If you want to know about the piping system for soil and waste drainage or residential space planning or ergonomic kitchen design, please click the link.

In architecture, toilet design plays an important role in the overall design of a building. Architects must consider a range of factors when designing toilets, such as accessibility, ventilation, plumbing and waste management systems, and user comfort.

  • Activities commonly performed in the toilet include washing of hands, face, and hair, bathing, elimination, and grooming, and also such activities as hand laundering and infant care. Often it is also used as a dressing room.
  • Major problems in bathroom design include planning for optimum convenience and privacy of all toilet functions for all members of the household, adequate provision for storage of supplies and equipment, and ease of cleaning.

1) General planning guides

i) Arrangement

  • Facilities should be conveniently arranged, with special attention given to clearances. The room arrangement should permit more than one family member to use its facilities at the same time.

ii) Illumination

  • Lighting should be adequate for all of the activities performed.
  • For grooming, direct sources of light are essential in order to illuminate the face from all angles.
  • High strip windows, clerestory windows, and skylights provide excellent over-all illumination in the daytime, while still affording privacy
  • Luminous ceilings are also effective, particularly in interior bathrooms.

iii) Ventilation

  • Good ventilation is essential in toilet, both to reduce humidity and to dispel odors.
  • If a window is relied upon as the sole means of ventilation, care should be taken in its selection and placement to minimize drafts and to permit easy access.
  • Exhaust fans in the wall or ceiling are often used to supplement natural ventilation.
  • In interior bathroom spaces, a mechanical exhaust is, of course, essential.

iv) Sound control

  • Lack of acoustical privacy is one of the most common complaints with regard to bathrooms.
  • Noise can be reduced by proper placement of the bathroom in relation to other spaces, by the use of closets and storage walls as sound barriers between it and adjacent spaces, as well as by the use of soundproof partitions and tightly fitted doors.
  • Acoustical treatment of the ceiling makes the room more comfortable to use and reduces somewhat the amount of sound transmitted through the walls.
  • Acoustical tiles for use in the bathroom should be moisture resistant and easily cleaned.

v) Auxiliary heat

  • A heat lamp or a radiant wall panel can be used to provide quick warmth in the toilet. 

vi) Materials

  • It is essential that all surface materials used in the bathroom have moisture-resistant finishes.

vii) Storage

  • Adequate storage should be provided for current and reserve supplies.
  • Articles in current use should be located near their place of first use.
  • A closet opening from the bathroom or toilet and hallway or laundry is convenient for such items as bathroom linen and cleaning supplies.
  • Medicine cabinets should be as large as possible since increasing numbers of toiletries and medicines are being used by American families.
  • Hamper space is desirable for soiled linen and clothes. Install a cabinet with a self-contained hamper, or, in two-story houses, install a chute from the second floor to the laundry.

viii) Increased countertop space

  • Larger lavatories and increased countertop surfaces provide excellent facilities for light laundry, hair washing, and bathing and dressing the baby.

ix) Children’s convenience

  • Children’s height should be considered in the placement of accessory equipment.
  • A dental lavatory can double as a child’s lavatory.
  • If a combination lavatory-dressing table is installed, a step-up retractable stool should be provided for children’s use.

x) Mirrors

  • An atmosphere of luxury and spaciousness is created by mirrors.
  • A full-length mirror is always desirable.
  • Also recommended is a medicine cabinet with a three-way combination of mirrored doors on either side and a mirror in the center.

xi) Safety features

  • Grab bars should be used vertically fc bathtub and shower and should be located for convenient use.
  • They should be of adequate size and securely fastened to sturdy backing or studs.
  • Use nonskid finishes for flooring.
  • Install a door lock that opens automatically from the inside, and from the outside in case of emergency.
  • Locate light switches out of reach of the bathtub or shower-preferably just outside the bathroom.
  • Electric or radiant heaters should be recessed or protected.
  • Provide a lock for medicine compartments.

xii) Drying facilities and accessories

  • Add extra racks for drying women’s hose and other light laundry.
  • Racks may be concealed in well-ventilated cabinets, which, if desired, may include a receptacle for a low-wattage light bulb to facilitate drying.
  • Sufficient robe hooks, bag hooks, and toothbrush holders should also be provided.

xiii) Accessibility

  • A bathroom / toilet should generally be accessible to each bedroom without requiring passage through another room.
  • A bathroom / toilet is desirable near principal indoor living, work, and play areas, and for guest use.

xiv) Basic dimensions

  • Space is required not only for the use of particular fixtures but also between fixtures for cleaning purposes and for assisting another person (such as a small child or elderly adult).
  • These last two factors are often completely overlooked.
  • For economy of space, required clearances for each fixture may sometime overlap.
  • Some recommendations for the space required around the three basic fixtures: lavatory, toilet, and bathtub and shower.
  • The basic clearances are shown in the figure.

xv) Miscellaneous activities

  • In planning the bathroom / toilet, the designer should remember that families with infants usually prefer to bathe them in the bathroom.
  • The lack of adequate space has, in the past, caused many families to use the kitchen, which obviously is less appropriate for this activity than the bath.
  • The minimum space needed to bathe and dress an infant is 1 ft – 6.5 in. deep by 4 ft – 11 in. wide by 3 ft high.
  • In addition, other important activities are often performed in the bathroom.
  • Most women, at least occasionally, launder small items in the bathroom, and provision for this should be made.
  • Many adults, and children, like to use the bathroom for dressing.
  • Since this requires a considerable amount of space, it should be provided only when requested.

xvi) Arrangement

  • The conventional three fixture bath
  • The larger, compartmented bath
  • The lavatory or “guest” bath and
  • The “utility” both.

Three-fixture both

  • The conventional three-fixture bath without separate compartments has traditionally been designed for the occupancy and use of one individual at a time.
  • This type of bath, with combination tub-shower, averages about 40 sq ft of floor space.

2) Toilet layout planning

Toilet layout planning involves determining the optimal arrangement of fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, and showers, within a bathroom or restroom. A well-planned toilet layout should take into account the size of the room, the location of plumbing and electrical systems, and the needs and preferences of users.

Some common considerations in toilet layout planning include:

  • Accessibility: Toilets should be located in a way that is easily accessible for all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Privacy: Toilets should be placed in a location that provides privacy for users, such as in a separate stall or room.
  • Plumbing: The location of plumbing systems, such as pipes and drain lines, must be taken into account when planning the layout of toilets and other fixtures.
  • Space utilization: The layout of toilets should make the most efficient use of available space, taking into account the need for enough room for users to move around and access fixtures.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting should be provided in toilets to ensure that users can see and navigate the space safely.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is important in toilets to reduce moisture and odors, and to improve air quality.
  • Aesthetics: The design and layout of toilets can also contribute to the overall aesthetic of the space and enhance the user experience.

In conclusion, toilet layout planning is a crucial aspect of bathroom and restroom design, as it affects the functionality, accessibility, and overall user experience of these spaces.

3) Components of Toilet / Bathroom

Basic components of Toilet or Bathroom:

  • Lavatory unit i.e., WC / Commode
  • Shower
  • Bathtub
  • Wash basin
  • Interior units: Shelf / Storage, Towel hangers, Mirror
  • Plumbing fixture
  • Electrical equipment’s: Switches, light, Geezer/ Exhaust fan.

i) Lavatory unit i.e., WC / Commode


ii) Bidets

  • A bidet is a plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus of the human body, and is typically installed in a bathroom. Lower-cost add-ons combining a toilet seat and “electronic bidet”.

iii) Shower unit


iv) Bathtub


v) Wash basin


vi) Health Faucet


vii) Towel hangers

  • The average height of a towel bar should be 48 inches from the floor. This is also true for the hand towel ring. If you are hanging towel bars in a children’s bath, you may want to hang the bar lower (36 inches from the floor).

viii) Toilet paper holder

  • According to the NKBA, (National Kitchen & Bath Association) a wall-mounted toilet paper holder works best if installed 26 inches above the floor.

ix) Soap dispenser or Soap Dish

  • The standard height for a soap dish is between 44 inches and 54 inches. However, the dish should be located away from the shower spray to avoid water collecting in the dish. A soap dispenser can be installed at a height between 40-48 inches.

x) Soap stand

  • The standard height for a soap dish is between 44 inches and 54 inches. However, the dish should be located away from the shower spray to avoid water collecting in the dish. A soap dispenser can be installed at a height between 40-48 inches.

3) Toilets/bathroom planning guidelines as per NBC.

The National Building Code (NBC) of India provides guidelines for the size and height of toilets in buildings. The NBC sets minimum standards for the design and construction of these spaces, taking into account the needs and comfort of users, as well as safety and health considerations.

Some of the key size and height guidelines for toilet layout planning as per the NBC of India are:

i) Height

  • The height of a bathroom or water-closet measured from the surface of the floor to the lowest point in the ceiling (bottom of slab) shall not be less than 2.1 m.

ii) Size

  • The area of a bathroom shall not be less than 1.8 m2 with a minimum width of 1.2 m. The floor area of water-closet shall be 1.1 m2 with a minimum width of 0.9 m.
  • If bath and water-closet are combined, its floor area shall not be less than 2.8 m2 with a minimum width of 1.2 m.

iii) Other Requirements

Every bathroom or water-closet shall,

  1. be so situated that at least one of its walls shall open to external air.
  2. not be directly over or under any room other than another water-closet, washing place, bath or terrace, unless it has a water-tight floor.
  3. have the platform or seat made of water-tight non-absorbent material.
  4. be enclosed by walls or partitions and the surface of every such wall or partition shall be finished with a smooth impervious material to a height of not less than 1 m above the floor of such a room.
  5. be provided with an impervious floor covering, sloping towards the drain with a suitable grade and not towards Verandah or any other room; and
  6. have a window or ventilator, opening to a shaft or open space, of area not less than 0.3 m2 with side not less than 0.3 m.

No room containing water-closets shall be used for any purpose except as a lavatory and no such room shall open directly into any kitchen or cooking space by a door, window or other opening. Every room containing water-closet shall have a door completely closing the entrance to it.

Examples of toilet layout for references


If you want to know about the arrangements for various plumbing fixtures or sanitary facilities requirements in building, please click the link.

9) Plumbing of Toilet / Bathroom

Plumbing of a toilet/bathroom involves the installation and connection of pipes, fixtures, and valves to provide a functional and safe system for the disposal of waste and the supply of water.


The following are some of the key aspects of plumbing a toilet/bathroom:

  1. Drainage system: The drainage system is responsible for carrying waste water from the toilet, sink, shower, or bathtub to the sewer or septic system. This system should be properly installed to prevent blockages and ensure that waste water is disposed of safely and efficiently.
  2. Water supply system: The water supply system is responsible for providing clean and safe water for use in the toilet/bathroom. This system typically involves the installation of pipes and valves to provide a constant and controlled flow of water to the fixtures.
  3. Fixtures: Fixtures are the individual components of the toilet/bathroom, such as toilets, washbasins, showers, and bathtubs. These fixtures should be properly installed and connected to the drainage and water supply systems to ensure that they function as intended.
  4. Ventilation: Ventilation is an important aspect of toilet/bathroom plumbing, as it helps to remove moisture and prevent the buildup of harmful pollutants. This can be achieved through the installation of ventilation fans, windows, or other means of ventilation.

In conclusion, plumbing a toilet/bathroom involves the installation and connection of pipes, fixtures, and valves to create a functional and safe system for the disposal of waste and the supply of water. Proper plumbing of a toilet/bathroom helps to ensure that the fixtures are functional and safe for use, and helps to prevent problems such as blockages and the buildup of harmful pollutants.

11) Electrical Equipment’s /services for Toilet / Bathroom

Electrical equipment and services are an important aspect of a toilet/bathroom as they provide power and lighting for the space.

  • Geyser unit must be installed at correct height from the ground. A minimum height of 1.8 meters from ground is recommended for geyser installation.

The following are some of the key electrical equipment and services for a toilet/bathroom:

  1. Lighting: Lighting is essential for the safe and functional use of a toilet/bathroom. This can include overhead lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting, and should be designed to provide adequate and evenly distributed light throughout the space.
  2. Electrical Outlets: Electrical outlets are necessary for powering various appliances, such as hair dryers, razors, and other personal grooming tools. It is important to have outlets located near mirrors and countertops to make them easily accessible.
  3. Exhaust Fans: Exhaust fans are an important aspect of toilet/bathroom electrical services as they help to remove moisture and reduce the buildup of harmful pollutants. These fans can be powered by an electrical supply and are typically installed in the ceiling or wall.
  4. Heating: Heating is also an important aspect of toilet/bathroom electrical services, particularly in colder climates. This can include the installation of in-floor heating, radiator heating, or heated towel rails.

In conclusion, electrical equipment and services are an important aspect of a toilet/bathroom as they provide power and lighting for the space. Proper electrical equipment and services help to ensure that the toilet/bathroom is safe and functional, and helps to prevent problems such as electrical hazards and the buildup of harmful pollutants.

Related video

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!