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Full Bathroom vs Half Bathroom – The Main Differences and Common Questions for Home Owners

Deciding between a full or a half bathroom and still don’t know which one is right for your home? And what are the main differences between the two? In short, a full bathroom has a sink, a bathtub, a shower, and a toilet. A half bathroom, on the other hand, has only two out of the four elements listed previously. Usually, this includes just a sink and a toilet but can contain a shower and a sink or a similar combination.


A full bathroom will be much more expensive than a half bath. A full bath requires much space to accommodate four separate fixtures. A full bathroom will cost between $7,000-30,000, whereas a half bath will cost $5,000-18,000 to install. This cost will also vary drastically if you are transforming an existing space or if the bathroom is a new addition to the home. Generally, you can expect to pay an extra $10,000 if this is a new addition versus work on an existing space. 

Overall value

In terms of value, you get more for your money with a full bathroom. While the initial investment will seem steep, a full bathroom offers much more space and function than a half bath. Including a sink, a toilet, and a shower and a bathtub allows multiple individuals to utilize the space, whereas a half bath is much more limited. In addition, a full bathroom provides a greater bump to your home’s value, making it the better option. 

Higher Maintenance cost

A full bath will have a higher maintenance cost as there are more fixtures and elements to worry about, and the space is much larger. Sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets will all have plumbing issues over time, and the longer these elements go ignored and untreated, the greater damage they can cause to your home. Additionally, with higher foot traffic, a full bath is likely to run into maintenance issues earlier as these fixtures will see much more use compared to a half bath. 

Ease of Installation

A half bath is much easier to install because the space required is much smaller, and there are fewer fixtures to install. This also lowers the total time for installation when compared to a full bath. Conversely, a full bath is much more difficult to install as there are double the amount of fixtures to install, and the space is generally twice as large as a half bath. 

Higher Resale Value

A full bathroom will offer the highest resale value. This is because the total number of fixtures makes the designated space much more valuable. Items such as sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers all provide great value to a potential buyer and it makes the space much more attractive to families as well. A half bath is less attractive because it is seen as an auxiliary or supplemental space. 

Design and Layout

In terms of design and layout, a full bathroom will have all elements evenly spaced out, giving you more freedom in decorating the space and maneuvering. It’s spacing is also attractive for large families as many individuals can share the space. On the other hand, a half bathroom will often feel cramped and small as it has to accommodate multiple elements in a smaller space. A half bath will have fewer storage options, whereas a full bathroom will have more extra storage space. 


Better for Families

A full bathroom is a better choice for families as it offers a significant degree of space and multiple fixtures. This allows multiple users in a full bathroom, and the variety of fixtures accommodates all individuals, from adolescence to adult. A half bathroom is more suited for smaller households who do not require all the extra fixtures and utilize the space simply for their own needs. A half bathroom also requires less maintenance, making it ideal for a busy individual. 

Common Questions for Home Owners

When Should I consider a full bath over a half bath?

You should consider a full bath over a half bath when you want more space and see yourself utilizing the additional fixtures in your home. Perhaps your family is growing and you need to accommodate multiple individuals. A full bath is great if you have a large household, but if your household is small, around two people, than a half bath is still preferred. A full bath is also a great option if you plan on remodeling your home and want to increase your home’s resale value. 

Will a half bath lower my home’s value?

A misconception is that a half bathroom will lower your home’s overall value. This is not the case as more bathrooms in a home only increase your home’s value. However, a full bathroom is more valuable than a half bath, so you are likely to see a better return on your investment with a full bath over a half bath. 

Overall, which should I consider?

This answer will depend entirely on the needs of your home. If you want less maintenance and your household is small, a half bath is a great option as it is much more affordable. However, if you see yourself needing extra fixtures and storage space and your household is growing, than a full bathroom is a great investment for the future. 

Hopefully, this helps you choose the right bathroom for your home. Remember to consider the needs of your family and plan accordingly when making this decision.

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