With over one million UK residents using a wheelchair, combined with an ageing population, it’s important to consider the planning, design and installation of accessible bathrooms in the homes of those who need this most. Designing an accessible bathroom isn’t difficult, but there are many things to take into consideration to make it a space that will be truly supportive.
Gone are the days of accessible bathrooms being purely functional spaces that are not easy on the eye – why should you compromise on style for practicality? ABC Master Care is here to support you with your elegant, accessible bathroom design and installation needs.
This month, we take a look at what you need to consider for your accessible bathroom plans and how ABC Master Care can help you get there.
Before you begin planning your accessible bathroom, you need to think about your current daily routine, if that’s likely to change in the future and what would make your bathroom practical and user-friendly.
We advise future-proofing your bathroom so if your accessibility needs change; you will still be able to use your bathroom to its full extent.
Thinking about all the things you may need your bathroom to help you with can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, so why not add things to your list every day after you have used your bathroom?
There is nothing worse than being left with a finished bathroom, only to find that you have missed something important that could have really benefitted you.
Once you have made a list of what you feel is important, ask yourself the following questions…
Depending on your requirements, you may prefer a wet room-styled shower or to have an accessible bath or curbless shower. A curbless shower is ideal for wheelchair users and those who are at a higher risk of falls or balance concerns.
The shower opening is at the same level as the floor and will slope downwards to the drain, where water will flow. The recommended shower size for an accessible bathroom is 2200mm deep x 2000mm wide to support space and easy movement.
Consider installing grab rails in your shower or bath area to support transfers and movement. A grab rail will also give you confidence that you have support there should you need it.
A toilet is considered accessible under UK guidelines if it has a height of between 440-500mm. A larger surface area is also often required, so accessible toilets have added projection at the front for a wider surface covering.
When trying to access your toilet, also consider the placement of your toilet paper and if you are able to reach this comfortably. If you would prefer the comfort and hygiene of a bidet, this can also be an option for your bathroom.
Good lighting in the bathroom is important for safety. To avoid any shadows and create even lighting, bathroom lighting should be planned carefully. Using natural light as much as possible is ideal.
Lower light switches so someone in a wheelchair can access them. There should be extra light evenly distributed over the entire bathroom to avoid glare. Dimmers can provide the ability to provide brightness and softness based on users’ needs.
Motion detector lights can be used for individuals who have trouble accessing light switches. Install switches with a large toggle or push button that doesn’t require one to use a pinching motion to turn off or on.
An accessible bathroom doorway must be at least 900mm wide in order to provide mobility devices with access to each plumbing fixture as well as enough room to turn around in a wheelchair.
The doorways will need to be widened to allow for wheelchair access. Use lever-style door handles, which are easier to use than doorknobs. A door that swings outward instead of inward will allow for more space inside the bathroom.
For both standing and seated users, a sink should be mounted on the wall with no cabinet underneath or one with enough clearance to provide open knee space. A sink approached from the front needs to have clearance for knees or be one that can be approached from one side.
There are a few things you can do to make your bathroom more accessible for everyone. Mounting a mirror at a lower height or an extra long mirror that tilts can help everyone be able to use it. Using sturdy furniture or vanity with grab bars within reach can help people manoeuvre around the bathroom more easily.
Disability bathing aids are essential for those with weakened strength or decreased flexibility. These tools can help people keep their independence and not have to rely on others as much.
Some accessible bathroom products are targeted at people with certain disabilities, while others are more general and can help with balance and safety in wet slippery areas for anyone.
At ABC Master Care, we offer a large range of accessible bathroom storage aimed at maximising the use of your bathroom. We tailor products to ensure they are safe, practical and stylish whilst considering height adaptations for a variety of needs.
Go back to the ABC Master Care home
Check out Part M Building regulations to understand your measurements
Get in contact with ABC Master Care
If you need support in designing and installing your accessible bathroom, ABC Master Care is here to help. Based in Aylesbury, we have worked with hundreds of bathrooms that require a little more planning to ensure they are able to support our clients with mobility and health-related concerns. To start planning your 2023 accessible bathroom, get in touch with our friendly and approachable team today.
Unit 4, Chamberlain Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8DY