The science behind the toilet cubicle size in washrooms

July 4, 2013 | By

When it comes to designing washrooms you could be fooled into thinking that one size fits all but you could not be further from the truth. This is particularly apparent when considering what some might consider the humble toilet cubicle. Few will even consider the science that underlies the design of the cubicle in the local supermarket or give little attention to the dimensions and relation of the position of the toilet pan to the door and yet science is at its heart.

Science is such an exact discipline and yet in the washroom its precise order is challenged. If for example there is only one toilet cubicle in a washroom then, the toilet cubicle must have a minimum of 450mm of turning space in the cubicle, which must in turn allow for a 600mm door opening inwards into the cubicle. Handles that open and close the doors must be able to be operated with a closed fist and not just the open hand. The cubicle must of course be able to be opened should its unfortunate occupant collapse whilst visiting.

All of this is fairly straight forward so you might be lulled into a false sense of security when designing the washrooms for a venue that has need of more than one cubicle. This sense of security could lead designers to think that the design can simply be scaled up if more toilets are needed. This is not the case and the placement of accompanying washbasins, hand dryers, soap dispensers and mirrors can have dire consequences. If a washroom has more than four toilet cubicles then one of the cubicles must comply with a different design and have very different features.

If a washroom facility has more than four cubicles one of the cubicles has to be at least 1200mm in width and must have an outward opening door. These specifications are of course the bare minimum and one might suspect that for washrooms that are designed with a more inviting ambience then these minimum requirements will be all but ignored making way for larger more exuberant designs, with larger more generous proportions.

The science of design is at the heart of a comfortable visit to the washroom. The strange thing is that the position of the hand basins in relation to the hand dryer; the lighting over the mirrors will not enter most peoples’ psyche, that is of course until it is wrong and turning in the toilet cubicle is difficult or the hand basin is designed so the water dispensed from the tap sprays over those washing their hands, then washroom design and poor design becomes only too apparent.

Tags: ,

Category: Interior Design

Comments are closed.