Toilet Room Dimensions: Layout Guidelines (with Photos)

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen
When designing your own bathroom, it’s critical that you have space for the most important piece of the room—the toilet! There are several variations of toilet room dimensions, but you generally need at least 2 feet of clearance in front of the toilet. Let’s take a look at the space you have for a bathroom and approximately how much space you need to leave for the toilet.

Designing a new home is an exciting process. For probably the first time in your life, you get to choose the exact layout of your living space. As part of this process, you may be considering adding a toilet room to your home.

Adding a dedicated toilet room is a smart way to get the most out of your space. It adds another dedicated toilet that will free up your master and guest bathrooms for their intended uses. If you’re adding one of these rooms to your home, you’ll want to know the best dimensions for the space.

The best toilet rooms are typically at least 36 inches wide. Additionally, it’s a good idea to provide at least 24 inches of clear space in front of the toilet. At a minimum, you need to have at least 15 inches of space from the centerline of the toilet to the nearest cabinet or wall.

Related Content: How Much Does It Cost To Add A Half Bathroom? | Chair Height vs. Comfort Height Toilet: What’s the Difference? | Small Toilet Dimensions | Toilet Installation Cost

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What is a Toilet Room?

Maybe you’re not quite familiar with what a toilet room is supposed to be. If so, it’s a good idea to spend some time refreshing your knowledge before moving forward in the design process.

Put simply, a toilet room is a room that has one purpose. It’s a room with just a toilet in it. While these rooms can sometimes be expanded to also include a hand-washing station and mirror, their purpose remains the same. They provide a place for guests and family members to use the bathroom.

Toilet rooms can be beneficial to include in your home for several reasons. The obvious is that they give you another place to use the toilet. This is beneficial if you only have one or two other bathrooms in your house or you frequently host large numbers of guests.

Additionally, toilet rooms allow you to keep your master and other bathrooms private if you choose to do so. If having this kind of privacy is important to you, then building a toilet room in your home could be a smart idea.

What is the Minimum Size for a Toilet Room?

When building a toilet room, you need to be mindful that you satisfy all relevant building code requirements. Many homeowners try to squeeze a toilet room around other parts of their home. However, it’s important that you don’t make the room too small.

There are a few key minimum dimension requirements that you need to be aware of. Here’s an overview of each of them.

Distance from Toilet Centerline to Nearest Obstruction

According to building code requirements, homeowners need to maintain at least 15 inches of space between a toilet and the nearest obstruction. That obstruction could be a wall, a cabinet, or another fixture that you want to install.

It’s important to keep in mind that you need at least 15 inches on both sides of the toilet, not just one. This is maybe the most important restriction to keep in mind when designing your toilet room.

Distance from Edge of Toilet to Wall

You also need to make sure that there are at least 4 inches of space between the far edge of your toilet and the wall. This means that you need at least 30 inches of space to accommodate a toilet without violating the building code requirements.

Related Guide: Toilet Too Far From The Wall?

Space in Front of the Toilet

There’s also a minimum requirement for the amount of space that you need to keep free in front of your toilet. The latest building code says that 21 inches of space is required in front of every toilet and bidet.

Toilet Paper Holder Location

Thankfully, the building code doesn’t have any minimum requirements for where you place your toilet paper holder. However, the code does offer recommendations that could help you optimize the layout of your toilet room.

The latest guidelines suggest placing the toilet paper holder between 8 and 12 inches from the front of the toilet seat. Additionally, they suggest placing the holder at a height of between 26 to 30 inches.

What is the Standard Size for a Toilet Room?

There isn’t necessarily a standard set of dimensions for toilet rooms. Some homeowners prefer a larger toilet room that offers more comfortable functionality. If that’s important to you, then your toilet room could end up being as large as a small bathroom.

However, most homeowners who build a toilet room instead of a bathroom are doing so in the interest of preserving space. If you fall into this category, then there is are recommended toilet room dimensions that may be worth following.

Experts recommend making the room at least 30 inches wide. This will make your toilet room six inches wider than the minimum standard. It will allow people of all sizes to use the room more comfortably.

Similarly, you may want to leave a little more space in front of your toilet to make it easier to use. We recommend leaving 24 inches of clear space instead of the minimum standard of 21 inches.

Dimensions for Toilet Room in Master Bathroom

Some homeowners also install toilet rooms within an existing master bathroom. This can be a smart way to allow you or your partner to use the toilet without interfering with the other person’s bathroom routine.

If you’re planning to add a toilet room to your master bathroom, then you may want to make the space a bit larger. Doing this can keep the space from feeling claustrophobic, which is important since you’re likely going to be using the toilet room much more often than you would if it was located elsewhere in your home.

For the best results, we recommend adding a bit more width to the room. Experts recommend a width of 42 inches to make the toilet room as comfortable as possible. This will also provide enough space for the door you hang to swing in without impacting your ability to use the toilet.

If this is the route you choose to go, you don’t necessarily need to add any additional space in front of the toilet. Instead, the 24 inches of clear space that we recommended earlier should be just fine.

Video: Basic Bathroom Layouts

Can You Put a Toilet Room Anywhere in Your House?

As you design your home, you may find that you only have space for a toilet room in an out-of-the-way location. This can be disheartening if that space is far away from your home’s main drainage system, such as in the basement.

However, modern technology has made it possible to install a toilet room virtually anywhere in your home that you want. You may just need to invest in a different type of toilet or a different type of drainage system if you place the toilet room in a location that’s far from your drainage system.

Installing A Macerating Toilet

The first option you have for achieving this is to install a macerating toilet. When a normal toilet is flushed, it sends waste through a trap, into a waste line, and onto your system’s mainline. Macerating toilets operate differently.

A macerating toilet will send waste to a macerating unit, which is located behind the toilet on a wall. This liquefies the waste, allowing it to be sent out of a normal pipe that can be connected to your home’s main drain line.

Macerating Toilet Dimensions

Macerating toilets are very similar in size to standard toilets. If you’re going to install one in a toilet room, you should use the same dimensions that you would use for any other toilet. This means creating a room that’s at least 36 inches wide and leaving at least 24 inches of clear space in front of the toilet.

The major difference with a macerating toilet is that it features a tank, which needs to sit behind the toilet itself. However, you can place this tank inside of the wall behind the toilet. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need to increase the size of your toilet room to install a macerating toilet.

One other thing worth noting, macerating toilets need an outlet in order to run since they’re powered by electricity. This can go anywhere in your toilet room unless you also have a shower in the room. In that situation, you would just need to be sure that the outlet is more than 40-inches away from the shower.

Installing A Sewage Ejector Pump

Another option that you have is to install a sewage ejector pump. These enable you to dispose of waste without any transportation at all. These are capable of passing solids, which makes them stand out from other types of pumps.

Ultimately, you will have to pay extra to install one of these features in your toilet room. Macerating toilets cost more than standard models and sewage ejector pumps will require professional installation.

That being said, modern technologies like these do make it possible to put a toilet room anywhere in your home. If you’re willing to invest in them, then you can place your toilet room exactly where you have space for it.

Can a Toilet Open Into a Kitchen?

As you think about where to place your toilet room, one idea that may come to mind is creating a toilet room that opens up into your kitchen. This can certainly be convenient, as it will give you and your guests direct access to a toilet from a part of your home that’s sure to have high traffic.

Practically speaking, there’s no reason why you can’t have a toilet that opens into a kitchen. There are no building code requirements that make this impossible. However, if you do install a toilet room that opens into a kitchen, it’s a good idea to also include a sink in that room.

Ultimately, the answer to this question comes down to personal preference. Yes, you absolutely can place a toilet room that opens into your kitchen. However, consider the downsides of doing this like a bad smell.

What is the Average Toilet Height?

As you work to fit a toilet room into a small space, you may be wondering how high the toilet that you install is going to be. This is certainly something worth considering, especially as you design the location where you’ll install the room’s toilet paper holder.

Today, standard toilets have an average height of 15 inches off of the ground. This is measured from the ground to the top of the toilet bowl. However, that may not be the kind of toilet that you choose to install in your new room.

There’s also a class of toilets that are often called “comfort height” or “right height”. These feature bowls that are between 17 and 19 inches off of the ground.

Comfort Height Toilets

Comfort height toilets have real advantages to taller folks, the elderly, and people with mobility problems. They’re much easier to use and reduce the knee and back problems that someone could have while using the toilet.

If you imagine that taller people, the elderly, or people with mobility problems will use this toilet room often, you may wish to install a comfort height toilet. Doing so would certainly make the room more accommodating to them.

That being said, you should essentially plan on your toilet having a height of anywhere between 15 inches and 19 inches. Base your plans on this measurement and you’re unlikely to run into any dimension issues later on in the building process.

Small Bathroom vs. Standard Toilet Room

You may also be curious about how the size of an average small bathroom compares to the standard toilet room dimensions. As you go through the planning process, you may find that just a few extra inches of space would allow you to install a full bathroom.

On average, small bathrooms run about 5-by-8 feet. However, the minimum size that you need for a bathroom with a shower is 900 square inches. Consider comparing this to the size of your planned toilet room and seeing if the extra space is worth the benefit of having a full bathroom.

What is a Powder Room?

As you perform research, you may come across the phrase “powder room”. This is virtually identical to a toilet room. The only major difference is that powder rooms are most commonly located near the entrance of a home or apartment. However, like toilet rooms, they also usually only include a toilet and a sink.

The standard size of a powder room is 20 square feet. Yours may be smaller or larger than this. However, it needs to leave at least 32″ of space for the room’s door to open. Additionally, you need to maintain at least 21″ of clear space in front of the toilet and sink for leg room.

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Related Questions

What size is a half bathroom?

Half bathrooms are bathrooms that include just a toilet and a sink. These need to be at least 3 X 6 feet with a 24” to 28” wide pocked door in the middle of one of the longest walls. Installing a half bathroom could be another alternative to the toilet room installation you’ve been considering. It’ll give you a bit more functionality in exchange for a bit more space.

What is a water closet?

As you perform research for your toilet room, you may come across the term “water closet”. When you see it, don’t worry. The term water closet means the exact same thing as a toilet room. You should just consider the terms interchangeable as you continue your research.

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Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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