Introduction

Bathrooms are one of the few functions in each house that are built due to necessity. The need for sufficient space and appropriately distanced functions is important to ensure satisfactory use of the bathroom space in any building, public or private. Although the usual rules about bathroom sizes are generalized across the world, Indian Standards have been modified to suit the regular Indian’s usage. This article takes you through the standard size guide for Indian bathrooms.

Overall Sizes

In residential construction, the minimum size of a bathroom that includes the three functional features – a wash basin, a WC, and a shower area – should be 7’ X 4’ (7 feet by 4 feet). The basic break-up of the area will go like this – 3’ X 4’ area will be used as a shower area or cubicle, while the rest 4’ X 4’ area will house the WC pan and the wash basin, and be used for extra purposes like brushing, shaving, changing and so on. The door of the bathroom will open into this area.

If these sizes cannot be achieved, a minimum area of 30 to 40 square feet should be provided per toilet in the household. Each of these bathrooms should not be narrower than 3’ since that disallows the placement of the shower area or the WC fixture entirely due to lack of enough movement space.

In a toilet containing only a commode and a wash basin, such as in a powder room, a 5’ X 4’ size is the minimum requirement. Instead of following this size, a toilet no narrower than 3’ can also be designed, keeping in mind that the minimum area required for this toilet without a shower will be 20 square feet.

A functional and convenient bathroom size can be designed in around 50 square feet – in the layout of 10’ X 5’. This bathroom contains the necessary elements such as a shower area, a WC, and a wash basin, but apart from these also allows enough movement space for changing and the arrangement of additional elements such as towel racks and storage cabinets.

Guide: Bathroom Standard Size Guide for India - Sheet1
Minimum Bathroom Sizes_ ©McCoy Mart

Each Function as a Size

Bathrooms are used for various activities, and each activity requires a minimum area. Let’s go through the minimum sizes each function requires in a bathroom.

  • WC (Commode): A clear width of at least 3’ should be allotted for a WC in the bathroom. There should be a minimum space of 30” (2.5’) in front of the WC to allow the user to rest their legs and get up or turn around. The decision of having the WC wall-mounted or floor-mounted rests on the mutual understanding of the client and the designer.
  • Shower Area: Minimum dimensions for a square-shaped shower are 3’ X 3’ and for a rectangular shower are 3’ X 4’. The shower head can be placed at a height of 6’6”, while the hot- and cold-water taps can be placed at a height of 4’, such that both are accessible while standing, and the lower taps are accessible while sitting.
  • Other Accessories: Although not addressed as standardized sizing, bathroom accessories should be placed ergonomically to minimize effort and maximize use. The standards listed below are for adult-use washrooms. For a child, sizes may be modified as needed.
  1. The towel rack next to the wash basin should be at a height of 4’.
  2. The soap dispenser must be at a height of 3’4” to 4’.
  3. The toilet paper dispenser should be at a height of 2’4” and about 8”-12” away from the commode to be easily accessible.
  4. Hooks for hanging towels and robes can be placed at a 5’6” height from the ground.
  5. Racks to hold towels and clothes can be installed at a height of 6’. Do ensure that these racks are away from the shower head to avoid backsplash.
  • Bathtubs: The smallest usable bathtub is 5’ X 2’6”. A bathroom with a bathtub should be of the minimum size of 5’ X 8’, where the bathtub will double up as the shower area. Plumbing fixtures should be placed at a height of 2’9” to allow easy access.
  • Bathroom Door: The minimum opening of a bathroom can be 2’ for severely cramped situations, but it is suggested that bathroom doors of a comfortable residential space should be at least 2’6” to 3’ wide. The door should swing inside the bathroom and not touch any fixture while opening.
  • Bathroom Tile: The minimum standard tile size is 1’ X 1’. For better options and design variations, you can use a combination of differently colored and sized tiles in your bathrooms.
Guide: Bathroom Standard Size Guide for India - Sheet2
Bathroom Standards_HPD Consult Website

Conclusion

Bathrooms are tricky to design, especially when mistakes can affect normal, daily activities. Standard sizes must be kept in mind before the design process starts, and it is also helpful to list the necessary activities that you would be performing inside your bathroom – distinguishing your needs from your wants. This can mean minimum sizes for your commode versus a large shower area, or possibly a large space in front of the wash basin and the mirror. These smaller details will allow the designer to avoid any mistakes and provide you with a bathroom that is suited to your requirements.

Small Bathrooms_Jeff Pelletier

References

  1. Civil Sir Website (https://civilsir.com/standard-size-of-bathroom-and-toilet-in-india/#:~:text=Bathroom%20size%20in%20india%3A%2D,enough%20for%20shower%2C%20bath%2C%20sink)
  2. Houzz, Pooja Khanna Tyagi (https://www.houzz.in/magazine/standard-bathroom-dimensions-that-ensure-efficiency-and-comfort-stsetivw-vs~110984947)
Author

A young architect turned to the world of writing through poetry, Nupur looks to bring together science and creativity at its core – through architecture. She believes that the built environment is the primary influencer of every person’s life, and the un-built, in-between spaces are where humankind grows as a species.

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