The layout and design of your bathroom are incredibly important decisions that require careful planning and consideration. Choosing the right layout for your bathroom is essential to maximize comfort, functionality, and aesthetics. Here is a comprehensive guide on determining the optimal bathroom layout to suit your needs and style.


When remodeling or building a new bathroom, one of the first steps is determining the layout. The layout includes the location of key elements like the toilet, bathtub, shower, vanity, and door(s). It dictates the flow of the space and how functional it feels during use. Taking the time to plan the layout will ensure your bathroom is organized, accessible, and comfortable for years to come.

There are many factors to consider when determining bathroom layouts such as size and shape of the bathroom, plumbing, windows and lighting, door placements, storage needs, and personal preferences. Balancing practicality and aesthetics takes thoughtful planning. Additionally, current trends offer creative new layouts and innovations like open concept bathrooms.

Bathroom Layout Options

Single Bathroom

The single bathroom layout contains the toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower all in one room. This is the most common and simple bathroom layout. One door opens into the bathroom. Often the toilet is placed furthest from the door for privacy. The sink goes near the door with the tub/shower on an adjacent wall.

This traditional layout works well for smaller bathrooms. Optimize space by using corner sinks and toilets or narrow shallow vanities. Focus lighting over the sink and shower area.

Double Bathroom

A double bathroom layout separates the toilet into its own small water closet room with a second room containing the sink and bathtub/shower. Two doors allow access to each room. This creates privacy for the toilet usage while allowing simultaneous access to the sink area.

Double bathrooms are ideal for larger spaces or when two family members need to use the bathroom at once. Adding a door between the two rooms also cuts down on noise. Consider placing towel bars and storage in the water closet for convenience.

Master Bathroom

Master bathrooms are designed as a private spa-like oasis connected directly to the master bedroom. They contain a shower, soaking tub, two sinks, private toilet room, and ample storage. Layouts emphasize comfort and create a relaxing environment.

Options like walk-in showers, towel warmers, and his/her vanities maximize function. Provide plenty of natural lighting and ventilation. Connect the toilet room to an attached walk-in closet for easy access.

Jack and Jill Bathroom

A shared bathroom connected between two bedrooms is known as a Jack and Jill layout. This allows the two bedrooms to access one centrally located bathroom. The bathroom will have a door to each bedroom on opposite walls.

For privacy, place the toilet in a separate water closet within the bathroom. Add two sinks and mirrors if possible so family members can use the bathroom together. This layout works well for families, kids’ bedrooms, and guest rooms.

Open Concept Bathroom

The open concept bathroom layout removes walls entirely to create one continuous space with the bedroom. The toilet and tub/shower area often have privacy walls or panels while the sink remains open.

Visually, this creates a feeling of more space. The layout works best in modern loft-like spaces with bedrooms on the main floor. The continuous flooring and lack of walls allow for barrier-free access as well. Just be sure to have proper ventilation.

Accessible Bathroom

An accessible bathroom layout is designed to enable use by people with limited mobility. Various design elements maximize ease of access and use of the toilet, sink, and shower areas.

Key features include wider doors, raised toilets, pedestal sinks, roll-in or walk-in showers with grab bars and bench seating. Flooring is slip-resistant. Lever style faucets and rocker light switches are easier to use. Open floor plans optimize maneuverability.

Powder Room

A powder room is a small bathroom near the main entry of a home. It contains just a toilet and sink, providing convenience for guests. The compact layout keeps plumbing condensed and separate from main bathrooms.

Powder rooms should have good ventilation. Add a large mirror and high-quality finishes to elevate the small space. The sink can also be placed in an adjacent closet or hallway outside the toilet room if space is limited. This is a great option for small homes where a full bath is not feasible.

Design Considerations

Many factors influence bathroom layouts. Evaluate the following considerations carefully during your planning process:

Size and Shape

The size and dimensions of your bathroom determine which layouts will fit. Measure carefully to scale drawings when planning. Irregular shaped rooms like pass-through bathrooms also influence the efficient use of space. Focus on minimizing empty unused space. If you have limited space, consider compact corner sinks and toilets and smaller showers.

Plumbing Location

Since plumbing runs inside walls, the existing locations of water lines, drains, and vents may dictate layout. Check plumbing access panels to see if lines run parallel or perpendicular to walls. Moving plumbing lines can increase costs. Work with existing plumbing when possible.

Doors and Entryways

Look at how doors swing open and where they are located to optimize flow. Doors generally open into bathrooms but should not block other doors. Opt for pocket doors or bi-fold doors if space is tight. Multiple entry points create more flexibility.


Well-designed storage is essential. Determine what you need to store in your bathroom and look for layouts that maximize built-in cabinets, drawers, open shelving, and medicine cabinets. Have storage near sinks and showers for ease of use.


Include adequate lighting in the layout for tasks like applying makeup. Add windows if possible along with overhead lighting. Make sure the shower and toilet areas have lighting as well. Lighting paired with ventilation helps prevent mold.


Bathrooms require ventilation to remove humidity and odors. Exhaust fans, operable windows, and dehumidifiers can help. Avoid layouts where shower steam can damage wood cabinets or mirrors.

Styles and Trends

Look at bath photos online for inspiration on current trends. Consider your personal taste along with resale value. Neutral spa-like designs have broad appeal. Unique tile, wallpaper, or colors add flair. Visit showrooms to experience layouts first-hand.

Fixtures and Features

Choose fixtures and features like a soaking tub, curbless shower, heated floors, or a high-tech toilet to include in your layout. This allows you to customize for your needs and desires. Coordinate plumbing and electrical during planning.


Bathroom projects can get expensive, so have a clear budget before finalizing layouts. Moving plumbing lines or bumping out walls add cost. Limit splurges to one or two luxury features. Get quotes from contractors on options to compare pricing.

Tips for Planning Bathroom Layouts

Follow these useful tips when determining your ideal bathroom layout:

  • Draw your existing bathroom to scale on graph paper, indicating all doors, windows, plumbing, etc. This creates a baseline for layout ideas.
  • Sketch rough layout options to scale to experiment with what fits best.
  • Cut out scaled shapes for toilets, tubs, showers to move around and visualize relationships.
  • Evaluate how doors swing into a space and if they block other doors or access.
  • Be sure there is proper clearance around toilets and showers.
  • Check that plumbing lines align with fixture locations.
  • Place plumbing on shared walls whenever possible.
  • Imagine how you move through the space during use. Optimize flow.
  • Mark frequently used areas to ensure they are convenient.
  • Add ample task lighting over sinks and showers.
  • Keep private areas like showers and toilets separated from public zones.
  • Include a quiet spot for towels, clothes, and toiletries within arm’s reach of each major area.
  • Float key layout options by a contractor to get feedback on feasibility.
  • Select materials and finishes last to match your layout style.

Investing ample time in planning bathroom layouts pays off exponentially. You want to get this right, as re-configuring a bathroom later is extremely costly. Evaluate all the options and design considerations to create your ideal bathroom layout tailored to how you live and relax.

Common Bathroom Layout Questions

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about designing bathroom layouts:

What is the most popular bathroom layout?

The single bathroom is the most common layout. It places the toilet, sink, and shower/tub all in one room accessed by a single door. The toilet is furthest from the door, sink next, followed by the tub or shower.

How do you layout a small bathroom?

For small bathrooms, look for space-saving features like corner mounted or wall-hung sinks and toilets. Install narrow vanities. Use a corner shower instead of a tub. Add shelves rather than medicine cabinets. Include only needed fixtures.

What is the best layout for a master bathroom?

Most master bathrooms include an enclosed toilet, spacious shower, separate soaking tub, two sinks, private closet area, and storage cabinetry. Include separate his/her sinks and custom shower and tub areas if space allows.

How do you lay out a Jack and Jill bathroom?

For a shared Jack and Jill bathroom, place sinks next to each other on one wall with a medicine cabinet above. Locate the tub/shower on one side and the toilet within a separate water closet room. Add two doorways opposite each other leading to bedrooms.

Where should you put a toilet in a bathroom?

Traditionally, the toilet goes furthest from the bathroom door for privacy. However, placing it closer to the entryway on an adjacent wall next to the vanity works too. Use a partition wall if needed. An enclosed water closet also hides the toilet.

Should toilet paper holder be inside or outside the bathroom?

The toilet paper holder generally goes inside the bathroom near the toilet for convenience and aesthetics. However, an additional holder could be installed outside for use if someone is occupying the bathroom.

What is the best floor plan for a master bathroom?

A large L-shaped floor plan allows you to separate each area effectively. Place double vanities on one wall with the toilet room at one end. Make an alcove for the tub on an adjacent wall with the walk-in shower on the far wall.

How do you design a bathroom layout?

Start by measuring the room and indicating plumbing locations. Sketch options on graph paper scaled to size. Cut out scaled bathroom fixtures to move around and test layouts. Evaluate flow, doorways, and privacy. Choose a layout that maximizes function and storage based on your needs.

How do you optimize a small bathroom layout?

For small bathrooms utilize narrow shallow vanities, corner sinks and toilets, pocket doors, wall-hung cabinets, corner shower stalls, vertical storage like towel ladders, dual purpose furniture like over-toilet storage and lighting over mirrors. Every inch counts.

Bathroom Layout Ideas

There are endless possibilities when creating bathroom layouts. Visit model homes and browse photos online or in design magazines to discover inspiring layout ideas. Some examples include:

  • Curbless walk-in shower with bench seating opposite soaking tub
  • His/her vanities flanking central freestanding tub
  • Wall hung vanities for floor space and clean lines
  • Barn door style sliding door for small spaces
  • Open shower and toilet areas with partition walls for privacy
  • Floating wood vanity atop drawers rather than bulky cabinets
  • Freestanding tub located as artful focal point
  • Custom built-in cabinetry and shelving for storage
  • Glass enclosed large walk-in shower with multiple showerheads
  • Separate privately walled toilet room with window
  • Double vanity with towering mirror and Hollywood lighting
  • Glass bowl vessel sinks atop floating wood vanity
  • Curbless shower enclosure seamlessly tiled from wall to wall

With some creativity and forethought, you can achieve the bathroom layout of your dreams. Define priorities like a luxurious place to unwind or a kid-friendly family space, and then shape the layout to match. Work with experienced bathroom designers or contractors to bring innovative layout ideas to life.


The layout of your bathroom has a profound impact on comfort, functionality, and aesthetics. By considering your needs, style, storage requirements, plumbing, existing space, and budget you can create an optimal layout tailored to you. Look at the full range of brilliant layout options from open concept showers to luxurious his/her vanities to Jack and Jill access and beyond. Blend practicality and creativity. Remember to map out relationships between doors, fixtures, and flow when planning. Investing in a bathroom that works via an ingenious layout is well worth the effort and yields rewards for many years to come.


Below are some frequently asked questions about determining your bathroom layout:

What are the most common bathroom layouts?

The most common bathroom layouts are:

  • Single bathroom – contains toilet, sink, and shower/tub in one room
  • Master bathroom – large bathroom connected to master bedroom with extra amenities
  • Double bathroom – separated into two rooms, one for toilet and one for sink/tub
  • Jack and Jill bathroom – shared bathroom connected between two bedrooms

How do you determine the best layout?

Consider the available space, plumbing locations, door placements, lighting needs, storage requirements, and number of people using the bathroom. Map out a few options to scale on graph paper. Evaluate flow and privacy for each fixture. Choose the most functional option.

What should you know before remodeling a bathroom?

Before remodeling measure carefully, check the location of plumbing lines, electrical, windows and doors. Look for signs of leaks or water damage. Consider the style you want. Set a realistic budget and prep a thorough plan before hiring a contractor.

Where should the toilet be located?

Traditionally the toilet is placed furthest from the main door for privacy. Corner toilets or a separate toilet room work well. Ensure proper clearance space around the toilet.

How do you arrange a small bathroom?

For small bathrooms use space saving features like narrow vanities, corner sinks/showers, pocket doors, floating shelves, and multipurpose furniture. Limit fixtures to the essentials. Optimize storage with cabinets, shelves and medicine cabinets.

What makes a master bathroom layout ideal?

Ideal master bathroom layouts incorporate a large shower, separate soaking tub, two sinks/vanities, private toilet area, walk-in closet access, ample cabinets/shelving and comfortable amenities like heated floors and towel warmers.

Should bathroom floor plans be open concept?

Open concept bathroom floor plans that blend into bedrooms work in some modern lofts, studios and master suites. They maximize a feeling of space. However privacy is a key concern, so strategically place partitions or partial walls around toilets and showers.

How do you design an accessible bathroom?

For accessibility use grab bars, roll-in showers, raised toilets, lever faucets, slip-resistant flooring, wide doorways, wall mounted sinks, rocker light switches and open floor space. Include a bench seat in the shower.

Where should you place the vanity in a bathroom?

Bathroom vanities work well centered on a wall, between two doors or windows or floating between walls. Make sure mirrors are well lit. Include storage like drawers and cabinets below. Place two vanities together in larger bathrooms if needed.

Should you get professional help designing a bathroom?

Yes, consider hiring an experienced bathroom designer, architect or contractor early in the planning process. They can help assess your existing space, identify any issues, provide layout recommendations, avoid costly mistakes, manage the remodel well and ensure proper permitting.

Summary: Key Things to Consider When Determining Your Bathroom Layout

Planning a bathroom layout is an exciting challenge that balances functional needs and personal style. Here are the key considerations when determining your optimal bathroom layout:

  • Space – Carefully measure the room size and shape. Scale drawings help test layouts. Be sure fixtures fit and spaces flow well.
  • Doors – Door placement impacts accessibility and privacy. Avoid blocking other doors. Pocket or bifold doors work in tight spaces.
  • Plumbing – Check existing plumbing lines and easily tie into drainage. Moving plumbing can add cost quickly.
  • Storage – Well-designed and maximized storage is essential. Include cabinets, shelves, drawers.
  • Lighting – Layer lighting throughout. Add windows if possible. Ensure sinks and showers are well lit.
  • Ventilation – Humidity control is crucial. Install proper exhaust fans and operable windows.
  • Style – Decide on overall aesthetic – traditional, modern, retro. Choose appropriate fixtures, finishes.
  • Special Features – Incorporate wishlist items like a soaking tub, curbless shower, heated floors.
  • Budget – Establish a realistic budget and stick to it. Get contractor quotes. Save on finishes/decor later.
  • Privacy – Separate private functions like showering from public sink areas.
  • Accessibility – If needed, design an accessible space with grab bars, roll-in shower, lever faucets.
  • Help – Consider hiring a bathroom designer or architect to create options.

By balancing all these key factors you can determine a stellar bathroom layout tailored to your lifestyle and taste!

Bathroom Layout Do’s and Don’ts

Determining your ideal bathroom layout involves lots of decisions. Follow these helpful do’s and don’ts when planning your new bathroom design:


  • Do measure carefully and draw the space to scale
  • Do work within the existing plumbing and electrical
  • Do optimize storage with cabinets, shelves and drawers
  • Do layer lighting throughout the space
  • Do emphasize ventilation to limit humidity
  • Do separate private areas like the toilet and shower
  • Do create an