Types of Bathrooms | An Architect Explains

Bathrooms can be categorized into several different types based on their size and function. The smallest footprint for a bathroom is usually the powder room and the half bath. There are plenty of variations depending on the type of fixtures present like the three-fixture bathroom, compartment bathroom, powder room, utility bathroom (with laundry facilities), large bathroom and bathroom that is accessible to the physically challenged and many more.

The conventional three-fixture bathroom without compartments


The conventional three-fixture bathroom without compartments is designed for use by one person at a time. The three fixtures can be a Wash basin, a Toilet and a Shower cubicle or a Wash basin, a Toilet and a Bathtub-with-or-without-shower.

  • There are different ways of arranging the fixtures in a Bathroom. The best arrangement in terms of using the space efficiently is having the three fixtures in a row against the wall opposite the door.
  • For a bathroom with wash basin in the centre and toilet and bathtub/shower on either side, the minimum size required is 7’4″ x 5’6″. In this type, the door is in the centre of the wall opposite the wash basin.
  • For a bathroom with wash basin first, then toilet and lastly bathtub/shower, the minimum size required is 7’8″ x 5’0″ (for a shower type) and 8’0″ x 5’0″ (for a bathtub type). In this type, the door to the toilet is opposite or adjacent to the wash basin.
  • For a square type bathroom, with shower cubicle in one corner and wash basin on one wall and the toilet on the other wall, the minimum size required is 6’0″ x 6’6″.
  • For a square bathroom, with bathtub in one corner, wash basin on one wall and toilet on the other wall, the minimum size required is 6’0″ x 8’0″.
Plan of a separate compartmented bathtub to reduce humidity in the bathroom


  • To avoid excessive humidity in the usual three-fixture bathroom, the bath tub or shower cubicle is located in one compartment with a separate door, while the toilet and Wash basin are located in another compartment. This type of bathroom affords privacy for 2 users using the bathroom, at the same time and prevents the build-up of humidity in the whole bathroom. The minimum size of such a bathroom is 10’6″ x 6’0″.
  • Another variation is to have 2 separate bathrooms with separate doors – one with only the toilet, (the minimum size of the Toilet is 3’6″ x 5’0″) and the other with the Shower/bathtub and wash basin,(the minimum size is 5’6″ x 6’0″). In this type, the bath can become a combination bath-dressing room. This system was very prevalent in India earlier because it is recommended in Vastu Shastra.
A powder room is a small bathroom with only a sink and a toilet


  • Also called “1/2 bath” or “guest bath”, it usually refers to a two-fixture bathroom, with only a Toilet and a Wash Basin meant for guests. The minimum size of a powder room is 5’0″ x 5’0″. It is usually located close to the living/dining room to allow easy access to guests.


  • This bathroom is a three-fixture one but has additional space to allow other functions like laundering, dressing etc. The minimum size of a bathroom with a shower cubicle, a wash basin, a toilet and a dressing area/drying cabinet/linen cabinet/extra wash basin is 6’6″ x 7’6″ and with a bathtub it will be at least 9’6″ x 6’6″ or 11′ x 5’6″.
A large (family) bathroom has more fixtures like a bidet and more space for dressing and cabinets


  1. A Four-fixture bathroom – a toilet, a bathtub and 2 wash basins (His and Her’s) will be 10’0″ x 7’2″ or 12’2″ x 5’0″.
  2. A Five-fixture bathroom – with a bathtub, 2 toilets and 2 wash basins in separate compartments will be around 16’4″ x 5’0″ or 11’0″ x 8’0″


In addition to the above 5 types of bathrooms, there are some names that you may come across with respect to bathrooms such as:

  • Shower room: is a room that contains a shower cubicle (or shower stall), but no bathtub.
  • Ensuite: is a bathroom or shower room attached to and only accessible from a bedroom.
  • Family(large)  bathroom: is a full bathroom in a house.
  • Jack and Jill bathroom: is a bathroom with two doors, accessible from two bedrooms.


Ideally each bathroom should be located near a Bedroom. In addition, one should consider the wind directions and the sun position, so that the sun rays dry up the bathroom quickly and the wind flow allows for fresh air to enter the bathroom and the humid air to leave it. For some tips on this, Visit:

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4 thoughts on “Types of Bathrooms | An Architect Explains

  • April 7, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Very good post. Thanks for sharing.

  • November 3, 2011 at 1:27 am

    nice one

  • December 21, 2011 at 4:30 am

    I have 10″ * 4″ ,I want to make bathroom with tab

    please suggest me my mail id dev.sinha14@gmail.com

  • December 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I have designed my bathroom around a blue tub. I used some ceramic tile that has pale aqua colored glass inserts in a mosaic pattern and a ceramic floor tile that is made up of small white and blue pieces in a mosaic pattern. I’ve painted the walls with a white color that has just a hint of blue/grey in it. I have used stainless steel for all the hardware doorknobs,cabinet handles, towel bars, light fixtures etc and hang towels that are white, grey, turquoise, aqua. What do you think about it?

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