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What is a Cloakroom?

By Deborah | October 30, 2021

5 mins read | Bathroom Advice

What is a Cloakroom
What is a Cloakroom

The name cloakroom harks back to a time when the wearing of an over cloak was common. A cloak room was therefore designed near the main entrance of the home and public buildings. This is where these outer garments were left as you entered the property. 

Over time and after the demise of the cloak, the cloak room in an Edwardian or Victorian house has been adapated. They have been turned into a small toilet and hand basin room with the term cloakroom still being used even in new builds.

The concept of a cloakroom still exists in large hotels, venues and conference centres. These still have ‘‘cloakrooms’ for guests to leave coats, bags and anything they don’t want to take into the main building.

Lighting under a vanity unit makes your bathroom look larger

What Makes a Good Cloakroom?

As a cloakroom can be in the small space under the stairs or next to the front door. It goes without saying that thought needs to be taken about the design.

There will need to be space for a toilet, basin and ideally some sort of storage / shelf space will be handy for bottles, towels and toilet rolls.

In the larger cloakrooms, there could be space to hang coats and maybe a shoe rack to lessen the hallway clutter.

Space and storage and use of the back of cistern

Use the Cloakroom Corner

Use the corner space to maximise the space and make it functional.

There are plenty of small corner wall hung or couner mounted basins on the market which utilise an often unused area. This one pictured has a built in towel rail and space for the soap bottom too making it multifunctional.

Corner CLoakroom Basin
Brescia Wall Hung Corner Basin
Small Wall Mounted Corner Basin in White Ceramic 400mm x 310mm Cloakroom or Ensuite Sink Olbia
Save space Corner Basin

Alternatively to the basin being in the corner, the consider having a corner toilet or corner storage cabinet.

corner toilet 1
Save space Corner Basin

Storage with a Narrow Basin Wall Unit

Wall hung vanity units are generally not as wide, back to front from the wall, as floor mounted vanities. 

This can be a huge advantage if space is at a premium.

They can fitted into narrow wall space and fully use those areas within the cloakroom which you may not have considered before.

wall hung bathroom cabinets are an efficient use of floor space
Save space by mounting your vanity unit on a wall
Cloakroom 2
Save space by mounting your vanity unit on a wall

Position a Basin over the Cistern

Use the cistern ledge for the cloakroom sink. For a water saving idea, the water from the sink goes direct into the cistern.

Cisern Ledge as a counter top
A helpful storage drawer under a wall hung vanity unit

Narrow Cloakroom Basins

Around 200mm – 250mm, is the slimest wash hand basins and with clever use of space they can be made to fit into the narrow awkward spaces.

Here are a few tips for making the best of a small space  

  1. Put the tap at the side 
Narrow Countertop Bathroom Basin in White Ceramic 490mm x 250mm Freestanding Sink Treviso
Narrow Countertop Bathroom Basin in White Ceramic 490mm x 250mm Freestanding Sink Treviso

2.  Have enough room for soap on the basin  

Narrow Wall Hung Bathroom Basin in White Ceramic 400mm x 280mm Cloakroom or Ensuite Sink Raguso

How do I fit a cloakroom basin to the Countertop?

Can I Install a Cloakroom Basin Myself?

Whilst not rocket science you will need some basic DIY skills to fit a cloakroom basin yourself. 

If unsure or not very DIY-inclined, then getting a professional in is a much better option and will usually guarantee a nicer finish.

How do I Fix the Basin to the Countertop?

You will need to drill a drain hole in the counter and do some basic plumbing and it’s important to check the basin for special mounting instructions though most do follow a similar process.   We are often asked how does the basin stay in place on the work surface? .. and the answer is the waste plug

As you can see from the image below, the waste has a long shaft which fits through the basin and then the counter and is then secured underneath the counter with the large fixing nut to hold the basin in place. 

Once secure, silicone is applied all the way around the edge of the basin to prevent water seeping underneath the basin and sitting stagnant on the counter

InkedSink Waste Diagram (002)_LI
Avoid bending over a low sink with a wall hung vanity cabinet

How does a Wall Hung Basin fit to the Wall?

The wall hung cloakroom basin comes with holes in the back for the 2 fixing bolts provided with basin,  these are designed to hold the basin to the wall, ideal an outside wall or an internal wall with corresponding nogging to ensure a safe install

About Clickbasin

Clickbasin is a family-owned, professionally run company that specialises in the highest quality bathroom basins, bathroom vanity units, cabinets and all the associated accessories.

Our aim is to provide the best quality products and the highest quality service possible. From countertop basins to bathroom cabinets and bathroom mirrors, every product we stock, we’re proud to sell it under the Clickbasin brand.

We value our business and our customers, it’s something we’re proud of and we hope this is reflected in the personal, polite and professional service we provide.

About the Author

Deborah Heardman

Deborah is an expert in bathroom basins and storage solutions, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Since joining Clickbasin, Deborah has become an enthusiast for all things bathroom and a trusted authority on the topic.