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My grandparents have a two bedroom, two bathroom house in El Dorado County that was built in ~1974. One day I noticed something peculiar: while the two bathrooms were connected by a sliding door, you had to go through a bedroom to get to a bathroom.

Years later (around 2010) I was telling a friend about the aforementioned bedroom bathroom linkage and they said that's not allowed in today's building code so you could not get a permit to build a new house with that type of design. The person who told me this was not a contractor or anything related (and neither am I) so I never knew if that was/is actually true.

I just spent some time searching for this information out of curiosity and while it may exist on a page somewhere, I couldn't figure what to tell google to get me there.

I'm interested if anyone knows the correct answer here but I'm also wondering why such a requirement/restriction was added to the building code. And does the same rule(s) apply for a remodel, ie. could you change whatever design you currently have to one where you could only go through a bedroom to get to a bathroom? Not that you'd necessarily want to do that, but since we're on the topic... (~:

  • A floor plan would help a lot to give input. – user101687 May 28 at 23:58
  • Every house I have seen has had one bathroom or a half-bath that was accessible from a hall or public room. – Jim Stewart May 29 at 0:41
  • Why would you have a sliding door connecting two bathrooms? – Jim Stewart May 29 at 0:48
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No, that is totally untrue. There are plenty of rules for bathrooms, but what you are describing would make all "master bathrooms" that are only accessible from the master bedroom illegal, and that is definitely NOT the case. And it is perfectly legal to have two "master bedrooms" in a house, in fact it is becoming a desirable feature on smaller houses because of the proliferation of shared housing.

Now, if you don't have a bathroom accessible from the general living area it means all of your guests must go through a bedroom to use the bathroom, something that I personally would not want. But that is not codified anywhere.

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    You are absolutely correct!!! There are space requirements in front of sinks, beside toilets, minimum height of showers, etc., but no requirement about access through another room. BTW, the only Code requirement about doors for single family residents is 1) main access to house to be minimum 32” clear, 2) any access between garage and house. – Lee Sam May 29 at 0:52
  • Oh, the clear dimension is measured from the face of the stop to the door when the door is in the 90 degree open position. – Lee Sam May 29 at 20:37

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