack and Jill” can increase the privacy and functionality of your children’s shared bathroom. (Submitted photo)

School is starting up once again, which means it’s time to get back into the routine of getting up and ready in the mornings. And as anyone who grew up with siblings can attest, having multiple children share a bathroom can sometimes create a difficult situation. Most mornings it can seem like everyone needs to use the bathroom at the exact same time, leading to squabbles, hassles and running late. If you are looking for a new solution, a Jack and Jill bathroom may be the perfect addition to your home. “Jack and Jill” is the common term for a shared bathroom that is connected to separate bedrooms. If well-designed, a Jack and Jill can increase the privacy and functionality of your children’s shared bathroom. And it may help them make the bus on time with fewer grumpy interactions.

Privacy is the main benefit of a Jack and Jill bathroom. The best Jack and Jill designs feature a layout that separates the various areas of the bathroom, like the toilet, shower and sink areas. Clearly separate these areas with doors, so that multiple people are able to be in the bathroom at once. This way, one child can be taking a shower while another brushes his teeth, without having to compromise any privacy.

Jack and Jills also generally feature separate amenities that allow each child to have their own space in the bathroom. Most homeowners choose to install two sinks, two mirrors and two linen closets. Doubling up on the bathroom necessities helps cut down on crowding and makes it easier to share.

When designing a Jack and Jill, you’ll want make sure you have enough cabinet space and storage for each child. Kids of any age tend to store quite a lot of “stuff” in the bathroom. Kids may clutter the room with bath toys, while teenagers may struggle to find space for their hair products, dryers, straighteners and cosmetics. Both age groups can benefit from ample amounts of built-in storage. Use storage cabinetry along the sides of sinks or near the shower area to store towels, soaps, laundry hampers and other items that may otherwise get thrown on the floor. Ample amounts of storage will cut down on clutter and ensure that each sibling knows where his or her toiletries are located.

The best part about Jack and Jill bathrooms are the added space that they afford you. In terms of measurement, Jack and Jills tend to take up more space than the average bathroom. If you choose to remodel the space, you’ll have more flexibility. Once the kids move away, you can transform your functional Jack and Jill into a luxurious guest bathroom (although I’m sure that seems like a faraway day for many parents).

A Jack and Jill solution can help your children share a bathroom with more harmony. And when the kids are getting along, your morning routines will feel breezier as well.