The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a home is very important. It’s often one of the first things a buyer looks for and will affect the value of the home. It’s important because they might want a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms for their family.
Some buyers will not make an offer on a home without a specified number of baths.
But when it comes to bathrooms, not all bathrooms are the same. The home might have a full bath, a three-quarter bath, a half bath, or a quarter bath. If you haven’t heard about these terms before, it could be confusing.
So what is the difference between these types of bathrooms? We define the types of bathrooms you might find described in a property listing.
What is a half bath?
A half bathroom has two fixtures. It will normally be just a sink and toilet, and might be called a guest bath or powder room. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has some interesting info on the history of the name “powder room.”
These types of bathrooms are often located on the main living floor in a multistory home for convenience. This allows people to avoid a longer trip upstairs when they need to use the bathroom.
If the home doesn’t have a bathroom on the same floor as the living room or relatively close by, a new half bathroom will benefit anyone living in the property. Converting a closet into a half bath is often a very profitable home improvement that will make your home more desirable.
If you have a suitable closet that is just large enough for a toilet and sink, spending around $4,000 could convert it to a half bath. If there isn’t already a half bath near the living room area of the home, this upgrade will increase the value.
What is a full bath?
A full bathroom should contain everything; toilet, sink, shower, bathtub, or a shower and bath combined. It could also contain a bidet, double sinks, or a smart toilet, though these aren’t included in the definition.
A full bathroom for the master bedroom is a very desirable feature. Home buyers are looking for this type of appealing feature, and it should make the home easier to sell. When real estate markets shifts to favor buyers, they become more picky. With more inventory they can afford to be. Having a master bath if often at the top of a buyer’s wish list.
What is a three-quarter bath?
While the full bath has four fixtures, the three-quarter bathroom only has three of them, so it is three quarters of a full bathroom. Often this will mean the bathroom is missing a bathtub, though that isn’t always the case.
This type of bathroom will normally contain a toilet, sink, and shower stall. Sometimes, particularly in older homes, a three-quarter bath might have a tub instead of a shower. If this is the case, it is an easy and cheap upgrade to fit a shower head and curtain to make it a full bath. It will be more costly, however, if the bathroom walls are only partly tiled.
What is a quarter bath?
As you might have already guessed, a quarter bath only has one fixture. Often this will just be a toilet without a sink. These types of bathrooms are increasingly rare, after all, not washing your hands after using the toilet isn’t considered very nice for obvious reasons.
Sometimes a quarter bath could be referring to a room with just a shower. This might be outside next to the pool so that people can shower after having a swim.
Are two half baths the same as a full bath?
While you might think that two half baths add up to a full bath, that isn’t the case. If a home has two full baths, and two half baths, it isn’t simply listed as having three bathrooms.
Each bathroom is listed separately, instead. This gives buyers a more accurate picture of what the home has to offer. Listing the bathrooms separately also shows that the home has more value over properties with fewer bathrooms.
Though the number of bathrooms a home has can be a selling point, not all bathrooms are equal in the fixtures they have. Defining bathrooms as full, three quarters, half, and a quarter, is a simple way to describe the features inside the home.
While these terms don’t completely describe what the bathrooms provide, it is a quick way to sum up the features of a home.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.