Barrier-Free Handicap Bathroom Design Basics

Barrier-free bathrooms are becoming important design areas. More owners are choosing to stay in their homes for health and age-related reasons. The bathroom is a key area to make living at home as long as possible a reality. You can incorporate some or all features to make your bathroom safer, convenient and give you more independence.

Key to Successful Barrier-free Handicap Bathroom Designs – SAFETY | INDEPENDENCE | CONVENIENCE. Keeping these in mind will lead to a good design.

SAFETY
Grab Bars: Showers, tubs and toilet: Vary 6” to 24” and more. Up to 3 per shower or toilet area depending on need –vertical, horizontal or angled. Grab bars are a #1 SAFETY CONSIDERATION – bathrooms are the leading accident location resulting in hospital visits – simple grab bars can help significantly minimize that risk.

INDEPENDENCE
Low threshold showers providing low step-over help elderly, hip and knee challenges and health-related mobility persons to use the shower with greater ease, safety and independence. Wheelchairs and walkers can roll right in. This can free up other members of the household and provide much desired independence for all concerned.

CONVENIENCE
Normal vanities are impossible for wheelchair and walker access. Solution - wall-mounted vanity allowing wheelchair and walker to slip underneath providing full use of the vanity. Lowering the mirror makes vanities usable for wheelchairs and walkers.

FULL BARRIER-FREE HANDICAP DESIGNS
Making your 5x8ft 3pc main bath or a larger space meet 100% barrier-free design requirements is just a matter good planning.

Your 5x8 main bath will get all barrier-free elements within that space – most baths are at least this size. Widening the door is often the only extra measure needed – All other elements – shower, vanity, toilet, flooring can be meet barrier-free even on tight budgets.

Larger bathrooms can accommodate larger vanities, shower and tub and extra toilet room. The design principles are the same.

Barrier-free designs can cost up to 30% or more than standard renovations – some of that can be written off as “peace of mind”. Alberta has a generous program called R.A.M.P with $7,000 grant toward renovations meeting their standards.

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