Planning Your Accessible Bathroom(s)
What’s needed to make a bathroom disability accessible?
- A bathroom to use while remodeling is underway
- A budget for remodeling projects
- Advice from handicap accessible contractors who understand universal design and what can be done to help you reach the level of accessibility you need
- A vision of what your ideal finished product will look like.
How can you build a handicap bathroom?
- Widening each doorway to allow for the passage of a wheelchair or walker
- Adding grab bars near the toilet, shower, or tub to make getting out of or onto certain surfaces easier for those using the facilities. You may also wish to build a curbless shower so that stepping in and out is safer for those using it.
- Raising the toilet seat to make sitting down easier
- Smoothing out the transition between bathroom flooring and bedroom/hallway flooring
- Lowering shelves and other storage areas
- Converting a bathtub into a walk-in shower
- Making changes to the lighting, flooring, or other accessories that may affect your ability to navigate and use the bathroom. For example, lowering cabinets, installing brighter lights, and painting over the walls for lighter white walls can make it easier for users to see and use things in your bathroom.
What are some options for Accessible Bathroom Designs?
How big should a Handicap Bathroom be?
- 30 inches by 48 inches from the door to the sink
- At least 60 inches around the side and 56 inches from the rear so a wheelchair can turn around with ease
How Wide Should The Bathroom Door Be?
What is required for Bathroom Handrails and grab bars?
Walk-in Shower FAQs
What Is A Walk-in Shower?
How can you build one?
Depending on the design you currently have, you may be able to make simple adjustments to create an accessible shower. Many people remove their current model and install a kit that works for their handicap bathroom. If you have a tub in your current bathroom, a remodeling contractor can remove the tub and install a walk-in shower.
What Are Some Options For Walk-in Designs?
- Install a glass wall to seal off the third side
- Install a curtain rod and shower curtain if that is accessible for those in the house (although we recommend the glass instead)
- Build a shelf that blocks the floor from the rest of the bathroom but leaves an open space for access and storage
- Add a shower seat
- Add an accessible showerhead and a faucet that can be reached from a seated position – a handheld showerhead is generally a good option
- For added luxury, consider soap dispensers for easy access to your bath products. You can always look for design inspiration online or use a service like Houzz to help you figure out what the best design for your home will be.
What materials are used to waterproof the floor?
How do you clean a walk-in?
Cost of Remodeling to a Handicap Bathroom and Resources
How much does it cost to build a bathroom for aging in place?
How much does a walk-in shower cost to install?
If you are buying a walk-in kit, expect to pay between $800 and $2,500. Costs will vary depending on whether you want to install tile, waterproofing material, or additional storage.
Will Medicare pay for a handicap bathroom remodel?
What specialists can help me begin this remodel?
Seek out a contractor who is also a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. They can help you adapt your bathroom based on universal design concepts and regulations, among other necessary guidelines.
What It Means to Hire a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)
Why Would I Choose A Plan Based On Universal Design?
Aren’t American with Disabilities Act guidelines actually for public places?
What are some of the most common ways you incorporate ADA requirements?
- Doors with lever handles (levers instead of knobs) that require no more than 5 pounds of force to open
- Each doorway designed to be wider than normal to allow enough room for passage by a wheelchair user
- Enough clear floor space to provide accessible routes for a wheelchair user throughout a dwelling
- Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, etc. placed so that they are accessible by all
- Countertops 38 inches or lower, counter edge protectors less than 2 inches, and, under a built-in vanity, knee clearance is 17 inches minimum
Should I plan for another remodel in the future to specifically address aging, too?
- Provide support services to secure and maintain maximum independence and dignity in a home environment
- Remove barriers — both individual and social — to economic and personal independence
- Play a small part in providing a continuum of care to aging adults