Downstairs Toilet Design Ideas | More Bathrooms

25 January 2019

Downstairs toilets, also referred to as Cloakrooms, are a great addition to any home. We’ve put together this guide outlining regulations, design ideas, potential costs and layout ideas. So whether you’re looking to update your current downstairs toilet, or are considering creating one in an unused space, we’ve got everything covered 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, 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 a functional and comfortable space, you ideally want to be working with a footprint of 80cm x 140cm; in either instance the door would typically have to open outward.

Small Downstairs Toilet Design Ideas and 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, because you would never have a door opening onto a toilet from an aesthetic point of view.

Small Downstairs Toilet Design Ideas and Layout Option 1

Small Downstairs Toilet Design Ideas and Layout Option 2

Downstairs Toilet Design 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’s some more guidance.

Floors & Walls

Similar to any other bathroom or shower room, you can either fully tile or part tile your space. 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, unless you opt for the corner compact fixtures. Bathroom brassware and bathroom accessories are also in abundance, and you’ll have options covering modern and traditional design styles and chrome and brass. Plus, there’ll be more mixer taps, soap dispensers, towel rings than you can shake a stick at!


With regards to flooring, you can either tile, laminate or add vinyl or carpet. However, carpet wouldn’t be our first recommendation, but it’s a consideration all the same.

Cost of Installing 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 toilet, then your main cost consideration will be the amount of tiling and your fixture choices. A ballpark figure, from a full service provider like ourselves - we would suggest that the average cost to renovate a downstairs toilet would be between £2,500 and £4,500 inclusive of design, supply and installation.

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

More Bathrooms, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires only 5* rated bathroom design and installation company. Making dream bathrooms, shower rooms, en-suites and cloakrooms a reality, we are extremely proud of the exceptional service we continuously deliver from design right through to installation and after care.

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