Accessible bathroom remodeling isn’t limited to individuals with disabilities or aging adults confined to a wheelchair. Homeowners renovating their bathrooms need to re-evaluate design considerations to best fit their needs as they age in their home. Common aspects of a bathroom like wet shower tile and a low toilet can pose a threat to the elderly. However, installing handicap showers or a handicap bathtub can transform a space into an accessible, handicap bathroom.
Choosing aging-in-place designs can maximize homeowners’ return-on-investment and circumvent the inevitable need to install a handicap accessible shower later on. Before moving forward on a bathroom remodeling job, consider these five ideas that will make your bathroom more accessible.
Metropolitan Bath & Tile’s team assesses each client’s specific needs and designs the bathroom with this in mind. A certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS) assists in the consideration and selection of accessible pieces. Our team will ensure your new bathroom is aesthetically pleasing and functional, no matter who uses it.
Remodeling a bathroom with universal accessibility as the priority presents both design challenges and opportunities. Involving a certified aging-in-place specialist to take careful inventory early in the planning process of all intended users’ capabilities, preferences, and tastes. While universal design better accommodates users in wheelchairs, it can make a bath more comfortable for all users without sacrificing style.
Generous Dimensions and Smart Fixture Placement
The first consideration when building a wheelchair accessible bathroom is the dimensions to the bathroom door. A wheelchair accessible room should have a door with a minimum width of 32 inches. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires a 5-foot turning radius for a wheelchair. It’s also important to consider the placement of fixtures (toilet, shower, tub, sink) within the bathroom to make it maneuverable for an individual in a wheelchair.
The toilet should be positioned between two support bars 36 inches apart to make it easy to sit down and stand back up. A toilet seat 17 inches off the floor is the ideal height for someone in a wheelchair. If you need a handicap bathroom with a wheelchair accessible shower or anticipate needing one in the future, contact Metropolitan Bath & Tile today. A CAPS will ensure your new bathroom will contain all the special features that make it more wheelchair accessible.
Curbless Shower Stall and Handicap Shower Bench
While designing a handicap shower, it’s critical to ensure design flaws aren’t impediments that limit use or require assistance from an able-bodied person. The handicap shower stall should be at least 5 feet wide by 3 feet deep. The shower should have no curb or, if unavoidable, a rubber curb that a wheelchair can roll over. Additionally, an in-shower bench is an easy way to make your bathroom more accessible. A bench provides a secure surface for personal grooming and can allow individuals to rest if they feel disoriented or lightheaded while showering.
Hand-held Shower Head and Stability Grab Bar
A hand-held shower head with a slider bar increases accessibility and allows individuals with disabilities to maintain autonomy while showering. Including a thermostat-controlled and pressure-balanced valve prevents individuals from accidentally scalding themselves. A grab bar to help with stability while getting in and out of the shower is an easy installation that makes a bathroom more accessible. If you want to avoid a sterile, institutional look, you can choose a colored grab bar that matches other accents in the bathroom.
Add Clearance Beneath the Sink
A wheelchair accessible sink requires at least 27 inches of clearance under the sink in order for the individual to roll up. If there isn’t any clearance under the sink then the individual’s legs will bump into the fixture and he or she won’t be able to access the faucet. The top of the sink should be 32 to 34 inches off the floor. It’s also important to remember to hang the bathroom mirror low enough for an individual in a wheelchair to see themselves. A bathroom remodel is the perfect opportunity to fit the faucets on the side of the sink to make them easier to reach for a seated individual.
Slip Resistant Tile Flooring
Picking textured flooring in the bathroom can help prevent dangerous trips, slips, and falls — especially when the floor is wet. Grip-friendly mosaic tile is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it provides numerous design possibilities that are compatible with any style. Whether you choose small tiles or larger tiles with lots of grout in between, a little texture can provide just enough friction to prevent a dangerous slip.
Growing Old in Your Home Shouldn’t Be Hard
People have to make conscious decisions about their retirement years, especially when deciding whether to stay in their home or move to a retirement home. People are increasingly choosing to age in the comfort of their own home rather than deal with the hassle of moving. It is more cost-effective for a customer to retrofit their home for aging than to move to an accessible facility.
Metropolitan Bath & Tile dedicates a special team to accessible bathroom remodeling projects. A bathroom should feel safe and stress-free. Our certified aging-in-place specialists have been educated in the unique needs of the older adult population, aging-in-place home modifications, common remodeling projects, and solutions to common barriers.
Accessible Bathroom Remodeling
The Metropolitan Bath & Tile designers want to address every possible concern that could arise for an individual with a handicap. We will analyze your space and budget and present a variety of options for your bathroom remodeling project, such as:
- Wide clearance of pathways, doorways, shower openings to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers
- In-law suite bathrooms that keep your senior guests safer when they’re staying with you
- Safe changes in floor level
- Reach and height standards in accessible-living bathrooms
- Grab bars and built-in or fold-down seating
- Wall-hung lavatories
- Barrier-free showers with no sill or obstruction
- Faucets that are easy on/ easy off
- Walk-in tubs
- Slip-resistant flooring
- Easy maintenance surfaces
- Low open shelving vs high, deep cabinets
The Metropolitan Bath & Tile promise is to listen to our clients’ needs and maximize the current space for the most accessible bathroom layout. A handicap-friendly bathroom should be able to accommodate seniors who need a higher level of safety or an individual with physical disabilities who needs wheelchair accessibility. We can design a high-quality bathroom that will keep you independent for as long as possible and circumvent mobility issues for years to come.
Handicap accessible bathrooms aren’t limited to individuals with handicaps or aging adults. Even able-bodied individuals can appreciate the smart and spacious design of a handicap bathroom.
If you need a handicap bathroom or anticipate needing one in the future, contact Metropolitan Bath & Tile today. Call (703) 215-9517 and a certified aging-in-place specialist will ensure your new bathroom will contain all the special features that make it more accessible.