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Q: “My husband is a wheelchair user. We have a low-threshold shower, but would like to redesign the rest of our bathroom to better accommodate – what are some suggestions to make our space more functional?”

 

A: There are a number of features that can be installed to make a bathroom more accommodating for homeowners with limited mobility. You’ve done one of them by installing a low-threshold shower. For any readers who are unfamiliar with the term, a low-threshold shower is a shower that sits at floor-level, allowing for roll-in access to the shower. With this type of shower, you may want to install multiple floor-drains to reduce spillage or flooding. You can also custom set your shower pressure and temperature nozzles at an easy-to-reach level. It might be a good idea to purchase anti-scald temperature controls for your faucets as a precaution.

To help your husband access the toilet, you can purchase one with special raised units or a raised seat. Toilet grab bars could be installed on the walls of the lavatory, making it easier to safely transfer from the toilet to the wheelchair. These days, there are many grab bars available that will match your hardware, towel bars, etc. This allows you to have the support without the cold, instustrial look.

Specialty sinks are available for wheelchair users as well. Vanity cabinets can be removed from below the sink, and the drainage system can be positioned so that the user’s legs don’t hit the plumbing when using the sink. Or if you are uneasy about having exposed plumbing, you could consider a wall-mounted sink. Wall-mounted sinks will not have exposed plumbing but they can leave you with less counter space, depending on the model you select. If you like, sink faucets can be replaced with lever controls for easier access.

It’s always nice to have ample cabinet and storage space in the bathroom. Cabinetry can be installed at a custom level for wheelchair access. This will of course hold towels, toiletry items or anything else your husband may need. I hope these suggestions give you a few ideas for improving the functionality of your master bathroom. If you still need more information, ACo would be happy help you create a customized home improvement solution.

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