10 Tips For Designing Your Wheelchair Accessible
New Jersey Bathroom
Accessibility Is Key For A Functional Bathroom
If you or a member of your family is wheelchair-bound, several accessibility issues may arise in your New Jersey home. The bathroom is one of the major areas in which accessibility is key to living a life without hindrance.
Making your New Jersey bathroom wheelchair accessible is not as hard as you may think. We have ten tips for you to remember when designing your wheelchair-accessible bathroom.
1. The Entry Into Your Bathroom
A standard wheelchair is anywhere from 24 to 27 inches wide. For this reason, your entryway into your bathroom needs to be at least 32 inches in width. However, a 36- inch wide doorway is even better for maneuverability.
In some homes, each room entry has a small door sill on the floor. You want to remove this to allow the floor to be completely flat and avoid hopping your wheelchair over this small bump.
In addition, consider the door of your bathroom. Many people who are wheelchair-bound find a door that opens in or out often delays them in getting into the bathroom.
Instead, opt for a sliding door in your bathroom to provide easier access when sitting in a wheelchair. Plus, they also add a modern design touch!
2. Your Sink Area Needs To Be Accessible
One of the biggest hurdles for those in a wheelchair is reaching the sink. A traditional bathroom often has cabinets under the sink for storage. However, rolling up to the vanity in a wheelchair puts you several feet away from reaching the sink.
Instead, the area below the sink must be open so your legs can roll under. In addition, the entire vanity needs to be slightly lower than the traditional measurements to make it easier to reach.
3. Use Tilted Mirrors
Mirrors in the bathroom are a must. They are often found above the sink but can also be in other areas of the bathroom.
The key to allowing these mirrors to be easily used by anyone in a wheelchair is to have them tilted. Tilted mirrors above your sink will allow you to see everything easier when sitting in a wheelchair.
Also, remember that you want your mirrors in the rest of the bathroom installed at a height that allows you to see from the floor up to your head while sitting in your wheelchair.
4. Room Dimensions
If you are designing a new wheelchair-accessible bathroom, keep the room’s dimensions in mind. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) suggests having at least 60 inches of diameter in the middle of the room for easy maneuverability.
The ADA also recommends a 60-inch wide space on the wall where the toilet is installed for easier accessibility.
One of the biggest issues people have when they are remodeling a bathroom for accessibility is the size of the room.
Even if the dimensions are not as the ADA suggests, thanks to the latest technology and products on the market, there are workarounds to make your bathroom more accessible.
5. Your Bathing Options
A traditional shower or tub is often out of the question when designing a bathroom for wheelchair accessibility. Instead, opt for barrier-free showers or walk-in tubs.
Barrier-free showers are going to offer no resistance to rolling the wheelchair in. Furthermore, there are bench seats that can be installed in your shower to allow you to bathe with easy access to your wheelchair for support.
Walk-in tubs are going to allow you to roll your wheelchair to the tub door and then easily transfer yourself to the bench seat to take a bath. Hand-held shower heads in these walk-in tubs can also allow for easy cleaning.
Which option is the best for your New Jersey home? The choice is really up to you. You have to decide if you are comfortable with only showers or if you would like the option to take a bath.
6. Safety Elements To Install
No wheelchair-accessible bathroom is complete without safety pieces installed throughout the bathroom. For example:
- Handrails on both sides of your toilet
- Grab bars inside and outside the shower or walk-in-tub
- Slip-resistant flooring, especially if you get in and out of your wheelchair in the bathroom
Luckily, these are all safety features we can help you decide when you design a new accessible bathroom or remodel your old bathroom to make it more accessible.
Having good lighting in your bathroom is a must, as this can help you avoid slips and falls. However, when you are wheelchair-bound, you may find that reaching your light switches is harder than before.
Light switches need to be installed further down on the wall to allow you to easily hit these when coming into the bathroom. Or you could opt for motion sensor lights that will immediately come on when you enter your bathroom.
8. Motion Activated Faucets
While you will have a lower sink, you will find the addition of motion-activated faucets can make things just a bit easier. Ensure you get those faucets that allow for a wave of the hands to turn on.
9. Storage Closer To The Floor
Keep your storage options closer to those that start on the floor and go up the wall above your head. Avoid floor-to-ceiling storage, as this can be harder to access everything.
10. ADA-Compliant Toilets
The toilet installed in your bathroom should be ADA-compliant. In most cases, this means finding a toilet that is the same height as your wheelchair.
If a toilet that is the same height cannot be found, then consider wall-mounted toilets.
Free Quotes For Your Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
We are experts in helping homeowners design a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, as we are an ADA-compliant company. We offer a variety of options to ensure your bathroom is accessible and safe.
Call us today at 732-285-1010 for a free quote to make your New Jersey bathroom wheelchair friendly.