Q:

What are some design ideas for a bathroom with disability access?

A:

Quick Answer

When designing a bathroom with disability access, the designer should ensure that the room is easy to maneuver around in, the shower is easy to enter and exit, and sinks, handles and showerheads are easy to reach. Smooth edges and nonslip flooring provide a safe, accessible environment.

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Full Answer

The average wheelchair is 24 to 27 inches wide, and designers should allow enough room for a wheel chair to easily pass through the doorway and make a three-point turn inside the room. The doorway should be at least 32 inches wide and 36 inches if the individual has to turn into the entryway. Firmly attached handlebars in key areas throughout the bathroom, such as near the toilet and on doors, assist individuals in maneuvering.

The shower should be level with the rest of the bathroom and free of curbs or dividers, which restrict wheelchair access. Specially designed wheelchair-accessible showers are manufactured to fit standard 5-foot bathtub footprints and often feature secure, stable seating with handlebars to allow individuals to comfortably transfer from a wheelchair. A hand-held or adjustable showerhead provides easy access for seated individuals while still accommodating standing occupants.

Wall-mounted sinks and vanities with no cabinetry beneath allow easy access for wheelchairs. Low mirrors or mirrors that can tilt downward offer easy viewing at a seated eye level.

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