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How wide should a hallway be in a house

How Wide Should a Hallway Be? [Know Everything]

When you create the initial blueprint of your dream property, you hardly pay attention to the size of hallways. But the feature will come up for sure during construction. It is necessary to have hallways that are comfortable and capable of accommodating all your requirements. We have conducted comprehensive research to provide the readers with guidance on how wide a hallway must be. Please check out the given discussion till the end.

How wide should a hallway be?

In a house:

How wide should a hallway be in a house? According to the best interior designers and decorators, in almost all layouts, the arches define the extent of a hall and depict the transitions in purpose and ceiling height. The 48-inch width is quite generous and can be used for keeping narrow furnishings. If you want to place large furniture, you must opt for a width between 54 and 72 inches.

For a wheelchair:

If you have family members who need wheelchair accessibility or if you want to build a house in which you can grow old without any hassle, you must consider the hallway’s width under all circumstances. Make sure the hallway is at least 36 inches wide. Are you planning on placing furniture on the side of your hallway like a console table? Well then, stick to 48 inches. The person in the wheelchair can leave their keys on the table without being stuck.

In a commercial building:

As per the hallway width standard, hallways in commercial buildings must offer a substantial amount of space. The minimum requirement is 36 inches. If a hallway has obstructive furniture in the turning areas, one must expand the clear width. People in wheelchairs should be able to safely and seamlessly make a turn.

An upstairs hallway:

An upstairs hallway must be at least 6 feet wide. This is comfortable for nearly all individuals. It can be a bit tight if you are carrying around something huge. Please give yourself space when roaming through the upstairs hallway.

An office hallway:

How wide should office hallways be? Well, the halls in modern-day offices must not be less than 36 inches. The halls must also provide enough space for the turns.

An entrance hallway:

Entrance hallways are usually less prioritized, but they are equally significant. Entrance hallways are what your guests will remember the most. Grand hallways can be approximately 30 feet wide. The modest ones can be 5 feet wide.

L shaped hallways:

L-shaped hallways must be designed with utmost caution as they have specific bends. These bends can narrow down a specific spot. Interior designers believe anything between 42 and 48 inches is best for L-shaped hallways.

Restaurant hallway:

In case of restaurant hallways, the average width ranges between 42 and 48 inches. If the restaurant’s corridor is around 60 inches wide, the owner can add furniture and allow two people to walk without any hassle.

What is a good size for a hallway?

According to the latest research, the standard residential hallway width is 42 inches. Some people go for 36 inches but that is quite narrow. Under special circumstances, you may have to go for greater width – between 48 and 72 inches.

How narrow can a hallway be? What is the minimum clear width of a hallway? 

Lots of people wonder how narrow can a hallway be. Are you one of them? If yes, you will find this section interesting.

The official minimum width of hallways by law is 3 feet or 36 inches. Anything less than that is considered hazardous during emergencies. Now the issue is if you build a narrow hallway, you would not be able to incorporate furniture and decorative elements. If you do, you will feel like you are passing through a tunnel.

Reasons why hallways need to be a certain width

Now that you know how wide is a narrow hallway, it is time to find out why most interior designers believe hallways must be a certain width.

To move comfortably:

Hallways must be of a certain width otherwise people would not be able to move around comfortably. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, a hallway can be accessed by physically handicapped people if it is 48 inches wide. In such a hallway, a person in a wheelchair and an extra person aside can move successfully.

To provide space for furnishing: 

If you want a space to add furnishing, you must construct hallways of a certain width (42 to 48 inches). If your hallway is less than 42 inches wide, you would not be able to keep any furniture or decoration.

To give access to large items/emergency equipment:

Finally, yet importantly, when hallways are of a certain width, you can carry out large emergency equipment without any trouble. Hallways that are less than 36 inches wide are considered hazardous in critical situations.

Can a narrow hallway be widened?

If your house is already framed, widening a hallway may not be considered a viable option. That is unless you are fine with eating in other rooms or add an extra square footage. Well then, you have to be careful so that you do not harm the weight bearing balls or architectural features that are necessary for the safety and integrity of your house.

To make a narrow hallway look wider, you must invest in strategic lighting. A couple of good choices are wall lamps and sconces. They have a pretty appearance and they can send light in a downward direction. The light hits the floor and reflects upward, creating an illusion of greater width and higher ceiling.

How wide does a hallway need to be for fire code?

The fire code of a particular area determines the width of hallways. Generally, a hallway should be 36 inches wide at least but you may have to increase the width as per the layout of your house. Talk to the fire department and note down the specific measurements.


Please keep the entire discussion above in mind if you are planning on creating a hallway from scratch or wish to renovate the one you already have.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries regarding this topic, please feel free to contact us we will be more than happy to help you.



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