Floor Wastes in Bathrooms – When Are They Required?
The provision of floor wastes in bathrooms and when they are required is one of the more contentious issues in relation to bathroom construction. There is much anecdotal evidence out there in relation to this, but what are the facts?
There are two primary documents in relation to wet areas construction:
- the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- AS 3740 – 2010 Waterproofing of domestic wet areas
Class 2, 3 or Class 4 part of a building
So starting with Volume 1 requirements: For apartment buildings (Class 2 buildings), hotels, motels and boarding houses (Class 3 buildings), and residential parts of commercial buildings (Class 4 parts of a buildings), BCA Volume 1 requires a floor waste be installed in bathrooms and laundries if a bathroom or laundry is situated at any level above a sole-occupancy unit or a public space. A public space in a building would include areas such as public foyers and reception areas. In these circumstances the floor to the room is required to be waterproof and the floor graded to the floor waste to permit drainage of the water.
Class 1 Buildings
For a Class 1 buildings the BCA through AS 3740 ‘requires’ a floor waste be provided within the shower area. The required fall of the floor, the waterproofing requirements of the floor and the installation of the floor waste are specified in AS 3740. For the area outside of the shower an additional floor waste is not ‘required’ to be provided, nor is one ‘required’ to be provided in other wet areas such as in a laundry or in a WC. For a shower over a bath if it is ‘unenclosed’ i.e. is not provided with a minimum 900 mm wide screen for the open side of the bath AS 3740 ‘requires’ an additional floor waste be provided (see Figure 1)