Modern bathrooms may be more aesthetically pleasing for everyone but styles aren’t always going to be safe for disabled or elderly people. A handicap bathroom is going to be important for those who have mobility issues. Home renovations need to be made so that users can safely navigate the bathroom space but an ADA compliant bathroom remodel does not have to sacrifice style.
What Is Needed to Make a Bathroom Accessible?
Before you start the remodel, it is helpful to know what makes the bathroom accessible. In order to accomplish this, you need to consider current needs as well as a bathroom design that will provide for you in the future. You will need a bathroom to use while the current bathroom is undergoing remodeling, as well as a vision of what the ideal product looks like.
There are several elements that will go into making the bathroom more accessible.
- Grab Bars: Horizontal handrails are easy to grab. You will need to install these on a partition or wall closest to where the individual is. On the bathtub wall, the rails should be where a person can support themselves. Grab bars should be between 34 to 38 inches above the floor. The best diameter is about one-and-one-fourth inch to one-and-one-half inch.
- Accessible Toilets: The toilet needs to be at least 60 inches wide. The seat should be between 17 to 19 inches from the base. There also needs to be 16 to 18 inches of room between the sidewall and the unit’s centerline. You will need to think about this in addition to where bathtub wall panels are going to be.
- Ample Room: There still needs to be ample space in the bathroom. There needs to be an open rectangular space around the sink where the door can’t swing. There should be nine inches of vertical clearance for feet.
- The Right Sized Sink: Glass is a good choice for a shower enclosure but a sink needs to be properly sized. It needs to be 34 inches high so that there is enough space to accommodate a wheelchair. Protecting the pumping under the sink will help ensure that the movement isn’t interrupted. Knobs and faucets should be able to be used with one hand. Electronically controlled devices, pushable, or lever-operated faucets can make things easier.
- Shower Seats: In order to meet ADA guidelines, shower seats need to be installed. This is the case whether you choose to have one-piece shower stalls or tub shower units. The seat needs to be placed near the wall next to the controls and be foldable. The seat needs to support 250 pounds. It can either be L-shaped or rectangular and this will depend on what fits best within the unit.
- Hand Dryers for Businesses: ADA compliant bathrooms in a business should also have hand dryers that are touch-free or motion activated. These need to be 38 to 48 inches above the floor and units need to be accessible for both left- and right-handed users.