Allie Turck | Author
Elyse Johnson | Editor
Shower Bar & Curtain
ADA Vanity & Sink
Wheelchair Accessible Sink
Underneath the sink, the typical seated height is 30”. A wheelchair-accessible sink and countertop allow the homeowner the ability to roll underneath the sink and counter to have easier access to the countertop.
In older houses, many interior doors were often only constructed to be 24”-38” wide. 36-inch door frames allow for ease of access when using a roller or wheelchair. In our program, we often use pocket doors (Picture) to create the space for a 36-inch door due to the small spaces we are working with. While they are more space-efficient, pocket doors cannot be installed where there is plumbing or electrical. In those cases, we install a barn door or a double swing door.
Appearance is of low importance in our projects, safety and practicality always come first. We give our homeowners a few economical options to choose from to paint and re-floor their bathroom as well as recommendations influenced by ADA standards. When it comes to flooring we regularly install vinyl flooring made with grooves and a non-slick top layer. This limits the risk of a homeowner slipping when they exit the shower and losing their balance. We have had multiple homeowners who had suffered greatly from bathroom falls, some even requiring surgery to repair the damage from their fall. When we install tile flooring we insist on a small tile pattern and non-slip tiles to ensure maximum grip when standing and walking on the tile.
Grab bars can save homeowners from painful falls and improve everyday activities. It’s important that they are in useful locations and sturdy or they can cause a dangerous fall instead of preventing one. When we demo a bathroom we ask our contractors to insert blocking within the framework to give support to the grab bars. To figure out the best places to install grab bars, we talk with our homeowner, review ADA guidelines, and even test for the best locations ourselves. A well placed grab bar can save thousands of dollars in hospital bills and give you more control over your safety.
Removing and replacing the toilet is a frequent repair. Many older homes still retain their original lower height, circular toilet. Besides being easier to back up and more wasteful of water, the older toilet style can be difficult to lower down to and rise up off of. As well as an ADA and water sense compliant new toilet, we like to install an attachable water bidet with a dryer. A bidet can return dignity to those with limited ability who can have difficulty using the bathroom without help. This addition can return independence to our homeowners and improve their quality of life.