How To Make A Restroom More Accessible To The Elderly And People With Disabilities

Handicap bathroom phoenix

Bathroom remodel designs are a necessary component of making everyday facilities accessible for a wide variety of people. Taking for granted the shape of a door or the space between a hallway can mean frustrating repercussions for the elderly and people with disabilities, reducing a business’ or institution’s client base and cultivating an unwelcome environment. Ideas for bathroom remodeling have been rising to the forefront of many a businessowner’s mind, to better assist customers of all shapes and sizes in enjoying the opportunities the establishment has to offer. Likewise, these can be added to a place of residence to create a safer and happier home. If you’re looking for bathroom remodeling designs or simply want to know more about how to create a more inviting atmosphere for customers, read below.

Common Issues

There are still many bathroom and sink areas in business establishments and homes that aren’t accessible to the elderly, the injured and people with disabilities. This can involve sinks being too low and doorways too narrow, not including general degradation that comes with a lack of maintenance and constant use. Making a washroom more accessible through clever bathroom remodel designs will greatly improve quality of life for many different kinds of people.


Bathrooms and washrooms have specific challenges for individuals who use wheelchairs, which can be better addressed through minor adjustments to standardized models. Accessibility codes dictate a toilet must be a minimum of 17 inches tall, with toilet heights in handicapped bathrooms varying from 15 inches from the floor to around 19 inches. This reduces back and leg strain on the individual. Similar tweaks to width and height can be made to the sinks and doorways.


For individuals who use wheelchairs, the sink needs to have an open space underneath so they can comfortably wash their hands and access the automatic hand dryer or paper towel dispenser. For a person in a walker, the sink should be higher than usual — this can add up to 34 inches instead of the more common 31 inches, allowing them to stand up straight without bending over and potentially hurting their back. Faucets in accessible bathrooms should have lever handles that can be turned without grasping, such as a touch-operated automatic model.


One of the most notable ways to make a bathroom accessible to people with disabilities is to expand the doorways in light of walkers, wheelchairs and crutches. The entrance should be around 36 inches wide to better accommodate turns from hallways into the bathroom. Once inside, the individual in question should be allowed enough space to turn around again, with 60 inches of clear space considered efficient for many people.

Additional Features

There are a wealth of little features that can be added to encourage ease of use. Grab bars help those with disabilities in the bathroom stabilize themselves and should be placed beside toilets, tubs and showers. A walk-in bathtub should use a vacuum seal to shut the door, allowing access to the tub without allowing water to leak or spill. Lastly, motion activated towel dispensers can assist those with wrist problems or mobility issues.

Bathroom Remodel Designs

A bathroom is one of the most trafficked spaces in any given area, be it a small business or a home. This constant use can contribute to the breakdown of everyday tools, making it difficult for people with disabilities to use it easily. A bathroom should be given a makeover every twenty years or so, barring more immediate necessities, and is easily considered one of the best home investments. Investing in a bathroom remodel will also yield a significant return on the investment, adding up to 60% on average. Bathroom remodel designs are simple touch-ups that have positive long-term benefits for people everyday. Even the addition of a handlebar or a few inches on the sink will go a long way for everyone involved.

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