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Superloos come in different shapes, sizes, and interior designs but plans vary depending on the sanitaryware and dimensions of this inclusive washroom cubicle.
However, it can be a little more challenging when reducing dimensions for a superloo to an absolute minimum as you need to figure out creative ways to make the room feel more spacious without compromising on quality or neglecting user experience.
Dolphin has been at the forefront of the growing superloo trend and from our experience, we will guide you to make the right choices regarding your superloo sanitaryware.
A WC pan’s technical specifications can range anywhere from around 480mm to around 600mm projection. A short projection toilet intrudes less on the space around it and if you are looking to create the smallest superloo possible, then you may find yourself leaning towards the smallest pan available.
However, if for example, you choose a 480mm pan, you need to consider that most adults may find it uncomfortable and squished. But if you choose for example a 540mm pan, just adding that extra 60mm makes a significant difference in achieving comfort whilst still saving space in your superloo.
Whether you choose a close coupled toilet, wall mounted WC pan, or floor mounted WC pan, each fixture brings its own style that can add quality to your washroom. If you are figuring out how to make your superloo smaller but at the same time creating that element of space, then choosing the right WC pan is an important decision.
The projection of a WC suite is also determined by the depth and width of the concealed cistern as this too can impact floor space.
By choosing a concealed cistern, you will need to make provision for the IPS panel which may also reduce the average superloo floor space (the size as mentioned in our superloo dimensions article averaging 1200mm x 1800mm). Applying a duct-mounted or high-level cistern, for example, allows the WC pan to be placed closer to the wall and allows an overall reduction in the length of the compartment.
Typically, the depth of a concealed cistern can range between 126mm – 170mm, but you do find some manufacturers have taken that figure right down to 80mm or 90mm. When designing a small toilet cubicle, taking away that extra 40+ mm can make a significant difference in reducing size, but remember, you should consider how accessible it will be for maintenance purposes.
A smaller cistern frame such as the 80mm – 90mm can be a hassle to gain access to its working parts as it is so small and narrow that it would be extremely difficult to get hands through the removable flush plate. Providing an accessible solution in this instance could involve incorporating an access panel that surrounds the cistern which could be easily taken apart and removed during the maintenance time.
However, this can be particularly complex when your superloo layout includes a cistern frame and washbasin vanity unit situated next to each other on the same wall. The average height of a cistern frame ranges from 820mm to 1150mm, therefore, the height of your vanity will essentially be determined by these dimensions.
Assuming the washbasin vanity is an even flat surface, installing a tall cistern frame could potentially elevate the vanity unit which will affect the design and impact the minimum dimensions required for the height of a basin.
What is recommended in this instance is to separate the two fixtures onto adjacent walls which will give you more flexibility to gain access to the working parts and avoid complications that may impact the design and accessibility.
Consideration also needs to be given to ambulant disabled users when designing this type of superloo as some access consultants and building control officers will not accept grab rails that are only fitted to one wall and back of the door.
Although a small hand-rinse basin is compact and can save space, making it too small will be met with various challenges. This may include the length of the tap projecting too far out or insufficient basin depth which can result in water splattering out the basin and onto the floor.
Taps should cater to the design and size of the washbasin. For example, choosing a tap that projects too far out may look out of place and is awkward to use. Whether a user constantly bumps their hands against the washbasin or risks having water splashed on them, the tap loses its purpose to provide a simple and quality handwashing experience.
But downsizing the hand-rinse basin is a popular option to achieve that spacious appearance when working with small toilet cubicle dimensions. Better yet, choosing a floating basin and vanity provides extra space to extend the flooring all the way to the wall, making your superloo appear roomier.
A 300mm projection is recommended for a hand-rinse basin, but if you are determined to go smaller, an absolute minimum of 250mm is still doable. Keep in mind that the activity space requires no less than 600mm in front of the washbasin regardless of its projection scale. However, reducing the recommended measurements may not be a practical solution if the design features a behind mirror system.
Behind mirror system
Let’s look at the minimum space arrangement that includes a behind mirror system above the vanity. If for example, the mirror is between 150mm – 250mm projection and the washbasin or vanity is at 250mm, a user runs the risk of bumping their head against the mirror when washing their hands.
These short-distance dimensions are insufficient to provide enough space to utilise the facility with ease which makes the superloo fixtures inconvenient and cramped for the user. If for example, the mirror system above the vanity unit is up to 190mm, then a 300mm washbasin or vanity unit is enough to provide a comfortable experience.
The hinged mirror cabinet can also provide a space to house lighting controls, plumbing connections, etc. which will require inspection and maintenance from time to time.
Dolphin worked on a unique project where the behind mirror system lined up with the vanity unit but pushed the projection of the hand-rinse basin further out. This not only kept within the activity space and column of clearance requirements, but the appearance felt spacious in a modest design.
An alternative option is to remove the behind mirror system from your superloo layout and replace it with a regular mirror. This is of course if the main objective is to reduce the size of every feature in a superloo.
A vanity unit exhibits style and elegance which adds great value in achieving the finest quality in your washroom. Ignite your creativity by exploring the vast range of floating vanity units, free-standing, cabinetry, and more, all with their own unique design elements.
Cabinetry vanities provide an attractive and useful purpose as you can combine both a storage facility and washbasin in one unit which saves you from separating the two fittings. However, extending the vanity and adding cabinetry underneath the basin will make a small superloo feel more confined and crowded, therefore removing cabinetry below the vanity, and installing a floating vanity will leave the impression that your superloo is bigger than it is.
Installing a floating vanity creates that extra space from wall to wall and immediately the whole room will feel bigger. The same concept applies to a floating basin. If your vanity includes a hand-rinse basin it is preferable to extend that dimension to 300mm depth to keep it narrow but still accessible.
Having a narrow vanity achieves that sense of space but you can go further into the design detail by tailoring the thickness of the vanity. For example, a unit that is1400mm long by 400mm deep with a height of 80mm – 120mm, makes the vanity thinner and less bulky, therefore gaining the full benefit of a spacious environment.
Time to get creative with your washroom accessories and fittings! There is no need to follow the traditional way of installing a separate waste bin, toilet roll holder, toilet brush, and hand towel dispenser, instead, go for a combination unit that adds superior quality with its timeless design.
The benefit of the small activity spaces allocated to each accessory is that they can be superimposed which provides the perfect opportunity to further reduce the size of your superloo.
To make an all inclusive vanity, customsie your unit to include an under counter or surface mounted waste bin, behind mirror hand drying facility and perhaps opt for a recessed toilet paper dispenser and multifeed soap dispenser system which can all maximise the space you have to work with.
Combining space and quality
The washroom must complement the magnificent structure and interior design of the building. This means it deserves just as much attention to detail to ensure that superior quality filters throughout the design.
As we have discovered, saving space is generally the main concern when planning a washroom layout but the question, “how small can you make a superloo?”, does not have a black-and-white answer.
Although there are many different solutions to reduce space, the ultimate success of a superloo design is determined by the user’s experience.