Standard Heights For DIY Projects – “How-To Tuesdays”

by Rachel Laurendeau on May 7, 2013

Whenever I’m working on a home improvement project, I remind myself that there are standard heights and sizes for most things like fixtures and accessories. Of course, when setting up your home, you can customize it so that the heights and sizes suit your needs and those of your family. Here is a quick list of some of the standard heights you might need to know for your next DIY bathroom renovation.

Bathroom vanity or counter: traditionally 30” in height to accommodate both adults and children, but can be customized.

Vanity mirror: there is no real standard for mirrors. Vanity lights are typically mounted at 84” so the mirror could go up just a few inches shy of the lights. For the bottom, consider having the mirror start just above the backsplash (if you have one). The most important consideration is that all family members should be able to see their head and shoulders.

Toilet: the standard toilet height is 14.5 inches from floor to top of the bowl while a “comfort height” toilet measures in at 16.5 inches high. Those extra two inches make the toilet more comfortable for taller people and make it easier for people with disabilities to get up.

Toilet paper holder: 26” from the ground.

Bathtub: standard tubs measure 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 inches deep, although tubs are available in many shapes and sizes today. In many cases where your current tub is not standard size, bathtub refinishing might be a better option rather than trying to find a new tub in an awkward size. Tub refinishing can make your bathtub look like new for a fraction of the price of a replacement, too.

Towel bars: 48” from the ground for adults, 36” from the ground for children.

Some considerations that might make you stray away from standard heights would be:
• Young children in the home typically need things to be lower. Of course, family-friendly bathrooms are great but kids grow quickly so don’t put everything so low that they outgrow the bathroom within two years.
• If anyone in your home has mobility or medical issues, you will want to find the recommended heights from the ADA.
• If there are seniors in the home, they may also benefit from placement of fixtures at more comfortable heights.
• General height of the main occupants of the house will also have an impact on the placement of fixtures and heights chosen. For example, if a person is 5’1”, the mirror will need to be considerably lower than for someone who is 6’4”.

While customization is key to making your home fit you perfectly, remember that for resale, keeping your main fixtures close to standard will appeal to the largest number of people.

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