Approved Document M, or Doc M, is a building regulation document set by the UK government to ensure that everyone is able to access and use a buildings facilities safely and properly. Your washroom design should ensure everybody has washroom facilities that are accessible to them. As well as this, equality rights should also be addressed. This blog will go through some of the considerations for your next washroom design.


Toilet Cubicle Sizes

When considering toilet cubicle sizes it is important to think about the user’s needs and the location. The overall dimensions of the toilet cubicles should strike a balance between offering sufficient space for users to move comfortably whilst maximising the total number of toilet cubicles to accommodate peak usage periods effectively.

Standard toilet cubicle sizes require adequate clearance to be provided with at least 450mm turning circle between the WC, toilet cubicle partitions and door is crucial to prevent a cramped feeling and enable easy access for cleaning. Ensuring accessible washrooms for individuals for disabilities is vital, providing larger sized toilet cubicles or Doc M rooms with grab rails and specialised sanitaryware, these requirements are detailed in the Approved Document M. For more information on toilet cubicle sizes, the Approved Document M lists the requirements for accessible washrooms.

CAD Drawing showing various toilet cubicle layouts and dimensions

Toilet Cubicle Fittings and Accessories

Toilet cubicle fittings can also be incorporated into your accessible washroom design to assist those with additional needs.

For example, if the door is opening outwards for an enlarged toilet cubicle then a pull handle fitted to the door will help with access into the cubicle. Including grab rails inside of the ambulant and disabled toilet cubicles will also help aid the user.

Toilet cubicle locks that can be operated with a simple close fist action will be suitable for users with impaired manual dexterity. In addition to this, opt for contrasting colours between the occupied and vacant indicator within the faceplate. This will mean that those with visual impairments, such as colour blindness, will be able to differentiate them. For example, at Bushboard we changed our lock indicator colours on all our toilet cubicles from red and green, to red and white to ensure there is always complete inclusivity.


LRV Values

Light reflective value (LRV) measures the amount of light that is reflected or absorbed by a surface when illuminated. The surface is given an LRV value from 0 to 100. 0 is highly absorbent and therefore dark in colour, for example black. 100 is highly reflective and bright, for example white. It is recommended that there is a 30 point difference between surfaces. This will help those with visual impairments to distinguish between 2 surfaces.

LRV values would be considered at the point of choosing colours for your washroom design. Within your washroom environment you want to create contrasts between toilet cubicle doors and pilasters. Doc M rooms need to ensure that there is a distinction between grab rails and wall; or WC seat and floor.

All of our standard laminate colours are given a light reflective value to help you choose the best colour combinations for your washroom.

LRV Values Chart

A selection of the 36 laminates Bushboard offers and their LRV values


Full Height Toilet Cubicles

Privacy has been the way that washroom design is moving towards in recent years, especially in commercial or older education settings. In washroom situations where supervision of the user is not required then full height toilet cubicles are the desired choice. Low floor and ceiling clearances to give total privacy to the user.

Another benefit to full height toilet cubicles is the ability to create unisex toilets (also known as gender neutral toilets). This is becoming a requirement for a lot of washrooms to ensure washrooms are a completely inclusive space, for example with regards to gender identity. The total privacy allows for mixed-sex users. It can also be great when space is limited by small, enclosed rooms, and instead making use of any open plan area. A great example of an open plan washroom design is our Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera case study.

Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera Case Study Full Height Toilet Cubicle


Consider these points in your next washroom design project so that your building complies with regulations and also commits to an inclusive environment for all.


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Doc M WC Pack Accessible Washroom