In a mad rush to get into the bathroom, the door itself is not always noticed. As long as it has a lock, most folks are happy with the bathroom door’s purpose. Here’s a few tips to consider when planning to renovate or design a new bathroom that will make getting in and out of yours more convenient for all who seek it’s services.
Our clients often ask how wide should the door into their new bathroom be? To that question, the answer depends on how much space is available. In a perfect world the more clear entry space into the bathroom the better. In today’s remodeling world we are trained to look into the future and try to anticipate who might also be passing through the doorway? Might the person be in a wheel chair or a walker? If the client plans to sell the home in the near future, this may be a question of importance to the prospective buyer. A wider door will be essential to accessing the bathroom.
In the diagrams you’ll also see good space allowances for door clearance as you enter the bathroom. The door shall not interfere with another door or the safe use of fixtures within the bathroom. The same holds true for a swinging shower door, it should swing outward, without obstruction.
If space is tight then the minimum allowance is for a 2’0 door. This is a tight squeeze and for these situations I like to explore other entry options such as a pocket door or even a bypass door mounted on decorative barns style rails that affix to the exterior wall. These solutions take away any door swing allowance and create larger clear passage space in and out of the bathroom. The door itself should be a solid core or solid panel door, not a hollow core model. The weight of a solid door will actually improve the motion on the track and gives a more substantial feel as it glides back and forth.
As you move through the door your next motion will likely be to reach for a light switch. The best location is opposite the hinge side of the door, inside the bathroom. Many homes have the switches location somewhere on the outside of the bathroom and in these scenarios I encourage the homeowner to allow us to relocate the switches to the interior for the safety and convenience of the person who is actually using the bathroom. If you have kids in the home be sure that the door you choose is built sturdy as it seems to be the most slammed, fist pounded, kicked, and yelled through door in the house. It needs to be bold to stand up to the use and abuse that will come at it.
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