As you consider your new bath, think about friends and loved ones who will utilize the room, especially young children, elderly persons and people with various physical disabilities. Integrating accessible, universal design features will ensure a functional and pleasing bath for all.
Here are several universal design guidelines to consider:
Install grab bars near toilets, showers and tubs.
Skid-free flooring and slip-resistant tub and shower surfaces can help prevent accidents.
Enlarge the doorway width from 32" to 36" for wheelchair accessibility and replace traditional doorknobs with door levers that are easier to manipulate.
Install a permanent or fold-down seat in the shower or tub.
Eliminate ridges, steps or other barriers on a shower stall for easy access.
Select faucets that offer scald protection features.
Consider easy-to-use single-lever faucets for the sink, shower and tub.
Handheld shower and tub sprays make bathing enjoyable for the young and old, tall and short, and able-bodied and disabled.
Adjustable bathroom mirrors are convenient for children as well as wheelchair users.
Console vanities, pedestal sinks and wall-mounted lavatories are both beautiful and accessible options for persons in wheelchairs.
For detailed information on universal design planning, visit the Center for Universal Design Web site at www.design.ncsu.edu/cud.