Accessibility

Chapman Custom Baths will help make redesigning bathrooms to meet ADA or accessibility requirements easy with various ADA compliant options including ramp bases, seats, and grab bars. It is important to consider bathroom design when creating a safe place for loved ones.

Easter Seals Crossroads outlined ways to help make a home safer for everyone within. Easter Seals Crossroads has been helping individuals with disabilities or special needs and their families live better lives for over 75 years. Read the Easter Seals Crossroads article "Top 5 things to consider when designing an accessible bathroom for wheelchair users" below.

Top 5 things to consider when designing an accessible bathroom for wheelchair users.

Bathroom safety is one of the number one concerns in making a home accessible because more than 2/3 of emergency room visits are due to bathroom falls. The tub and shower are the most hazardous areas for young adults and most falls for elderly occur near the toilet. Falls in the bathroom can be due to a wet floor, small spaces to maneuver, and/or bending and lifting required in accessing the tub, shower or toilet. The ultimate goal in accessible design is to make the bathroom space safe for everyone who uses the bathroom.

1. Bathing: shower and tub accessibility

  • Using a rolling shower seat or fixed shower seat in the shower can accommodate some users. Shower seat should be at the height of 17” to 19”.

  • A curbless shower is ideal for people using a wheelchair, walker or for someone who is at risk for falls and can be used by everyone regardless of ability.

  • Installing grab bars in all bathing areas. For a tub- two bars should be installed on the sidewall at standing and sitting range. For a shower-all three walls in roll-in shower should have grab bars and two walls should have grab bars in a transfer shower. Coordinate the controls to be near grab bars when possible.

  • Consider the placement of items that a user will want to reach such as hair care, bathing products, soap, washcloth, et cetera. Adequate storage and accessible placement for all products so they do not fall into the floor and are easily reachable for all users should be addressed.

2. Bathroom sink and vanity accessibility wheelchair accessible sink

  • A sink should be mounted on the wall with no cabinet underneath for both standing and seated users or one with enough clearance to provide open knee space.

  • Installing single-handle faucets, which can be easily turned on and adjusted without having to grab or twist or installing hands-free faucets with a sensor that detects hands under the faucet will make the sink accessible.

  • Using sturdy furniture/vanity that can be used to grab on to so one can use to maneuver around the bathroom when a grab bar is not within reach.

3. Bathroom toilet accessibility

  • ADA guideline recommendations are that a toilet be 17”-19” high. This is the most comfortable height for all users. A higher toilet seat makes it easier to lower, stand, or transfer from a wheelchair/walker to the toilet.

  • Installing at least one grab bar to one side of the toilet at the distance of 18” to nearest wall or fixture is recommended; however, the ideal toilet placement is positioned between two support bars that are 36” apart.

4. Bathroom lighting

  • Good lighting in the bathroom is important in safety. It should be planned to avoid any shadows and create an even lighting. Using natural light as much as possible is ideal.

  • Lower light switches so someone in a wheelchair can access them.

5. General bathroom access and safety

  • An accessible bathroom needs to be 30” x 48” for mobility devices in front of each plumbing fixture and room to turn around in a wheelchair.

  • Make sure there are no loose bath mats on the floor. Bath mats are an obstacle for people in a wheelchair and a tripping hazard.

  • If space allows when designing a bathroom, it should be considered if there is enough space for 2 people if an attendant is needed to assist a user in personal care.

  • Providing easily accessible storage compartments with pull out shelves to get clutter out of the way and allow access. Consider individual needs of the user and find best placement of these items within their reach.

  • Consider where the best access is for all accessories such as robe hooks, towel bars, paper dispensers, soap dishes, toothbrush holders, and shower shelves.