Understanding the Rules of Thumb for Master Bathroom Layouts

For many homeowners, master bathroom layouts tend to be an area where dreams and reality butt heads. Sure, you can imagine anything you want — especially if you’re starting from scratch with a master bath addition built from the ground up. But first, you must ask yourself whether your current floor plan supports your fantasy master bathroom. Otherwise, could you adapt the space you currently have into something you’d grow to love?

A professional bathroom remodeler like Ayars can often answer that question with a resounding “yes.” Below are a few of the things we look at when we’re helping our clients plan their spaces.


Size matters when you’re discussing the floor plan for any room — the more space you have available, the more you can do with it. When we’re planning a master bathroom floor plan, we must make sure we accommodate the essentials first:

  1. A shower and/or tub
  2. A toilet
  3. A sink

Storage is another biggie. A double bathroom vanity — with a “his and hers” sink — is a pretty standard request in master bathroom floor plans, and that alone usually offers a good deal of storage space, both on the countertop and in the drawers and cabinets under the sink. If that should prove insufficient for your needs, we might start looking at various wall shelving solutions — either hung or recessed. For some of our larger master bathroom remodels, we’ve included a floor-to-ceiling linen closet. 


More than anything else, plumbing sets the parameters in a master bathroom layout. Although it can be moved, it’s a labor-intensive process that comes at some expense. Unless budget is truly not an issue, you’re best served to leave plumbing fixtures where they are and base the plan around that. 

Generally speaking, master bathroom floor layouts fall into one of two main categories: those that have only one plumbing line, and those that have two or more plumbing lines.

With the first category, we’re restricted to the “three-in-a-row” concept, where the toilet, sink, shower, and/or tub are all located along the same wall. It’s more common in smaller or hallway bathrooms, but it’s worth mentioning.

In the latter case, we open ourselves up to “opposite wall” concepts and a whole host of possibilities, depending on how much space we have. 


Once you’ve determined what your current setup does (or doesn’t) allow, we can begin to consider functionality. Think about user demographics — will master bathroom access be limited to adults only? How many? Younger or older? Working or (semi-) retired?

Honestly contemplate how much time you spend in the bathroom, how you like to spend it, and whether that time needs to be shared between more than one individual. Does each individual value privacy, or are you the type of couple that likes to do everything together?

From there, you can start to “zone” your master bathroom layout according to function. Again, size will dictate how many zones you can create within the large space, but here are a few of the more popular requests we get:

  • Powder room/makeup area
  • Separate or enclosed toilet/water closet (with a pocket door)
  • Standalone tub/bathing area — use rugs, furnishings, and decor to reinforce this as a “spa-quality” space. Locate in front of a window to create a focal point in the room.
  • Walk-in shower area — a custom shower enclosure with full or partial walls can make your shower feel like an oasis within an oasis. 

An Ayars master class in master bath functional zoning

This spacious master bathroom layout in Clarksboro, NJ demonstrates functional zoning to a tee. 

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj vanity and toilet

Back: Vanity and toileting area

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is the beautiful double vanity straight ahead. The vanity is divided into separate “his” and “her” areas, and the backlit mirrors enhance the room’s sense of depth. A floor plant and painting help fill in and add color to the open space to the left.

The toileting area is hidden out of view, tucked away in the back corner of the room, behind the bump-out created by the shower enclosure. The sliding pocket door keeps obstructions to a minimum.

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj free standing tub walk in shower and double vanity

Center: Showering and bathing area

A huge window frames a gleaming white standalone tub on the left side of the room; on the opposite side we have a luxurious shower enclosure with a custom mosaic, built-in bench and recess, and computerized temperature controls.

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj walk in shower double vanity and powder room

Front: Makeup and laundry area

The shower bump-out also creates a natural nook in the front of this master bathroom, which we turned into a powder room with its own sinkless vanity and backlit mirror. 

In the other corner, we installed a stacked washer-dryer unit with a matching head-to-floor linen closet. As you can see, dirty rags and towels do not have far to travel in this setup!

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj stacked washer dryer custom cabinet

Plan your master bathroom layout with Ayars

Not everyone is so fortunate to have the same amount of space to work with as our Clarksboro customers, but you’d be surprised how much can be done with even a more modestly sized bathroom. Even if you don’t like your current master bathroom layout, you could learn to love a reimagined master bathroom from Ayars Complete Home Improvements.