How much space do I require for a bathroom?

During the first years of practising architecture, one common mistake most architects make is to reduce the space of bathrooms to a limit where it is almost a torture for the user.


Clients tend to commence asking for luxury spaces everywhere but when bid prices from the contractor start coming in, an immediate reduction of areas is asked for and the bathrooms usually come worst off.

There is a temptation to axe off not only any redundant space, but also to go over the limit and finish off with spaces that do not work. And you know what? Most people do spend a good half an hour in the morning in the bathroom and probably another half an hour in the evening.

15 days locked into a bathroom.

Yes, 7 hours a week which means more than 15 days in a year are spent inside the bathrooms.

That is not all, most of that time is spent sitting on the throne looking around the bathroom and probably saying profanities about the architect who designed it, because you have to dislocate your body just to reach the toilet paper, can't sit onto the space located for the W.C. or perhaps you have to dance a tango just to get between the door and the shower or even worse, the shower is so small that a plastic curtain is used instead of glass door due to the lack of space left. A plastic curtain which seems to have been trained so that it sticks around your body as if was magnetized.

Take out the tape measure.

So as to avoid similar situations I do recommend the following:

In the case of the toilet, it is advisable to reserve a minimum area of 80 x 130 centimetres. This space is calculated for an average width of a toilet, which ranges between 35 and 40 centimetres (more 20 centimetres that are to remain on each side), and the length, between 65 and 70 centimetres (plus 60 centimetres that should let in the front). For its part, bidet, if you use one, requires the same space as the toilet.

With respect to hand basins, the measurements that are advisable to allow for this appliance are 90 x 130 centimetres. Be careful about the height in which is to be fitted, most people do hung hand basins too high: the correct height is 80-85cm and not 1m or 1.1m as I have seen in some places unless you are 6 feet tall or more.

Showers and baths.

Although there are several types of baths and showers, standard measures recommended for both are a minimum space of 120 x 70 cm in the case of the bath (preferably 1.70m x 80cm ) for a comfortable bathtub and a minimum area of 80 x 160 cm in the case of the shower. Also, should take into account the door opening system. While curtains or sliding partitions do not hinder the passage and occupy the same space reserved for the installation of the tub or shower, folding doors require a larger area, since they tend to open to the outside. You must also bear in mind door swings when they are side hanged.

I do strongly advise not to fit shower curtains if it can be avoided. (They look shabby)

As for shower trays, there are different sizes and shapes, square, semicircular or rectangular, as well as the possibility of manufacturing tailor-made pieces. However, in all cases, pay attention to the radius of the sanitary ware, the height to which is to be fitted from the floor level and the distance that there is to the wall.

When the dimensions of the bathroom are very small, spaces below the hand basin can be used to install a cupboard or perhaps on top of the toilet. Sometimes the shower could be built to measure and not use a shower tray allowing the water from the shower to fall freely onto a waterproof floor finished with a water outlet.

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As it is impossible to know in detail every case asked in this blog, all our replies are given in good faith but we strongly suggest that you obtain private advice from a solicitor /and /or  architect who will be able to study in depth your own particular case.

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