BCAB #1883

Last updated on October 18, 2022

March 17, 2022

Re: Minimum Doorway Size for Water-Closet Room (Powder Room)

Project description

The project is a proposed water-closet room to be constructed in a dwelling unit on the ground level storey. There is no other water closet facility on the storey. A full bathroom is provided on the second storey, with a minimum doorway width of 760 mm, which is accessible by a stairway connecting the two storeys. The ground level water-closet room is approximately 1.02 m2 in area. The doorway width serving this water-closet room is 610 mm. The water-closet room is accessed from an open space kitchen and living area.

Applicable Code requirements:

Sentence and excerpts from Table, Sentences (1) and (2), and Note A- of Division B of the British Columbia Building Code 2018. Except as provided in Articles, and, doorway openings within dwelling units and within houses with a secondary suite including their common spaces shall be designed to accommodate at least the door sizes given in Table for swing-type and folding doors.


Size of Doors

Forming Part of Sentence

At Entrance to:

Minimum Width, mm

Minimum Height, mm

Bathroom, water-closet room, shower room(1)


1 980

Rooms located off hallways that are permitted to be 710 mm wide


1 980

Rooms not mentioned above, exterior balconies


1 980

Notes to Table

(1) See Article This article applies where a hallway of not less than 860 mm wide serves one or more rooms containing a bathtub, shower or water closet. At least one doorway in a hallway described in Sentence (1) shall be constructed

a) so that access is provided to not less than 1 of each type of fixture described in Sentence (1), and

b) to accommodate a door not less than 760 mm wide.

A- Doorways to Rooms with a Bathtub, Shower or Water Closet. If the minimum 860 mm hallway serves more than one room with identical facilities, only one of the rooms is required to have a door not less than 760 mm wide.

If a number of rooms have different facilities, for example, one room has a shower, lavatory and water closet, and another room has a lavatory and water closet, the room with the shower, lavatory and water closet must have the minimum 760 mm wide door.

Where multiple rooms provide the same or similar facilities, one of these rooms must comply with the requirement to have at least one bathtub or shower, one lavatory and one water closet. Where the fixtures are located in two separate rooms served by the same hallway, the requirement for the minimum doorway width would apply to both rooms.

If the minimum 860 mm hallway does not serve any room containing a bathtub, shower and water closet, additional fixtures do not need to be installed.

Decision being appealed (local authority’s position)

The local authority has determined the water-closet room is not served by a hallway, as the room’s entrance is off the kitchen and living area of the first storey. Therefore, an entrance doorway with a minimum width not less than 760mm would be required for the water-closet room. The local authority has determined the applicable entry of the Table is “Rooms not mentioned above, exterior balconies”

Appellant's position

Using a Meriam-Webster dictionary definition, corridor is defined as “a passageway into which compartments or rooms open”. The appellant considers in the open floor plan of the ground level, the water-closet room comes off a passageway connecting the (open) kitchen on the ground storey with the bedrooms and full bathroom on the second storey.

Appeal Board decision

It is the determination of the Board that the minimum doorway opening serving the subject water-closet room shall be designed to accommodate at least a 610 mm swing type or folding door using “Bathroom, water-closet room, shower room” indicated in Table

Reason for decision

The board does not consider the ground floor water-closet room to be opening off a hallway and the scope of Article is limited to those water-closet rooms that do open off a hallway. Therefore the “Bathroom, water-closet room, shower room” in Table is the applicable requirement.

The decision does not preclude the use of doors other than swing type or folding. (See Decision 1884 for further information.)

Lyle Kuhnert

Chair, Building Code Appeal Board