There's more to planning a vintage bath than simply selecting fixtures, faucets, flooring, and paint schemes. A good vintage bath design considers usability. Clawfoot tub ergonomics should ensure that the vintage bath is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional as well. A well planned bathroom optimizes free space, or clear space, to fit the people who will use it.
The free area on the entry side of a clawfoot tub should extend 30" and span the entire length of the tub. Allow a 1" gap between the tub rim and adjacent bathroom walls around the perimeter of the clawfoot tub. The gap will make the rim easier to grasp for entry and exit of the clawfoot tub. Additionally, allow 3"-4" for plumbing at the faucet end of the tub if the clawfoot tub faucet is mounted on the tub wall.
Bathroom sinks in a well planned vintage bath floor plan should have 30" of clearance in front of the sink. If the sink is placed near a corner, allow a minimum of 15" of clear space between the center of the sink and any sidewall.
Toilets should have at least 30" of clear floor space in front of the bowl. If the toilet is installed near a corner, allow a minimum of 15" of clear space between the center of the toilet bowl and any sidewall. Toilet paper holders should be installed slightly in front of the bowl but within reach of a person seated on the toilet bowl. The toilet paper holder should be installed 26" above the finished floor.
The free space provided for each fixture does not need to be dedicated to a single fixture. The clear floor space can, and normally will, overlap. Period bathrooms are generally small but a well planned vintage bath will allow for clear space that makes the room more accommodating.
NOTE: In some areas, building code may dictate free space. Always check with local officials to be certain your project plans are in compliance with local building codes.