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What to Look For in an ADA-Compliant Shower Chair

Living with a senior or someone with mobility issues can present challenges, especially if your home is not equipped for it. You’ll need to take certain steps to make their lives easier and safer—and making your shower accessible is an important one. One of the best ways to make your accessible shower safer is to add an ADA-compliant shower chair.

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

In today’s guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at ADA-compliant chairs and how they can help you and your loved ones! We’ll explain what compliance means, how to choose a compliant chair, and the best features to look for.

What Does ADA Compliant Mean?

If you live with a senior, you probably know about ADA compliance. This relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act. It sets several guidelines and regulations for commercial and residential properties to follow. These guidelines are designed to make the lives of Americans with disabilities easier and safer.

The Act covers various industries, from websites and electronics to housing and tourism. However, for this article, we’ll focus on the housing aspect and, more importantly, on shower chair regulations and codes.

What Is an ADA-Compliant Shower Seat?

An ADA-compliant shower seat or chair provides universal access to people with disabilities and limited mobility. The purpose of these chairs is to make the shower or bath accessible, safer, and more secure to prevent accidents. These chairs also have features that make them different from standard shower chairs.

Here are some of the main benefits of an ADA-compliant shower chair:

  • ADA-compliant shower chairs help prevent falls and other accidents.
  • They provide safety and a sense of independence to seniors and people with disabilities.
  • ADA-compliant shower chairs have excellent durability.
  • They can come in different designs so you can choose the right one for your bathroom’s style.
  • High-quality ADA-compliant shower chairs can improve the value of your home.

How to Determine If a Shower Seat Is ADA Compliant

Thanks to their unique and safe design, ADA-compliant shower chairs allow for easy entry to the shower. However, not all shower chairs, benches, and seats are ADA compliant.

Here’s how you can determine whether your shower chair is ADA compliant or not:

  • The first way to determine whether a shower chair is ADA compliant is to measure its size. The ADA provides clear guidelines for shower accessibility accessories like grab bars and shower chairs. An ADA-compliant shower chair must be a maximum of 19” and a minimum of 17” above the floor.
  • ADA-compliant shower seats can only be L-shaped or rectangular. The shape you choose will likely depend on the size of your shower.
  • The ADA-compliant shower seat needs to withstand a minimum of 250 lbs. Anything below that number will not be considered ADA compliant, regardless of whether it meets all other criteria.

If your shower chair, seat, or bench meets these requirements, you can consider it ADA compliant. However, if your objective is to make the shower safer for people with disabilities, we recommend adding other accessories like grab bars.

Types of ADA-Compliant Shower Benches and Chairs

There are dozens of shower chairs and benches, which also applies to ADA-compliant shower seats. Choosing the right one will depend on your loved one’s needs and safety requirements.

Here are the most popular ADA-compliant shower chairs:

Wall-Mounted Shower Chair

A wall-mounted shower chair is installed on your shower wall or as part of a well-built ADA-compliant shower system. It provides the best safety and can be customized to suit your bathroom decoration. This option is meant to be a permanent addition to your shower.

Transfer Bench or Shower Chair

This shower chair is handy if you live with someone with a severe disability. A caregiver can use a transfer shower chair to accommodate the person in and out of the shower. It makes life easier for the caregiver because they won’t have to make as much physical effort during the bathing process.

Handicap Shower Commode Chair

A shower commode chair is what it sounds like. It can benefit seniors and people who have difficulty controlling bowel and bladder movements when showering. These shower chairs tend to be easy to clean, durable, and have anti-slip surfaces to prevent accidents.

Shower Chair with Wheels

Shower wheelchairs are wheelchairs with waterproof and anti-slip surfaces you can take in and out of showers. They are extremely helpful for caregivers because they allow them to transport the user from the bedroom to the shower and vice versa.

Standard Shower Chair

A standard shower chair is similar to a regular chair with back support and armrests. However, a shower model has anti-slip feet to prevent accidents. It also has better durability and can withstand constant water contact.

Wheelchair-Accessible Showers

Factors to Consider When Buying an ADA-Compliant Shower Chair

Now that you know the different types of shower chairs you can choose from, you can purchase one for your loved one. When buying an ADA-compliant shower chair for a person with a disability or mobility issues, there are some factors you need to consider.

The Ideal Weight Capacity

The first thing you need to consider is the user’s total weight. We recommend always getting a shower chair that can withstand more than the user’s weight to avoid accidents. However, the minimum weight capacity recommended for an ADA-compliant shower chair is 250 lbs.

The Right Features

Shower chairs can come in L and rectangular shapes, but those aren’t the only features you’ll have to consider. For instance, you’ll need to know if your shower chair has the right back support or armrests. The shower chair should also be slip-resistant and comfortable to make the bathing process better for the user.

The Correct Height

A shower chair is designed to make life easier for people with disabilities or limited mobility. So, when you buy one of these ADA-compliant devices, you need to think about the person using it. If the chair is too high for them, then it won’t be helpful. The same rule applies if the chair is too short, as it can make it quite uncomfortable to use.

If you need the chair for more than one person, try to find a model that can fit both people’s needs while keeping everyone safe and secure during showers.

Find the Right ADA-Compliant Items with American Bath Enterprises

Are you looking for reliable ADA-compliant enclosures and accessories? At American Bath Enterprises, we have the highest-quality accessibility products for showers, bathtubs, and combos. If you are unsure which product or accessory to buy, our expert team will help you find the right one for your needs.

Here are some benefits of choosing American Bath Enterprises for your ADA needs:

  • We are experts in ADA-compliant shower systems.
  • We have a wide selection of ADA-compliant accessories and items.
  • We offer free estimates for our San Francisco Bay Area clients.
  • We provide budget-friendly options for every need.

To learn more about our ADA-compliant products and installation services, you can visit our website or contact us at (888) 228-4925!