• Plan a mechanical exhaust system, vented to the outside, for each enclosed area.

Code requirement

• Minimum ventilation for the bathroom is to be a window of at least 3 square feet (0.27 square meters) of which 50% is operable, or a mechanical ventilation system of at least 50 cubic feet (15,240 cubic mm) per minute (cfm) exhausted to the outside.

• (IRC R303.3, IRC M1507.2, IRC M1507.3)

access Standard


• Ventilation controls should be placed 15 inches to 48 inches (381 mm to 1219 mm) above the floor, operable with minimal effort, easy to read, and with minimal noise pollution.

ICC A117.1-2009 Reference

• See Access Standard 25 for operable controls.

• See Access Standard 22 for reach range for controls.



• A supplemental heat source, e. g., heat lamp, toe kick heater, or floor heat should be considered. Code requirement

• All bathrooms should have an appropriate heat source to maintain a minimum room tempera­ture of 68° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius).

(IRC R 303.8)

access Standard


• See Code Reference.

ICC A117.1-2009 Reference

• See Access Standard 25 for operable controls.

• See Access Standard 22 for reach range for controls.

[1] Effective February 28, 2005, HUD determined that the IBC 2003 is a safe harbor, conditioned upon ICC publishing and distributing a statement to jurisdictions and past and future purchasers of the 2003 IBC stat­ing, "ICC interprets Section 1104.1, and specifically, the exception to Section 1104.1, to be read together with Section 1107.4, and that the Code requires an accessible pedestrian route from site arrival points to ac­cessible building entrances, unless site impracticality applies. Exception 1 to Section 1107.4 is not applicable to site arrival points for any Type B dwelling units because site impracticality is addressed under Section 1107.7."

[2] If new fixtures are to be installed, are they to be put in the same location as the old fixtures?

• If the remodeled bathroom project will impact on the exterior of the home, are there any restrictions to be consid­ered? Will existing siding or roof materials be easy to match?

• Are there any home improvements or repairs to be incorporated into the bathroom project, such as new siding or a roof replacement?

• If the home is older than 1978, could there be lead-based paint or asbestos in the existing space?


• What is the construction of the house?

• What is the condition of the existing structure? Look for sound and level floors, squareness of corners, and materials in good condition. Do floors squeak?

• Is there evidence of water leaks or pest damage?

• What size are the joists and will they be adequate support for the new fixtures?

• Are windows and doors in good repair and do they operate smoothly? Are new or replacement windows and doors to match the existing windows with respect to type, size, style, and material?

• Is the home well insulated? Are doors and windows energy-efficient?

[3] Face washing is another important activity that occurs in this center. Usually people bend at the waist in order to place their face close to the water surface, especially if they wash by splashing water on their face. Other people may use a washcloth or cleansing pad and they may remain upright, wetting the cloth and bringing it to their face.

• Brushing teeth is another key activity, and people usually bend at the waist to rinse into the sink. They also stand upright and examine their teeth in the mirror. Other activities might be using mouthwash, flossing, and caring for dentures, braces, or other orthodontic devices. A water source is needed for cleansing brushes and a cup is needed for rinsing, as well as a power source for related appliances.

• Facial care and make-up applications are very important in the grooming routine. The number of products and the steps involved in cleansing and conditioning the skin, and in applying face, eye, and lip make-up, are staggering.

This activity may require the user to be in the grooming center for some time. Although a water source may be needed, some facial care can and does occur at a seated vanity with water close by. A place to store and access products, good lighting, storage and power for any related ap­pliances, and an appropriately placed mirror are important to successfully completing this task. Chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning," has more information about planning lighting.

• Facial shaving is a similar task. It may be completed with an electric razor (requiring an electric receptacle for use or when charging), or with a blade razor (requiring creams and a water source). As with other facial care, proper location of the mirror and good lighting will be important.

• Hair care may be as simple as combing or brushing hair in front of the mirror. More often, hair styling is done, using gels, mousse, cremes, and sprays. Several electric appliances may be used to accomplish styling as well: blow dryers, curling irons, electric curlers, crimpers, and straight – eners.

Usually this activity will require an appropriately placed mirror, storage for the appliances, and electrical receptacles that can accommodate the requested appliances. Chapter 7, "Mechanical Planning," can provide information on planning for electrical receptacles.

[4] A minimum space of at least 21 inches (533 mm) must be planned in front of the lavatory, toilet, bidet, and tub.

• (IRC P2705.1.5)

• (IRC R307.1)

[5]Knee clearance must be a minimum 30 inches (762 mm) wide, 36 inches (914 mm) to use as part of the T-turn), and maintain a 27-inch (686 mm) high clear space under the cabinet, counter, or sink. At 27 inches (686 mm) above finished floor (AFF), the depth must be a minimum 8 inches (203 mm). At 9 inches (229 mm) AFF, the depth must be a minimum of 11 inches (279 mm). The space from 9 inches (229 mm) to the floor is considered toe clearance and must be a minimum of 17 inches (432 mm) and a maximum of 25 inches (635 mm).

[6]Toe clearance space under a cabinet or fixture is between the floor and 9 inches (635 mm) above the floor. Where toe clearance is required as part of a clear floor space, the toe clearance should extend 17 inches (432 mm) minimum beneath the element.

Updated: October 15, 2015 — 10:21 am