Whether you are accommodating a loved one or yourself, having an accessible bathroom can make it easier to do daily tasks. With a bathroom accessible design, there are a lot of factors you must take into consideration to ensure the design will meet a person’s unique needs. Bathroom designs for elderly and handicapped people will present their own requirements to ensure functionality. In some instances, the need for a handicap accessible bathroom may be temporary due to injury.
But for others, an accessible bathroom layout may be necessary for those with long term health and mobility issues. Let’s review some helpful tips and design elements you should consider when building an accessible bathroom.
What is an accessible bathroom?
You have seen accessible bathrooms in public spaces. They’re usually equipped with automatic doors, hardware, and carefully placed sinks and toilets. Your accessible bathroom does not have to be this elaborate to provide the safety and security you or your family member may require. An accessible bathroom is designed to enhance the experience for the user, making it easier for them to complete tasks from reaching the sink to turning on lights.
For many homeowners, the adjustments to their bathroom will be minimal in order to make it safer and easier to use. In other cases, you may need to do a more complex bathroom renovation to ensure that all the accessible features you need are present.
How to make a bathroom more accessible
There are many things you can do to make your bathroom more accessible.
Some are small adjustments, while others may require the help of a professional contractor.
Get rid of bath mats
One of the first things you can do to improve safety in your bathroom for you and your loved ones is getting rid of bath mats. They are a significant risk of falling as they can prevent the movement of people or cause them to trip.
Replace with a non-slip rubber mat that will adhere to the floor and not move when someone steps on it.
Use non-slip flooring
Marble and tile may seem like a fashionable choice, but they also pose a risk for falling when they are wet. Choose a non-slip flooring that is easy to navigate and won’t cause slips and falls.
Surface strips are an affordable way to quickly improve the texture of your bathroom floor. You may also want to try a non-slip sealant that helps repel water and keep people safe when they walk across the floor.
Does your loved one now require the use of a wheelchair or walker? These can be difficult to navigate through small doors. Older homes in particular often have narrow doorways that were not designed for mobility devices.
Your contractor will be able to help you widen your bathroom entryway so your loved ones can easily manoeuvre in and out without getting stuck or needing further assistance.
Adjust room size
Similar to the challenge of entryways, your bathroom may be too small to accommodate a large mobility device. In some cases, this can easily be accommodated through the rearrangement of bathroom furniture.
It can be improved further by increasing the size of your bathroom or doing a more significant bathroom remodeling renovation, such as moving the toilet or bathtub to improve navigation. Storage cabinets can also help reduce clutter and give you more space to store your toiletries, creating a clear path for people with mobility devices.
Adjust sink height
For those using mobility devices, the height of a sink may pose a real problem. A sink that is too high or difficult to reach will make it extra tough for daily tasks like washing your hands or brushing your teeth.
Your contractor can adjust the height and size of your sink to ensure that anyone in the home can use it with ease. There are many specially designed sinks that can be installed that allow wheelchair users to pull right up to it and wash their hands without struggling to reach.
Adjust toilet height
Toilet heights can also be a challenge for people with mobility issues. Your contractor can lower or raise your toilet height to make sitting and standing more comfortable. There are also attachments available that can be added to your toilet to increase the height without having to do a renovation.
Your design expert will be able to provide you with a variety of design options so you can find one that suits your loved ones best.
Install grab bars
Even people without mobility issues will appreciate the installation of grab bars. These can make it easier to get up and down when using the toilet. They are also a welcome addition to bathtubs and showers to assist with getting in and out when it’s time to freshen up. Grab bars should be firmly attached to the wall to ensure they do not come loose.
They should also be installed at the right height and location to ensure that the user does not have to reach or struggle when trying to move around the bathroom. Grab bars are available in a variety of materials including metal and plastic, so there is an option that suits any decor and budget.
Consider tub-to-shower conversion
As you age or if you have an injury, it may be difficult to get in and out of the shower. Stepping over the bathtub is one of the leading contributors to falls in the bathroom. A tub-to-shower conversion allows users to have a shower without having to make that giant step over the tub wall.
A tub-to-shower conversion not only improves functionality in your bathroom, it also raises the value of your home. This saves future home buyers from renovation expenses in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make your bathroom more accessible, call our team of experts at Top Home Builders. We guarantee that we can help you improve the functionality of your bathroom. Contact us today for a consultation.