If you or a loved one has special requirements due to accessibility, it’s important that your bathroom meets those needs to provide you or other users with comfort and accessibility. There are certain steps to take in order to ensure the space is easy to use, and most often these changes can be made quickly.
1. Invest in a Roll-in Shower
Tubs are very difficult to access for those in wheelchairs or those who have trouble walking. Creating a curb-less shower stall removes any barriers, allowing full access for those who cannot maneuver over a tub wall or curb. Make sure when renovating that your walk-in shower is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair or shower chair. Installing a built-in seat is also a good idea for those who want the option of sitting while showering.
2. Invest in an Accessible Bath
A safety tub is a bathtub that fills and drains after you’ve entered and sat down. Unlike a normal bathtub, the safety tub has tall walls and a swinging door, making it easy to step in and out. If a walk-in shower doesn’t appeal to you, these can be an excellent option.
3. Add Hardware for Stability
There are a variety of both functional and stylish hardware options for your handicap accessible bathroom. Often times you can add hardware to your existing bathroom without making major renovation changes. Adding the following features are a great starting point in making your bathroom more accessible:
- Grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet
- Removable shower head with a long shower hose
- Easy push/pull or motion-sensor sink handles
4. Expand the Door Opening
Wheelchairs require a lot of space, so the bathroom door should be adjusted to make it as easy as possible for an individual to enter and depart. According to ADA requirements explained on Buildings.com, a single-user bathroom should include:
- 30”x 48” access to the sink
- A clear circle of 60” or more allowing a wheelchair to turn
- A center line of the toilet at least 16” from the wall
Although these requirements are for public restrooms, following them as guidelines for your home’s restroom can maximize accessibility and comfort.
5. Adjust Height of Sinks
Depending on your needs, sink heights may need to be adjusted to make them easier to use, especially for those using a wheelchair. Make sure that sinks are low enough to be accessed from the seated position and include faucets that are easy to reach and operate. Removing under-sink cabinets and opting for a pedestal sink will allow an individual to get as close as possible. However, if an individual can walk but has trouble bending, a higher sink may be the best option.
6. Adjust Height of Toilet
Like the bathroom sink, a toilet also needs to be accessible from the seated position. This often means a replacement with a longer base, or the addition of base beneath the toilet that would raise the unit several inches.
If you have questions about bathroom remodels or other bathroom accessibility improvements, contact an experienced Tundraland representative today to learn more. Also be sure to save this infographic below for easy reference!
Benefits of Having a Handicap Accessible Bathroom
A handicap-accessible bathroom is a transformative addition to any home, offering a host of benefits that extend far beyond its immediate purpose. Firstly, it provides essential convenience and safety for individuals with mobility challenges, making daily activities such as bathing more manageable and independent. Additionally, making your bathroom more handicap accessible is its contribution to aging-in-place. This feature enables you to continue living independently and comfortably in your homes as you age into your golden years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s explore answers to common questions about handicap-accessible bathrooms:
- What makes a bathroom handicap accessible?
A handicap-accessible bathroom typically features wider doorways, grab bars, a roll-in shower or walk-in tub, a raised toilet, and non-slip flooring, all designed to accommodate individuals with mobility challenges and ensure their safety and independence.
- How big is a handicap-accessible bathroom?
The size of a handicap-accessible bathroom can vary, but it typically provides enough space for wheelchair maneuverability, with a recommended minimum clear floor space of 60 inches in diameter, along with ample space to accommodate a wheelchair beside the toilet, a roll-in shower or walk-in tub, and other necessary fixtures and accessories while adhering to ADA guidelines.
- What is the smallest handicap-accessible bathroom?
The smallest size for a handicap-accessible bathroom that still meets basic accessibility standards typically ranges from 60 to 72 square feet. This size allows for wheelchair maneuverability, a roll-in shower or walk-in tub, and sufficient clear floor space to meet ADA guidelines while providing essential accessibility features.
- How to make a small bathroom handicap accessible?
Prioritize space-efficient design and essential accessibility features like a pocket or barn door instead of a traditional swing door, wall-mounted storage like cabinets and shelves, and a wheelchair-accessible vanity or a pedestal sink for an open and accessible feel.