Designing A Handicap Bathroom
A well-designed handicap bathroom will be safe, comfortable and pleasant to use . When designing a handicap bathroom, determine whether you need the bathroom to meet a legal definition of accessibility or whether you are looking to accommodate the needs of a particular person or particular type of disability. The entrance to the bathroom should allow easy entrance and exit and be on the same level, requiring no steps up or down. An entrance of at least 32 inches wide may be fine, however, 36 inches wide is better and will more readily accommodate a wheelchair. The entrance can be designed as a wraparound that provides privacy but takes more space, with a curtain or sliding door, or with a traditional door outfitted with hardware that is easy to use. If you choose a door that locks, make sure it can be unlocked from the outside.
A higher toilet seat is easier for a handicapped person to use. The ideal height is 18 inches. The standard height is between 15 and 17 inches. You can install a handicapped toilet that is built to a higher height, or use a toilet seat add-on to raise the seat height. There should be grab bars on at least one side of the toilet. If persons of size will be using the toilet, do not place it too close to the wall or place the grab bars too close together. Conventional bathtubs present a number of issues for the handicapped individual. Two better options are walk-in bathtubs and walk-in showers. Also consider the advantage of a handheld shower for a handicape bathroom. Choose a flooring surface that is resistant to slipping, even when wet.
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