Separating bathroom and toilet

Recommendation 34
bathroom and toilet better be separated by a wall

Chapter (theme)
Architectural spaces (zoning)

Because of
sensory sensitivity (noise, sound), executive functioning (orientation)

In order to
prevent sensory overload and support orientation.

Assuming someone who lives (semi-)independently has a roommate and/or receives visitors, it is recommended to separate the bathroom and the toilet with a wall.
An important reason for this is in the zoning-principle, which is to support orientation by limiting the functions of spaces, if possible to one.

Sensory arguments are valid as well. Donna Williams describes ‘Jake’ who has severe autism and is extremely sensitive to the sound of a flushing toilet. This and also the clattering echoes of splashing water in a hollow shower space, underscore this recommendation. People who live independently will hardly ever have the extreme sensory problems of ‘Jake’. However, it may be helpful to be reminded that the ability to live independently primarily has to do with the executive functions while the autism, including some sensory problems, may still be severe.
Among those is also over-sensitivity to smell.


Williams, Donna, Autism – An Inside-Out Approach, London and Philadelphia, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1996.