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Downstairs Toilet Ideas | Building Regulations | More Bathrooms

25 January 2019

Downstairs Toilets, also referred to as Cloakrooms, are a great addition to any home. Here are some ideas as well as useful information on building regulations that you would need to adhere to.

We have some design focused ideas if you’re looking to update your current downstairs toilet. Also, if you see the benefit of creating one in an unused space, like under the stairs, we have everything covered in this article to help you make an informed decision.

Downstairs Toilet Building Regulations

You can create a downstairs toilet if you have the space. However, you must comply with current building regulations.

Building regulations exist to make sure everything is done correctly, and to a regulatory standard. With regards to the creation of a downstairs toilet, this includes everything from the following:

  • Plumbing
  • Drainage
  • Ventilation
  • Minimum size requirements

Previously there were stipulations about a downstairs toilet opening directly onto a living room or kitchen, rather than a hallway or bedroom, whereby a ‘two door’ rule was enforced. However, this has since been relaxed and as long as the downstairs toilet includes a basin and a WC this is no longer required.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Downstairs Toilet?

Planning permission is not generally required. This is the case when assuming works are internal and therefore do not require the construction of an extension to the property. With that said, however, regions do vary and for those who live in a listed building or conservation area we would always double check the legality of the situation before embarking on such a project.

Any reputable full service providers, like ourselves, should be able to help and advise you on this. Moreover, a quick call to your local council should also solve any areas of uncertainty.

Downstairs Toilet Minimum Size

The minimum size for a downstairs toilet is 70cm wide x 130cm long. However, to make it comfortable to use and a functional space, you ideally want to be working with a footprint of 80cm x 140c; in either instance the door would typically have to open outward.

Small Downstairs Toilet Layout

Taking the above into consideration you typically have two options when it comes to the layout of a small downstairs toilet. Both would feature the WC under the slope of the ceiling if your downstairs toilet is under the stairs and, traditionally speaking, because you would never have a door opening onto a toilet from an aesthetics point of view.

Small Downstairs Layout Toilet Option 1

Small Downstairs Layout Toilet Option 2

Downstairs Toilet Ideas

There are a number of downstairs toilet design and decorating ideas that you can incorporate into your renovation or creation. Aside from the above layout suggestions and the golden rule of never having a door opening onto a toilet, here is some more guidance.

Floors and Walls

Similar to any other bathroom or shower room you can either fully tile, part tile or, because there isn’t a ‘wet area’ as such just incorporate some splash backs behind the basin and either paint or wallpaper the rest of the walls.

Fixtures, Brassware & Accessories

In terms of white goods, you have ample choice here also, unless you opt for the corner compact fixtures. Bathroom brassware and bathroom accessories are also in abundance, your choice covers all the design styles from modern to traditional, chrome and brass, mono mixer or mixer and more loo roll holders, soap dispensers and towel rings than you can shake a stick at.


With regards to flooring you can either tile, laminate, add vinyl or carpet however this wouldn’t be our first recommendation bur a consideration all the same.

Cost of Installing a Downstairs Toilet Extension

So how much is it to build a downstairs toilet extension? Depending on your intention, the cost of installing a downstairs toilet can vary significantly.

If you’re simply wanting to renovate an existing then your main cost consideration will be amount of tiling and your fixture choices. A ballpark figure, from a full service provider like ourselves, we would average the cost to renovate a downstairs toilet between £2,500 and £4,500 inclusive of design, supply and the installation.

Alternatively if you have the available space and are wanting to create a downstairs toilet we would estimate this could cost anything from £8,000 - £10,000. This would again take into consideration your tiling requirement and fixture choices however also the building material and manpower required to create the space and make good to the walls ready for decorating.

More Bathrooms, part of the Passmore Group, is a Leeds based bathrooms by design specialist. Whether you require a complete bathroom solution or a bathroom renovation More Bathrooms offer bathroom design incorporating expert knowledge and advice in all themes, ranges and styles as part of their complete supply & installation service.

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