How To Create A Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | More Ability
Published: 25 November 2020 · Last Updated: 17 April 2023
With a variety of wheelchair sizes available and an even wider range of accessible sanitary ware, we understand it can often be confusing as to which bathing solution is right for you and or a loved one.
This guide breaks down:
- Wheelchair Sizes
- Wheelchair Bathroom Layout And Bathroom Adaptation Requirements
- Bathroom Designs For Wheelchair Users
- Accessible Bathroom Design finishing touches for wheelchair-accessible bathrooms
There are two main types of manual wheelchairs - self-propelled and attendant-propelled. Self-propelled wheelchairs allow the user to push or propel themselves along whilst attendant propelled wheelchairs are designed to be easily manoeuvred by somebody pushing the wheelchair.
Whichever you require, it’s essential to choose the right wheelchair size to assist with comfort and ease of use.
The standard wheelchair dimensions are:
Seat height: 19.5”
Wheelchair height: 36”
Wheelchair width: 25” (approximate)
An important factor for comfort, the width of a wheelchair seat will determine how the user is positioned within the wheelchair. If the width is too wide for the size of the user it can lead to unwanted seat position changes and poor posture. If the width is too narrow it can lead to movement restrictions and a risk of pressure sores.
Wheelchair seat widths are typically available in 16”, 18” and 20”. The standard overall wheelchair width is approximately 25”.
An important factor for comfort in a, the width of a wheelchair seat will determine how the user is positioned within the wheelchair. If the width is too wide for the size of the user it can lead to unwanted seat position changes and poor posture. If the width is too narrow it can lead to movement restrictions and a risk of pressure sores.
In a wheelchair accessible bathroom, wheelchair seat widths are typically available in 16”, 18” and 20”. The standard overall wheelchair width is approximately 25”.
Wheelchair Bathroom Layout
In this section not only do we offer the preferred
wheelchair bathroom layout option but also look to answer the reoccurring question
of how big a wheelchair accessible bathroom needs to be.
How Big Does A Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Need To Be
Upon choosing the most comfortable wheelchair for your needs, the next step to consider is the most appropriate wheelchair bathroom layout.
When designing your bathroom, we recommend you follow the guidelines of Document M.
Taking into consideration the standard wheelchair dimensions, Doc M recommends that a wheelchair bathroom layout has enough floor space for a full 360 degree turn of a standard wheelchair which is 1500mm x 1500mm.
We also recommend the installation of outward opening doors, as inward opening doors will need to be accounted for with additional bathroom space. The width of the door entrance will also need to be a minimum of 32” to allow for easy access of a standard sized wheelchair.
Bathroom Designs For Wheelchair Users
Wheelchair Accessible Shower Options.
If don’t want to renovate your entire suite the installation
of a disabled shower can help you and or a loved one to bathe with ease. There
are two main shower solutions we recommend for wheelchair users:
Wheelchair accessible disabled showers consist of a level access non-slip shower tray and wide outward
opening doors that typically open from a central point. They are large in size
allowing ease of entry and movement for the wheelchair user.
Disabled Wet Rooms
A disabled wet room turns your entire suite into a showering space. They often consist of maintenance free accessible wall boards and anti-slip vinyl flooring. Similar to disabled showers they provide level access entry and a large enough showering space for a range of wheelchair sizes.
Accessible Bathroom Design And Quick Fixes For Wheelchair
In addition to understanding the recommended wheelchair
accessible bathroom layout and the best bathroom designs for wheelchair users
there are several accessible bathroom design options for wheelchair users that
can be installed quickly and easily. These include:
- - Fitted grab bars throughout the shower room for
additional bathing support.
- A fixed cushioned shower seat with arm support
providing additional comfort.
- An emergency pull cord to assist with independent
- A thermostatically controlled shower mixer to
help to avoid any burns or scalding.
Whether you wish to undertake a
full renovation or make smaller changes the work can be funded by your local
council. This find out if you may be eligible read our article on Disability Grants For Home Improvement.
Wheelchair Accessible Sanitary Ware
Upon considering the size of your wheelchair bathroom layout the next step is installation of wheelchair accessible sanitary ware.
Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
Raised Height Toilets
Not having to lower yourself to sit down on a standard
toilet, raised height toilets can help wheelchair users to comfortably move
from wheelchair to toilet seat and are often accompanied by the installation of
folding grab rails for extra safety.
If you’re wanting a quick fix
option, you can add a raised toilet seat that fits directly onto your existing
toilet bowl. Like raised height toilets they help users with comfortably moving
from their chair to the toilet seat.
Wash And Dry Toilets
Great for those who struggle with mobility, wash and dry toilets are not only taller in height but also use air and water to
clean and dry your intimate areas from the touch of a button.
Wheelchair Accessible Basins
Fixed Height Basins
In a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, that is most likely to be used by one user a fixed-height basin install is ideal and comfortable for the wheelchair user. There is also additional room around the basin where bathroom amenities can be easily accessed in the form of accessible bathroom storage.
Rise And Fall Basins
Best suited for multi-use bathrooms, a rise and fall disabled basin can be adjusted to suit the height of the user through the touch of a
Curved disabled basins
Curved disabled basins consist of a concave front that creates easier access for the user to reach the basin and taps. They are also available with grab bars attached to provide further support and stability when attached.
If you or a loved one is wanting to adapt your bathroom in order to improve the safety and bathing capability for a wheelchair user book a free design appointment online today. Alternatively, you call to speak to a friendly member of our team or visit one of our disabled showrooms located in Leeds and Harrogate
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