This week we’re going to talk about important dimensions in bathroom design. When it comes to dimensions, one of my pet peeves is hanging a light fixture over a bathtub. Magazines are full of photos of beautiful bathrooms with crystal chandeliers sparkling over bathtubs. Most of them aren’t even close to meeting code. While codes can vary by locale, the basic rule is that any cord-connected light fixture has to be placed three feet horizontally and eight feet vertically from the top of the bathtub. That would require a ceiling height of somewhere around 12 feet high…not too many bathrooms have a ceiling height like that.
All this puts the light fixture well away from the tub and it makes perfect sense when you think how dangerous mixing water and electricity can be. Even a splash of water hitting a hot light bulb could cause it to explode let alone the thought of a a wet human body coming in contact with an electrical device. It gives me the shivers just to think about it.
This is a good point to mention the difference between the minimums that various codes require….say the space for a toilet and the more generous (and therefore more comfortable) dimensions that I will talk about here. Codes must be met, but allowing more space in certain areas is often advisable.
Bathrooms for wheelchair users require a whole separate set of dimensions. Once building codes are met they may have to be personalized to the user. A 60” clear radius is needed to turn a wheel chair around. That’s pretty standard but the area around a toilet must accommodate the user and how much room they need to transfer from the chair to the toilet.
While bathroom doorways are often narrow, the current thought is to make them wider to accommodate future wheelchair use. This is often not possible when remodeling an older home but it is something that should be taken into consideration.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you missed the blog on important dimensions in kitchen design, click here.