16. Building Regulations and Bathroom Design

Building Regulations and Bathroom DesignBathrooms and WCs require external ventilation. Make sure that the fan has enough capacity to change the air more than the minimum amount in an hour (20 times for the bathroom, 15 times for the WC). To calculate the requirements first calculate the volume of the room (multiply the length x width x height) then multiply this figure by the amount of air changes required. The fan you need to purchase must have a (m3/h) capacity larger than the calculated figure. In case you had not noticed, it is easiest if you take the measurements in metric!

A WC cloakroom or bathroom containing a WC must not open directly off a kitchen, living or dining room. A bathroom can lead directly onto a bedroom provided it is not the only bathroom in the property.

Consider what you want from this bathroom, who will use it and how often - is it the main family bathroom, an en-suite to the master bedroom, a shower room for guests? If space is a real issue, are you prepared to sacrifice or compromise on one element of the bathroom in order to facilitate another? All of this can help you decide on the type and size of products you need and focus your attention and perhaps your budget on the areas which are most important.

If it is for all the family to use, you will probably want to make it as versatile and workable as possible, perhaps installing a shower over the bath and fitting 2 sinks which can help to speed things up in the morning. By including plenty of storage for all the bottles of shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath, you can keep the clutter to a minimum but keep everything you need to hand. If it is an en-suite, then perhaps a hydro massage shower cabin or spa bath is what you are looking for. Guest bathrooms may just require a straightforward shower enclosure with the toilet and sink and a downstairs cloakroom may need the tiniest sink you can find.

Think about the type of products are you hoping to install and whether they will require any additional plumbing or electrics to operate. For example, if you are installing a new shower, think about where the inlet pipes need to be and whether you need a separate water tank to feed it. A shower can be installed over a bath, but more and more people are choosing to sacrifice the bath and use the space for a separate larger shower enclosure with a powerful shower, hydro massage body jets and steam cabin instead. Plan it in at this early stage and you can avoid spoiling work you have already completed, particularly if there is a lot of building work and tiling to do.

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