Accessible Bathroom Design

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A well-designed bathroom should be stylish, attractive, and convenient. A well-designed bathroom will use all bathroom fixtures, cabinets, and other accessories very efficiently and functionally. To add beauty and utility, one should always select the best flooring, countertops, tiles, etc, and install sinks, toilets, shower, and bathtub very sensibly. All these points are explained in detail below.

The best bathroom design should take care of all needs of the family and priorities should be given importance. For example – A master bathroom should have all luxuries including a soaking tub, steam shower, or even fireplace. A bathroom for kids should be easily accessible and should always be clean. One should focus on style and comfort when it comes to the bathroom for guests.

A bathroom is generally smaller than other rooms in the home and has lots of plumbing. Therefore, it is very critical to take care of special requirements like ventilation, natural light, and privacy. All these issues should be taken into account when designing a bathroom.

Bathroom Design Layouts

A bathroom is one of the most complicated parts of a home during new construction and during remodeling, unless you have ample bathroom space for obligatory bathroom components including – toilet, sink, tub /shower, and cabinet/storage. All these bathroom components can occupy most of the space leaving little space for the room’s design.

Sizes of most standard bathrooms run 5 feet by 7 feet. If you enjoy the luxury of more ample space, there is more scope for better bathroom design.

When working on bathroom design layout, the most important point to consider is about your needs and setting a priority list. To get answer to what you need in your bathroom, ask following questions to yourself and your family members:

How many people will use this bathroom simultaneously? 1 or 2? If more than one person is going to use the bathroom simultaneously then you need a double lavatory area with two sinks and mirrors, a separate shower and tub, or maybe a shower that accommodates two.

  1. Do you only take showers? If yes, you don’t need a bathtub. You may invest the money in installing multiple showerheads.
  2. Do you enjoy in a bathtub? If yes, go for a good bathtub with whirlpool jets.
  3. If the bathroom also used to apply makeup? If yes, you may need a separate vanity area with makeup storage cabinets and bright mirror with light.
  4. Do you want privacy? Install the toilet behind a closed door within the bathroom.
  5. Once you are ready with all the answers, you are ready to move to the next step.

Bathroom Design Priorities

When designing a new bathroom, it is extremely important that you have a clear idea of your priorities including: bathtub, shower, lavatory, vanity, storage, plumbing and everything else you wish to consider in your bathroom. Following elements in a bathroom need special attention:

  1. Light: light, specially natural light in the most important element for any home or bathroom. Make sure your bathroom gets ample natural light through operable windows, skylights etc for brightness and warmth. Also arrange for natural ventilation.
  2. Storage: A smart and efficient storage space in a bathroom can add to décor and convenience. Make sure there is enough storage space for essentials such as personal items, towels, toilet paper, vanity for makeup, and hair care items etc.
  3. Plumbing: Plumbing is one element in any bathroom that can decide the look and layout. Before proceeding with bathroom design, get quote / estimate from your contractor or plumber. Make a diagram of the plumbing before starting the actual work.

Smart Design for the Small Bathroom

Designing a small bathroom demands creativity. A small space is much more difficult to design because it doesn’t offer many options. However, a small bathroom of standard 5-by-7-foot can be made look larger in following ways:

  1. Set the toilet and sink along one wall of the bathroom. This will leave a clear corridor of space.
  2. Set all cabinetry off the floor. This will allow for more floor space.
  3. Choose a pedestal sink rather than a console sink. This will keep the floor space open.
  4. Set the bathtub or tub/shower combination across the width along the far wall, under a large window. This allows the eye a space-enlarging view to the outdoors.

Bathroom Accessible Design

Most accessible design is governed by federal standards that apply to public spaces. But same rules, standards and principles are also be applied to residential bathrooms. For a home, accessible design means allowing enough space for entry and movement of wheelchair, scaling sink and countertops to the appropriate height and depth to accommodate a wheelchair, and installing roll-in toilet and bathing facilities.

An accessible design bathroom offers ample space for a wheelchair. The measurement of the doorway for entry should be 32 inches wide or more. All switches for lighting, fan, and other electrical outlets should not be installed higher than 48 inches from the floor and outlets no lower than 18 inches from the floor. Sinks should be set 32 inches high and should offer enough under-counter legroom. An accessible design bathroom also includes a specialty toilet, with extended flush handles.

Bathroom Universal Design

A universal design bathroom incorporates many features of an accessible design bathroom, but focuses on an aging, rather than disabled user. Universal design is more user-friendly for everyone who uses the bathroom. Universal design principles focus on:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Easy access
  3. Adjustability
  4. Safety and stability