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Bathrooms standards in Australia explained

Know what the building code of Australia requires when you design and build a bathroom
bathroom standards in australia
Image credit: Lucas Muro

Planning a bathroom renovation soon? Start researching about the bathroom standards in Australia! Getting the measurements right and ensuring everything complies with the Building Codes is essential during the planning and design phase. Continue reading to know about our most recommended measurements to get a beautiful, practical, and safe bathroom design. 

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Lucas Muro

Standard bathroom room sizes

The sizes of your bathrooms will depend on the available spaces on your property. The standard for small bathrooms is 1.5 x 2 metres. Large bathrooms measure up to 3.2 x 3 metres. Bathroom sizes in between, often measuring 2.8m x 2.3 metres, are also adequate for households nowadays.

white bathroom with subway tiles
Image credit: Meir Australia

Layout considerations

After deciding the sizes of your bathrooms, you need to finalise the layout of each one. Working with a skilled building designer can make this process easier. Given your budgetary requirements, a talented and experienced designer can create a functional and aesthetic bathroom with the space available.

Here are a few bathroom layout tips to remember: 

Leave enough room for door swings

The best bathroom layout makes room for all fixtures you need without blocking the door and cluttering the entryway. If you’re using the standard bathroom door that’s 81 cm wide, allot at least 86 cm for the door to swing and operate effortlessly.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: James Geer and Thomas Archer

If you want to cut costs or save money on construction

Save money on plumbing when you keep all water and drainage pipes on one side of the bathroom, then put the bathtub and the shower area next to each other. This hack can save a considerable amount of money on labour and installation. 

If you want a complete yet space-efficient bathroom design:

Combine the bathtub and shower area. Install the right kind of shower over the tub.

If you want a presentable bathroom layout: 

Keep the toilet out of sight when you enter the bathroom. The vanity and the mirror should be the first thing you see from the bathroom door.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Lucas Muro

Standard bathroom vanity measurements

Being the focal point of many bathrooms, designing and building a vanity takes a lot of effort. The standard vanity measurements are 395mm x 460mm  x 900mm (depth x width x height), but you can customise these to suit your physical and design requirements. 

For instance: 

  • The ideal height of your vanity depends on the basin you plan to use. You can lower your vanity height down to 850mm when you plan to use a vessel basin that sits on top of the vanity. A lower vanity compensates for the height of the basin. 
  • The depth of your vanity depends on the space available and preferences. The ideal measurement is between 320mm to 500mm.
  • The length of the vanity depends on the bench space and the number of basins that you plan to install. 
  • Double basins also look great and function well in bathrooms measuring at least 1800mm
  • Wall-hung vanities look great in small bathrooms measuring at least 1500mm. These make the small bathroom look more spacious. 
  • Mirrors get installed at 1600mm to 1750mm from the floor, but feel free to adjust your mirror height depending on the height of the users and occupants.
dark bathroom
Image credit: Weiken Singapore

Standard bathroom tapware

Choosing tapware is an important part of designing your vanity area. It is best to install tapware that matches the size and the style of the basin you will use. 

Most home improvement stores recommend the best tapware for every basin that they sell. Some bathroom suppliers release products in sets too! You can purchase everything in confidence and use them altogether.

Styling tips:  

  • Three-piece tapware sets suit more traditional or classic bathroom designs. 
  • Mixer taps suit more modern and contemporary bathroom designs. 
  • When you use a wall-hung tap with a vessel basin, install the spout just about 100mm to 150mm above the basin’s rim. 
  • A tall hob-mounted tap suits a vessel basin. 
  • A tap with a long spout is best paired with a deep inset basin.
  • A small tap with a short spout suits a small basin. 

The general rule of thumb is to install the tap, so the water streams directly into the drain to avoid splashing water all over the place. 

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Martina Gemmola

Standard shower measurements

Most bathrooms have standard square and rectangular shower spaces measuring 900mm x 900mm or 1000mm x 1200mm, but feel free to modify the size of the shower area depending on the shape and size of your bathroom and how many shower heads you plan to install inside. If you plan to have a double shower, a 900mm x 1600mm space will suffice.

Take note of these standard measurements and shower installation tips for your shower area:

  • Install rain shower heads at approximately 1900mm to 2000mm from the floor. Adjust according to the occupant’s height; not too high that the water hits your skin and not too low that you hunch underneath every time you use it. 
  • Install a handheld shower installed as well. It is an ergonomic addition, great for rinsing, assisted showering, and washing the bathroom.
  • Position shower taps around 1000mm to 1200mm from the floor, in a spot that you can reach easily and allow you to turn the water on without getting wet.
bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Cabinets Plus

Standard bathtub measurements

The market offers a wide variety of bathtubs. The standard size is 700 mm x 1650 mm; but there are smaller ones that measure 650 mm x 1400 mm and bigger ones that measure 800 mm x 1800 mm. Truly, there is one for every bathroom. 

If you like long soaks and baths, opt for a deep tub. 

If your tub is going to double as a shower, choose a shallow tub for safety and convenience.

For the bath tapware, situate it around 100mm to 150mm above the tub’s rim. 

If you plan to install a towel rail near the tub, make sure that it is around 900 mm to 1200 mm above the floor.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: LSA Architects, Beck Simon

Standard toilet measurements

Standard toilets measure approximately 650mm x 380mm x 816mm (depth x width x height). Make room for this, plus a few more millimetres of unobstructed space in front and on both sides of the toilet for ease of movement. Leave at least 700mm of space in front and 200mm on either side of the toilet. When situated on the opposite side of another fixture, leave at least 800mm of clearance between them, so it’s easier to move around and use the facilities.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: thechecks.net

Waterproofing

Waterproofing the bathroom is an essential part of building a bathroom, and there are regulations that apply to all new bathrooms and bathroom renovations across all states and territories. 

Remember the following regulations: 

  • Use waterproofing materials that withstand movement and exposure to cleaning products
  • Use flashing around all wet areas, especially toilets
  • Use full floor waterproofing in bathrooms with frameless showers and when the bathroom has a particle board or plywood sub-base
  • Install a water stop in the doorways of wet areas

For more details, refer to the Australian Standard AS 3940 of The Building Code of Australia. 

Here at Dreamspace, we encourage you to go beyond the basic standards when it comes to waterproofing to lengthen the life and service of your bathroom. Waterproof your bathroom properly to avoid running into problems like leaks and moisture seeping through the walls, floors, and ceilings of adjacent areas. 

bathroom standards in australia
Image credit: HYLA Architects

Electrical

There is a standard placement of electrical outlets, lighting, and electrical appliances in the bathroom as well. These regulations ensure that water does not come in contact with an electrical outlet or appliance, guaranteeing safety in the bathroom at all times. 

A skilled building designer and an electrician know these regulations, and they apply it to all new bathrooms and bathroom renovations across all states and territories. Engage them in your bathroom renovation.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Decorum Interior Design Ltd

Floor waste 

A floor waste provides drainage for water spills on the floor. If you plan to have an enclosed shower, a floor waste is not required because the water remains in a small and specific area. If you plan to have an open shower or a shower and bathe combo, you will need a floor waste.

bathroom standards australia
Image credit: Adam Albright

Ventilation

For proper ventilation, the Building Code of Australia requires having bathroom windows the size of at least 5% of the bathroom floor space. There should be an exhaust fan to extract moisture from the bathroom as well. 

modern bathroom
Image credits: Better Homes and Gardens

Planning bathroom renovation soon?

We hope these pieces of information about the bathroom standard measurements can help you improve your bathroom design, and may these help you get started on your dream bathroom makeover.

Need to manage your bathroom renovation project seamlessly? Don’t hesitate to use Dreamspace. 

Dreamspace is a project coordination platform that allows you to:

  • Plan your projects from start to finish and keep track of the progress
  • Get free detailed quotes for the design + build cost estimations
  • Get design ideas from thousands of home design photos in our Inspiration Gallery where you can also find top-notch suppliers of home renovation products (from furniture pieces to flooring options)
  • Connect with professionals who specialise in home renovation so you can build your own team

Register to Dreamspace today or get a free quote so you can kick off your project soon!

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