When you are remodeling your home, it is necessary to take into consideration the special needs of each and every one of your home's occupants. If an elderly or disabled relative is living in your home, you will need to make sure that your bathroom conforms to the standards set out by the Americans with Disbality Act.
What Makes a Bathroom ADA Compliant?
Many people wonder just what makes a bathroom accessible for people with physical limitations, including those who are confined to wheelchairs. The answer to this is simple. It should allow the person to use all the facilities in the room without aid from another person.
One of the biggest challenges for people with physical limitations is the ability to gain access to the bathroom fixtures. Moreover, the room should be large enough to allow persons in a wheel chair to get in and out of the room.
To make sure the entry doors to your bathroom can accomodate a wheelchair, they should be a minimum of 36 inches wide.
Sink and Vanity
The sink and mirrors in your bathroom should be lower than the standard to make it easier for disabled persons to use the sink and vanity. Although there are no specific measurements stating an exact height for the sink, it should be installed with the user in mind.
Aside from being lower, a sink should also have open access so that a wheelchair can easily roll under the counter. Since the chair can get under the counter, the plumbing pipes need to be covered to avoid heat burns. The sink should have ADA approved lever knobs to allow the person to turn the water on and off without having to grasp a rounded knob.
The toilet needs to be 3½ inches higher than a normal toilet and should be an elongated style. There should be adequate support to allow a person to hoist themselves from a wheelchair to the toilet and back off without assistance. Installing grab bars will help accomplish this.
The shower should be ADA compliant. The dimensions of the inside of the shower must be at least 36 by 36 inches. It should allow the person to enter the area with no assistance. An ADA shower features a curb no higher than ½ inch. Some shower areas will have no curb at all.
The shower should have adequate grab bars installed for support. Installing a fold-down chair is also a good idea as it allows the person to shower while in a sitting position. The chair needs to be within easy reach of the on/off valves. The on/off valves should be an ADA lever type instead of rounded type handles. The shower head should be accessible at wheelchair heights. Using an adjustable shower head on a rod will help to make bathing easier.
Expect to pay around $9,500.00 to convert a standard bathroom to an ADA complaint bathroom using a modular ADA shower stall.
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