A committee of experts in bathroom design reviewed relevant research, lifestyle, and design trends, and Model Building Code requirements to assure the updated guidelines promote the health, safety, and welfare of consumers. A bathroom that follows all of these rules is almost guaranteed to be both functional and safe.


See how many your existing bathroom violates for a better understanding of why it may seem awkward and dysfunctional. These formal, printed guidelines are not the only bath design rules. Designers and carpenters have worked out some rules of thumb over many years that do not rise to the level of official national standards but represent a distillation of years of experience and generally accepted industry practice.

We have included these in comments where applicable. The NKBA guidelines are used for academic and educational programs in bathroom design, evaluation of bathroom plans, and testing the competencies of designers seeking certification. Where appropriate, the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act are also indicated. These are taken from Standards for Accessible Design published by the U. Department of Justice.

Most ADA standards do not apply to private residences. But if you are building or remodeling for a person with limited mobility, they provide a good template for how things should be built. Your local code authority may have modified or added to national requirements, so always check with your local code authority before making any changes to your bathroom.

Notes: Are remarks by the publishers of the rule, standard or guideline used to clarify or expand the standard or guideline. Comments: Are our observations and explanations. If we want to clarify or expand on a guideline, this is where we will do it. We will also use comments to introduce recommendations and rules-of-design that are not a part of the guidelines published by the NKBA.

rules for bathroom

Comments: Guidelines this vague border on the idiotic. Everyone knows you need "adequate" storage in a bathroom but what makes storage "adequate"?

Since part of what we do in designing bathrooms is to include adequate storage, we have a couple of thoughts on the subject. Any storage design must comply with the three Iron Rules of Storage : Items should be stored where they are first used. Size storage to the things being stored. Store items in a single layer with no item hidden behind or beneath another. It may not be possible to conform strictly to the rules in every case but the closer you can come, the more useful and satisfactory your storage will be.

Fortunately, unlike a kitchen where storage can become a very complicated affair, bathroom storage is rather simple because there are many fewer things to store. Towels and washcloths : There are no hard and fast rules for the number towels or washcloths needed for each member of the family but there seems to be a consensus among designers that two of each per person is all that is needed to be stored in the bathroom.

Extra towels can be stored elsewhere. Towels are the bulkiest items stored in most baths but also about the easiest items to store creatively.

The Illustrated Rules of Good Bathroom Design

Colorful towels can add a great deal to the look of the room, so they can be stored on open shelves in plain sight. And, if you decide to change your look, towels are easy and inexpensive to do over. Rolled towels are more compact than folded towels and take up less storage room.

And they make a great display. Show off your rolled towels by placing upright inside a wicker basket, canvas bin, metal bucket or something unconventional, such as a small antique trunk. Place the container on the floor or a shelf. If you have washcloths that match your towels, roll up each washcloth inside its matching towel.InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

How to install, specify or improve bathroom venting, reduce indoor condensation, avoid bathroom mold. Bathroom vent fans, required bath vent fan capacity, fan noise and sones.

This article series describes how to install bathroom ventilation systems, fans, ducts, terminations. We include bathroom venting code citations and the text also explains why bathroom vent fans are needed and describes good bath vent fan choices, necessary fan capacity, and good bath vent fan and vent-duct installation details. We discuss bathroom exhaust vent codes, specifications, advice. We explain how to install bathroom exhaust fans or vents, the vent ducting, the vent termination at the wall, soffit or roof, vent fan wiring, bath vent duct insulation, bath vent lengths, clearances, routing, and we answer just about any other bathroom ventilation design or installation question you may have.

We discuss bath vent routing, insulation, slope, termination, airflow rate requirements and other specifications. We also describe bathroom vent fan ducts, where to route vent air, duct condensation, ceiling leaks; Photographs of bad or ineffective bath fan installations.

Ventilation in bathrooms is important to prevent moisture damage to wall and ceiling surfaces, decay of wood trim, saturation of building insulation, and mold contamination.

Effective spot ventilation in these areas is critical for maintaining healthy levels of indoor humidity levels and an overall healthy indoor environment. Especially in bathrooms where a shower is used, large amounts of moisture are added to room air and are concentrated in this area. Our photo above-left shows a horrible bathroom ceiling vent fan ductwork job: multiple ducts sprawl around in the attic, all joining to terminate at an attempted through-roof vent that has fallen back into the attic.

The building shall be provided with ventilation that meets the requirements of the International Residential Code or International Mechanical Code, as applicable, or with other approved means of ventilation. Outdoor air intakes and exhaust shall have automatic or gravity dampers that close when the ventilation system is not operating.

Where exhaust duct construction is not specified in this chapter, construction shall comply with Chapter Duct systems serving heating, cooling and ventilation equipment shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of this section and ACCA Manual D, the appliance manufacturer's installation instructions or other approved methods.

Flexible plastic vent fan ductwork : shown at above left is a common use of un insulated, flexible ventilation fan duct. In this installation the duct is improperly installed, spilling directly into the attic space of the building. This duct material is least costly at the time of installation but may be most costly when a combination of accumulated condensation and duct damage leaks into the building insulation or ceiling cavity.

Flexible metallic exhaust fan ductwork : shown at above right is flexible metal exhaust fan ductwork. This material is more smooth-surfaced than the plastic product shown at above left and by its flexibility, can eliminate the need to install many elbows in the system. Metal vent ducts : kitchen vent fans require, and good bath vent duct design also uses solid metal ducting, not flexible "dryer vent" material. Solid ductwork has a smoother interior surface that improves airflow, though it is indeed more trouble and a bit more cost to install.

Solid metal vs flex duct for kitchen and bath vent fans : For optimum venting use insulated 4" or larger metal ductwork rather than flexduct that may sag, giving you areas that collect water and risk leaking into a ceiling below. Kitchen vent fans require metal ductwork for fire safety. Our photo at above left illustrates a solid metal bathroom exhaust duct along with the bath vent housing installed in a cathedral ceiling during new construction.

The ceiling cavity between the I-Joists was later insulated with solid foam, as shown at above right. Because this is a sloped cathedral ceiling it was not possible to slope the fan ductwork back down towards the shower below the fan.

Instead we vented this fan out through the soffit in the roof eaves.Whether you're living in the residence halls or in an off-campus apartment, you'll still have to deal with the inevitable: the college bathroom.

If you're sharing a bathroom with one or more people, chances are there's going to be some funkiness before too long. So just what can you do to prevent a place no one wants to think about from turning into the issue everyone needs to talk about? Below is a list of topics that should be covered in a discussion with people you share a bathroom with.

And while some suggested rules are included, it's important to make sure everyone's on board and adjust, add, or eliminate rules as necessary. Because with everything else you have going on in collegewho wants to be dealing with the bathroom all the time?

Issue 1: Time. Just like all other areas of your college life, time management can be a problem when it comes to the bathroom. Sometimes, there's high demand for the bathroom; other times, no one uses it for hours. Figuring out how to allocate time in the bathroom can be one of the most important issues.

rules for bathroom

After all, if everyone wants to take a shower at in the morning, things are going to get ugly. Make sure to discuss what time people want to use the bathroom to shower at night or in the morning, how long each person wants or needs, if it's okay to have other people in the bathroom while it's being used by someone else, and how other people can know when someone else is officially done.

Issue 2: Cleaning. There is nothing grosser than a nasty bathroom. Well, maybe a Nothing grosser. And while it's inevitable that a bathroom is going to get dirty, it's not inevitable that it will get gross. First, the daily yuck: Do people need to rinse the sink out from toothpaste, say, or from bits of hair from shaving after they use it? Do people need to clean their hair out of the drain every time they shower? Second, think about the short-term yuck: If you live off campus and don't have cleaning services coming every week, how often does the bathroom need to get cleaned?This page requires that javascript be enabled for some elements to function correctly.

Employers must maintain restrooms in a sanitary condition. Restrooms must provide hot and cold running water or lukewarm water, hand soap or similar cleansing agent and warm air blowers or individual hand towels e. For more information on regulatory requirements for toilet facilities at construction sites and also best practices for improving sanitary conditions at these sites for both men and women see the National Association of Women in Construction Alliance product, Portable Toilet and Sanitation Best Practices for Women in Construction.

OSHA requires employers to provide all workers with sanitary and immediately-available toilet facilities restrooms. The sanitation standards 29 CFR Employers must provide at least the minimum number of toilet facilities, in toilet rooms separate for each sex see the table in 29 CFR In response to questions about reasonable access to toilet facilities, OSHA published letters of interpretation that, together, describe how employers must ensure prompt access to toilet facilities see references for letters of interpretation under Additional Resources below.

Employers may need to be flexible in developing procedures to ensure that workers have access to toilet facilities as needed. Employers with mobile workers must provide readily available transportation that provides prompt access i. Toilets for farmworkers must be located no more than a quarter mile from the location where workers are working on similar findings.

Also, when work stations require constant coverage e. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www. The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server.

The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites.

7 Tiling Tips for Professional-Looking Results

Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue. Restrooms and Sanitation Requirements Menu. Overview In Focus.

Employers must: Allow workers to leave their work locations to use a restroom when needed. Provide an adequate number of restrooms for the size of the workforce to prevent long lines. Avoid imposing unreasonable restrictions on restroom use. Ensure restrictions, such as locking doors or requiring workers to sign out a key, do not cause extended delays.

In Focus. Workers' Rights Workers have the right to: Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. Receive information and training in a language and vocabulary the worker understands about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.

Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses. File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules.

OSHA will keep all identities confidential. Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

Office of Special Counsel.Have you ever been in a public restroom and witnessed other people doing things that are rude and unbecoming? Have you ever had to clean up after a guest who used and left a mess in your bathroom?

Whether you need to use the bathroom when visiting a friend or you're using a public restroom, follow these guidelines for good restroom manners. Knowing some basic etiquette rules will give you confidence that you are doing the right thing. Make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, soap, and hand towels. A spare roll of toilet paper on the shelf will come in handy if you're hosting a large group or even a few people for a long period. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'll be surprised by how many people don't bother closing the door all the way when they use the restroom.

Close the door and make sure it clicks. If you are in a public facility, lock it. If someone accidentally walks in on you, not only will you be embarrassed, the other person will be red-faced as well. In a public restroom, don't just push open a stall door. Someone may have missed the latch, or the lock might not work.

Check under the door, and if you see feet, go to another stall or wait for the person to finish. Don't confuse the restroom with a conference room. It's not the place to chat about business or hold long personal discussions.

Remember that there may be other people there, and they shouldn't be forced to listen to something they don't need to know. When you go into a restroom, don't crowd other people. Be respectful of the personal space of others. Men, unless the restroom is crowded, skip a urinal to prevent someone else from being uncomfortable. And never look at another man as he does his business. Don't chat on your cell phone while using the restroom. The person in the next stall over doesn't need to know the details of your personal life.

And you certainly don't want the person on the other end of the line to have to listen to the loud flush. That's just rude. Before you leave the restroom, make sure you flush the toilet. Stick around and check to see if everything has been whisked away. You don't need to leave something behind for the next person to deal with. If you are in someone's home, you may need to flush more than once to reduce sounds or lingering smells.

Use an overhead fan if one is available. Anything you use for personal hygiene needs to be wrapped and disposed of in a trash receptacle. Avoid flushing anything but toilet paper because it might clog the system. If you use the last of the toilet paper, soap, or paper towels, show respect for the next person and replace it.

However, if you don't see spare ones lying around, inform someone that this needs to be taken care of. Never leave a restroom without washing your hands. This is both an etiquette issue and a sanitary necessity.When tiling your bathroom or kitchenyou want to see beautiful, professional results: the look of an established tile pro, not that of a fledgling do-it-yourselfer.

A few simple tips will help you install gorgeous, long-lasting tile on walls and floors. If you think of tile grout as merely a filler for tile seams, you might want to think again. Grout can be used to enhance the look of the tile. Dark grout against lighter colored tile gives the room a stark, imposing look. Grout that matches the color of the tile melts away invisibly.

Or you might decide to install grout of the same color but slightly darker or lighter. Your tile installation is only as good as the substrate below the tile. A subfloor that flexes or is otherwise unstable will quickly transfer to the tile. Installing cement board is typically a good choice before laying down the tile. Cement boardseach 3 feet wide by 5 feet long, form a solid base for tile and will not expand or contract.

Other acceptable tile underlayment materials include exterior-grade plywood, slab concrete, and even sheet vinyl flooring in good condition. Skinny tiles call attention to themselves since the eye is naturally drawn towards things that are out of the norm.

Anything less than half-size will only look like a sliver in comparison to other, larger tiles. One way to fix this is to anticipate the amount of space you have left as you near a wall.

If you are a couple of feet from the wall, you can begin to tweak the joints between the tiles ever so slightly that it will be imperceptible to the eye, but will bring you to a final row of half-size or greater tiles. Symmetry pleases the eye and the brain, even on a subconscious level. When a tile layout is asymmetrical, the viewer often knows that something isn't right but cannot put a finger on what exactly the problem is.

If you are setting tile around a kitchen sink, for example, make sure that the tiles bordering the sink are all of the same sizes. Avoid having full-size tiles on one side and half-size tiles on the other size.

The same example applies to a bathroom floor. In this situation, you will want opposite-end wall tiles to be the same size. If one wall has three-quarter-size tiles, the opposite wall should have tiles of the same size. Even though tile-cutting is an expected part of tiling, avoid it when you can. A great number of small tiles in the tile field can look jumbled and visually chaotic. The more full tiles you can use, the better. Not only do you improve the look, but you also minimize your work.

While using a wet tile saw does ease the burden of tile-cutting over using a rail tile-cutter, it is still a burden that is best minimized. If at all possible, be sure to tuck the cut tiles away in the less-noticeable areas such as near walls, borders, and under cabinetry overhangs, etc. The center of a bathroom floor or kitchen counter would be the worst place for a cut tile. While cheap and low-quality don't always go together, they often do.

Bargain and clearance tile found on end-aisle displays often is thin or poorly made. Should your sale tile begin to crack over time, one after another, you will find it difficult to remove and replace that tile on a piecemeal basis.No room in the house is as densely packed with services — electricity, water, sewer — as the bathroom.

This density can result in a disorganized, inefficient space. At its worst, it can present a danger for the occupants. Because of this, it pays to know your building code as it relates to bathrooms — before you remodel. Good design rules are not code and they are not required by law. But designing wisely means having a bathroom you will enjoy using. Plus, a well-designed bathroom gives your home added resale value when it comes time to sell.

The International Residential Code is a model code that was developed by an international standards organization for one- and two-family dwellings.

Most municipalities in the United States and Canada have adopted this code. Some of these jurisdictions maintain the code exactly as it was written, while others introduce changes to adapt to the needs of their constituents.

Provisions are made for clearing out plenty of space around the toilet. The purpose is to ease access not only to the toilet but to other services, such as the sink and bathing facilities. Electricity and water do not mix. For that reason, the code has strict specifications for electrical services, such as outlets, lights, and switches.

Remarkably enough, code does not require a ventilation fan. At a minimum, a window of at least 3 square feet should be provided. This window should be able to open at least halfway. Developed in large part by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, bathroom design rules are intelligent ideas that make bathrooms more efficient and enjoyable.

None of these rules are required by law. Rather, they represent common sense ideas that bathroom industry professionals have developed from years of experience. In general, the more buffer room, the better. Ventilation is a classic example of good design rules picking up where code leaves off.

rules for bathroom

All bathroom designers are in agreement that bathrooms need powered ventilation fans, as the code minimum requirement for an operable window is considered archaic. In many homes, the family bathroom is the only bathroom. It has many uses: from a quick powder room for guests, all the way to a heavily-trafficked bathing facility for several family members. Master bathrooms are a luxury. Often they are attached to a master bedroom and contain all four services that define a full bathroom: toilet, sink, shower, and tub.

Powder rooms are where you send your guests so that your main bathroom and your bath towels remains unsullied and unseen. Too tiny to contain bathing facilities, they are sometimes called half-bathrooms.

Rather than the four services found in full bathrooms, powder rooms only have two — toilet and sink. In some respects, good design for powder rooms is the opposite of that for family and master bathrooms. Storage needs are minimal, since you will not be storing bath towels or as many cleaning accessories. Storage can be reduced to just a small, covered wicker basket for extra toilet paper.