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Building a safe, accessible bathroom

Updated on August 15, 2014

Important accessibility features to consider when building or remodeling your bathroom

As more baby boomers are choosing to stay in their houses and age in place, accessibility upgrades and modifications are becoming more important to home owners and home buyers. An accessible bathroom can not only give people with disabilities and older Americans a more independent life, but it also can improve your homeâs value.

Checklist for Accessible Bathroom Design - Tips for building or remodeling

From the amount of space needed for wheelchairs, to positioning sinks, grab bars, and other key bathroom fixtures, this list will help you get started with a safe and accessible bathroom.

- Swing-out doors to accommodate easy wheelchair entry

- Grab bars for easier transfers and to maintain balance

- Reinforced walls for installation of grab bars

- 5 foot square area (required for most wheelchair users to make a 360° turn)

Safe, accessible bathroom design
Safe, accessible bathroom design

Measurements you need to know:

Chair-height racks, shelves, and cabinets:

- Chair-height is how far a person using a wheelchair can reach.

- A front approach is approximately 48 inches.

- A parallel approach is 54 inches.

Toilets 17 to 19 inches from floor or wall-mounted toilet

Resources for Accessible Bathroom Design

National Association of Home Builders

Houzz

Better Homes & Gardens

Home Builders Association

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