Standard Design Rules for Bathrooms

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Standard Design Rules for Bathrooms

Standard design rules for bathrooms are all about ensuring a functional and visually pleasing space you will love to use every day.  

Designing a bathroom is not as easy as it looks. There are three elements to manage: function, movability and visual appearance.

Ensuring the essential fixtures fit in the existing space can be challenging.

It’s often best left to the professionals when doing a new build or rearranging the layout. They will know what will work within the existing confines of the walls. A plumber can also advise on location of services to best suit the design.

There are standard design rules for bathrooms to ensure the three elements work cohesively in the room.

These visual, spacing and height rules will ensure you get your bathroom design right from the start.

Visual rules for bathrooms

The door should be positioned in a way that the view is appealing. It could focus on the vanity or freestanding bath. Never the toilet!

The toilet should be tucked away from view. This can be done by placing it at the end of the bathroom, behind the door entry or concealed in its own separate room.

If there is a window, the bath is the best fixture to place against it.

A vanity needs a mirror and shouldn’t be placed against a window unless there is room to mount a mirror. The shower needs a waterproof enclosure.

If placing the shower next to a window, ensure it’s waterproof or positioned away from water spray.

Spacing for bathrooms

A bathroom is defined by the walls it encloses. If you have the option to build new or increase the floor space in your bathroom, you won’t regret it.

As a guide, the minimum spacing for each fixture should be:

  • 800mm x 800mm for the toilet with 700mm clearance in front and 200mm on either side for movement.
  • 900mm x 900mm for the shower with 1000m x 1000m the most common
  • 750mm wide x 1500mm to 1700mm in length for a bath
  • 300mm space around a freestanding bath for ease of cleaning
  • 700mm from the front edge of the vanity to the nearest surface for ease of movement in the bathroom

Height measurements for bathrooms

  • Vanity height should be 850mm to 900mm
  • Wall mounted mixers and spout should be 150mm from the top of a vessel vanity basin
  • Mirror should be 150mm to 200mm above vanity
  • Toilet roll holder 750mm from tiled floor
  • Towel rails 900mm from finished floor
  • The shower head should be a minimum of 1800mm from the finished floor
  • Shower taps should be positioned 1000mm to 1200mm from the finished floor
  • Shower screen should be 2000mm high and higher than the shower head unless it’s a ceiling mounted rain shower head.
rain shower in bathroom
Photo by Caroma

Don’t squeeze it all in

If you want the illusion of a bigger bathroom, don’t squeeze every fixture in. Be realistic with the space you have.

The functionality of a bathroom will be determined by its simple design. Fitting all the fixtures in because they’re on trend can undermine the goal of creating a spacious bathroom.

Bathroom designs to inspire

Wet Room Bathroom

Modern Coastal Bathroom Ideas

Art Deco Bathroom Ideas

Colour in the bathroom

Do you agree with the standard design rules for bathrooms?