Guest bedroom upstairs...bathroom on main floor?

lavender_lassJuly 2, 2012

We're remodeling our old farmhouse and we plan to have the master suite and one guest room/study on the main floor. Upstairs, there is one bedroom and a small attic space...but no bathroom. We won't use the upstairs space every day, just when extended family comes to visit. Does anyone else have this situation and do you think it's a problem having the bathrooms on the main floor?

We do have a large extended family (husband is one of nine children) so I would like to have the master bath, guest bath and a powder room on the main floor. We also have a rec room planned for the basement, but no bathroom down there, either. I'd like your input...and thank you, in advance :)

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Well, if you have no choice, you have no choice. But I think it is awkward and a little dangerous for half-asleep people to "stumble" down unfamiliar stairs in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. And traipsing around in my bathrobe through someone else's house on my way to the shower, my arms piled up with toiletries and clothes, is never high on my list of things to do. If you cannot put in an upstairs bath, make sure the stairs are well-lit. But if you can put even a half-bath upstairs, even better.

So -- are you considering putting one in?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Thanks for the response. We have a guest room/study near the hall bath, so no traipsing around with toiletries, unless you end up on the second floor. And that's going to be more for a kids' bunk room :)

Here's the plan for the main floor...

From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Isn't there some way you can squeeze in at least a small bathroom (or powder room) upstairs?

It's a really awkward arrangement to have a bedroom on a floor where there are no bathrooms.

In our neighborhood, there are a lot of bungalows. The first floor is living room, dining room, kitchen, full bath, and 2 rooms that can be used as anything from a bedroom, office, breakfast room, etc. Second floor has three rooms, no bath. Almost everyone who buys one of those homes, ends up squeezing the whole family into the 2 downstairs bedrooms. The upstairs rooms get used for maybe a playroom, weight room or attic space.

Generally speaking, people want a bathroom within a few feet of the bedroom. I, too, think it's dangerous to have guests (especially half-asleep children) stumbling downstairs to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you have no choice, but to stick with your plans then--were it me, I'D be the one in the upstairs bedroom when we had company, so my guests could have the more convenient bedrooms.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:32PM
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hope you can put in at least a half bath. Not having a necessary on the same floor you are sleeping on is very very very inconvenient.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 5:42PM
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We have a small attic with no bathroom, and the last year my daughter lived at home her bedroom was up there, and now that is where she sleeps when she comes home. My daughter is an extraordinarily accommodating girl, and she dealt with it (no choice...) but there are times when it gets on her nerves. And we do rely on her to be alert, able-bodied, agile, and co-ordinated.

We also only have one main floor bathroom, and it is near our bedroom (which is the old parlour with double doors, don't ask). This means that when a guest comes down, they are more or less right in OUR bedroom, or at least our private space. Makes it very awkward to have anyone over who we don't know well, so in fact we don't do it.

So there are the two ends of the equation: they don't have a bathroom upstairs, and you DO have THEM downstairs. If you really think you will be having guests who you aren't pretty close to, I think I'd try hard to put in a powder room, and ideally even a shower, upstairs. Or downstairs. Maybe you can put one type of company in one place, more familiar types in the other.

We do have facilities in the basement, thank heavens, so we are not quite a one-bathroom house. THAT would a situation worth ameliorating, but at least you have a powder room on the main.

Karin L

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:41PM
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In a house with three floors that you will be using--basement, ground floor, second floor--it would seem odd to me to have three bathrooms all on the same floor.

I house sat all through grad school and twice lived in houses where the bathroom wasn't on the same floor as the bedroom I was sleeping in. It wasn't horrendous, but I'd never buy a place with that setup.

If you needed the bathroom in the middle of the night, it wasn't a matter of stumbling a few feet down the hall. You had to turn on a lot of lights and navigate the stairs both ways. It woke me up completely and made it difficult to get back to sleep.

And having to shower on a different floor was weird, even though I was the only person in the house. It just seemed like a lot of time was wasted running up and down stairs in various degrees of being dressed, instead of being able to slip easily into the bathroom down the hall.

You're going to have an overabundance of bathrooms on one floor, taking up floor space, and nothing on the the other two floors.

I'd vote for at least a powder room on the second floor, with a shower being even better. If you are thinking of resale value in the future, a bathroom on the second floor would be an asset.

I guess it depends on how often you think people will be staying in the second floor bedroom and for how long. A night or two? Easy enough to make-do. A week or more? More of a problem.

And what is the make up of the extended family? If there are a lot of kids and you are hoping to corral them in the rec room when the house is full, a bathroom down there would stop a lot of traffic up and down stairs. Of course, it would also allow the kids to make water balloons unsupervised, so you have to pick your battles . . . .

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Thank you for all the responses! I think we may have come up with a way to move a few things around and have one of the bathrooms upstairs.

So, two bathrooms on the main floor...and a small one upstairs, for guests. Got to run (have to work on fences, in the horse pasture) but I'll check back in with a plan update, when I can :)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:06PM
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We have a rustic 1880s farmhouse that's used as a summer place. The only bathroom is downstairs and it wasn't installed till the early 1960s. A parlor was converted to a bedroom next to the bathroom.

The other four bedrooms are upstairs and there's no bathroom. The house has always been in the family and has accumulated lots of furniture, including wooden commodes with chamber pots in each upstairs bedroom. We used them when I was growing up, which I thought it was kind of cool. I point them out to guests, who look at them doubtfully, lol. But the potties are handy if someone doesn't want to navigate the stairs in the middle of the night. However, not everyone is adventurous about using the old-timey toilet, so I also put flashlights in every room and leave lights on.

We have figured out where a bathroom could be put in upstairs and even met with a plumber, but we only stay at the house about a month per year, so we're trying to carve out a longer spell so we can be there during construction.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 2:03AM
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