Bathroom Design: Accessibility (Part II)

If you’re really serious about making your bathroom accessible, you can replace or adapt your major bathroom features including your toilet, sink(s), shower, and bathtub.

  • Your toilet should be ADA designed, normally about 16.5 inches high (excluding the seat).
  • At least one sink should have a break in cabinetry underneath it so that a wheel chair can fit below. This sink can also be wall mounted, with storage that would usually be located in a below sink vanity placed elsewhere.
  • Your shower should be curbless to prevent the possibility of tripping and to ensure smooth access for a person in a wheelchair or on crutches. There are lots of sleek shower drains available that help keep your barrier-free shower from flooding your bathroom. If you plan on having a curbless shower, you might consider tiling most of the wall space (& all of the floor space) in the remainder of your bathroom. This will prevent mold or damage to drywall if water splashes these areas.
  • The tub in your accessible bathroom should have a pull down seat, or seat built into the surround. Or, you can select a bathtub with a door that allows you to walk into it instead of climbing over the surround. Bathtub faucets should be near enough to the seat or walk-in entry to be within easy reach while in use.
  • Grab bars should be installed around the toilet, in the shower, and near the tub. These bars can be horizontal, vertical, L-shaped, or diagonal. The variety of options means you can find the perfect fit for your needs and design desires.

For ideas to get you moving towards having an accessible bathroom, refer to Part I of this blog! And don't forget to explore green materials and design techniques for your bathroom. Your accessible space can be functional, efficient in its water use, beautiful, and long lasting if thought is put into the its design and construction.