Kirsty McLuckie: How many bathrooms should a home have for ease and comfort?

The bathroom-to-bedroom ratio has certainly risen in the last few decades, and even two-bed new-build flats are now usually expected to have an ensuite as well as a main bathroom.
Picture: ShutterstockPicture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

One per member of a household seems like a luxury to me, but as an avid – if guilty – consumer of American real estate TV programmes, the most expensive mansions now allot more space for private ablutions than seems sensible.

Double the number of bathrooms to bedrooms is not unheard of.

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A quick Google at top-end US houses for sale suggests that for true luxury, a master bedroom should have two ensuites – his and hers – and as well as a bathroom for every bedroom, and one adjacent to each recreation area, such as the kitchen, gym, indoor pool and party room.

You might also want to designate a couple of restrooms for employees –the smartest folk do not want to patiently queue up with waiting staff, nannies or chefs for their turn to use the facilities.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have 16 bathrooms in their nine-bedroom Montecito home, although there are rumours that they are thinking of downsizing.

Perhaps it’s the thought of donning the rubber gloves and scrubbing 16 U-bends that has led them to reconsider their living arrangements?

When we designed and built our house, 15 years ago, two bathrooms plus a downstairs loo was a step up from our previous abode.

But back then the children were small and did not object to being thrown in the bath at the same time. Over Christmas, when our now adult children all returned for the festivities, two bathrooms serving five of us was already a stretch.

But this state of affairs hit a crisis point when – one by one – we tested positive for the dreaded virus.

The necessity of being in isolation in our own rooms for three weeks in total as our consecutive casesplayed out, ruined our Christmas and New Year.

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And the attempts to stop infecting each other became impossible with our paltry two bathrooms.

As each member of the family got the dreaded two lines on a test, they moved to using the plague shower and loo, leaving the doomed remainder to share the other.

The grim score of 1-4 became 2-3, 3-2 and then 4-1.

By the time the fifth member of our clan contracted the virus, the first couple of victims were clear, so the segregation continued.

This week, a survey of UK homeowners by price comparison website Local Surveyors Direct published the nation’s home renovation plans for 2022.

New kitchens topped the list of renovations planned for the year.

The company commented: “People are now looking to improve for pleasure, knowing that with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, they may well spend more time at home in years to come.”

If looking to improve for convenience rather than strictly pleasure, for us, creating at least one extra bathroom is definitely the more pressing need.

- Kirsty McLuckie is property editor at The Scotsman

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