The big en-suite v shared bathroom FAQ Watch

rockrunride
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This replaces the old sticky, which grew from a single query into a three year old megathread. Post all of your questions regarding bathrooms here and engage in lively related discussion!

Applying for accommodation at university? You'll know that no two university halls are the same. Their assets differ according to location, price, cleanliness, facilities, the list goes on. One of the more endearing of these issues is the big bathroom question. I will attempt to unravel the dilemmas that freshers often have to face and hopefully provide you with a clearer picture!

Seeing other people
Even though very private business is conducted in bathrooms, a shared bathroom requires your presence in public. Not as much as a shared kitchen, of course, but it requires you to leave your room and will increase your chance of seeing a peer or two in the corridor. If you have an en-suite bathroom, this won't happen.
Also, shared bathrooms are one of many introductions to the duty of responsibilities for the fresher. A part of growing up, as it were. Many won't have cleaned a toilet or shower before. Many still won't have to, depending on whether or not the hall has cleaners. But there's always the implied obligation to leave it clean for the next person.

No two shared bathrooms are the same..
Shared bathrooms are cheaper, no doubt. But will the trade-off work? It depends on the hall, of course. I went to UCL, and two of the freshers' halls are called Ramsay and Hawkridge. Ramsay is catered, has very long corridors and bathrooms akin to those in public buildings, with cubicles in a line containing showers and toilets. Hawkridge, on the other hand, is self catered and split into flats of three and six. I lived there, in a flat of six. We had two disabled-style toilets between us, plus a shower room. Cleaner came every Friday.
In this situation, I didn't mind the Hawkridge bathrooms at all, but on every visit to Ramsay, I wondered if I'd have been able to tolerate the bathrooms. So, I'd say it pays to investigate your options. Will you live in a corridor or a flat? Will there be six bums to a toilet seat or just three? It all makes a difference.

Your finances
As I said, I went to UCL. The cheapest halls for 2013-14 are £130 per week (I think). The cheapest en-suite is £170-odd, close to college it's something like £190. So will the expense be worth it? On the other hand, in less expensive areas you might just be able to justify the cost for an en-suite.

So all in all? If you're umming and ahhing, check the halls you're applying for out. Get the brochure. See what the living arrangements are. Work out the extra expense. Then you're good to go.
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boba
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wow your cheapest option halls is more expensive than the premier on suite at keele. I always forget how expensive london is until its brought to my attention.

I think one of the biggest factors as to whether sharing a bathroom will be ok is how many people it will be shared with. The most I have had is 4 other people and between five it was ok but I don't think any more would have been convenient.
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rockrunride
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(Original post by boba)
wow your cheapest option halls is more expensive than the premier on suite at keele. I always forget how expensive london is until its brought to my attention.

I think one of the biggest factors as to whether sharing a bathroom will be ok is how many people it will be shared with. The most I have had is 4 other people and between five it was ok but I don't think any more would have been convenient.
Yup. I think the housing crisis saw rents lower in every area but London where they soared. I paid £90 a week for the halls that now cost £130. Ramsay, the catered halls 5 mins walk from college, used to cost £140-odd. and now they're £190. 2008 :moon:
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1234sam1234
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I have gone for 'shared bathroom' accommodation because en-suite was £50 a week extra- and frankly, I think my money would be better in my pocket.
Not only that-
I need to get used to sharing things with people who aren't members of the family as that's what I'll be doing in the second year.

We'll see if I'm in the accommodation office in the second week, banging the table demanding to be moved!
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syrettd
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(Original post by rageagainstessays)
I have gone for 'shared bathroom' accommodation because en-suite was £50 a week extra- and frankly, I think my money would be better in my pocket.
Not only that-
I need to get used to sharing things with people who aren't members of the family as that's what I'll be doing in the second year.

We'll see if I'm in the accommodation office in the second week, banging the table demanding to be moved!
This is what I always said to my friends who said they simply HAD to have an ensuite. Sooner or later in life, you'll be sharing a bathroom and I think uni is a good place to start.
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1234sam1234
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(Original post by syrettd)
This is what I always said to my friends who said they simply HAD to have an ensuite. Sooner or later in life, you'll be sharing a bathroom and I think uni is a good place to start.
I was one of them- but then I realised that the extra money spent is REAL and it can be used for other things
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wtfCharlie
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Applied for my course through Extra, so my accommodation application was late, meaning shared bathroom. For those living in accommodation with shared bathrooms, what are your experiences? Good/bad? Am worried about things like cleanliness and too many people wanting to use it etc . . . would like some first-hand experience please!
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SillyEddy
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I had no issues, but it will obviously vary. Our accommodation had two toilets (one had a bath as well) and also an individual shower room. That was between 6 guys as well.

There were a couple of dodgy occurances, but usually quite good. It was cleaned around twice a week by the staff and everything was fine.



For a lot of people, it is going to be just fine. Horror stories seem to be fairly rare, but they carry a lot of momentum. If you have issues, make sure you get them sorted and ask staff to intervene if you must.
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wtfCharlie
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(Original post by SillyEddy)
I had no issues, but it will obviously vary. Our accommodation had two toilets (one had a bath as well) and also an individual shower room. That was between 6 guys as well.

There were a couple of dodgy occurances, but usually quite good. It was cleaned around twice a week by the staff and everything was fine.



For a lot of people, it is going to be just fine. Horror stories seem to be fairly rare, but they carry a lot of momentum. If you have issues, make sure you get them sorted and ask staff to intervene if you must.
I wasn't sure about staff - if we cleaned or if they did . . . is it like that for every uni? Feel so clueless lol

Thanks for the reassurance btw
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SillyEddy
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(Original post by wtfCharlie)
I wasn't sure about staff - if we cleaned or if they did . . . is it like that for every uni? Feel so clueless lol

Thanks for the reassurance btw
I haven't a clue... I've only been to one university to study!

You're better off finding a university-specific forum or contacting them directly. Different halls may have different rules, but it seems likely that they'd provide this service. They cleaned the kitchen (surfaces and a bit of hoovering - don't expect them to wash your plates) and hallways, but it really depends.
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Origami Bullets
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I had a shared bathroom and it was absolutely fine.

It's fairly standard for there to be a cleaner for communal areas in halls, but of course the precise details do vary

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jelly1000
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(Original post by wtfCharlie)
I wasn't sure about staff - if we cleaned or if they did . . . is it like that for every uni? Feel so clueless lol

Thanks for the reassurance btw
it varies by uni- it will say on the university website though. if the worst comes to the worst get some mr muscle or other bathroom cleaner and clean the bath or shower before you get in. its what i do in my house share.
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JamesDM
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What's the ratio? I had 6 people in my flat, we all had a sink in our bedrooms, 1 toilet/shower room to share. a second seperate shared toilet, and a second seperate shared shower. All 6 of us were doing different subjects so had completely different schedules so it wasn't an issue.
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racheatworld
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(Original post by wtfCharlie)
Applied for my course through Extra, so my accommodation application was late, meaning shared bathroom. For those living in accommodation with shared bathrooms, what are your experiences? Good/bad? Am worried about things like cleanliness and too many people wanting to use it etc . . . would like some first-hand experience please!
1 toilet, 2 sinks, 1 shower between 6 of us. Absolutely no problems at all. It was cleaned once a week which was fine. If one of us was sick or something - we'd just clean it up ourselves, just like I'd do at home. Surprisingly only once was someone in the shower when I wanted it - they were only in there for 10 minutes though, it wasn't hard to find something to do for 10 minutes to occupy the time.
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Ronove
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(Original post by wtfCharlie)
Applied for my course through Extra, so my accommodation application was late, meaning shared bathroom. For those living in accommodation with shared bathrooms, what are your experiences? Good/bad? Am worried about things like cleanliness and too many people wanting to use it etc . . . would like some first-hand experience please!
It's not a problem at all. Between eight of us we had a shower room, a wet room (ie another shower room but no cubicle or curtain and iirc that had a sink in it too) and a bathroom with two toilets in cubicles and three sinks. I quite disliked the toilet cubicle setup - I hated the fact that someone else could be there listening to you doing your business, but all in all it was absolutely fine.

You're going to have to share when you move into private shared student lets after first year, if that is what you'll be doing, and you have to clean the bathrooms yourself then! You may as well get used to the sharing part now.

Edit: PS The toilet room floor was heated. It was the most amazing thing ever. Except sometimes, where even socks couldn't really stop it burning your feet...
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wtfCharlie
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(Original post by racheatworld)
1 toilet, 2 sinks, 1 shower between 6 of us. Absolutely no problems at all. It was cleaned once a week which was fine. If one of us was sick or something - we'd just clean it up ourselves, just like I'd do at home. Surprisingly only once was someone in the shower when I wanted it - they were only in there for 10 minutes though, it wasn't hard to find something to do for 10 minutes to occupy the time.
Sounds fine - ty for the response I'm surprised it was only once, you'd think it'd be far more with 1 shower and 6 of you!
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wtfCharlie
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(Original post by Ronove)
It's not a problem at all. Between eight of us we had a shower room, a wet room (ie another shower room but no cubicle or curtain and iirc that had a sink in it too) and a bathroom with two toilets in cubicles and three sinks. I quite disliked the toilet cubicle setup - I hated the fact that someone else could be there listening to you doing your business, but all in all it was absolutely fine.

You're going to have to share when you move into private shared student lets after first year, if that is what you'll be doing, and you have to clean the bathrooms yourself then! You may as well get used to the sharing part now.

Edit: PS The toilet room floor was heated. It was the most amazing thing ever. Except sometimes, where even socks couldn't really stop it burning your feet...
Good point. (And the cubicle setup would bug me too - don't think they have that!)
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lozzielizzie
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I personal prefer en-suite myself through have been in plenty of situation where your sharing a bathroom. Am off too uni in September. Am paying a bit extra then I might have done if I wasn't in a relationship. If I wasn't then I would be paying for a slightly cheaper room. Comparable to the one I got. The difference being space and a double bed. Through he will be visiting me a number of times and it makes it nicer for when he does come and see me. Am paying the extra because this and it's worth it for me. It's coming out of my own well earned money and not my loan. It's all about personal preference. I ended up choosing more expensive halls partly because above but also because it was modern and nicer than the other halls on campus.


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racheatworld
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(Original post by wtfCharlie)
Sounds fine - ty for the response I'm surprised it was only once, you'd think it'd be far more with 1 shower and 6 of you!
No problem.

I know, I couldn't quite believe it myself. We all did different courses though so had different schedules.
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Bluejelly
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I was considering en suit but after this i might just go for a shared bathroom! This has all been really helpful
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