Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Make Your Bath Remodel ADA Friendly

Bath Remodel
There are many reasons to make your bath remodel ADA friendly.  If you, or your parents, are getting older, having an ADA compliant bathroom can make it easier in the event that someone becomes less mobile than they used to be. You never know if or when this is likely to happen so incorporating these features into at least one bathroom is a good idea.  
For those with family members in a wheelchair, an ADA friendly remodel is not an option.  Fortunately, there are many ways for this to happen while still keeping the bathroom functional and beautiful.  In fact, manufacturers like Kohler make a variety of products that can be incorporated with relative ease. 
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your bath remodel.
  • Countertops and mirrors need to be at a certain height.  This way someone in a wheelchair can easily wash their hands and look into a mirror without straining.  This height is shorter than normal but still functional for everyone.  Mirrors, for example, should be no more than 40 inches from the ground. 
  • Install grab bars.  You can place a grab bar around the toilet and entrance to the tub. The one near the toilet should be 42 inches long and located 12 inches from the rear wall.  The size and location of the grab bar for the shower depends on the type of shower that you have installed, and we can discuss the specifics with you in more detail. 
  • Roll-in shower.  This can be an easy way to make a shower ADA friendly.  We can build a custom tile shower that looks gorgeous with a glass wall and opening large enough for someone to wheel themselves in and turn around inside.  This is an excellent solution because it looks modern and glamorous while being completely practical.  We can also install a seat that folds down and make sure that there are two shower heads. The lower one can be handheld so that it can be easily accessed from the shower seat. 
  • Turning radius.  It is important to increase the size of the bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair turning around in a complete circle without hitting anything.  That way they don’t have to back out of the bathroom.  
  • Storage.  There are additional things to think about that go beyond staying in compliance.  Storage, for example, is important.  With a roll-in custom tile shower, we can build in storage cubbies for shampoo and other supplies that are within easy reach of the shower chair. This can eliminate any frustration during shower time.  Additionally, with a shower this large, we can build in cubbies for clean towels that are out of the spray range but still easy to access.  The same is true for toiletries.  By building in storage that can easily be reached from a wheelchair, we can make it easier to brush teeth and get ready in the morning.
We are experts at completing a bath remodel and can meet with you to discuss the needs of your family and come up with creative ways to make it happen.