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What Is a 1.5 Bathroom? Pros & Cons, Design Ideas

There is a lot of confusion regarding a 1.5 or one-and-a-half bathroom. This term is used by real estate and Airbnb, among others, but there has been some debate as to what this term actually means.

We will dive headlong into this topic and give you everything you need to know about these bewildering bathrooms and bring some clarity to the subject.

We will explain what a one-and-a-half bathroom is, what they look like, and what kind of value they can add to your home.

We will also cover important things to consider along with design ideas to aid you if this is a project you would like to take on.

The more information you know about a building project, the more likely the work will go smoothly and successfully.

1.5 bathroom

What Does It Mean to Have a 1.5 Bathroom

Let’s put an end to the debate right here and now.

Some believe a 1.5 bathroom is a full bathroom with additional space like a powder or makeup room attached to or inside of the full bath.

Others describe 1.5 bathrooms as a full bathroom with a half bath somewhere else on the property.

The funny thing is both descriptions are accurate, and either one could be a 1.5 bathroom.

How Big Is a 1.5 Bath

The size of the 1.5 bath depends on the bathroom in question.

The average size of a full bathroom is around 36 to 40 square feet. Although, some full bathrooms can be more extensive.

A reasonable estimate for 1.5 bathrooms, whether connected or as two separate rooms, would be around 60 to 70 square feet.

But be aware this is just an estimate, and the size may vary.

What Does a 1.5 Bathroom Look Like

Some baths-and-a-half look wildly different than others.

If your 1.5 bathroom has a powder or makeup room, picture a normal full bathroom with a toilet, sink, shower, bathtub, and additional door. Behind that extra door will be the powder room which is often quite small and has just a sink and mirror. A door does not always separate powder rooms, but that is usually the case.

If the 1.5 bathroom is two separate bathrooms, imagine one full bathroom, and elsewhere in the home is a half bath with a toilet and a sink.

How Much Value Does a 1.5 Bathroom Add

In most cases, having more bathrooms adds to your property’s value.

By adding a 1.5 bath to your home, you should see your property value increase anywhere between 5 to 10 percent or more. The current state of the housing market in your area will have an effect on the increased value.

Be mindful that adding a half bath with a toilet and sink is always more valuable than adding a makeup or powder room.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a 1.5 Bathroom

Most of the work has been done if you already have a full bathroom and are just adding a half bath. Adding a half bath with a toilet and sink will cost you around $3000 to $5000 while adding just a powder room will cost you less at around $2000 to $3000.

Building a 1.5 bathroom completely from scratch without a full bathroom already built will cost you considerably more. You should expect to pay around $15,000 for a low-end 1.5 bathroom and upwards of $40,000 for a 1.5 bath with high-end features.

Pros and Cons of Having a 1.5 Bathroom


Added Property Value

One of the most common benefits of adding additional bathroom space to a home is that it will increase your property value.

Whether you bought a home purely to flip it for a profit or view additional bathroom space as an investment that pays you back one day in the future, adding a 1.5 bathroom will increase your property value.


Another advantage of having a 1.5 bathroom is the convenience it can bring to your life.

If someone is using the toilet in one bathroom and you have to go, you can just use the toilet in the half bath.

Also, with a powder room, you have a dedicated space to apply makeup without taking over one of the other bathrooms.

Stylistic Opportunites and Custom Features

When building a bathroom from scratch, you can change the style and design of the room to suit your needs and desires. You can add any custom features you want and are only limited by your budget.

But if you can afford it, you can build the bathroom of your dreams.


More Maintenance and Cleaning

More bathroom space means more cleaning and maintenance.

A powder room does not require much maintenance, but there will still be a sink to take care of, and clogs can happen.

A half bath will require even more maintenance and cleaning as you will have both a sink and toilet to consider.

The Difficulty of the Project

When adding a bathroom, whether a powder room or a half bath, is not an easy task. The work involved goes beyond the skill level of the average DIY enthusiast.

Odds are you will have to hire a professional contractor to complete this project, which will only bring the price up.

Dealing with Code Enforcement

Whenever you create an addition to your home, you will likely be forced to deal with building code enforcement.

If you do not abide by the building regulations in your area, you will be frustrated with being fined and having to redo your work.

Things to Consider Before Adding a 1.5 Bathroom

Do You Really Need It?

The first thing to consider is do you really need an additional bathroom or powder room. In most cases, we all want additional bathroom space, but we usually do not need it.

You can save yourself a lot of money by holding off on a project of this scale.

The Location of Your Plumbing

If you have decided to go through with this project, a major concern is the location of your plumbing.

Creating a powder room as an offshoot of a full bathroom is relatively easy. But when building a half bath, the further that addition is from existing water lines, the higher your plumbing costs will be.


Electricity is one of the main components of any bathroom remodel or addition. Regardless of the type of room you are creating, it will need electricity.

After deciding which type of lighting and how many outlets you’ll need, you should probably hire a professional electrician to do the work.


Ventilation is a major concern for half baths and not really required for powder rooms.

In most cases, you can get away with a window and basic fan when you don’t have a shower or bathtub in the room.

The main reason to have ventilation in a half bath is to get rid of lingering odors.

1.5 Bathroom Design Ideas

Powder Room with Additional Storage

Most powder rooms are quite small, with just enough space for a person to walk into them.

You can build a larger powder room, giving you some space to breathe and allowing you to add some cabinets or shelving for additional storage space.

Half Bath with a Full Bath Feel

A half bath doesn’t have to feel like it’s only living up to half its potential. You can build a half bath in a larger space giving the room the feel of a full bathroom.

You can even add a shower and other custom features to accentuate this feeling further.

The Luxurious Powder Room

Most women apply makeup on a daily basis. Why not have this daily ritual in an elegant space?

You can add a cushioned bench for additional seating and chandelier lighting. Custom wood carved vanity and specialty wallpaper would complete the look.

Be mindful that these luxurious powder rooms can be very expensive.


What do 1.5 bathrooms mean on Airbnb?

Most of the time, an Airbnb will not see much sense in having a powder room, so when they say 1.5 bathrooms, they mean one full bathroom and one-half bath.

James B. Parker

At a young age, James' father taught him carpentry, and he was pretty much destined for a career in the construction industry. He worked as a professional remodeling contractor for some of the most prominent construction companies for several years, before deciding to pursue his passion for writing.

A vast amount of construction experience allows James to provide practical advice for those considering a bathroom remodel.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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