Designing a Bathroom for a Wheelchair

December 14, 2016

wheelchair, handicapped, bathroom, tubs, showers for wheelchairs, grab bars, bathroom design for seniors

If you or someone living in your home is handicapped, chances are you want the spaces in your house to be as accessible to them as possible. Bathrooms are very important rooms of the house, and are typically small, making them a tougher room to navigate by the physically disabled. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to increase accessibility and ensure your bathroom is handicapped-friendly. Here are some solutions:

Maximizing Usable Space

Moving around once inside the bathroom is essential to those who are handicapped. Moving fixtures or furniture around and re-configuring your bathroom will maximize floor space and create a more open floor-plan. Some simple ways to accomplish this are by removing bathroom closets and using closet space in another area of the home (like the bedroom) or replacing a bulky, wide sink with a smaller, thinner model.

Grab Bars

This product is one of the most efficient in assisting the handicapped with accessing the features they need in the bathroom. When installed properly, they are durable and can easily take on much of your body weight. Grab bars can be placed in as many areas as you’d like: in the shower, beside the toilet, near sinks or doors. They can be strategically placed to suit one person’s needs specifically, or placed at general heights and angles to suit many users.

Tub-to-Shower Conversions

Depending on you or your loved one’s handicap, it may not be optimal to use the bath over the shower. In this case, your existing bathtub can be easily converted into a shower. Stall-type showers can be a good replacement for bathtubs and will simultaneously create more open space in the bathroom. However, if you prefer more shower space, the shower can be installed to utilize the same amount of space that the tub did.

Shower Design

There are a couple components of your showering area that you can modify to best suit the handicapped person who will be accessing it. Benches can be added if space allows, which lets the user rest or be in a seated position when desired. Removable showerheads can be installed for more flexible cleaning. If benches or seats are not necessary in your case, consider a curbless shower. This makes it easier to enter the showering space and allows for the use of a rolling shower chair.

Smart Storage

If you have any cabinets that are high on the wall, consider switching to waist-level cabinets that are accessible to those in a wheelchair. Pull handles are beneficial to install on drawers and cabinets as they allow for easy opening and closing. Opening the floor plan in your bathroom doesn’t mean saying goodbye to storage space. Work with a professional and ensure they are aware of all your storage needs up front.

At Bath Doctor, we pride ourselves on our bathroom remodeling expertise and always select high quality, ADA-approved materials to ensure that your bathroom is not only durable and beautiful, but also completely safe for use. Contact our professionals today to get started on your wheelchair-accessible bathroom remodel, or to inquire further about our services!

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