What Is a Full Bath Vs. a 3/4 Bath?

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A full bath typically contains a bathtub.

If you are interested in buying a home, you may feel deceived to learn that what you expected to be a "full bath" was actually a "three-quarters bath." Because the terms "three-quarters bath" and "full bath" are sometimes used to express a difference in the contents of a bathroom, and at other times they are used interchangeably, you should know what these terms may refer to as well as how the terminology affects the value of the home and decor style.


Traditionally, a full bath consists of a bathtub, sink and toilet while a three-quarters bath consists of a sink, toilet and shower. Some individuals in the real estate industry also use the term "three-quarters bath" to mean a bathroom that can contain a sink, toilet and bathtub, leaving very little difference in the terms "three-quarters bath" and "full bath."


A full bath is typically larger than a three-quarters bath. The full bath may or may not be the master bathroom but conventionally is larger than a three-quarters bath. Three-quarters baths typically consist of smaller square footage with little excess space. A full bath can provide ample space that is unoccupied by fixtures.


Because a three-quarters bath is smaller in size, a bold or thematic decor approach works well and makes a bigger impact than a neutral three-quarters bath. For example, a beach theme materializes with sky blue walls, beach pictures and a graphic shower curtain. A safari bathroom is another option and is painted in a bold red or brown with large framed pictures, bamboo floors and an ornate vanity mirror. Full baths should showcase their size with a more neutral color palette, double sink and a continuous floor plan that is not broken up by the placement of fixtures.


Author William Bronchick of the book "How to Sell a House Fast in a Slow Market" claims that there is no significant difference in value between a three-quarters bath and a full bath. This is to say that a bathroom with a bathtub is not much more valuable than a bathroom with only a shower. However, the value of the bathroom depends on a number of factors, including the desires of potential homebuyers. If the house does not contain a bathroom elsewhere that has a bathtub, families with young children may not be inclined to buy the home if they cannot bathe their children in a bathtub. Additionally, the question of the bathroom's value would also depend on the current number of bathrooms in the home and their placement in the home. A home that has two bathrooms and a three-quarters bath probably would not be valued lower than a home with three full baths. However, if the home had only one bathroom, the full bath would likely retain more value than a three-quarters bath. Likewise a three-quarters bathroom would probably suffice in a basement while many homeowners would prefer a full bath on a main level. The value of the bathroom is relevant to the area, buyers' expectations and the accessibility to other bathrooms.

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Samantha Kemp

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.