Why don't people like downstairs bathrooms?

(61 Posts)
Maebe Fri 15-Mar-13 10:41:11

I keep seeing this pop up on so many threads and I'm always confused why people feel quite so strongly against downstairs bathrooms.

We have one - old converted/extended 2-up, 2-down, so it is off our kitchen. I've not only got used to it, I really quite like it now. It's surprisingly handy. For example...

It's great with young DCs, you can go to the loo without being a whole floor away from them (say if you only have an upstairs bathroom)

It makes getting ready in the morning so easy. I can have the baby's milk warming and the kettle boiling etc while I start the shower. I find that saves time as compared to when I had a house with an upstairs bathroom and was trudging up and down between floors. I can see it being easier when the DCs are older, they can be eating breakfast in the kitchen while I'm ten feet away showering etc.

And the same thing in the evenings - one of us bathes DC while the other is in the kitchen starting dinner, it's quite sociable really!

Also, I spend most of my time in my house downstairs. Where the loo is. Which is all very handy, really grin

Yes, once in a blue moon I wake up in the middle of the nights and think, arse, I've got to go downstairs to pee, but that's so rare. The only time it was an issue was when I was heavily pregnant, and then I just admitted defeat and had a bucket in the spare room. And tbh, the stairs were so annoying I half suspect I would have put a bucket somewhere downstairs if the bathroom had been upstairs!

Now, obviously the ideal would be some form of toilet on every floor, but not every house has room for that. So why do people hate the thought of a downstairs bathroom quite so much?

Coconutfeet Sun 17-Mar-13 19:48:30

We were put off houses with downstairs bathrooms for the reasons mentioned but also because they're usually between the kitchen and the garden so you can't supervise children playing outside while you're in the kitchen, or open the kitchen up to the garden with French doors, which is something I really like the idea of.

They're fairly common where we used to live and they were always really cold and damp.

Jaynebxl Sun 17-Mar-13 12:15:54

So would I Bunbaker which goes to show how many people were still interested despite the downstairs bathroom. And one person who didn't read the particulars grin

Bunbaker Sun 17-Mar-13 11:08:28

"bunbaker - yep, DH wouldn't view a house with only a downstairs bathroom"

Neither would we.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Mar-13 11:01:16

bunbaker - yep, DH wouldn't view a house with only a downstairs bathroom, becuase there's no way he'd agree to buy it, so why waste everyone's time.

Bunbaker Sun 17-Mar-13 10:57:38

"And actually when we were selling our current house we had 17 viewings in three days and only one of those was at all sniffy about the downstairs bathroom."

Don't most people read the particulars of a house before viewing? I would have though that this would have weeded out the ones who wouldn't want a downstairs bathroom.

Jaynebxl Sun 17-Mar-13 10:45:49

I think people generally accept it is often par for the course if you go for an interesting period house.

Jaynebxl Sun 17-Mar-13 10:45:12

And actually when we were selling our current house we had 17 viewings in three days and only one of those was at all sniffy about the downstairs bathroom.

Jaynebxl Sun 17-Mar-13 10:44:20

We have a loo upstairs but our main bathroom is downstairs. I would have been put off the house if there had been no upstairs loo but I've never minded the downstairs bathroom. In fact I quite like it with young children. If they are ill or have a wee accident in the day it is easy to just plonk them in the shower, for example.
The house we are moving to has two bathrooms upstairs and one bathroom downstairs plus a loo. I suspect there are times we will still choose to use the downstairs bathroom for convenience but no doubt we will use the upstairs ones more.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 16-Mar-13 21:59:00

The problem is, it would have to be a great house. As in, significantly better than anything else in that price range. And if we're now saying that the upstairs has a loo, and the downstairs has the bath, then (for me) that arrangement would only be acceptable if it did not require me having to walk through all living areas/kitchen in order to have a shower. It's fine if we're just here as a family but not ideal when we have guests or extended family/inlaws around. I, for one, am a pro at forgetting little things, forgetting I've left my hair towel on the hook in the bedroom instead of the bath, for example. I'd be forever back and forth through the house to fetch them. It's just not ideal, and if you're looking to buy a house you want to live in for a long time, why settle for something which you already know will irk you?

Maebe Sat 16-Mar-13 21:01:19

I see how that sounds like changing the question blush Didn't mean it to sound like that, I guess in my head it made sense that there was a distinction between a bathroom and a toilet, completely get why people would like a toilet in each floor. I spend more time downstairs that upstairs, so at the moment having the toilet downstairs is more convenient and I don't find it a problem at night. And not trying to convince anyone, I was genuinely just intrigued (as I said before) why some felt so strongly about it that it would put them off an otherwise great house.

We live in a converted bungalow and the bathroom is downstairs off the hallway.
For me it has more negatives than positives. It doesn't bother me too much that at night I have to go downstairs apart from running through the house naked and when the dc were small it meant they could bath while I cooked etc. but now they're older they've worked out they can poo on the loo with the door open to watch tv, also if any of them feel sick at night there's no way they would make it down t e stairs so we always have a sick bowl upstairs.
For me it's the fact that sometimes I'm in the bath/loo and someone comes to visit and then stands talking in the hallway right outside the bathroom door. Plus after the bath I have to traips through the house in a towel in full view.

It's due to these reasons why we've considered moving a shower room upstairs.

PlasticLentilWeaver Sat 16-Mar-13 16:04:13

Fatnfrumpy - don't put a jack and Jill bathroom in, unless you want to hear every bodily function of any guest who uses the other bedroom! We are currently living in a rental like this, and I admit to refusing to view any house with a jack and jill as a potential purchase as it has put me off so much. Saying that, this house also has a downstairs bathroom, and a separate downstairs shower room. Its only a 3 bed hmm.

We have also just sold a 2 up 2 down with bathroom downstairs at the back, off the kitchen. Its a little Victorian place that didn't have a bathroom at all until 1952. Didn't put me off buying it, and doesn't seem to have made it hard to sell on.

Bunbaker Sat 16-Mar-13 15:14:36

It sounds to me that it is more practical for some of you to have a downstairs bathroom when your children are little.

I still don't like the thought of having a bathroom so near to family living. To me it doesn't afford much privacy, especially when you have people staying. I like to be upstairs, away from the rest of the household while performing my ablutions. I like being able to nip across the landing if I have forgotten something. Even though we have a downstairs loo I still prefer to run upstairs when I need to go. Besides, the exercise is good for me.

jamaisjedors Sat 16-Mar-13 14:33:02

I totally get what you are saying.

We have an upstairs bathroom and a downstairs one, and we only ever use the downstairs one, for all the reasons you state.

When the DC were v. little it was perfect, and even now, I start them on breakfast and go and have my shower - they are only a room away if they need me.

Like you, we get clothes together the night before and get dressed straight from the shower.

It is not off the kitchen though, there is a room (our study) in-between.

It means I can mn in the study while the DC brush their teeth in the bathroom next door!

BackforGood Sat 16-Mar-13 12:35:55

Well, as annh suggests - people have given you lots of reasons, but it seems you don't actually want to know why people prefer their bathroom upstairs.
Mainly though - once you've changed the question and now said there could be a toilet upstairs - is that people doon't want to traipse across the landing, down the stairs, along the hallway (or through the living room), then through the kitchen, having to carry all their clothes they are going to put on with them, each time they have a shower or bath. If you forget something, you can nip across the landing in the nude if you like, or just with a towel round you, without having to do the journey where other people will be.

annh Sat 16-Mar-13 12:23:23

Who are you trying to persuade here?! Yourself or us? If it works for you, great. Personally it would be of not benefit to me to have a downstairs bathroom as I don't have small children so no need for supervising them at breakfast while having a shower, etc and I really wouldn't want to be getting dressed in the living room either. Horses for courses.

Maebe Sat 16-Mar-13 11:45:18

Bun, I get the preference for an upstairs toilet. As I said, I'd rather have one. Yes, I do still have a baby in nappies, but I can see why you'd like the kids to be able to pee easily at night. I'm also thinking about a bathroom. As I said, if you have a toilet on each floor, I'm intrigued why people would prefer the bath/shower to be upstairs. Like I said, I'm discovering a lot of pros. Once you take the toilet out of the equation, so to speak, (which as you say, for most modern houses is the case, though where I live most of the housing stock is older so those with toilets on every floor are either very large, or have had room cut out of a bedroom to make an en-suite) there's a lot of benefits to a downstairs bathroom.

(Obviously if someone could give me one bathroom per person I'd be a very happy bunny grin)

Bunbaker Sat 16-Mar-13 10:47:48

"I think it's really unhygienic if the bathroom (particularly the toilet)is directly off the kitchen."

I think modern building regulations demand that there should be two doors between a downstairs toilet and the kitchen.

I would hate a downstairs bathroom for all the reasons given here already. I wouldn't even bother looking at a house that didn't have an upstairs bathroom, unless it was a bungalow. I think the OP must just have babies in nappies to not understand why most people prefer an upstairs bathroom.

I don't think it is just larger houses that now have downstairs toilets. All small modern houses I have been in lately also have downstairs toilets, and a lot of them manage to squeeze in an en-suite bathroom.

Maebe Sat 16-Mar-13 10:44:06

Fatnfrumpy, I think that would be the ideal. We're not planning on being in this house for years, but if we were, or the next house still has a downstairs bathroom, we'd find a way to put a teeny en-suite loo somewhere. But sacrificing a 3rd bedroom, or even turning the 2 doubles, 1 single into a 1 double, 2 single, would actually knock quite a lot off your house.

Most people would probably prefer to have a toilet on all floors. If there was a toilet on each floor I can't see how it would be an enormous issue which floor the actual bath/shower was on.

(Also I can admit the area I am in, most of the houses have downstairs bathrooms and the conversions are all done well - at least in everything we viewed to buy - so no smelly, damp extensions, so this undoubtedly biases me)

Fat - (weird to call someone that to get their attention in a nice way wink) yes that would make all the difference too me. Not sacrificing a bedroom but still able to run for a shit in the middle of the night grin

georgedawes Sat 16-Mar-13 10:28:29

I just remember having food poisoning as a child and not making it to the toilet on time, then vomiting all over the kitchen walls. Yuk.

fatnfrumpy Sat 16-Mar-13 10:27:12

We are renovating a e 3 bed with bathroom off the kitchen.
We asked the EA should be sacrifice the 3rd bedroom and move the bathroom upstairs. They said a definate no!
However we are making room between bed 1 and 2 for a shower room and toilet.
Would that make a difference to all the downstairs bathroom haters?

lalalonglegs Sat 16-Mar-13 08:40:58

Another reason not to like them is that they usually cut off the "normal" access to the garden, you generally have to come out of a side door in the kitchen and go down a narrow side return which is a bit of a bleurgh space rather than being able to walk out of a door at the rear of the kitchen into the main section of garden. They just seem to get in the way.

Agree with everyone who has said that they are often cold and damp too.

StrangerintheNight Sat 16-Mar-13 00:04:33

I lived in a flat for a year with a combined bathroom/kitchen. There was a separate toilet, but the shower was right next to the cooker, and there were 2 sinks, one for dishes, one for brushing teeth etc.

Not great for privacy, although this was continental Europe, so privacy a concept which only prudish British girls worried about. Flatmate and I had to have quite a well organised morning routine...

AliceWChild Fri 15-Mar-13 22:10:26

Yes I think it seems to be a specific type of downstairs bathroom people are talking about. Mine isn't off the kitchen, nor in a cold damp extension.

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