Walk In Closet or Bigger Bathroom: Which is More Useful?

Walk-In Closet or Bigger Bathroom?

Nowadays, many people won’t even consider a house that doesn’t feature a modern walk-in closet, particularly in the master bedroom. Americans, in particular, tend to have a lot of stuff to store—and that means we need somewhere to store it!

But what kind of storage space is the most important to have? A luxuriously large bathroom is a tempting home upgrade, but it may not be the most useful option—or the most valuable.

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Walk-in closets in the master bedroom are ranked as one of the top five features desired by new and second-time home buyers. Deciding whether to expand a bathroom or create a walk-in closet instead is a common conflict for those hoping to upgrade their master bedrooms.

Walk-In Closet or Bigger Bathroom? Evaluating Your Options

Start by examining which is the most underutilized space in your master bedroom area. Are you happy with the size of your current bathroom? Or, do you need a larger custom closet to arrange your belongings in a better way?

On one hand, a large master bathroom is nice for those who spend a lot of time primping and getting ready. However, renovating or creating a whole new bathroom typically requires major plumbing and construction adjustments—not to mention, new pipes.

On the other hand, a walk-in closet is far less intrusive, and far more valuable in the long run, to install—and offers substantially more storage options.

Walk-in Closet

If you live in an older home, you may suffer from the common dilemma of being stuck with small reach-in closets. If you’ve got too much stuff and not enough space in your closet, you may be wondering:

How simple is installing a walk-in closet?

Borrowing a little space from your master bathroom to extend into a larger walk-in closet can offer an easy way to expand your storage space without sacrificing your bathroom space entirely. You can even add an adjustable shelf for linens and toiletries and special racks for your robe and favorite bath towel if you don’t have a separate linen closet.

It definitely takes less time than a bathroom expansion—especially if you work with custom closet designers and installers who can complete the job in just a matter of days.

custom walk in closet space

Bigger Bathroom

If you don’t mind a small reach-in closet, a bigger bathroom is certainly an option. It all depends on how much time you plan to spend there. When considering whether to create a new walk-in closet or a bigger bathroom, a larger bathroom may be helpful if, say, you’re in desperate need of more shower or counter space.

How much time and money are involved in a bathroom expansion?

Hiring a plumber to install a shower stall, reconstruct and prepare pipes, and remodel a bathroom can be prohibitively expensive.

  • Installing a shower alone can cost anywhere from $1,336 to $6,143. 

  • A new bathroom vanity installation can run from $300 to $3,800.

  • Typical bathroom remodels cost from $9,600 to $11,000 and as high as $23,000 including necessary ventilation for the area.

  • Standard plumbing fees run anywhere from $45 to $150 per hour—something to keep in mind should anything go awry during or after your renovation.

In addition, bathroom remodels can take weeks to complete. So, be prepared for a longer install time, a bigger mess, and major reconstruction.

But maybe you’re torn between your options. You’d really love a bigger bathroom, but you know a closet will be more useful. If you really can’t decide between the two, there is one other solution you may want to consider...

Dual-Purpose Storage

For a balance between luxury and utility, you can “expand” your bathroom space (without actually renovating it) by turning that extra room into a dual-purpose storage area—a cross between a walk-in closet and bathroom storage space where you can store clothing and linens alike. Include extra features like pull-out laundry hampers for clothes and hooks for robes or used towels, drawers for jewelry and accessories and baskets or cabinets for bathroom occasionals like bath bombs, fancy soaps, and lotions, perfumes, or colognes.

custom walk in closet shelves

Prioritizing a Storage Solution

If you are still not sure, consider these additional questions for determining which is more useful:

  • What layout would best support your lifestyle?

  • What’s the best solution that will tuck away all your storage more easily?

  • Are you concerned with your items getting damp in the bathroom or mold issues?

  • Do you have the proper ventilation to expand your bathroom?

  • Do you prefer a master suite with more storage capability or a larger master bathroom for pampering?

Finally, be sure to consider functionality and how you go about your day. If you spend more time wondering where to put (or where to find!) items such as clothes, shoes, or accessories, a custom-built walk-in closet could really help. If you spend more time in the bathtub, creating dual-purpose storage—or even undertaking a full bathroom renovation—may be the way to go.

Balancing Bathroom and Closet Space

When choosing between a walk-in closet or a bigger bathroom, many people appreciate the value an upgraded master suite brings. It allows you to have an enclosed space for all of your belongings and a separate area for the bath. As a bonus, you don’t have to stress about plumbing or constructing proper ventilation to the home’s exterior.

If you’ve carefully thought out which option is most useful and decide that a walk-in closet or dual storage is your answer, consider working with an award-winning custom closet designer who can manage implementation for you.

A decent-sized shower and bath combined with an organized linen area within a walk-in closet may be just the ticket to balancing functionality and peace of mind.

If you’re ready to turn that unused space into a sparkling new walk-in closet or dual-purpose storage space, don’t wait! Contact us today—or feel free to go ahead and schedule a free design consultation to get started right away.