I tried looking for Indiana building code regarding bathroom door sizes. I seem to be getting contradictory measurements from my searches. Some say 28” width is fine, others say 32” required, 34 recommended. Can anyone shed some light on this and maybe point me to a reputable code document? I live in Lafayette, IN (zip 47904) if that helps. Edit: current door is 28”.

  • Sorry, I was asking about an existing 28” door. Wanted to know if it needed enlarged/replaced to be in code compliance.
    – Jozef Xie
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:19

3 Answers 3


Your bathroom door can be any width you want.

The Code only refers to one door in a “dwelling” and it’s regarding an “egress” door...and it must be a minimum of 32” wide. (See 2017 edition of IRC Section R311.2)

References to IBC or ICC is not appropriate as they refer to commercial, institutional, etc. buildings, not dwellings.

  • The IRC International Residential Code comes into play ( all part of the ICC ). Egress from a bathroom is through its door (egress the exit , the way out). Rooms smaller than 10Sq feet are exempted from the rule, closets ..
    – Ken
    Jul 10, 2018 at 4:29
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    @Ken The “egress” door refereed to in the IRC is egress from the “dwelling”, not from rooms. In fact it goes on to require that it not pass through a garage or carport. (See IRC R311.2)
    – Lee Sam
    Jul 10, 2018 at 4:38
  • You are correct the 2012 guide does specifically state other doors are exempt.
    – Ken
    Jul 10, 2018 at 10:33

The IBC (sometimes referred to as ICC) - International Building Codes is what you should look at it.

Your local county permitting office might even have an online guide as to what codes they adhere to and possibly even some code standards online.

As a general rule of thumb and from my understanding 32" is the minimum afforded by the IBCC (to the best of my knowledge) and 34 has been recommended. Your home might have been built before the adoption of these rules by your county or state and thus fall into a category of 'unless you remodel it you can leave it as it is'.

I am guessing you would like to know this because you are installing a new door.

I would like to suggest that you install a 36 inch door.

You might be thinking oh my gosh why ?

Maybe currently (or possibly in the future) you have a friend or family member that will visit and they are bound to a wheel chair, access by Wheel Chair is much easier at 36 inches.

Actual Code Reference:

1008.1.1 Size of doors.

The minimum width of each door opening shall be sufficient for the occupant load thereof and shall provide a clear width of 32 inches (813 mm). Clear openings of doorways with swinging doors shall be measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). Where this section requires a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813mm) and a door opening includes two door leaves without a mullion, one leaf shall provide a clear opening width of 32 inches (813mm).

IBC 2009 edition online PDF

IBC 2012 edition online PDF

This is REALLY hard to come by so you should download it and save it in a good place - who knows how long this link will be good for.

EDIT 7-09-2018 Due to a comment I have decided to make CLEAR 32 inches is the minimum according to the code of 2009. Indiana has adopted the code of 2012 and so a link is provided

  • International Building Code (IBC): Applies to almost all types of new buildings

  • International Residential Code (IRC): Applies to new one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses of not more than three stories in height.

  • International Existing Building Code (IEBC): Applies to the alteration, repair, addition or change in occupancy of existing structures.The ICC publishes new editions of the International Codes every three years and many states and localities have adopted them since the first editions were issued in 2000. In 2000, the three regionally-based model code organizations (BOCA National Code, SBCCI Standard Code and ICBO Uniform Code) combined together to form the ICC.

Indiana Construction codes & ICC Code Adoption

The Indiana Building, Fuel Gas, Mechanical and Fire Prevention Codes are based on the 2012 IBC, IFGC, IMC and IFC. The 2003 Indiana Residential Code is based on the 2003 IRC and the 2006 Indiana Plumbing Code is based on the 2006 IPC.

2012 International Building Code
2012 International Fire Code
2012 International Fuel Gas Code
2012 International Mechanical Code
2012 International Plumbing Code
2003 International Residential Code

The above was a direct copy from the website linked to - there seems to be an error on the IPC adoption 2006 in the statement vs 2012 in the bullets.

BONUS for Others Searching on their particular state

How can I know if my state adheres to the International Codes of the ICC such as IBC (International Builders Code), IRC (International Residential Code), IPC (International Plumbers Code), etc.. ?

Interactive guide map for International Code Adherence by state.

EDIT - The above is inaccurate: for single and dual dwellings see below 2012:

R311.2 IRC

  • +1 for including code reference (if 2009 is current) -1 for adding confusion with your own interpretation and advice/opinion which provides the same confusion and contradictions that OP has already found. This answer really gets OP no closer to his goal.
    – Tyson
    Jul 9, 2018 at 10:43
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    Decades ago when we remodeled the hall bathroom in our 1970 2-bath tract house we enlarged the door to 36 inches in anticipation of needing wheelchair access for elderly relatives. Now we are facing enlarging the door to the "master" bath for ourselves. It's smaller than the hall bath. The most we can get to is about 30 in or 32 in. We are planning on a barn door which would slide on the bedroom side. Jul 9, 2018 at 10:45
  • @Tyson ok - I clarified as of 2009 code it is 32 inches. Indiana has 2012 IBC code adoption and 2003 IRC adoption. I also provide links to all of those codes and much more for any one else looking. I did not interpret - minimum opening is 32 , I advised to install 36 (which is more than the minimum requirement) and the reasoning behind that advice. As people DIY sometimes the 'I did not think of that scenario when I did all of that work' comes up a few years down the road or even the next month - so I will leave that advice as it certainly adheres to minimum code.
    – Ken
    Jul 9, 2018 at 11:36
  • Better. But still very confusing, now with the addition of 2012 (which want mentioned prior to the edit) there is new confusions. Keep in mind also that when a question like this gets asked it’s usually because there is lack of space, or an obstruction. Generally if there’s plenty of space the largest will get chosen. OP didn’t state it, but generally a question like this gets asked there is a problem with just going with widest mentioned/recommended. I have no idea the correct answer myself, I’m simply stating my level of confusion after reading yours, which seems very unsure.
    – Tyson
    Jul 9, 2018 at 11:54
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    It’s important to note that a “32 inch clear width” means a 34 inch door in most cases, because the door itself blocks part of the opening when open 90 degrees. ADA requires a 32 inch clear width, which is presumeably the basis for the code.
    – Mark
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:27

International building code would be what I would use it is used in most of the U.S. as the base line. I thought the minimum size was 2.6 but as this is an internal door so a smaller size may be ok.

  • 1
    I believe that the reference to 2.6 in this answer means 2’6” or 30”, just to clarify.
    – Tyson
    Jul 9, 2018 at 10:44

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