Trade account
How many toilets do you need for your commercial premises?

How many toilets do you need for your commercial premises?

Posted by Adam Chard in Trade | 4 years ago 6 min read

Business going well? So well, in fact, that you’re thinking of moving to larger premises? If so, congratulations! We’re sure you have a lot to think about, but just make sure one thing you don’t skip over is toilet provision.

If you run a café or restaurant, you’ll already have asked yourself—how many tables does it take to necessitate a toilet? And the answer to that is—it depends how big you are, whether you provide more takeaways than sit-down meals and where you’re based (as different local authorities have differing requirements).

And what if you manage a sports centre, office, warehouse, hairdressers or general retailer? The general public these days can’t rely on public conveniences, after all. Not since council cutbacks meant many “non-essential” toilet facilities were scrapped. Statistics by The British Toilet Association (yes, it does exist) shows the number of public toilets in the UK has shrunk by nearly a half (40 per cent) over the past decade. That’s a lot of loos to lose, meaning private facilities are having to take the strain. Or are they?

Takeaways and tiny coffee shops to install toilets?

Takeaway giant Greggs came under the spotlight after officials from Hull City council pointed there were no toilets in 2 of the bakery chain’s takeaway outlets. Yet there were 5 tables for sit-in diners. The bakery favourite had insisted the shop was primarily a takeaway so didn’t need to supply a toilet. A court, however, ruled against this.

That’s because, according to section 20 of the 1976 Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act, toilets should be provided if food and drink is being sold for consumption on the premises.

It means effectively that the 2 branches of Greggs in Hull may indeed have to supply a toilet on commercial premises. There is currently an appeal, but it could mean that in future up to 21,500 takeaways and 5,230 coffee shops in the UK may find themselves in a similar toilet predicament if their local authorities are similarly minded. Whilst this is good for toilet manufacturers, it’s not such great news for small businesses only just turning over a profit…

Regulations concerning toilet provision in restaurants and pubs


In restaurants, typically you’ll be expected to provide one toilet per 50 male customers if there are no urinals. It’s 2 for every 50 customers if there are urinals. A washbasin should accompany every toilet and every 5 urinals.

For females, you’re looking at installing 2 toilets per 30 customers and another one for every additional female customer up to 120. After that it’s one for every additional 60 customers. Washbasins requirements are one per toilet.

Drinking and dancing

For pubs and night clubs you’re expected to supply more toilets. For men it’s 2 per 40 males without urinals and 2 for 150 men otherwise.

For female customers in pubs/night clubs it’s one toilet for every 25 customers plus one for every additional 25 ladies in your establishment up to 200. Then it’s another toilet for every 35 women. There should be at least one washbasin for every 2 toilets.

Commercial washbasins and taps

How many loos in a leisure centre?

If your business is a leisure centre and you’re looking to expand then you’ll need to think about not just toilets but also changing facilities in general.

According to The British Standard of Sanitary Installations 6465: Part 1 (Code of practice for scale of provision, selection and installation of sanitary appliances) you’ll need 2 toilets for up to 50 women and 3 for up to 100. You’re then obliged to supply one toilet for every additional 40 females. In other words, if you run a leisure centre with around 200 women attending then you’ll need to provide 5 toilets. There should be a washbasin as standard and additional for every 2 toilets.

The rules for males are slightly different (due to alternative needs). For instance, there should be one toilet for every 250 men and another for an additional 500 men. There should also be 2 urinals for up to 100 people. You are then looking at one washbasin per toilet and additional for every 5 urinals.

When it comes to changing room provision (we are in a leisure centre, after all), changing room showers must also be provided by law.

Washroom and toilet provision for workers

So, what are the rules for offices, shop workers, etc., and how do you encourage good hygiene? The rules here are outlined in The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

As well as details on the number of commercial toilets and washbasins required, this law also sets out instruction on ventilation and lighting in washrooms together with the need for both hot and cold running water, soap and hand-drying facilities (paper towels, hot air hand dryer), toilet paper and sanitary towel dispenser. There should be separate facilities for women and men; in the event this is impossible (through space or time constraints) then all doors must have locks on them.

In terms of main washroom provision, there should be one toilet and one washbasin (big enough to wash both hands and forearms in) for one to 5 female employees. Up to 25 employees and you’ll need 2 of each; up to 50 employees it’s 3 of each; up to 75 the number of toilets and washbasins is 4 and, finally, if you have up to 100 staff then you’ll need to fit 5 toilets and a corresponding number of washbasins.

There are fewer toilets required for male workers due to the fact they can use urinals. For instance, for up to 60 men you would need 3 toilets and 2 urinals; up to 100 workers and you’re looking at fitting 4 toilets and 4 urinals.

Urinals for offices

Toilets for temporary workers

For remote or temporary working, or somewhere impossible to obtain running water, then there should be a portable facility like a chemical toilet and water containers. For road workers, farm hands and other workers engaged in “dirty” manual labour, showers should be made available.

Designing disabled employee facilities

If you’re redesigning or refurbishing your toilet facilities and any employee is registered disabled, then the law insists that special facilities or “reasonable changes” must be provided. This could be in the form of a low level washbasin and toilet, hand rails and emergency cord and an extra-large toilet cubicle. A Doc M compliant toilet pack contains all required elements.

Shop commercial bathrooms

Moving your business to larger premises or having a bathroom redesign? At, you’ll find a wide range of commercial bathroom solutions, including toilets, washbasins, taps, as well as accessories like soap dispensers, toilet roll dispensers and towel dispensers. Simply click on the image to browse.

Shop commercial bathrooms

More commercial bathroom ideas and advice

Check out the following helpful articles.

Create a Trade Account

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Trade | 4 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

Looks like you haven't added anything to compare yet

Just look out for the Add to compare around the site and revisit this link

Close and continue

Thank you for using our comparison feature.

You can add as many products as you like, there is no limit. When you’re ready simply visit this page to start comparing your products.

Close and continue

Loading menu. Please wait


Your Shopping list is loading, this shouldn't take long.

Your basket is loading, this shouldn't take long.