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Bathroom Door Width: Code Issue?

freematt's picture

I Have an unfinished room in a newer house that is plumbed for a bathroom. At 8' x 8'-6" the room is spacious enough yet I'm having a hard time squeezing in a 60" bathtub considering the way the builder has the DWV laid out. The room is in the basement so the DWV is under the concrete floor, except where the box for the tub drain is and where the closet bend sticks up. The tub needs to be in an alcove on the same wall as the door and it doesn't leave much room for the 32" door. If I could replace the existing 32" door with a 30" door I'd be home free, but my understanding is that most codes require a minmum door width of 32"for disability access. Is this true and if so is it applicable in this case? If we go with a 30" door what are the chances, that years down the road when we sell the house someone would make it an issue? -- Matt

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

(post #63583, reply #1 of 14)

Did you pull a permit for this job? If not, I would say the practical solution rules the day.

But let's see what the real experts have to say........

******************************************************** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden 1910-2010

(post #63583, reply #2 of 14)

Yep, the IRC says one 32 in. door into any space larger than 10 sq. ft. Are you in an area where a house must be up to code before it's sold? If not, and it were my house, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to put in the 30 in. door. When it comes time to sell the house, no buyer that you'd want to deal with anyway will kick about this.


 


Andy


Arguing with a Breaktimer is like mud-wrestling a pig -- Sooner or later you find out the pig loves it.


Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value. --Robert M. Pirsig

Andy Engel

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

(post #63583, reply #11 of 14)

Andy, can you give me the IRC code section or paragraph number that requires a 32" door?


Thanks,


Bob

(post #63583, reply #12 of 14)

Not off the top of my head. I pulled that from Taunton's Code Check.


Andy


Arguing with a Breaktimer is like mud-wrestling a pig -- Sooner or later you find out the pig loves it.


Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value. --Robert M. Pirsig

Andy Engel

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

(post #63583, reply #3 of 14)

I think the chances of anyone making an issue out of 2" of door space when they want to buy your house are very very slim.  The 32" code was created for hadicap persons.  The real issue will be if you indeed pulled a permit for the job, then I think you will have a problem with the inspector, otherwise I would put in the 30".

(post #63583, reply #4 of 14)

Houses that I frame always call for a R.S.O of 30" therefor a 28" door in the bathroom.


Unless the homeowner wants or needs wider doors that should be fine

(post #63583, reply #5 of 14)

The bathroom is in the basement ... is it a walkout basement?  Stairs would limit the use of a wheelchair anyway, and most people I know can fit through a 30 inch door (ex-SIL possibly excepted).


Can you use a corner tub?  Maybe put in a short wing wall to create a corner alcove.


Or, Kohler sells two short tubs:  K-745 Seaforth 54"x30" and K-1490-X Greek bath 48"x32"x23" deep.


 


Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell'em "Certainly, I can!"  Then get busy and find out how to do it.  T. Roosevelt

I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it done the right way.

(post #63583, reply #6 of 14)

Depending on where you live, a Bathroom door can be as narrow as 24".


 codes vary throughout N. america, but most have a 24" minimum.

(post #63583, reply #7 of 14)

I think the 32" door width is a product of the latest model codes (eg,, IRC), which of course are not adopted everywhere at the same time, but even the local Home Depot millwork guy knew about the requirement.

<BTW> Here in Wisconsin everything seems a lot more slack (regulatory issues) than California, the last state I lived in. -- Matt

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

(post #63583, reply #8 of 14)

Have you concidered installing a pocket door instead? You could get your 32" and not have to deal for the door swing.

Rich Knab
People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit.

Rich Knab
People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit.

(post #63583, reply #9 of 14)

[quote]Have you concidered installing a pocket door instead? You could get your 32" and not have to deal for the door swing.[/quote]

That is another good idea to consider. -- Matt

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

(post #63583, reply #10 of 14)

While I don't have a copy of the latest IRC (since this isn't used in my jurisdictions), I do have a couple of IRC "checklists", and this size is not mentioned. For SINGLE FAMILY residences, this size is not required by the current Uniform Building Code, or the California Building Code.


I would be deadly certain that you are looking at the SFR section of the code, and not multi-family residential, where it probably would be required. And often there are exceptions to the stated requirements at the end of the code section. You might also want to double check as to the version of the code that is currently in force; usually the adopted code is a version or two behind the latest published code.


Edited 11/27/2004 5:55 pm ET by Richard

(post #63583, reply #13 of 14)

I'm not a builder but my wife and are building a home right now. We just learned that code by us for a bathroom is 28" (finished). Hope this helps... - Rob

(post #63583, reply #14 of 14)

I think the problem is solved, for now. I found a nice 54", cast iron, bathtub from Kohler. My local plumbing house said it retails for $1100 and that they'd be glad to sell it to me for $900. Of course, I can get it at Home Depot for $710. Hmm, what should I do?

In any case I'll leave the 32" door as it is. -- Matt

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -- Henry David Thoreau