A universal shower should have no threshold which prevents accidental tripping and allows easy wheelchair access if needed. If space permits, make the entrance to the shower at least 36 inches wide and doorless. You should install a bench seat and grab bars inside the shower for added convenience and safety. Grab bars are functional by design, but they are getting notably more attractive as the demand increases.
There are non-slip tile alternatives for additional safety. We also recommend multiple shower heads, including a handheld shower head.
The best options for a universal sink include a floating wall-mounted vanity that allows a wheelchair to roll underneath, custom cabinetry designed for wheelchair access, or a pedestal sink.
When installing the sink into a vanity, be sure to position it as close to the front edge of the countertop as possible in order to make it easy to reach the faucet. Choose faucets with lever handles that are easier to grip, a SmartTouch faucet that turns on and off by simply tapping any part of the fixture, or go touchless with a motion sensor that activates the faucet.
Comfort-height seats are about 18 to 19 inches from the floor which makes them easier for an older person to use. Be sure to leave at least 18 inches on either side of the toilet from walls, doors, showers, or vanities to allow ample room for accessibility.
The entrance to your bathroom and even your walk-in closets should be at least 36 inches wide. Be sure to change round doorknobs to lever designs. And for overall maneuverability, the bathroom should be designed with a minimum of 60-inch turning radius.
There are countless options in creating a universal bathroom that is as beautiful as it is functional. For advice on how to create your ideal space for Aging In Place, contact the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists at Hatchett Design Remodel.