More and more homes are being fitted with bathrooms that are accessible for people with a disability. Homeowners are thinking of disabled or elderly parents and friends and planning for their own futures.
Designing a bathroom for persons dealing with a disability ensures safety and comfort. The planning process for a disabled bathroom should focus on incorporating required safety features into the design.
Listed below are some general requirements for bathrooms that will be used by people with disabilities.
• Both the height of the sink and location of the faucet must accommodate persons in wheelchairs. To be sure that everyone can reach the sink, counter heights must be lowered to approximately 27 inches from the bathroom floor. Ensuring that water is accessible to those in a wheelchair requires a sink design that keeps the faucet toward the front of the basin.
• Showers and tubs must allow wheelchair access. This means that there should be a walk-in feature, and the floor of a shower needs to be level with the floor in the rest of the bathroom to make it easy for a wheelchair to roll into the shower stall. Angling the floor slightly toward a drain prevents slippery situations that can result when water from the shower builds up on the bathroom floor.
• Falls can be avoided by using handrails and mats in the tub and shower. Any anti-slip mat used to prevent falls in a shower must be large enough to cover the entire area of the shower floor. Measure the stall before purchasing a mat to make sure adequate coverage.
• Door width leading to the bathroom should be between 32 and 36 inches to make sure that all kinds of wheelchairs are able to pass through the entryway. It may be best to make the doorway 36 inches to make sure that all sizes of wheelchairs can get access to the facilities.
• Raising the toilet and providing grab bars allows those confined to a wheelchair to transfer from their chair to the toilet safely. The standard height for a toilet in a disabled restroom is between 17 and 19 inches from the bathroom floor. Toilets that allow wheelchair access also have an oval shape instead of a circular seat.
• Lower any fixtures in the shower to keep them within reach of a person in a wheelchair. One way to make sure that those in a wheelchair can reach a shower head is by using a detachable, handheld version that has a hose that is a minimum of 60 inches in length. A handheld shower head can be used by anyone who needs to use the disabled bathroom.
• Consider whether children with disabilities will be using the bathroom prior to planning accessibility features. The measurements listed above may need to be adjusted accordingly in this situation.
Complying with disabled bathroom requirements ensures that anyone with a disability can get access to the restroom without difficulty. If you are getting a disabled bathroom installed make sure that the criteria above are met.