Why We Didn’t Build A True “Master Bath”

posted by Andrea | 02/20/2017
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Over the past 6 years of sharing various home renovations, I have been asked SO many questions about Dave and my bathroom, and (more specifically) why we didn’t re-work our plans to create a true en suite with the master bath directly off our master bedroom.

As you can see by the image above, our bathroom is only a couple steps from our bedroom door — so definitely not super inconvenient for us at all. However, since I get so many questions about this one issue, I figured I’d share the many reasons we chose not to give ourselves a true “master bath”.

But first, here are a few pictures to show you what we were working with. 

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Now that you can visualize what our bedroom and bathroom look like, here are main reasons we chose to keep our bathroom separate from our bedroom.

1. We have more usable space.

Both our bedroom and our bathroom have more usable space with separate doorways that lead into our short hallway than if we would have tried to make a doorway off our bedroom going directly into our bathroom. And actually, our living room has more usable space as well.

The whole “master suite” issue was one that caused us a bit of a delay when we were initially planning our demolition. We tried so many ideas, reworked the blueprints, moved doorways around, but nothing ever seemed to make sense.

We weren’t willing to give up usable space in any of our rooms just so we could say we had a true “master suite”.

2. We are basically the only people who use the bathroom anyway.

Our kids NEVER use this bathroom — they even call it “mom and dad’s bathroom”. They have their “kids’ bathroom” upstairs and the other full bath off the kitchen that they can use whenever.

I do keep Nora’s hair stuff in our bathroom (because I don’t want her to have full access to it yet!) but that’s the only kid thing we keep in our bathroom.

Also, when guests come over, they almost always use the bathroom off the kitchen. Very rarely will anyone use our “master bathroom” because it’s a bit out of the way.

Of course, we don’t care if people do use it, but it really has basically served its purpose as our private master bathroom since others don’t use it all that often.

3. No one needs to walk through our bedroom.

However, on the rare occasion the other bathrooms are full, guests can easily access our bathroom without walking through our bedroom or our closet.

Even though our bedroom and closet are always neat and clean enough, I don’t love the idea of people walking through our space to go to the bathroom.

4. We can get ready without disrupting the other person.

Dave wakes up very early… and although I do still get up before the kids, I have no desire to be up at 5:20am every single day!

Dave always puts his clothes for the next day in the bathroom before he goes to bed… and in the morning, he simply creeps out of our room, shuts the door, and doesn’t bother me again until I wake up.

He can shower, get dressed, use the bathroom, and brush his teeth without ever stepping foot in our bedroom or letting light from the bathroom blind me while I try to sleep.

On the flip side, if I wake up early to get groceries on Saturday (or whenever I get up with kids in the middle of the night) I can go to the bathroom, change my clothes, etc. without bothering him.

5. We have more flexibility with room arrangements.

Our bedroom is the 2nd largest room in the house, and Dave and I have already mentioned that if we need more space for kids to share a bedroom, we would consider moving to one of the smaller rooms and letting 2 kids share our bedroom.

If we had a master suite, I’m sure we wouldn’t be as willing to give up our own private bath — but since our bathroom is located between the 2 main floor bedrooms, it wouldn’t be nearly as big of a deal to swap rooms if we ever felt it was necessary.

You know me… I’m always eager to change rooms around!  🙂

6. It was just easier!

One of the main reasons we were so smitten with this farmhouse was because the layout was almost EXACTLY what we wanted for our future family. Yes, we opened up a few walls and changed the doorway into the office, but otherwise, we left the existing layout almost untouched.

We love the layout of our house, so going through a HUGE amount of demolition and reconstruction only to LOSE usable space just didn’t seem like a good use of our time, energy, or finances.

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If we ever build a house from scratch (something we always talk about but truly have NO intentions of doing any time soon), we would most likely build an en suit — mainly because I know that’s what others would want to buy. But for the time being, we really never feel like we’re missing out on any sort of luxury due to the fact that we need to walk four steps down the hall to get to our “master bathroom”.

Obviously, I don’t think it’s bad or wrong to have a master bathroom — but it just didn’t feel necessary to us (and so far, we don’t regret that decision!)

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24 comments

  1. PW

    02/20/2017

    When we remodeled our house we did not attach the bathroom to the bedroom either, we didn’t want people going thru our bedroom to the bathroom or having 2 doors. Neither of us are in the bathroom more then at most 20 min to shower, each have own bathroom to get ready for work, and since we are gone at work most of day we did not make the remodel a super fancy bathroom costing $30,000 like our friends. We just don’t spend much time in the bathroom. Go figure.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we didn’t even spend $30,000 on our huge, massive, 6-month-long kitchen makeover (and we use our kitchen ALL DAY LONG). I can’t even fathom spending that much on a bathroom that no one sees and that we only use for a few minutes a day 🙂

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  2. Debbie

    02/20/2017

    I think your floorplan and your hallway bathroom is perfect for your needs. Your home is just right as it is.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it really is! Even though our house needed SOOOOOO much work when we first purchased it, we just loved the location and the overall layout of the house. It has worked well for our needs so far!

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  3. Mikki

    02/20/2017

    If you ever move all your kids upstairs, you can add a door or curtain to the doorway from the living room to the hallway and use the now nursery as a sitting room and have one heck of a “master suite”.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we’ve thought about putting a sliding barn door on the opening to the hallway to close it off if we want to. Also, when all the kids are upstairs, we want to turn the nursery into a little “den” with a small couch, TV, beanbag chairs, games, etc.

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  4. Heidi

    02/20/2017

    We have a master bath attached to our bedroom, but it is so tiny that I hardly use it! Our two daughters and I pretty much share “their” bathroom. That’s what happens when you share hair products with your insanely curly headed six year old!

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  5. Carrie Willard

    02/20/2017

    Master baths are so horribly overrated IMO. Our current home, a rental, has one with a huge jacuzzi tub that we NEVER use. The whole bathroom is just too big, and yes – in our marriage I’m the 4:30 AM riser, and I can’t even get ready in there. I end up taking my clothes and makeup and stuff to the hallway bathroom! Even flushing toilets late at night can wake up the sleeping person in the bed. I don’t get the fascination.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, my dad was a builder for a long time and always tried to discourage the jacuzzi tubs. They are SO overrated, really hard to clean, and take up an insane amount of valuable floor space.

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    MimiR Reply:

    Also, I have a jetted tub I use 3-4 times per week.

    1) Don’t oversize it. You want long and deep for comfort, but no more than 6′ and NOT wide.

    2) Get a good one with enough jets and power. Mine has 8 just for my back.

    3). Have a big water heater.

    4) Get an inline heater, the sound dampening package, and insulate it.

    [Reply]

    MimiR Reply:

    Build it right with proper soundproofing. My husband didn’t hear my holler when I broke my foot!

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  6. Kim Hueil

    02/20/2017

    I’m curious – how big is your walk-in shower? Do you ever have issues with water splashing out onto the floor?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it’s 4 ft. x 4 ft. but we have a small curtain that hangs on the inside — so we can close it while we’re in the shower (it keeps the heat in too!)

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  7. Rachel

    02/20/2017

    We chose to do the same thing in our home! With the tiny hallway, we kind of wondered why the designer felt the need to include a special door between the bathroom and the “master” bedroom. We closed it up and moved the toilet over to create more space for a longer vanity with two sinks. Win! Win! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — so you actually closed your bathroom off! Now I don’t feel so weird for not trying to create a master bath where one never even existed!

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  8. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life

    02/20/2017

    My parents had an old house in Jamestown, MI for a while and their master bedroom had a similar setup. If you wanted to, you could close off that whole hall and set up the nursery as a private “sitting room” and have it be a massive master suite. I’d never use a private sitting room, but it always seems appealing to people house shopping 🙂 Love your floorplan!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah — or a giant walk-in closet/dressing area! We had that idea already, but it would be very impractical for our lifestyle and for a home with babies!

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  9. Kelly

    02/20/2017

    Good points!

    We have a master bath and never use it, because our twin babies sleep in our room. We don’t want to awaken them, so if one of us is awake before the babies, we always go in the main bathroom. Plus, it doesn’t make sense to keep any stuff in the master, since we never know when our room will be “off limits” by a sleeping baby!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yeah — that would be hard with babies sleeping in there. Maybe you’ll use it more once the kids are older?

    [Reply]

  10. ms

    02/20/2017

    How did you make the floor plan? software?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think it’s through floorplanner.com. I made it many years ago!

    [Reply]

  11. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    02/20/2017

    I have never liked having a bathroom in my bedroom! It kind of grosses me out and honestly feel like it is very unprivate. Can be a romance killer!!

    I once had a master where the sink was IN the bedroom and a shower and toilet in a tiny room. My husband could not even use the shower bc it was too tight! Silliest thing ever. Had we stayed there we planned to get rid of the sink and combine the shower room with the bathroom behind it to make a bigger main bathroom OFFsuite. Our current house is extra silly. You have to turn the light on from outside the bathroom. I shower each day by the flashlight on my phone so I don’t bug my husband. Last night I slept in our guest room because he had to get ready to catch a flight at 4:30 am. Totally not waking up that early on a day off!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I’ve seen homes with the sinks IN the bedroom — SO WEIRD! And yes, I’m so thankful I don’t need to wake up with Dave every day at 5:20 because the bathroom lights are on 🙂

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    lyss Reply:

    Our master was like that…sink facing the bedroom, with the shower and toilet in a tiny room. To me it felt like a cheap motel! We changed the walls so the whole bathroom (and our closet) is behind one door. Much better!

    Personally, I love having a master bathroom. I hate having to leave my bedroom if I need the bathroom at night. To me, THAT’s a romance killer and very inconvenient. Having to put on something decent, only to go back to take it back off. lol. We have kids. You never know if they might be awake…

    Now, double sinks is something that I don’t get. But I know that it’s a house deal breaker for alot of people. I don’t feel the need for my own sink. It’s rare we brush our teeth or need to wash our hands at the same time! lol. I guess we all have our preferences! 🙂

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