half bathroom that has toilet and vanity

What Does 1.5 Bathrooms Mean?

Dwellings, such as houses and apartments are built with a different number of rooms, and bathrooms. It’s not possible to have a bathroom otherwise it wouldn’t be functional, but when looking at the details of a home or apartment, there are some that say 1.5 bathrooms. So in this article I will explain what 1.5 bathrooms means. 

1.5 bathrooms means 1 bathroom that has a toilet only, and another full bathroom which includes a shower, vanity, and a toilet. On average, people use a toilet 5 times per day, so a toilet only bathroom is convenient. But, doesn’t take up as much space as an entire bathroom.

When planning out the design for a home, space is typically a key consideration. Therefore, maximizing the floor area by saving space where possible is a good idea, and makes toilet only bathrooms a good option. 

Below, I will explain exactly what technically counts as a bathroom, and how many toilets at typically required for the amount of rooms in a house.

What Qualifies as a Bathroom [How To Count Bathrooms]

You’ll be generally aware of what a bathroom is, even though in some English speaking countries a bathroom means a few different things. Bathrooms come in all different shapes and sizes. So, this is what a bathroom is technically.

In general, a bathroom is a room that has a shower or bath according to the dictionary definition. However, in every day language, bathroom is used to mean both a room with a toilet only, and a room with a shower/bath, vanity, and toilet. 

In real estate listings 0.5 bathroom means a room with a toilet only and no bath or shower.

For example, you can see a real estate listing that says:

  • 1.5 bathrooms – 1 full bathroom, and a toilet only bathroom
  • 2.5 bathrooms – 2 full bathrooms, and a toilet only bathroom
  • 3.5 bathrooms – 3 full bathrooms, and a toilet only bathroom

For houses or apartments with more bedrooms, it’s also possible that there are multiple toilet only bathrooms. For example, if it says 4.5 bathrooms. It could be that there are 3 full sized bathrooms, and 3 toilet only bathrooms. Because, 0.5 multiplied by 3 = 1.5, therefore, exactly how many full sized bathrooms, and how many toilet only bathrooms can vary from house to house, and apartment to apartment.

In some cases real estate listings will provide a floor plan, which shows what each room is. In that case, it’s easy to see how many full sized bathrooms there are, and how many bathrooms have a toilet only.

Otherwise, you will need to enquire with the person who made the listing to see how many bathrooms are full sized bathrooms, and how many are toilet only bathrooms. Interestingly, there is a minimum amount of bathrooms required in a home in many US States, so that a home is building compliant. 

It’s based on how many people will be living in the home. I explained this in more detail in this in another article I wrote about how many bathrooms a house should have

I also provided in depth detail about the average number of bathrooms houses have in the USA. Interestingly, it differs based on where in the USA a house is built. Such as, in the Southern States, or in the Western States.

Difference in regional spoken language – bathroom versus toilet

There is some difference in language about what exactly a bathroom is. For example, in the USA saying toilet is considered a bit blunt, and impolite. Instead, bathroom is used to mean toilet. If a toilet/bathroom is located in a public place like a restaurant or movie theater, restroom is used to mean bathroom in the USA.

Whereas, in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand it’s not considered impolite to say toilet when you mean toilet. And is a common to say.

If you say you’re going to the bathroom then people in these countries can be a bit confused. However, it’s not uncommon for people to use bathroom and toilet interchangeably outside the USA as well. 

Does a 1.5 Bathroom Have a Shower

There are various homes that have 1.5 bathrooms rather than 1 or 2 bathrooms. It’s important to have a shower in an apartment or home you’re considering living in. So, here is whether a 1.5 bathroom has a shower.

In general, a 1.5 bathroom has a shower. A full sized bathroom has a shower, and usually a toilet and a vanity unit. Whereas, a toilet only bathroom is written in real estate listings as an 0.5 bathroom. So, 1.5 bathrooms means one a full sized bathroom (with a shower), and one toilet only bathroom.

The dictionary definition of a bathroom says that it’s a room with either a bath or a shower. However, bathrooms nowadays, in almost every case, have a shower. Even, if they have a bathtub, they will also have a shower. 

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that a full sized bathroom, or a bathroom written as 1 bathroom in a real estate listing has a shower. Whereas, an 0.5 bathroom does not have a bath or a shower.

What Does 3.5 Bathrooms Mean

When looking around for a place to rent or buy you can often come across listings that have 0.5 bathrooms. It’s technically not possible to have half a bathroom, so it can be a bit confusing at first to figure out what it means. So, this is what a 3.5 bathrooms means.

Generally, 3 full sized bathrooms, and one bathroom that has a toilet only is what is meant by 3.5 bathrooms. However, it can also mean 2 full sized bathrooms, and 3 toilet only bathrooms. A bathroom that is a toilet only bathroom is written in real estate listings as 0.5 bathrooms. 

Because each half bathroom is written as 0.5 bathrooms, 3.5 bathrooms can mean two things. The same is true for any number of bathrooms over 1.5 bathrooms. Such as, 2.5 bathrooms, and 4.5 bathrooms.

In theory, 2 bathrooms could also mean 1 full sized bathroom, and 2 toilet only bathrooms. Therefore, the only way to know for sure is to enquire with the person who made the listing. Or, look at a floor plan of the property if it is provided in the listing.

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