Architecture is a beautiful discipline. It seeks to create harmonious spaces for the good living of the people. For this, it is necessary to take advantage of every available space, including that below the stairs that does not seem to be useful. However, a very practical solution is to install a bathroom under stairs.

It is practical, yes, but generally, it is not well seen, especially when we speak of Feng Shui. This other discipline teaches us that stairs and bathrooms are negative points, so let’s not talk about both being combined.

Although it is quite a challenge to create a pleasant environment in this area, there are certain techniques that we can use to improve its aura. Next, we leave you the immediate measures if you already have an under stair bathroom.

At the bathroom level, the most important thing is to keep the door always closed. Within it, we should consider the location of the basic elements such as the W.C. or the sink, and the colors of these.

The staircase is more complex to decorate because of its function. It is best to simply use light colors for the sidewalls and keep it always in perfect condition, without cracks or faults. As an addition, a crystal chandelier at the bottom entrance of the staircase will greatly improve the atmosphere.

These measures will serve to lighten the environment generated by the bathroom under stairs, but if what we really want is to build one, then we give you a more practical guide of those details that you should take care of when planning it.

Beginner’s guide for the bathroom under stairs

Must it be in the stairs?

Clapham-SW4-by-Build-Team Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this space
Image source: Build Team

Bathrooms are indispensable for home. One of these never hurts, since we all use it. At the construction level, architects and engineers are always aware of these, and sometimes they are a headache because of the regulations.

In general, a good location for a bathroom is at the end of a corridor, in middle sections between rooms or, finally, under the staircase. These areas are ideal because they are usually unused spaces.

Bathroom under stairs dimensions consisting of W.C. and washbasin occupies approximately 80cm x 140xm (the average W.C. measures 50cm x 70cm). You just have to do some calculations to realize that the measurements under the stairs are ideal. Extra points if during the construction pipes were installed through it.

In addition to the constructive benefits, at the utility level, they are quite practical, since a toilet under stairs is ideal for children and seniors. Of course, if we practice Feng Shui then we should avoid installing a sink adjacent to the home’s main door since it is like inviting bad luck.

Do not waste any meter

Bathroom-Redesign-by-schemes-n-spaces Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: schemes & spaces

Every centimeter that we can gain to maneuver is valuable. If possible, the door should open outward (if regulations allow it), or invest a little more in folding mechanisms. Look for small sanitary pieces, preferably to fit the corners.

We have options like the Bermuda Corner Cloakroom Suite ( We should also try that the cistern tank of the W.C. is not exposed to sight so easily, or that it is very small.

Taps should be simple, nothing extravagant that occupies unnecessary space, less if it can be complicated to use by our visitors. If we are going to store bathing implements, it is best to hide them in small cupboards.

In general, there are three factors that we must take into account to maximize our space, as we make clear below:

1)       Do not use pedestal sinks: although they look imposing, the pedestal occupies a valuable space that we can use to store towels, paper or other implements.

2)       The mirror should be like a safe: with this, we mean that it is best to embed a small vanity on the wall that serves to store more objects, gaining additional space.

3)       Be smart and use the combination of a sink- toilet: a new ecological solution is to install a toilet whose cistern is a sink so that we do not waste the water of either of them and even reducing our water bill.

You do not have to use the typical door

Victorian-Hallway-by-My-Bespoke-Room Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: My Bespoke Room

It doesn’t matter if you make a full size or a half bath under stairs, there is a possibility that the door does not fit perfectly by the angle of our staircase. Do not be afraid to use thinner or even creative designs, making it thicker at the top and placing a bow-shaped shot.

Where should I place the furniture?

Eclectic-Gable-Bath-by-Gill-Design-n-Construction-LLC Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Gill Design & Construction LLC

Now that we have all this space available, it is important to know how to use it.

The first thing that any engineer or architect could tell you is that you must locate the toilet in the part where the ceiling is lower. It makes sense since we will sit on it, but if the blows to the head are a problem, you can separate it a little from the wall.

Use the corners intelligently. Since these are not useful to move, it is better that we locate a toilet in them or some type of shelf to store objects.

Locating the sanitary pieces is not just a matter of taste. It is necessary to take into account the pipe system of both clear and served water. If the room has one, the project will be cheaper, otherwise, and according to Arch. Dominic Bagnato, our new construction project could cost up to $12,000.

Finally, a tip to increase the bathroom space at least visually is by painting the walls black.

Keep order to win an additional room

Something that many people do not realize is that, if we maintain an adequate order in the bathroom, we can even have an additional storage room. This is done by installing furniture that helps us to have at hand the essentials in the bathroom (toilet paper, soap, even magazines).

If this is clearly located, all the additional space will serve as a closet. Interior designer Cato Cooper invites us to look for creative solutions. Among the most common examples given is to mount racks for hang coats or hats, or we could even create shelves for footwear.

The under stairs bathrooms are a canvas on the outside

7-Caithness-Road-by-De-Rosee-Sa Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: De Rosee Sa

As previously mentioned, it is best to have the bathroom door always closed. This leaves us with an almost smooth space that we can use as a canvas to decorate.

Take out your inner artist, make this wall stand out; let your guests see that the staircase is an important part of the home. Use wallpapers with interesting patterns; try things you would not try in other parts of the home.

You can even use textured wallpapers to create a greater visual impact. Of course, the director of The Natural Wood Floor Company reminds us that our internal artist should try to maintain harmony by combining the floor with the wall.

Good ventilation is the key in a bathroom

Endicott-Mansion-by-Yvonne-Blacker-Interiors Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Yvonne Blacker Interiors

Ask any architect or engineer what is the biggest problem when designing a bathroom; the vast majority will respond that it is to locate the ventilation. Regulations around the world indicate that bathrooms need to ventilate, either to remove moisture or simply to get rid of bad odors.

If the bathroom meets an exterior wall, the best solution is to locate a window in this direction. The problem arises when we are short of space, and usually, that is the case when we have a toilet under stairs.

The other solution, not as practical as the window, is the installation of an extractor on the wall. We will need to install an additional system, and for convenience, it is best that it is activated when we turn on the bathroom light.

In case we go for the complete package and also have a shower under stairs, it is possible that the extractor is not enough and we need an additional dehumidifier.

To know that our extractor works perfectly, Adam Slinger, EnviroVent Ltd Spokesman tells us that it should be able to keep a postcard; otherwise, we have to replace it or give it a clean.

Plumbing is a serious issue

Residential-Photos-of-Electric-Mirror-projects-by-Electric-Mirror Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Electric Mirror

This section is a more delicate topic in which we will need to consult an expert to avoid future problems. The toilets obviously need a connection of clear and served water to operate.

During the initial construction, it is possible that the plans did not stipulate pipes in the staircase, which may complicate the installation of the new bathroom. If this is our case, it is mandatory that we consult professionals for the job.

We will need to get the drawings of the piping systems for this task. In this way, we can plan the best drainage route for the bathroom.

Additionally, we must be aware that the pipes have the ideal dimensions for the sanitary pieces, otherwise they could clog. It is also important that the connections are well done, and that the material of the tubes is adequate to avoid leaks.

Increase the bathroom under stairs space with visual tricks

Concealed-under-stair-cloakroom-by-Timothy-James-Interiors Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Timothy James Interiors

Just as the black color on the walls helps create a sense of space, using mirrors allows you to perpetuate even more the dimensions of the bathroom. Place one on the wall parallel to the door and you will create the feeling of a long corridor.

If you want to create a great effect of indirect light in the bathroom, Sally Storey, creative director of Cullen Lighting, recommends us to use recessed lights in the floor. The brightness will be ideal to illuminate the entire space.

Avoid cleaning constantly with large slabs

Venn-St-Part-1-by-Proctor-n-Shaw Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Proctor & Shaw

It is common to use ceramics for the walls and floor of the bathroom. These look more hygienic and shiny than paint. The problem is that the unions of this create small spaces prone to get dirty.

If additionally we install small tiles, then we will have a lot of spaces that will eventually fill with dirt, especially for being an area that we will visit often.

The best choice is to use large ceramics. First, we avoid dirt accumulation, and additionally, we create a space that feels more hermetic and elegant by having as few cuts as possible.

The dead space is ideal for a bathtub

Cool-Gray-by-Change-Your-Bathroom-Inc Bathroom under stairs and tips and best practices for this spaceImage source: Change Your Bathroom, Inc.

The remaining section just below the staircase has a very small height, and it is usually closed with a wall or left as a deposit. A more creative alternative is to install a bathtub in it, which will lead your bathroom under stairs to a more practical level.

FAQs about adding a bathroom under stairs

1. What is the best way to utilize the space under the stairs for a bathroom?

Carefully considering the layout and design are the keys to making the most of the bathroom area under the stairs. It’s crucial to make sure the bathroom is practical and effective while making the most of the space available. Popular bathroom under-stair design concepts include a sleek, contemporary appearance or a cozier, more rustic aesthetic. A proper arrangement will also allow for sufficient lighting, ventilation, and storage.

2. How much space is required to build a bathroom under stairs?

The size of the staircase and the preferred layout will determine how much space is needed to install a bathroom under the stairs. A standard staircase offers around 60 to 70 square feet of space, which is sufficient to build a compact, useful bathroom. The quantity of usable space, however, may be impacted by the requisite clearances, plumbing, and ventilation requirements.

3. What are some design ideas for a small bathroom under the stairs?

It’s critical to concentrate on making the most of available space while retaining practicality when building a small bathroom beneath stairs. Popular design concepts include utilizing light-colored paint or tiles to give the impression that the space is larger, choosing a small toilet and sink, and including built-in storage options. Mirrors and lighting are other tools you can utilize to give the impression of additional space.

4. What kind of ventilation and plumbing is required for a bathroom under stairs?

For a bathroom under stairs, proper ventilation and plumbing are necessary. To prevent moisture buildup and mold formation, the bathroom needs to have enough ventilation. Additionally, it’s critical to check that the plumbing is put in correctly because a leak could seriously harm the staircase’s construction. To make sure that everything is installed properly, think about employing a qualified HVAC expert and plumber.

5. How can I maximize storage in a bathroom under stairs?

Due to the constrained area, maximizing storage in a bathroom beneath stairs might be difficult. There are, however, many inventive ways to help you utilize the area to its fullest. For instance, you may put up shelves or cabinets above the sink or toilet, use built-in storage beneath the stairs, or make special drawers and cabinets to match the small places.

6. Can a shower or bathtub be installed in a bathroom under the stairs?

Due to the limited space, installing a shower or bathtub in a bathroom beneath stairs can be difficult. However, with careful planning, you may incorporate a shower or bathtub into your design. A tiny, deep soaking tub or a compact, corner shower stall, for instance, can be built in a bathroom beneath stairs, but it’s important to make sure that there is adequate clearance and appropriate drainage.

7. What are some considerations for soundproofing a bathroom under stairs?

In order to reduce noise and disturbance in other rooms of the house, it is crucial to soundproof a bathroom under the stairs. To limit sound transmission, the walls and ceiling should be adequately insulated. You can also think about using sound-absorbing materials like acoustic panels. Using heavy-duty doors and windows can also assist in lowering noise levels.

8. How can I ensure that the bathroom under the stairs is properly lit?

A bathroom beneath stairs must have adequate illumination because it can be difficult to bring in natural light. To create appropriate lighting, think about employing pendant lights, wall sconces, or recessed lighting. Mirrors can also reflect light, giving the impression that the space is bigger and brighter.

9. Are there any building codes or regulations that need to be followed when building a bathroom under stairs?

Construction of a bathroom under stairs requires adherence to all applicable construction laws and regulations. Local construction codes often outline the minimum distances that fixtures, ventilation, and plumbing must be from each other. Before beginning construction, it’s also critical to secure any required permissions and inspections to make sure everything is compliant.

10. What are some tips for maintaining a bathroom under stairs?

Cleaning and maintaining a bathroom beneath stairs on a regular basis is necessary to stop moisture buildup and the formation of mold. Make sure the bathroom has enough ventilation, and fix any leaks or plumbing problems right once. The room can appear and smell better with regular cleaning of the floors, walls, and fixtures.

Finally, there is nothing like the warmth of the bathroom

A cold bath is the worst we can get. We will not go into detail in this section giving the reasons. If traditional heating is impossible as an option, we can always choose a heated towel rail (the Vogue Curvee White Towel Rail from the UK Bathroom Store is a good choice).

The other option is that the heating comes from the floor, and for this, the mats can help. Alternatively, if we go a little further, we can even install heating systems under the floor.

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