Guide to bathroom building regulations
A new bathroom is a great asset to any home, but before you refurbish yours, it’s important to know about the relevant building regulations – find out more here.
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home so it needs to be functional, warm and easy to clean as well as attractive. Before you begin to plan a new bathroom refurbishment though, you need to make sure your plans meet current UK building regulations which are designed to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all homes. Here’s a guide to the relevant building regulations for bathroom refurbishment:
Part H – Drainage and waste disposal
It’s essential that your bathroom plumbing is installed correctly for safety and hygiene reasons, so hire a qualified plumber for this work. They will adhere to building regulations, which include making sure waste pipes and drainage run downhill from the appliance to the outlet – if this isn’t the case, such as in a basement conversion, you will need to install a pump system like a Saniflow. The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme also applies to bathroom plumbing; the regulations were devised to prevent water wastage, misuse and contamination.
Part F – Ventilation
Ventilation is especially important in moist areas like kitchens and bathrooms to prevent damp and mould, which can be harmful to properties as well as health. Building regulations state that bathrooms must be ventilated via a window or extractor fan – you may want to use both. A new bathroom should have a fan which extracts at a rate of at least 15 litres per minute and continues to run for 15 minutes after the light has been switched off.
Part P – Electrical safety
Water and faulty electrics can be a lethal combination, which is why it’s illegal to carry out electrical work in the bathroom unless you are a qualified electrician registered with an approved scheme like the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) or the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). Part P ensures that all household electrics are installed safely; rules for bathroom electrics for example specify the maximum voltage levels for different areas in the bathroom and state that light switches should be pull chord operated or located outside the bathroom.
Part A – Structural safety
It’s necessary to look at the structural safety of your bathroom, especially if you are extensively refurbishing or building a new room from scratch. You would need to make sure, for instance, that the floor is structurally secure enough to hold your bathroom suite and a full bathtub.
If you are unsure about whether your bathroom refurbishment complies with UK building regulations, always seek advice from a professional bathroom installation company. Make sure that you ask for references and insurance credentials from all contractors before you hire and get at least three quotes for the work. If you want more inspiration on bathroom design, take a look at our expert tips here.