A 3 way bathroom layout is very practical


What is a 3 way bathroom layout?

Generally speaking there are three types of bathroom layouts that people have. 

1 Way – the traditional single room, single door & everything is inside the room which might include vanity, shower, toilet and bath. 


2 Way – will normally separate the toilet from the shower / bath / vanity area with a wall or doorway. It means someone can use using the toilet but everyone else has access to the other areas of the bathroom without interruption.


3 Way – will have the toilet, shower and vanity areas split with three or four separate spaces that have doors or some other divider to keep each area available for separate use. It means each functional area can be used at the same time by different people.


Some configurations may have multiple entry points from different bedrooms a hallway or laundry. The idea behind having a 2 Way or 3 Way layout is so that someone can be using the toilet in privacy while someone else uses the sink or even the shower. 

For homes that have more than three or more people living in it that have to share a single bathroom this can be very practical. This type of room configuration can be renovated fairly easily because most of the time the dividing walls are not load bearing. So we can convert a 2 Way or a 3 Way into a single, larger master bathroom quite easily. 

We often see this in homes where the kids have moved out & the parents want their own space & a bit of luxury as well.

Passion Built Licensed Builder for bathroom renovations with 3D virtual design

Which type of layout is best to use for a bathroom?

Only you can really answer the question about which layout is most suitable. Every dwelling will have different needs & therefore the requirements for the bathroom layout will change. A house that has maybe two bathrooms and a powder room will have different requirements compared to another that has a single bathroom shared between three bedrooms. 

The other factor to consider will be the type of living arrangements the house will have. Is it a family with adults and kids? Will it be a home that has to accomodate different groups of people in a rental situation or lastly is it a couple living on their own.

Your decision making comes down to how you intend to use the bathroom & how many other people it has to service. From that point your limiting factors will be budget and space. 

If you are in a unit block that has a 3m x 3m space then your options are fairly restricted because in most cases you can’t move the walls & moving the plumbing will involve permission with strata.

If you own your own home then things become a bit easier because walls can be adjusted, doors moved, windows changed or you can even convert or combine a bedroom into a bathroom. Your layout will ultimately be decided by your budget, how much change you are prepared to make & what items you want in the room. 

Either way Passion Built is a team of experienced renovation contractors in Sydney that can provide you with a free site assessment and written quotation. Learn more about changing a bathroom layout here


What situation does a 3 way bathroom suit best?

A 3 way bathroom layout will suit homes that only have a single bathroom that needs to service two or more bedrooms. That is the simplest rule of thumb to use. If there is no floor space on the property to install another bathroom, toilet or powder room then you have to work out the best way to make most use of the existing bathroom area. 

By either renovating the existing room or converting a 1 way or 2 way bathroom into a 3 way layout you can improve the practicality & use for the space relatively easily. The changes may only require the construction of a new nib wall or adding another door way in some cases. For a complete bathroom renovation we can start with a completely empty room to create exactly what is required. 

By creating spaces that allow different people to use them at the same time it means anyone living or visiting can go the toilet, wash their hands or have a shower without preventing others from doing the same in the other areas. Privacy is created by being able to close off the spaces to other people in the room.

In the photo above you could call this a 3 way or even a 4 way bathroom because the shower, toilet or closet can all be used separately within the room. Yes this is an over the top layout but it’s an example of what could be done when renovating.


Planning your bathroom layout

One of the things we do for people is we help them create their floor plan using our 2D / 3D design software. This helps confirm all the requirements during the planning stages. It also becomes easier to clarify the costs involved for your renovation.

The photo above is an example of a small 1 Way bathroom layout that we created for a client who wanted a double walk in shower, toilet and vanity in their master bathroom. Once we had measured the space we were able to come up with different layouts that specifically suited the room size. As you can see every measurement, every detail is captured to accurately depict how the room floor plan could be renovated. You can even take into consideration existing windows, plumbing etc.

This could have been made into a 2 Way or 3 Way layout by doing the following;

2 Way – move the main entry doorway to the left, install a wall with sliding door between the shower and opposite wall to separate the toilet from the rest of the room.

3 Way – install a wall with sliding door between the shower & opposite wall to separate the toilet. Use frosted glass and a sliding door for the shower area to separate it from the main bathroom area where the vanity is.


Ok so that isn’t a perfect scenario but it demonstrates the thinking that can be applied to change the functionality of a bathroom. We can provide quotation variations for this type of alteration so that you have a choice on how you lay the bathroom out.



You can visualise a 3 way layout in 3D

Once you have your 2D plan created we can then create a 3D virtual view of your bathroom. You can move around the room, view it from different angles and visualise the space exactly. 

Its the simplest way to make sure there are the right spaces between each area of the room, how functional the layout might be & if you have placed the actual products in the design, do they all work together.

You go from a simple drawing on a piece of paper to being able to physically see what your new bathroom might look like. This helps you with your decision making, improves your planning and avoids costly mistakes later on.

It also means you can test whether a 3 way layout will really work in the space you have available.


Can we move a toilet or shower to create a 3 way layout?

We are often surprised by how many home owners don’t realise that you can change the layout of your bathroom. Psychologically it’s probably because all these things seem to be ‘fixed’ in place but the reality is everything can be completely removed & you can re-install everything. That’s the beauty of doing a complete bathroom renovation and it means its possible to change an existing 1 Way bathroom into a 2 way or 3 way configuration.


Concrete slab
If you have a property on a concrete slab it is even possible to move a toilet, shower, bath or vanity and relocate it to another spot in the room. We can use a wet saw to cut into the concrete to move the plumbing.


Timber floor boards
If you are in an older home that has access under the flooring then even better as pipes can be re-routed with new holes made in the floor to connect things to.


The costs
The cost to change the layout of a bathroom will vary depending on the amount of labour involved & how difficult the work will be. So while many people will renovate and leave things where they are, equally many people will take the opportunity to create a more useful layout, especially in older homes.


Can a 3 way bathroom layout include a laundry?

The simple answer is yes. A lot will depend on the space you have available to work with. Our lifestyles have changed and many families don’t need a separate room just for their laundry. Modern washing machines and dryers are either combinations or don’t need the same space as they used to.

So this creates opportunities to save space & even combine your laundry facilities inside your bathroom. In some cases it is as simple as a shelf and space for the appliance. Other times all the appliances and some linen storage might be behind a sliding door so that it is concealed.

Either way, you can create a larger bathroom by combining the laundry room, removing a wall and cleverly designing a new layout that has everything in the one large wet room area. One of the simplest ways might be to combine your existing laundry & bathroom into a single space that utilises a 3 Way layout so that the shower, bath, toilet and washing machine can be used independently.


Are there negatives to a 3 way bathroom layout?

Every renovation in Sydney that we complete normally includes compromises so that it can satisfy a brief, budget or space limitation. Choosing to install a new 3 way bathroom layout has some negatives to consider;

  • It requires extra space because there are more walls, separations and doors that need to be included in the layout.
  • This layout needs more materials because there are more surfaces being created for walls, floors, ceiling, door trims, doors etc.
  • More tiling may be needed if each room will have floor and wall tiling installed.
  • Extra labour may be involved due to the greater amount of work required to build the individual spaces, prepare and complete them.
So there are practical living benefits but potentially greater costs or complexity involved to achieve that outcome.
Passion Built complete bathroom renovation company for combined bathroom and laundry in a unit in Lane Cove

Is there an alternative to a 3 way bathroom layout?

If a 3 way isn’t possible or simply too hard then the alternative is to be clever with the space you have. In the photo above the owners of this unit combined their laundry and bathroom into a bigger space because they couldn’t move the walls in the old unit block.

While the laundry sink doesn’t match the style of the rest of the bathroom this can be changed later and you could even install custom made cabinetry that matches the wall hung vanity to make it feel like one uniform space that is multi functional.

There are lots of ways different layouts can solve living situations, what is most important is you are clear about how you would like to live & your key ‘needs’ because that will determine your decision making.


How can you work out the cost of a 3 way bathroom renovation?

Passion Built can visit your home to provide a site assessment and written quotation. It’s that simple.  We can physically inspect what is at your property now and work out what might be possible for a renovation and explore different options.

Taking this approach means you aren’t guessing, you are getting clear answers as to what might be possible in your situation. We can also help with creating a layout & then the 3D virtual model so you can visualise what it might look like.

Free site inspection, consultation & quote

It’s really easy to find out the cost to renovate. We offer an obligation free site inspection, consultation & written price quote so that you can work out all the costs before you commit to renovating.

Bathroom renovation before and after examples

We explain some of the renovation work we have completed for different projects in Sydney.

The cost of converting a 3 way bathroom to a property will vary depending on the scope of work required. If the existing plumbing can be used & there are no other major structural work required then it may cost between $10,000 and $25,000 depending on the tiles & products chosen.

If new plumbing has to be installed, new walls, structural engineering checks or other renovation work variations then the cost could be from $10,000 to $80,000 depending on the site, building type & how extensive the required work is.

Passion Built can visit your home to give you an assessment and written quotation.

If you are thinking about converting a 3 way bathroom you may require planning permission depending on the type of building it is, if walls or structural elements are getting changed or if you live in a heritage listed area.

In most cases if you are working within the existing building then you may not require additional approvals, although it is always wise to double check.

Converting a 3 way bathroom can be worth doing if it means you improve the overall practicality of the property. You might have a four bedroom house that only has one bathroom, so converting the existing space into separate rooms means you can create an ensuite, master bathroom or even combined bathroom & laundry which is extremely valuable to potential buyers.

The extra flexibility makes it a more liveable space & can add value when it comes time to sell.

Some properties have an old laundry that can be added to the bathroom to create more space to suit a floor plan conversion.

Absolutely, Passion Built specialises in helping people convert or renovate existing bathrooms or laundries in Sydney to have a different layout.

Converting an existing bathroom can be very straight forward sometimes because the room is already treated as a ‘wet area’ in the property.