Unlike normal remodeling, when you start planning a bathroom refurbishment for a handicapped individual, you need to start thinking just a little bit differently. What needs to be taken into account is that the whole world changes when you live it through a wheelchair and bathroom access can be especially frustrating when you have to deal with smaller entry doors, tiny interiors and at times features that can be downright unwelcoming.
One of the first things that should be considered when doing a bathroom refurbishment to make it more accessible is naturally the doorway. For ease of entry, you will need to have a 36 inch wide door framed into the opening and unlike a standard door, make sure that when it opens it swings outward instead of inward.
Now that we have a comfortable way for someone to get in, let’s take a look around and see what other items that should be adapted.
Hopefully the second thing that pops into your mind for your bathroom refurbishment is the commode. The height more than likely will have to be raised to make it easier for someone to transfer from a wheelchair. You will also want to install transfer bars on each side if they can use their arms to move from one to the other.
From the commode, naturally someone is going to want to wash their hands. To make this an easy process, use sinks that are mounted to the wall, once again paying attention to height. The fixtures should be lever operated and easily reached. Also pay attention to the mirrors so that grooming becomes quick and easy.
Be sure to provide plenty of storage at the right height so that cosmetics and toiletries can be easily stored and easily reached.
Ok, now let’s get ready to tackle the shower. You’ll want to have a roll through shower installed when you plan this bathroom refurbishment. This makes getting in and getting out a breeze for someone using a wheelchair. Many models now come equipped with a dedicated shower seat and again, easy to use fixtures.
The last item on the agenda is probably the most crucial in the overall plan. And that is you want a minimum of 60 inches in the center of the room so that a wheelchair can be maneuvered rather easily. In many cases, this might pose a problem and entail some structural changes. If it does, then before you make an attempt to do so, consult a qualified builder or mobility works.