How Far Should A Bathroom Sink Be From The Wall?

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The space that most bathrooms get is usually small, and this means that you need to utilize it to the maximum. You should ensure that you correctly position each item to make the space more attractive, and this means that you consider even the most minor details like the distance of the sink and the wall.

So, how far should it be from the wall?

The distance between the sink and the wall should allow you to do your activity comfortably. The ideal distance should be about 20 inches from the center of the sink to the wall. According to the local building codes, it recommends that the distance of a single sink should be about 15 inches.

The spacing of the sink from the wall typically depends on various factors, such as the type of sink you are installing.

In this article, you will learn more about the idea of space and how to get the correct spacing according to the local building codes. Read on!

How Much Space Do You Need Around A Sink?


Most building codes provide a logical explanation of the amount of space you need, which helps ensure that you are safe and comfortable enough to perform your sink activities. Before installing a sink, you need to ensure that you create enough space for it and you.

You can always check the national kitchen and bathroom association codes to determine this.

First, you need to ensure that you have the appropriate floor space where your sink can fit. The ideal space is usually about 30 by 48 inches which is the minimum measurement that the lavatory should have.

The measurements can go beyond this, depending on the size of the sink and your floor area.

Also, you should have a minimum of 15 inches from the center of the lavatory to the wall where the sink will be landing. When it is such, then you will have enough space to do your cleaning comfortably.

Also, you need to ensure that you get the appropriate height for the sink that will fit the users well.

How Far Should The Sink Be From The Wall?

How far the sink should be from the edge will depend on the kind of sink you are using, and this also applies to the distance you place it from the countertop.

Of course, when determining this distance, you have to consider the local building codes and recommendations for the ideal spacing.

If you install a sink with a countertop, the space you leave will vary from the one without it. For instance, the space to leave at the front with the countertop sink should be about two inches.

However, the space from the wall can vary, but it ranges between four or six inches on each side of the sink’s countertop.

When determining the wall distance, NKBA offers the best practices for such. Usually, they always advocate for one to leave more space between the sink, the wall, and the counters and not just the minimum. Similarly, the sink distance will depend on the kind you are installing.

For example, if your sink requires to be mounted on the wall, then you should place it away from it at a considerable distance to allow an easy time when cleaning.

Also, where you place it will depend on the person who will be using the sink. In this case, you can have it at a minimum distance of about 20 inches from the wall after measuring it from the center, and this is what NKBA recommends.

If you want to make the sink more functional and comfortable when using it, you can place it at more than 20 inches.

If your space is small, a minimum of 15 inches should be ideal to allow you to carry on with your cleaning comfortably. This 15 inches should also be from the centerline, which you can achieve by drawing an imaginary line to the fixture’s center.

If you have a freestanding sink, its edge must be at least four inches from the wall or obstacle.

Sometimes you may be dealing with a double sink, and there are particular guidelines from ICC and NKBA regarding them. Such requires you to have the edge of the sink at about four inches from the wall or the tall obstacle.

Determine the centerline of these sinks for proper positioning.

NKBA recommends that they should be 36 inches apart, and the minimum code requires that they should be about 30 inches apart.

If achieving such spacing is an issue, you should purchase a smaller sink rather than dealing with the pumping of elbows.

Where Should You Place a Sink on a Countertop?

The distance from where you place the sink to the countertop also plays an integral role in determining which one should be from the wall. The distance also varies depending on whether the sink is a single or double sink.

You must ensure that no matter the type of sink you get, it should be of the right size, and you need to position it well on the countertop for easy working around the sink.

You can get a precut countertop for your sink, meaning all you need to do is install the sink. In other cases, it is for you to determine where to cut the sink depending on them or that of the countertop.

When the countertop Is not precut, start by purchasing a sink that will perfectly fit in there and leave you with enough space.

Ordinarily, you should leave about two inches from the front edge of the countertop to where you will start to place the sink. If the sink you are installing is small, say less than 20 inches, ensure that you leave some extra space behind the faucet.

You can leave about 4 inches from where you last position the sink to the wall.

For example, if you are dealing with an 18-inch sink that is round, then leave about two inches at the front edge and a minimum of two inches at the rear edge.

If you are dealing with double sinks, ensure that the minimum space between the sink centerline along the vanity is 36 inches. You also need to ensure some distance between the front and rear edge to the sink.

Why Should You Have Space Between the Sink and the Wall?

While NKBA insists on the need for having enough space between your bathroom sink and the wall, it may not be clear why such is the case. The most obvious reason for having this space is to ensure you are comfortable when doing your various bathroom activities.

You want to ensure that you are not bumping your hands into the wall when cleaning hence the need.

Also, having this space ensures that you do not splash water into the walls. For some households, you most probably have a mirror above the sink so you can splash water into it if the sink is near it.

It may spoil not only your bathroom walls but also the mirrors.

Before installing your sink, ensure you get the correct measurements between it and the wall.

Usually, a distance of about 20 inches will work perfectly. But such depends on the available space and the kind of sink you have.

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