Redesigning a bathroom offers homeowners the chance to update one of the most-used rooms in a house to their current tastes and needs. A major part of planning a bathroom remodel involves determining the ideal placement of the toilet. Proper toilet positioning promotes functionality and aesthetics. Factors to consider include bathroom dimensions, plumbing, fixtures, traffic flow, and more. This article outlines key guidelines for optimal toilet placement during a bathroom remodel.


Placing a toilet appropriately allows for an ergonomic and visually-appealing bathroom layout. Careful planning of the toilet location brings convenience and style to this essential room. When remodeling a bathroom, homeowners must make careful considerations regarding the toilet placement to create a functional, comfortable, and attractive space.

Measure Bathroom Dimensions

The first step toward determining ideal toilet placement is carefully measuring the bathroom’s dimensions. This includes wall lengths, window and door locations, and available floor space. Consider making a detailed drawing of the bathroom layout complete with measurements. This helps visualize different toilet placement options.

Focus on:

  • Length and width of full bathroom space
  • Window and door measurements and locations
  • Potential plumbing line locations
  • Traffic areas and pathways

Accurately measuring the bathroom provides the necessary information to strategize the optimal toilet spot.

Consider Plumbing Logistics

Bathroom plumbing logistics play a major role in choosing the best place to locate the toilet. Existing drain and water supply line locations can dictate placement options. Assess:

  • Drain line areas in floor
  • Water supply line locations
  • Potential for moving/adjusting plumbing lines
  • Ease of making new plumbing connections

Ideally, the toilet sits above the main drain line with the tank aligned with the water supply lines. Limiting plumbing adjustments saves on remodel costs. Knowing bathroom plumbing logistics assists in picking the most suitable toilet location.

Evaluate Toilet Clearances

The toilet clearances represent key criteria for determining toilet placement. Adequate clearances around the toilet enable comfortable use and cleaning. Recommended minimum toilet clearances include:

  • Front clearance: 21 inches from toilet to any obstruction
  • Side clearance: At least 12 inches on each side
  • Back clearance: Minimum of 24 inches from rear tank to wall

Consider clearances when measuring for the toilet location. A tight fit limits usage and maintenance. Prioritizing proper toilet clearances allows for easy access.

Consider Bathroom Traffic Flows

Optimizing the bathroom’s traffic flow offers another factor for deciding the best toilet spot. Assess the ways people move around the bathroom to find the toilet position that best supports usage routes. Key factors influencing traffic flow include:

  • Entryway locations – Doors and hallways leading into the bathroom
  • Shower/bathtub location – Route from the shower/tub to the toilet
  • Sink location – Pathway from the sink area to the toilet

Locate the toilet near the traffic flow sources while avoiding blocking pathways. The ideal location supports direct access without congesting movement.

Coordinate with Other Fixtures

The toilet placement correlates closely with the locations of other bathroom fixtures like the sink and bathtub. Coordinate the toilet’s position with the ideal spots for other fixtures. Consider:

  • Sink clearance – Adequate clearance from centerline of toilet to edge of sink for access
  • Bathtub proximity – Close enough for ease of use but allowing for traffic flow behind toilet
  • Doorway clearance – Avoid blocking doors or congesting room entrances

The toilet position relates directly to the coordination with other fixtures, greatly influencing the room’s functionality.

Establish Proper Orientation

Beyond just the toilet’s location, the specific orientation matters too. Toilets traditionally align parallel to walls but can also orient diagonally. Consider:

  • Parallel placement – Simple and efficient use of space but can appear crowded
  • Diagonal placement – Opens up floor space but may limit clearance behind toilet

Corner placement also angles the toilet diagonally to open floor space. The ideal orientation promotes usage, clearance, and aesthetics.

Accommodate Bathroom Style

The planned bathroom design style can guide appropriate toilet placement. Consider:

  • Small classic bathrooms – May require compact toilet fit in tight quarters
  • Spa-style bathrooms – Typically have ample room for flexible toilet placement
  • Half-baths – Require strategic space planning for toilet due to smaller size

The toilet should fit the bathroom style visually while supporting the room’s convenient usage.

Plan for Toilet Enclosure Options

Enclosing the toilet with walls or partitions represents another position factor. Assess enclosure plans like:

  • Full bathroom walls on three sides for privacy
  • Small partition walls on one side for partial privacy
  • No enclosures for open floor plans

Enclosures impact clearances, traffic flow, and orientation. Coordinate toilet placement with any enclosure plans.


Strategically placing the toilet constitutes an important first step for a successful bathroom remodel. Carefully considering critical factors like plumbing, clearances, traffic flows, orientations, styles, and enclosures allows homeowners to determine the ideal toilet location. Proper toilet placement sanctions comfortable use along with attractive, functional bathroom design. By following key toilet placement guidelines, homeowners can craft an optimal layout to meet their remodel goals. With strategic planning and assessment, the toilet can assume the perfect spot to serve as the centerpiece of a stylish, convenient bathroom space.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Toilet Placement

Where is the best place to put a toilet in a small bathroom?

In a small bathroom, focus on maximizing traffic flow and clearances. Locate the toilet diagonal in a corner, aligned with plumbing lines, for ample accessibility without congesting movement.

How far should a toilet be from the tub?

Ideally, have at least 16-24 inches clearance from the toilet’s side to the edge of the bathtub. This allows accessible traffic flow behind the toilet.

How far should a toilet be from the shower?

Recommend at least 24 inches clearance from the toilet to the shower entry. Allow adequate space for moving in and out of the shower without bumping into the toilet.

Can a toilet go in front of a window?

Yes, a toilet can be placed in front of a window. Ensure at least 21 inches clearance from the front of the toilet for comfortable usage. Strategically use privacy glass or blinds on the window as needed.

Can you put a toilet next to the sink?

It is possible to put a toilet immediately next to the sink if space is limited. Maintain at least 12 inches side clearance from toilet to sink. The close proximity may create congestion during concurrent use.

How far should the toilet be from the door?

Position the toilet at least 24-30 inches diagonally from the doorway. Avoid aligning it directly in front of the door. This allows accessible entry into the bathroom.

What is the standard height for a toilet?

The standard toilet height is approximately 15 inches from floor to seat top. Higher ADA compliant toilets measure 17-19 inches from floor to seat top.