In the UK most of us are lucky enough to have a decent sized loft that can be turned into an additional bedroom, living space or office. In many cases, the loft is even big enough to incorporate a bathroom or ensuite. However the addition of a new bathroom anywhere in your home will need careful planning and in the loft area, there are special considerations you need to take into account to meet building regulations.
Drainage and waste disposal
A bathroom in the loft is by definition higher than other rooms in your home – therefore there can be issues surrounding the required drop and angles of pipework to achieve good drainage. In many cases, there may even be issues getting water to the area at all.
Your bathroom should be installed by a plumber with knowledge of these rules to ensure you meet waste drainage requirements. There are also concerns surrounding the wastage of water and contamination that need to be addressed.
Bathroom ventilation is especially important in a bathroom due to the chances of condensation and the resulting mould. Most new bathrooms will require an extractor fan or a good sized window.
In a loft, this is even more important as heat rises and ventilation is one of the aspects of the loft conversion that will be checked under building regulations.
Bathrooms are considered to be special zones when it comes to electricity and this is no different when it comes to a loft bathroom.
It is important that you use a qualified electrician for all installations in bathrooms and that the work is checked under an approved scheme, such as that run by the NICEIC. One rule involves the use of pull switches or switches located outside the bathroom.
Your new loft conversion is likely to involve the strengthening of the floor, but this may need to be even more sturdy if you intend to have a bath in your loft bathroom.
Baths can be extremely heavy when filled with water and the structure of your floor may need to be assessed to ensure minimum standards are met.
Loft windows are often used as a means of escape and any bathroom window will need to meet these regulations.
Any window should be 1.7m above the floor to prevent falls and side windows should be obscured (something that you would naturally do for any bathroom). The placement and size of the windows can also help you to meet ventilation requirements.