Bathroom code - three issues.

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 03:06 PM GMT


QUESTION: We just moved into an apartment. The bathroom is immediately adjacent to the kitchen. The door opens into the bathroom whereby you need to enter the bathroom and walk around the door to get to the (only) light switch. That is: you're in the dark to find the switch????

Does the door location/operation relative to the light switch meet code?

Are there any special code requirements re: bathrooms adjacent kitchens?

The fan, light switch are less than 36" from the shower - does that meet code?


  Before I answer your specific questions - the building codes are requirements that set minimum standards. They do not cover every possible building issue and in fact leave some things to the "common sense" of the builder.
  There is no code that determines where the light switch must be. Only common sense dictates that putting it behind a door is not optimum.
  There is no special code for a bathroom adjacent to a kitchen.
  As long as the switch is not in the bath/shower enclosure it is OK by code.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I read today that a switch could not be closer than 48" from a tub or shower...

I also read egress to and fro a small space due to the 'wacked' door installation I described would not meet door location requirements... Could these be 'dated' code requirements?

Thank you for your response. Mark



  I am not sure where you read a switch cannot be within 48" of a tub/shower but it was not in the current (2006 IRC). The switch only has to be outside of the tub/shower enclosure. I am not sure where you read about the door installation issue but I do not believe it as in the IRC. Every room requires a light with a switch but no where does the code say where that switch will be. If you have a written source let me know.


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