How to create an under stairs loo

Ever wondered if you could do something more useful with the space under your stairs than store mops ad hoovers?

We decided to see if we could transform our junk cupboard into a bijou loo.

How much space do I need?

Firstly make sure your available space meets the minimum size required for a downstairs toilet to be comfortable. That’s recommended to be around 80cm x 140cm. Anything smaller than this might feel a bit cramped to use.

What about moving electricity and gas meters?

Yep, lots of houses have their meters stored under the stairs. To make the best use of the available space it’s a good idea to move these and you’ll need certified professionals to do this for you. Depending on the distance you need to move them the cost can vary anywhere from £400 – £1000 on average. Only your current supplier can move your meter – get in touch with them directly to get a quote and be warned it can take up to three months to get an appointment for the work.

What if there’s no external wall for the waste pipe?

It’s OK if the space under your stairs doesn’t have an external wall, these days there are plenty of macerators on the market to carry the waste to join an existing pipe somewhere else in your house. You can even buy models that pump waste vertically! A decent macerator (and it’s worth buying a quality model) will cost you £300-£500.

You will also need adequate ventilation and an extractor fan if your toilet has internal walls on all sides.

How to make tiny toilets look bigger

To make the most of your space consider using the same tiles on the wall and floor, this creates an illusion of space. We like the Moroccan mosaic tile look and found these handmade concrete tiles from Seville with a geometric twist in the Cement Tile shop at Columbia Road in London.

Also go for the biggest mirror you can find and rather than opting for wall cabinets at eye level create low level open shelves to store your extra towels, loo roll and toiletries.

Choose a back to wall toilet which will allow you to have the cistern and macerator sitting in the cavity space behind the wall the toilet is resting on instead of in the room itself.

Lighting

This is an intimate space so choose some intimate lighting, there may not be enough headroom to have anything other than spotlights in the ceiling so consider wall lights for more options. We got these rotating copper coloured spotlights from made.com.

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