Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom - Barrier Free Shower
Create wheelchair accessible bathrooms using these four handy tips. If you have completely mobility, it's hard to understand exactly what barriers those with a handicap face.
While clutter, throw rugs and narrow doors may not bother you, it can make bathroom trips hazardous to those in a wheelchair.
Clutter Causes Many Difficulties in a Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
That hamper near your bathroom door may seem handy, but if it's obstructing your doorway, it's a hazard. Those in wheelchairs or with walkers may have a hard time fitting through the bathroom entry because of that obstruction. If they become stuck on the hamper, a fall could be imminent.
If you have the room and the location is suitable, consider adding a laundry chute from your bathroom area to your laundry room. Laundry chutes are quite easy to add if you have a wall without any wiring and no obstruction between floors. You'll simply need heating duct and laundry chute door.
Problems with Bathmats and Throw Rugs
We all want our wheelchair accessible bathroom to look nice, but throw rugs catch on wheelchair wheels causing numerous issues. If you must add a throw rug, make sure it is out of the way of areas where a wheelchair will travel. Bathmats should be picked up after baths or showers and hung to dry. This eliminates both mildew and mold growth and removes the obstacle from harm's way.
Make sure the flooring in your bathroom is even. If there are loose tiles, replace them. If your flooring is cracked, it's also important to replace it. With laminate flooring, you can replace your bathroom flooring in little time and not have to wait for adhesive or grout to cure.
Avoid Crowded Toilet Areas
In a smaller wheelchair accessible bathroom, many fixtures are crowded together making it impossible for those in wheelchairs to maneuver. If you have a large cabinet unit, you're better off replacing it with a pedestal or wall hanging sink. This makes it easy for the person in the wheelchair to roll far enough under to reach the sink faucet knobs.
Access to the toilet is necessary. Don't crowd the toilet with waste cans, standing racks behind the toilet or hampers. Keep the area as open as possible.
Install a grab bar in front of or to the side of the toilet to make sure it's easy for the person to move off of the toilet.
Ending the Trend of Narrow Bathroom Doors
In the 1980s and 1990s, it became a trend in new homes to install smaller bathroom doors. This saved the builder money. Unfortunately, these narrower doors make it impossible for those in a wheelchair to fit through safely.
It's best to resize the door opening to make for a wider entry. If this is not possible, consider changing to a pocket door. It slides into the wall and eliminates the bulky hinge area and additional door frame.