||Designing a Universal Bathroom
|Universal design bathrooms are built to insure
that all who use them can do so with safety,
maneuverability, and convenience. They are
accessible to those with all levels of physical
ability, including those with limited mobility
or poor eyesight. This makes them particularly
useful for the elderly or chronically ill,
even if they are confined to a wheelchair.
If you are thinking of installing
design bathroom in your house,
- Hinged doors that swing open are a problem
for those in a wheel chair. Pocket doors
are a better choice.
- Sinks should have lever style faucets because they are easier to use. The sink
should be installed at a height that is comfortable
for someone in a wheelchair and include enough
knee room under the sink to allow them to
- Grab bars should be installed next to the toilet. Special toilets that are higher are easier
for those with limited mobility to use; you
can also use a conventional toilet with a
raised seat. Grab bars also reduce the risk of slipping
when entering or leaving the tub or shower. Those who cannot step over the rim of a
regular tub should consider a walk in tub.
- There are two types of showers used in the
universal design bathroom. Those who can
leave a wheelchair can move onto a seat built
into the shower area. A roll in shower with
a flat threshold is necessary for those who
need to stay in a wheelchair. Both tubs bottoms
and shower floors need to be non-slip. Faucets
should have scald protection features.
- Lighting should be bright in every part of
the bathroom, including the shower area.
A light switch outside the bathroom door
is also very helpful.
- A 60 inch clear circle in the center of the
bathroom is necessary for a person in a wheelchair
to completely turn around.