The New “Bath Math” Adds up the Pieces

modern blue and white bathroom with sleek vanity and freestanding tub

What ever happened to the terms full- and half-bath? Seems like we are taking inventory today when we count the pieces.

Yes, the terminology has changed over the years, but I can help you understand what I call the new “bath math.”

A full bath includes four parts: toilet, sink, tub and shower while a three-quarter bath most often has an upright shower stall (and no tub) and a half bath or powder room has neither tub nor shower.

As bathroom sizes began to grow in square footage, more or different combinations of plumbing pieces were added and the older terminology faded away. Therefore, a half bath became a two-piece, three-quarter a three piece, and so on. Given the many different configurations of plumbing fixtures that are now appearing in owner or primary suites or en suites (the industry no longer uses the misogynist term master suite either!), a four-piece bath, the most common plan, contains a sink, toilet and two other fixtures:

  • toilet, sink, tub/shower combo*
  • toilet, sink, separate tub and shower*
  • toilet, double sinks, and tub
  • toilet, double sinks, and shower
  • toilet, sink, bidet, and tub
  • toilet, sink, bidet, and shower
  • toilet, sink, and double shower

*undoubtedly the most popular

Of course, grand homes even boast five- and six-piece baths or his and hers four piece-baths. Also, I am seeing more and more high-tech toilets with seat warmers, automatic lid openers, and built-in deodorizers in middle-class homes as well as luxury faucets, heated towel racks and floors, and steam showers, too.

If you are considering a bathroom upgrade, the three bath projects with the greatest return on investment are the addition of a new vanity, flooring, and tub/shower. And a complete bathroom remodel brings a joy score of 10 while a simpler remodel rates 9.6.

With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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