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How to Make a Bathroom Handicap Accessible

Handrail for disabled and elderly people in the bathroom

As we get older, we may have issues with mobility that require us to use a walker or wheelchair to get around. Mobility concerns extend to the bathroom within your home. It’s important to make changes and develop an accessible bathroom layout that best addresses your mobility issues and concerns.

What Are Accessible Bathrooms?

Accessible bathrooms are the safest for everyone, from kids to the elderly. These bathrooms are safer because they include features designed to help people with limited mobility maneuver the space easily. These features can make a major impact on the lives of your loved ones, which is why they are recommended.

Creating an accessible bathroom can be an expensive remodeling project because it involves adding and installing various safety features. Some of these changes might need you to make structural changes to your bathroom.

What Does an ADA-Compliant Bathroom Mean?

Making your bathroom more accessible means following the ADA requirements for accessibility and safety. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides some basic guidelines to keep your bathroom accessible to everyone. Although it’s mostly directed to businesses and government facilities, it can help you make your home safer.

Converting a Bathroom to Handicap

shower with seat and grab bars for disabled and elderly people in the bathroom

There are dozens of ways to make your bathroom more accessible for everyone. Understanding the basic accessibility needs can help you create a budget for the remodeling project.

To help get you started on altering your bathroom, here are some ideas:

  • Install a handicapped shower stall with a seat. This type of shower has a zero-entry barrier, so you can easily walk or roll your wheelchair into the shower. There are grab bars and a seat to make showering easier and reduce your risk of slipping and falling.
  • Install grab bars in your existing tub/shower. If getting into and out of the tub is not an issue, you should still have grab bars installed as a safety precaution.
  • Replace the bathroom door with a sliding door. If the doorway to the bathroom is tight, you can remove the door and install an overhead sliding door. Plus, sliding doors are also easier to operate if you have arthritis.
  • Install a wall-mounted toilet that is elevated. You can have your plumber move your toilet, so it is mounted on the wall. Raising it higher off the ground makes getting on and off the toilet seat
  • Install safety rails around the toilet. You will want safety grab bars placed near the toilet to aid in sitting down and getting up from the toilet.
  • Use lower wall cabinets for easier access. Bathroom wall cabinets are typically mounted much higher up and can make reaching items difficult. Have your contractor lower the cabinets. You may also want to remove the doors on some of them so they do not get in your way.
  • Remove cabinets from under the sink. If you use a wheelchair, you need space under the sink for the wheelchair. Taking out the cabinets can provide the necessary space.
  • Lower the sink to a comfortable level. If you are in a wheelchair or need to sit down while brushing your teeth or shaving, have the sink lowered to a level where it is easy for you to reach the faucet and use the sink.
  • Remove slip hazards from the floor space. Take out rugs and bathroom mats that could create a problem moving over them with a wheelchair or walker.
  • Install slip-resistant flooring. It can be helpful to install different flooring that will not get slippery if water or moisture gets on it.
  • Have handy light switches and electrical outlets. You will want to ensure you can easily reach light switches and any electrical outlets in your bathroom. Talk to your electrician about placing them in a location that best reflects your needs.
  • Add more lighting. You could have a window installed to bring in more natural sunlight or new light fixtures to help brighten up the bathroom.

Find the Perfect ADA-Compliant Bathroom Features and Accessories with American Bath Enterprises

Are you looking for ADA-compliant and barrier-free shower systems and accessories? Look no further than American Bath Enterprises. We have the best and safest shower systems available, and we are committed to providing only high-quality products. Contact us at (888) 228-4925 for more information!