NKBA Bathroom Planning Guidlines


Did you know there are 27 Bathroom Planning Guidelines available to ensure that your bathroom is constructed to code and designed to function. Is your shower big enough? Is your toilet too close to the tub? Is your vanity too far from the wall? There are actually very specific answers to these questions and others that will ensure you end up with a functioning bathroom.

Developed over 50 years (with many revisions to date) the National Kitchen & Bath Association makes these guidelines available to its members, and they should be an integral part of your renovation during the planning stages. Ashton Renovations in Toronto includes an assessment of these guidelines during its planning and design process and provides a written copy along with all the pertinent planning documents.

Examples of guidelines:

1. Door/Entry

Clear opening of at least 32″ between open door and door stop. If normal structure precludes changing the opening then a 24″ door is acceptable.


2. Door Interference

No entry or fixture doors should interfere with another, and/or the safe use of the fixtures or cabinets (Code)

3. Ceiling Height

Bathrooms should have a minimum floor to ceiling height of 80″ over the fixture and at the front clearance area for the fixture (Code) Shower or tub with a shower head should have ceiling to floor height of 80″ and a minimum area of 30″ x 30″ at the shower head (Code)

4. Clear Space

A minimum clear floor space of 21″ in front of a lavatory, toilet, and tub (Code) A minimum clear floor space of 24″ in front of a shower (Code) A recommended clear floor space of 30″ in front of a lavatory, toilet, tub, and shower.

5. Single Lavatory Placement

The minimum distance from the centre line of the lavatory to the wall should be 15″ (Code) The recommended distance from the centre line of the lavatory to the wall should be 20″. The minimum distance between a wall and the edge of a freestanding, or wall hung lavatory should be 4″.


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Mark Ashton

Kitchen & Bath Designer
AKBD, CLIPP, B.A., B.A.S. (Mgmt.)

For over 25 years, Ashton Renovations has offered an innovative and professional approach to home renovations. From kitchens and baths to whole house projects, we can transform any room in your home.