ADA Compliant Handicapped Bathroom Design
Do you have a physical disability or know someone who does? Maybe you are a senior citizen or have an elderly loved one. If so, you know how difficult it can be to maneuver in a normal bathroom. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set guidelines as to how handicap accessible bathrooms should be built and designed so that physically challenged people can have easier access to restroom facilities.
Based on these ADA guidelines, it is possible to design a handicap accessible bathroom in one’s home. With today’s increased aging population, handicapped accessible bathrooms can add value to one’s home.
Below is a list of recommendations to create a handicapped accessible bathroom in your home.
- Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers comfortably.
- Doors should swing out and not in from both sides.
- The threshold of the doorway should be aligned with the adjacent floor. No raised parts should be present.
- The bathroom should be large enough to allow the wheelchair to turn a full 360 degrees.
- An open shower area without an enclosure can also be used .
- The sink should high enough so that a person can roll the wheelchair and accommodate his knees under the sink.
- Shelves, baskets and trays should be easily accessible from a seated position.
- Latches and door handles should be avoided. Doors should have lever-style handles instead.
- Bathtub faucets should be installed towards the entry side of the bathtub in a position that can be easily reached. The faucets should be easy to operate and should not require too much strength or grip. Single handle or lever type faucets are preferable.
- A handheld showerhead can be added and should be mounted on a slide bar to be accessible to persons of varying heights.
- There should be seat or stool at the head of the bathtub or in the shower area/enclosure.
- A programmable faucet that controls the temperature of the hot water is preferable. These faucets serve to help prevent accidental scalding.
- The toilet, bathtub and shower should have wall-mounted L-shaped grab bars.
- Floor coverings should be made of non-skid and non-slip materials.
- The bathroom should have locks that can be opened from the outside in case the person falls or has an accident.
- Without the seat, the toilet should be at a height of 16.5 inches to make it easier for the person to use.
There are many options for creating a handicap accessible bathroom. These options can range from a complete bathroom remodel to simply adding a few handicapped bath accessories. Providing your handicapped or elderly loved one with a handicap accessible bathroom can help them live a more independent life, while ensuring their safety and dignity.