When you start the process of redesigning or creating your dream bathroom the first thing you need to do is find out the size of the room you have to work with and the specific layout.

Knowing these details will allow you to find the fixtures that you can fit in, leaving you with the very enjoyable task of becoming a real life interior designer.

This information is really important as the biggest design hurdle is space — simply finding enough room for everything can be tricky (it's an issue that has been bugging bathroom manufacturers for years!). This guide will help you to plan out your space and what type of bathroom furniture you can fit into it.

Master bathroom

A master bathroom is possibly the most common type of bathroom. The average UK bathroom isn’t much bigger than a king-sized mattress (roughly 2000mm x 2000mm), but there should at least be room for a basin, toilet and a combination shower bath – or, with slightly larger rooms, there maybe 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 his and hers basins. Another option is to partition the room to create a separate area for your toilet and separate basin, adding more privacy for the user.

Cloakroom bathroom

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

A cloakroom bathroom

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

Three quarter 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 have the space to house all of them. A rough size would be around 1700 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.

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.

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.

Doors

  • 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.

General clearance

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

Basins

  • Height: Between 760 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

Baths

  • Height: Between 500 and 600mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Space requirement: The minimum size for a straight bath is 1500 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.

Showers

  • Space requirement: The minimum shower 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.

Toilets/bidets

  • Projection: For close coupled toilets, between 595 and 800mm is comfortable for the majority of adults.
  • Height of seat: Between 390 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

Storage

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

Lighting

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.