When it comes to bathroom remodeling projects, homeowners want a space that’s functional and also represents their style. Oftentimes, when people hear the term “accessible bathroom,” they think of a room that’s stark or sterile, but we’re here to prove that’s not true.
Continue reading our blog to see how we can create an accessible bathroom design and remodel that will be as convenient as it is beautiful.
Why Choose an Accessible Bathroom Remodel?
There are many reasons homeowners choose to remodel their bathroom space to make it more accessible. Sometimes, this choice is necessary, while other times it’s about being prepared and embracing long-lasting functionality.
No matter what the reason may be, accessible bathrooms are becoming more appealing to homeowners because it provides a space that can be used by anyone in the family or any house guests.
How many changes a homeowner makes to their bathroom space will depend on a variety of factors such as size and remodel budget. However, like most home renovations, making a bathroom more accessible is an investment that is meant to continue to benefit homeowners in the long run.
Remodeling a bathroom to make it more accessible can seem like a daunting task, which is why we recommend getting help from custom design and building experts to guide you throughout the process. These professionals will be able to answer any questions you may have and make recommendations when it comes to design and layout.
Planning an Accessible Bathroom Layout
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers specific requirements for commercial bathrooms. These bathroom accessibility standards don’t need to be included in a residential home remodel, but they can be helpful to use as a baseline.
For example, when it comes to creating an accessible bathroom layout, there are 3 key elements that should be considered.
1. Clearance Space
One of the advantages of having an accessible bathroom is that there is plenty of space to move. When planning the layout, homeowners should ensure that there’s enough open space to maneuver without hitting any objects.
This is especially important in areas where there will be a toilet, shower or tub, and sink or vanity. The ADA suggests approximately 60 inches in diameter.
2. Wide & Flat Entryways
Similar to having ample space to move within the bathroom, it’s important to make entering the area easy. Doorways should be wide and flat.
This will allow individuals to come in and out of the bathroom without hitting the sides of a door or getting stuck on a threshold. The ADA states that an accessible bathroom door width should be a minimum of 42 inches and have a threshold that’s no higher than ½ inch.
3. Grab Bar Installation
Secure grab bars are an essential part of any accessible bathroom layout. The exact location of grab bars will depend on the individual’s specific needs. Most often, they will be installed to provide extra support in areas like the shower, tub, or next to the toilet.
Many people are under the impression that grab bars will ruin the aesthetic of their bathroom space. However, this can be avoided by choosing bars that complement their bathroom style. There are many varieties of grab bars that will fit into any design and have multiple functions.
Accessible Bathroom Fixtures & Accessories
The fixtures and accessories in accessible bathrooms are just as important as the layout itself. These features will continue to provide extra support for individuals, making the bathroom space more functional.
Most standard toilets are approximately 14 ½ inches high. However, for an accessible bathroom design, homeowners should consider using what’s referred to as “comfort-height” or “chair-height” toilets. These will be slightly higher, approximately 16 ½ to 18 inches from the floor to the top of the bowl.
As we mentioned before, most toilet spaces should include grab bars or other support fixtures. Homeowners can find grab bars that have multiple purposes. For example, a grab bar and a toilet paper holder or floating shelf.
When planning an accessible bathroom layout with a shower, homeowners should make sure the entryway is wide and flat.
Next, consider removing the shower door altogether. Doorless showers are becoming a popular trend for modern-style bathrooms. This design offers a sleek and minimalist look, while also making the area more accessible.
Adding shower seating and grab bars will provide extra safety and convenience for any individual showering. When browsing shower seats, think about how they will fit into the shower design. Whether it’s a stand-alone stool or a built-in bench, homeowners can choose stylish and functional shower seating.
Homeowners should also think about installing a handheld shower head. Fortunately, there’s an assortment of shower designs that offer both handheld and fixed shower heads. This will allow individuals to choose between the two or use both when bathing.
Sink & Vanity
Accessible bathroom vanities and sink areas will typically be wall-mounted allowing ample clearance space beneath. Not only do floating sinks and vanities open up floor space, but they’re known for providing a sleek and modern alternative to the traditional sink area.
There are many storage solutions available for floating vanities as well. For example, many homeowners will install floating shelves above or next to the sink area. In addition, individuals can use moveable storage solutions such as baskets or containers.
After homeowners decide on their accessible bathroom vanities, they can begin browsing easy-to-use faucets. When browsing bathroom faucet options, it’s important to think about convenience as well as style.
Homeowners should consider installing faucets with lever handles rather than knobs. Some smart home technologies even offer hands-free faucets that work through motion sensors or voice activation.
Without the proper bathroom lighting, individuals are more prone to accidents and injuries. There are many different lighting solutions homeowners can choose from for their bathroom spaces.
If accessibility is the goal, we recommend using multiple light sources. This means installing recessed ceiling lights as well as overhead lighting or wall sconces. Doing this will give homeowners the ability to use one or all of the lights as they choose.
It’s important that homeowners are also strategic when placing their lights. For example, there should be light sources next to or above the toilet area, sink, and shower.
Homeowners should remember that planning an accessible bathroom remodel doesn’t only need to be about function. With the help of remodeling experts, they can incorporate their unique style into the bathroom design, making it a place they can enjoy for years to come.