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A swimming pool might have a big room which has 4 or 6 small rooms for you to take a shower (like the above picture).

It also has some sinks or place to pee (see the above picture) and separate toilets.

Do we call that big room "a restroom" or "a bathroom", for example, "there's a bathroom in the swimming pool" or "There's a restroom in the swimming pool"?

  • 2
    The 'small rooms' are called cubicles, by the way. Apr 3, 2023 at 10:42
  • 18
    Just an aside, I wouldn't say "in" the swimming pool but "at" the swimming pool, but that may be regional. Anything "in" the swimming pool should be wet.
    – Bill K
    Apr 3, 2023 at 16:34
  • 3
    I would call a place with toilets/sinks/showers in a swimming pool "some sort of strange modern art installation". I don't believe this is a regional usage.
    – Martha
    Apr 4, 2023 at 22:36
  • Does this room include an area for changing into and out of your clothes, or is that a separate room?
    – James K
    Apr 5, 2023 at 7:31
  • @JamesK, it has many lockers and I think you can change clothes in the cubicles , but that is not nice because water might drip onto your clean clothes
    – Tom
    Apr 5, 2023 at 7:59

4 Answers 4


The correct term for such a room at a swimming pool is 'the changing room/rooms' and it is usual for there to be showers and toilets there too.

There are usually separate mens' and womens' changing rooms, although some leisure facilities may have shared showers outside the changing rooms (and you are expected to wear your swim kit in the showers in this case). It's also possible for the changing areas themselves to be shared, with cubicles provided and everyone is expected to change in a cubicle. With shared changing areas, there are always shared showers.

Edit: As James pointed out, there is no reference in your post or photo of an area to get dressed or undressed, but the toilet and shower facilities are always connected to the changing area and 'changing rooms' is the usual term for this area.

Edit - I was thinking UK. Other countries may use other terms. (Locker room etc.)

  • 1
    That room doesn't look like an area intended for changing clothes. I would not call a room not call it a "changing room". It may lead from a changing room.
    – James K
    Apr 3, 2023 at 6:47
  • 10
    It's unlikely the OP was talking about a toilet/show room without changing facilities at a swimming pool. Even if the changing area could be described as a separate room (it would have to be adjoining) there would be at most an archway to get from one area to the others. I think changing room is a apt description of the whole changing area/shower/toilet complex..
    – Steve Ives
    Apr 3, 2023 at 7:11
  • 13
    "Locker room" might be used too, since there need to be lockers in public changing rooms. Apr 3, 2023 at 9:29
  • 8
    @JackO'Flaherty It could indeed, as long as the OP is aware that 'Locker room' is an American expression and 'Changing Room' is an English expression, but as far as I'm aware they mean the same
    – Steve Ives
    Apr 3, 2023 at 11:50
  • 5
    @JackO'Flaherty I (speaking American English) would call it a "changing room." Locker rooms contain rows of lockers, and the term isn't usually applied to these sorts of rooms adjacent to pools.
    – alphabet
    Apr 3, 2023 at 12:23

You would use a different word depending on your reason for using the room.

For example, you might say (while swimming) "I need to pee; I'm going to the toilets" (UK - Americans may use a different word) So there you called it "the toilets". But at the end of your swim, you might say "I'm just going to go to the showers". So now you have called exactly the same space "the showers".

And moreover, if this is also the room where you are supposed to change then that same person might call it a "changing room" when using it to change into or out of their swim kit.

How can it be that the same person can use different words for the same thing? Because that room is both a shower room and a toilet and a changing room. Conceptually it changes according to the use.

So if the person was asking "What facilities are at the swimming pool" you could honestly answer that "There are toilets and showers at the swimming pool."

  • 1
    This sounds right to me. In school we also used to call it the "Lockers" or "changing room" because it had lockers and benches to change. As you say though, each term would generally be chosen based on the expected usage, there wasn't a universal name.
    – Bill K
    Apr 3, 2023 at 16:41
  • 1
    The main point is changing rooms or locker rooms. The rest comes under those and the OP just didn't know that. We would never say restroom at the pool.
    – Lambie
    Apr 3, 2023 at 18:22
  • 2
    As a brit I've seen various different layouts at pools. I've seen some pools where the toilets and showers lead off from the changing rooms, but I've seen others where the showers are by the pool. I've seen some with seperate mens and womens changing rooms, some with individual unisex changing cubicles for changing, and some with both options. Apr 3, 2023 at 19:14

At least in parts of the United States it is called a "bathhouse".

For example, for Montgomery county Maryland code: Bathhouses

A. General.

  1. All Public Swimming Pool installations, except those on the premises of motels or other transient residences must include an adjacent bathhouse equipped with showers, toilets, sinks, and dressing rooms.
  1. When pool memberships are offered or to be offered at Swimming Pools exempted above, the necessary bathhouse must be provided.

B. Layout.

  1. The bathhouse must be laid out so that patrons must pass the showers before entering the pool.
  2. The bathhouse must contain space reserved for the manager's use and for first aid equipment and treatment.

and in South Dakota Recommended Standards for Swimming Pool Design and Operation Policies for the Review and Approval of Plans and Specifications for Public Pools, section 12.0 is


12.1 GENERAL - The term bathhouse shall refer to the dressing, shower, and sanitary facilities which shall be provided adjacent to all swimming pools. Omission of part or all of the pool-side shower and toilet facilities may be approved by the regulatory agency having jurisdiction when adequate facilities are conveniently available as determined by the regulatory authority.


12.2.1 Bathhouse Routing - Location of the bathhouse shall be such that the patrons must pass through the bathhouse to enter the pool. The layout of the bathhouse shall be such that the patrons, on leaving the dressing room, pass the toilets, then the showers on route to the swimming pool.

  • 4
    To me (Californian), "bathhouse" means only a public bathing facility, and if someone at a pool told me they were going to the bathhouse I'd be quite confused. I think "changing room", "toilets", etc. are safer terms.
    – benrg
    Apr 4, 2023 at 7:29
  • @benrg Los Angles municipal code uses both meanings of "bathhouse". "11.32.060 - Public swimming areas—Dressing room requirements." says "E. All dressing rooms, shower rooms, toilet and lavatory rooms, and all other rooms in a bathhouse, shall be adequately ventilated and lighted" library.municode.com/ca/los_angeles_county/codes/…
    – DavePhD
    Apr 4, 2023 at 12:14
  • To me, a bathouse is essentially the entire building, swimming pool and all. The citation above doesn't seem to contradict that usage substantially.
    – MikeB
    Apr 4, 2023 at 12:57
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet maybe it varies by location. The subscription OED says in the definition of "bath house": "U.S., a place where one may change into beach clothes at the seaside, etc." I'm from Baltimore, Maryland and that's what we call it. Like this " Bathhouse renovations are underway..." dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/DansMountain/…
    – DavePhD
    Apr 5, 2023 at 12:32
  • 1
    I think it must be a regionalism. At least, going by the limited but agreeing evidence of three commenters – benrg (Californian English), MikeB (presumably Scottish English) and myself (UK/US admixture) – and currently four downvotes, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that bathhouse is not widely understood or used in this sense in the Anglosphere general. (I don’t think four downvotes are warranted, incidentally, because you do show that the word is used like this; but I do think the above-mentioned evidence makes it less than ideal as a word to suggest to learners.) Apr 5, 2023 at 12:46

The bottom line on lingo:

Changing rooms or locker rooms at sports' facilities (gyms, health clubs, universities, schools, swimming pools, etc.) always have lockers, showers, changing cubicles and toilets (stalls)/urinals) as well as benches and large mirrors (with hair dryers on a counter). At least, the ones I have frequented. And some have even more amenities (massages, etc.)

Professional sports locker rooms can be very elaborate.

There really is nothing more to say about this topic.

I suggest you google pictures. :)

The OPs Question: A swimming pool might have a big room which has 4 or 6 small rooms for you to take a shower (like the above picture).

Inaccurate: A swimming pool has a locker room or changing room with showers and cubicles and other things like sinks, toilets/urinals, etc.

It also has some sinks or place to pee (see the above picture) and separate toilets.

Inaccurate: It has a row of sinks and also can have several sinks and urinals/toilets.

Do we call that big room "a restroom" or "a bathroom", for example, "there's a bathroom in the swimming pool" or "There's a restroom in the swimming pool"?

Inaccurate: The big room is called a changing room. Swimming pools don't have what is understood to be a bathroom. Swimming pools have toilets/ toilet stalls and urinals where "you can go to the bathroom." Go to the bathroom is a generic term that means to urinate or defecate.

A bathroom is found in private houses/apartments or public places. For the latter, what is meant is a lavatory or restroom used to urinate and defecate and also wash your hands.

  • Bizarre that this is downvoted ?
    – Fattie
    Apr 4, 2023 at 19:42
  • 2
    Not sure why it is downvoted, but it certainly could be improved. "There really is nothing more to say about this topic." How certain are you about that? That line is probably better off gone. "I suggest you google pictures." Why not include some in the answer?
    – Edward
    Apr 5, 2023 at 0:17
  • 2
    @Fattie Possibly because for an English language learner, it may not be clear that he's saying that the answer to the question is 'Changing rooms or locker rooms'. The question was "What do you call this area?" and this answer says "Changing rooms always have showers and toilets", from which you may or may not be able to infer that the answer is 'Changing room or locker room'.
    – Steve Ives
    Apr 5, 2023 at 8:50
  • 1
    @Fattie Because it's wrong. On reflection, I've been in changing rooms which may or may not have one or more of the following: lockers, showers or cubicles. I don't think I've ever been in one without toilets though.
    – Steve Ives
    Apr 5, 2023 at 8:51
  • @Edward As a generic thing, that picture of his represents what we call in English, a locker room or a changing room. Those can have more or fewer features but basically they are all similar.
    – Lambie
    Apr 10, 2023 at 15:21

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