The Need To Remodel For A Handicapped Bathroom
Often when remodeling a bathroom, people tend to forget that they won’t be the only ones using it. Ideally, all of the bathrooms should be equipped with features that would allow them to be used by a person who is unable to move freely and who needs access to the bathroom facilities. A person’s life changes even when encountering something as minor as a broken limb or mild back pain. Pregnant women, especially in the later stages of the pregnancy, who are known to have to use the bathroom more often than others, need that extra protection and easy access to all the bathroom fixtures.
The first thing to remember when remodeling a bathroom designed to be used by elderly or handicapped person, is that special consideration must be given to the mounting heights of bathroom accessories as well as grab bars that will aid the use of facilities.
Tips For Handicapped Bathroom Remodeling
When remodeling a bathroom to be used by a handicapped person, there has to be enough floor space so that if a wheelchair is used, there’s at least 60" diameter that will allow full turns. Some of that space can be found under bathroom fixtures as long as the required toe and knee space is available.
A handicapped lavatory must have a minimum clearance of 30" from the bottom of the seat to the finished floor. Similarly, a bathroom sink, bathroom countertop as well as bathroom cabinets must be within reach.
If there’s exposed plumbing or electrical wiring it must be isolated to eliminate any possibility of contact. The bathroom furniture edges – preferably – should not be sharp or should be protected with sponge-filled covers.
All the bathroom fixtures and bathroom faucets must also be within reach. According to bathroom remodeling resources, the maximum force that is required to use a bathroom faucet can not be more than five pounds.
Grab bars should be installed anywhere a person may need them – they are necessary in the shower and beside the bathtub. The floor of a bathroom needs to be made out of non-slip materials. When remodeling a bathroom to be used by a handicapped person don’t use tile or vinyl unless it’s sanded or sand-like in texture.
Various bathroom remodeling stores offer chairs or sitting shelves that can be installed inside a shower stall as well as in the bathtub. The installation of these sitting shelves is not difficult and will make life much more comfortable.
When remodeling a bathroom remember that there are no rules that say you can’t get creative with your bathroom remodeling project. However, there are certain things you always need to consider when working on your bathroom remodeling floorplans.
The First Step
Decide what sort of bathroom accessories and fixtures you want to include in your new bathroom first. Do you want a bathtub or shower or both? A hand basin? A bidet? A bathroom mirror (with over light or not, with lighting strip or not)? What about bathroom fans, bathroom cabinets (what size and how many), bathroom vanities (one or two), bathroom furniture and/or bathroom storage?
Once you have these details figured out, measure your current bathroom floor and any fixtures that will not be moved or removed. Do your measurements from about 1" above the floor then get ready to draw your first plan.
What To Do
Your first bathroom floor plan should be drawn to scale, naturally. As a rule of thumb, you scale down measurements so that they correspond accordingly. For example, one inch equals one foot and so on. Try to use graphic paper to draw this scale – this makes things much easier to plan out.
Mark on your bathroom floor plan all of the bathroom fixtures that exist such as hot and cold water outlets, drains, electrical outlets and existing bathroom fans.
Next, cut out paper footprints for each of the new bathroom appliances that you’ll want to include. Do take size into consideration, but remember that most bathroom accessories are smaller and it’s easy to find something that will fit just right.
Having It All Come Together
Place all your scaled footprints of the bathroom fixtures in the positions you desire, keeping in mind all the existing fixtures and outlets that you want to stay in the same place. Add or remove whatever you need.
The position of your bathroom window can influence where you want to place your new units. You don’t want to install the shower where your window is, or do you?
Make sure the areas between existing and new bathroom fixtures are spacious enough so that the objects are not in each other’s way, for example, the doors of bathroom cabinets don’t bang into the bathroom mirrors, etc.
If you find that you can’t fit all of the bathroom units that you want, consider some bathroom remodeling samples that are available through various resources such as online, bathroom remodeling software and major appliances stores. Re-evaluate if you really need all these things in your bathroom or if you can afford to get rid of some of them. Think logically and consult your bathroom remodeling floorplan to see, for example, if you can move your showerhead so that it stands above your bathtub instead of having both a bathtub and a shower in one room.
Once you have your rough bathroom remodeling floorplan ready, think about the wall areas and see if you can mount any bathroom accessories onto them. As with the floor, consider how the bathroom accessories will affect each other if their proximity is compromised.