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Your bathroom layout—finding room for everything
Room planning

Your bathroom layout—finding room for everything

Posted by Adam Chard in Room planning | 6 months ago 6 min read

With this guide, we’ll help you plan your space by showing you the most common bathroom layouts, along with bathroom clearance guidelines, so you can work out exactly what will fit.

One of the very first things you'll need to do when refurbishing your bathroom is to measure the size of your space and plot its layout. Once you have these vital statistics, you'll soon discover which products will fit and which won't.

The most common hurdle interior designers must overcome is lack of space. After all, it's an issue that has been bugging bathroom manufacturers for decades! However, with a range of space-saving products available, it is now easier than ever to plan the layout of your bathroom.

We’ll take a look at the following bathroom layouts:

We’ll also show you the following bathroom clearance guidelines:

Finally, you’ll find recommendations for the following:

You can also check out the following:

Master bathroom

A master bathroom is possibly the most common type of bathroom. The average UK bathroom isn’t much bigger than 2 king-sized mattresses, with our own research suggesting it is around 2700mm x 2400mm (8 feet 9 inches x 7 feet 9 inches) in size.

Out of a survey of 456 Victoria Plum customers, just over half (51%) had a rectangular-shaped bathroom, whilst 28% had a square-shaped bathroom.

This means there should at least be room for a basin, toilet and a combination shower bath—or, with slightly larger rooms, there may be even room for both. There should also be space for at least wall hung, if not floor mounted, furniture, adding a whole new dimension to your bathroom decor.

With these dimensions, there is room for a few variations on placements within the footprint, but these will depend on where any windows are placed.

Having a large space to work with in a bathroom is great and increases the options that are available to you. For example you are able to consider having a whirlpool or freestanding bath, separate walk in shower and even double basins. Another option is to partition the room to create separate areas for your toilet and basin, adding more privacy for the user.

Why not... Find out what a four piece bathroom is with our handy guide

The Harbour

Cloakroom bathroom

A cloakroom bathroom is typically a second bathroom, usually found downstairs in modern homes, containing just a toilet and a basin. Cloakrooms tend to be much smaller spaces than a master bathroom, 1200mm x 1200mm being a typical size. Despite this, you’ll still need to maintain minimum clearances for the toilet and basin.

Camberley grey cloakroom

The typical cloakroom bathroom is found downstairs, with space for a toilet, basin and not much else

Why not... Discover some great ideas for small bathrooms or find out how to plan a cloakroom bathroom

Three quarter bathroom/Ensuite bathroom

Midway between a cloakroom and a master bathroom, a three quarter bathroom normally includes a basin, toilet and may have room for a shower bath or shower enclosure, making it perfect for families who want all the luxuries of a master bathroom, but might not have the space to house all of them. A three quarter bathroom can also serve as an ensuite in some households. A rough size would be around 1700mm x 1700mm.

Shower baths provide a great space saving solution if you like the option of taking a relaxing evening bath or a refreshing and invigorating morning shower but simply don’t have room for separate bath and shower installations. Contemporary bathroom suites are also designed to allow for a slightly smaller footprint.

Soft industrial en-suite

Planning an ensuite bathroom? Discover some great ensuite bathroom ideas to get you started.

Other options for your bathroom

A wetroom is a very popular option for a bathroom at the moment and works well in most sized spaces. A wetroom is a waterproofed (generally tiled) room which has a slight slope towards the drain with the showerhead generally mounted on the wall furthest away from the toilet.

In some cases, a wetroom can have a glass panel that separates the shower from the rest of the room. This style of bathroom appeals to a lot of people for accessibility and the fact it can fit into a relatively small space.

Wetroom bathroom small spaces

Find out how to install a wetroom with an easy-to-follow video, or check out our wetroom planning guide.

Bathroom clearance guidelines

When planning a bathroom, it might not occur to all people that there are set standards that determine how much space you need to have surrounding all the items in your bathroom. In each case, there is a recommended and required distance. Here are our recommendations and requirements (diagrams show required clearance only).


  • Recommended door entry: The clear opening of a doorway should be at least 860mm wide. If the existing structure doesn’t allow for a change to the opening, then a minimum 610mm door is allowable (don’t forget you need to be able to get any bathroom items, including a bath, through it!).
  • Recommended door interference: No entry or fixture door should interfere with another door or the safe use of the fixtures and cabinets.

Recommended bathroom door width

General bathroom clearance

  • Recommended clear space: It’s best to plan a clear floor space of at least 760mm from the front edge of all fixtures (basin, toilet, bath, and shower) to any opposite bath fixture, wall or obstacle.

Recommended bathroom clearance


  • Height: Between 760mm and 1190mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Span (the distance from left to right, without obstructions):
    • Recommended: 1020mm
    • Required: 760mm
  • Clearance to the front:
    • Recommended: 760mm
    • Required: 510mm

Recommended basin clearance


  • Height: Between 500mm and 600mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Space requirement: The minimum size for a straight bath is 1400mmm x 700mm.
  • Clearance to the side:
    • Recommended: 760mm
    • Required: 530mm
  • Taps, fillers, wastes and any other form of controls need to be accessible from both inside and outside the tub.

Baths recommended clearance

Find out more about standard bath sizes in our in-depth guide.

Shower enclosures

  • Space requirement: The minimum shower enclosure size is 760 x 760 mm.
  • Clearance to the front:
    • Recommended: 760mm
    • Required: 610mm
  • Door: It may seem obvious, but a hinged or pivot shower door must always open outwards.

Shower enclosures recommended clearance


  • Projection: For close coupled toilets, between 595mm and 800mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Height of seat: Between 390mm and 460mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Span (the distance from left to right, without obstructions):
    • Recommended: 1020mm
    • Required: 760mm
  • Clearance to the front:
    • Recommended: 760mm
    • Required: 510mm

Toilets recommended clearance

A summary of bathroom clearance guidelines

For quick and easy reference, please find a summary of all these bathroom clearance guidelines below.

Recommended Required
Door opening
General clearance
Basin height
Basin span
Basin clearance to front
Bath height
Bath dimensions
Min 1400mm x 700mm
Bath clearance to side
Shower enclosure dimensions
Min 760mm x 760mm
Shower enclosure clearance to front
Toilet projection
Toilet seat height
Toilet span
Toilet clearance to front

A summary of bathroom clearance guidelines


Recommendation: Storage should provide adequate, accessible storage for toiletries, bath linens, grooming products and general bathroom supplies, at point of use.

Bathroom furniture and storage


Recommendation: In addition to general lighting (which should be specifically suited to bathroom use), task lighting should be provided for each functional area in the bathroom (i.e. grooming, showering). An illuminated mirror is ideal for this purpose. For more information, see our Electrical Products and Bathroom Safety Advice.

Bathroom mirrors


Recommendation: When buying heating for your bathroom, you’ll need to know the BTU output you’ll need. If you buy a radiator or heated towel rail that doesn’t reach the required limit, your room will feel cold during the winter months, but conversely, buy heating with a BTU output far in excess of what is required, and you’ll literally be burning cash.

Find out how to calculate BTU for your bathroom.

Vertical radiators or heated towel radiators make great use of wall space where there is little room to spare.

Bathroom heating

Help designing your bathroom

Are you having trouble figuring out how to maximise the space in your bathroom? Our Bathroom Design Service can take the guesswork out of it!

We'll send you a free, no-obligation bathroom design, complete with ultra-realistic 3D images, a 2D floor plan, and a shopping list of all the products you'll need. Plus, our experienced designers can help you choose the perfect fixtures and finishes to create a bathroom that you'll love.

Contact us today for a free bathroom design consultation.

Enquire about our Bathroom Design Service

More bathroom planning advice

At Victoria Plum, you'll find plenty of expert advice to help you plan your bathroom. Head to our bathroom planning section or click on one of the links below:

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Room planning | 6 months 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

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