11 September 2019
As well as many design considerations and options, disabled shower rooms also need to take into account strict building regulations. This is the case in public and commercial settings, and details can be found in the Building Regulations Approved Document M (Doc M). Privately, it’s up to you, but it’s a good idea to adhere to a similar concept.
Let’s make the terminology clear first: in commercial settings, a disabled shower room is the same as a disabled wet room. In private residential settings, shower rooms and wet rooms differ in terms of design, which we’ll cover later on in this article.
The minimum dimensions you need to consider in a commercial setting are that a disabled shower/changing room is 2200mm deep by 2000mm wide. However, if the disabled wet room is to also include a WC then the dimensions need to increase to 2500mm long by 2400mm wide. A disabled wet room should ‘be designed to ensure a wheelchair user is able to approach, transfer to and use all the facilities in the room’.
This information can be found in Document M, which details the specific requirements for disabled shower room layouts, dimensions and included fixtures and fittings.
Bearing in mind the disabled wet room dimensions, it’s important to also consult Document M to understand what the ideal layout for a disabled shower room is. It includes a disabled shower room plan for incorporating:
When it comes to disabled shower room requirements it’s important that you adhere to the below:
> Access doors to open outward and be fitted with a horizontal closing bar fixed to the inside.
> A wall mounted shower seat installed within the shower area
> An emergency assistance alarm system installed and to be reachable from the shower area.
> The correct number, size, and positioning of grab rails to be installed within the room (see Doc M).
> Grab bars should be blue in colour and installed against a contrasting white background.
> A shower curtain should be installed and be operational from the wall mounted shower seat.
> Both a fixed and an adjustable shower head should be installed with separate independent controls.
An example disabled shower room plan can be found below. However, for specific dimensions and installation guidelines on disabled toilets, changing rooms and disabled shower room layouts click here.
Whether a disabled wet room, or a disabled shower room, it is proven that either will significantly improve your bathing experience, offering increased safety and independence.
In the private home it’s entirely up to you what you do. However we strongly advise that you follow the same regulations when designing a disabled shower room or disabled wet room.
Whichever you decide, it’s important that your final choice should be dependent on which shower solution is most suited to your specific needs. From a functional point of view, it’ll need to adhere to the regulatory requirements detailed in Document M. Don’t worry -our in-house team of specialist surveyors and designers would be more than happy to help you during your appointment.
As the name would suggest a disabled wet room is when the entire room becomes your shower area. In turn this maximises your use of space, providing you with the opportunity to design the suite to suit your individual wants, needs and requirements.
There’s loads of options available for disabled wet rooms - start by consulting our breakdown of design ideas here.
An example disabled wet room can be seen below.
A disabled shower room is when a slip resistant level access tray is sunk into the floor, eliminating the requirement for you to step up and over any threshold in order to enter the designated wet area.
When it comes to disabled shower rooms you’ll discover a number of tray options including:
Both of these cater for walk-in, wheel-in or zimmer-in entry and are often concealed behind full height or half height doors and a shower screen.
If you’re looking for more information on the various options regarding disabled shower rooms, we’d be more than happy to help. We offer free surveys where a specialist designer will visit you at home to learn more about your wants, needs and requirements and advice on costs.
More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires only 5* rated bathroom adaptation company. Specialising in accessible, mobility and disabled bathroom solutions we are extremely proud of the exceptional service we continuously deliver from design right through to installation and after care. Whether you want a future proofed solution or require a more specialist adaptation in order to remain independent at home More Ability can help create a safe space to bathe for you or your loved ones.