When planning a bathroom renovation for an in-law suite or to accommodate changes in your own accessibility, a safe, usable space doesn’t have to be sterile looking. That’s what grabbed our attention in this featured bathroom design. With a few modifications, this space could easily be transformed into a dream getaway that meets accessibility needs.
A specialized project like this goes without saying that taking into consideration the unique abilities of those using this space will require research and consultation; however, here are our top 7 essential tips to keep in mind when designing your dream accessible bathroom.
#1 – A Barrier-Free Shower
For those with limited mobility or who use a wheelchair, a tub and shower combination may not be an option. A barrier-free, curbless wheel-in shower is the best design to accommodate as many people as possible. The shower entry should be at least 36” wide for someone using a transfer seat and 60” wide for someone using a wheelchair.
The shower floor should be level with the ground then slope down towards the drain. If you’re redoing plumbing or building a new space, design the shower floor so that the drain is located to the side where it will not be stood on or wheeled over.
To ensure water stays in the shower area, a water dam (a flexible rubber product) can be fixed to the floor at the entrance to the shower to keep water in while easily flattening when stepped on or wheeled over. Instead of a shower curtain, installing glass walls keeps water in and also lets in more light for increased safety.
#2 – Non-Slip Flooring
Use non-slip flooring such as a textured tile and avoid gloss finishes. We love these penny style ceramic tiles from Olympia Tile + Stone. These hexagonal
tiles are available in a matte finish and snow white colour, and they can easily be installed for a smooth transition between the bathroom and shower floors.
Since we’re talking about the shower space and tiling, we love the look of the horizontal tiles in this featured look. Going with a white, high-gloss tile keeps the space feeling light and clean. Look for a tile like this Chess Series in Biscuit from Olympia Tile + Stone.
#3 – Safety Bars & Accessories
In addition to installing safety grab or lift bars, you may want to install a fixed shower seat (height should be 17”–19”). We love this teak folding shower seat from Moen Home Care. The teak’s natural look and feel helps this space feel more like a spa while providing a safe place to rest.
#4 – Accessible Shower Heads & Faucets
To help prevent slips and falls, install shower controls where the operator can reach them without getting wet. For a truly luxurious accessory, this smart shower outlet by U by Moen allows you to control the shower with your voice and to even set it to a specific temperature.
To add style, look for a trendy gold finished shower head like this brushed gold, one-function spray head from Moen.
At minimum, you can install anti-scald mixing valves to maintain a safe water temperature and volume. Also, consider adding a handheld showerhead that can be easily reached while seated, using at least a 60” hose. We really like this handheld shower from Moen’s Home Care Shower Bath Safety collection.
An accessible vanity will vary depending on whether the user is in a wheelchair, uses a walker, or has greater mobility. For wheelchair users, install a sink mounted to the wall with no cabinet underneath (34” maximum height with a 27” clearance for knees when approached from the front).
A sturdy vanity can be used as support for someone to grab onto to maneuver when a grab bar is not within reach; it also provides storage to safely store products.
Rock Solid is a Canadian company based in Barrie, Ontario, that focuses on quality products, so we love to support them when we can. Rock Solid’s Stonewood bath cabinets are always a popular choice among our designers.
To Create This Look, we’d recommend going with their v-groove shaker door style in navy grey. The shaker-style door features a flat centre panel and square edges with minimal detailing and profile. The colour and the style are simple, clean, and sure to stay in style for years.
#6 – Friendly Faucets
Brushed gold accessories continue to impress in bathroom design styles. When thinking of mobile-friendly faucets, single-handle faucets can be easily turned on and adjusted without having to grab or twist. Keeping the gold-brushed theme going, these bathroom faucets from Moen are stylish and easy to use.
#7 – Bathroom Lighting
Good lighting is important. Use as much natural light as possible; however, if you’re building an inlaw suite in the basement or updating an existing bathroom with little to no natural light, plan to install appropriate lighting to avoid any shadows and create even light.
Don’t forget about the shower! The glass wall mentioned earlier helps bring more light into the shower, or you could install ceiling pot lights (be sure to talk to a Project Expert to select a style designed for wet spaces like the bathroom shower).
Here are some suggestions for new light fixtures that can work in a design style that brings in hints of the brushed metallic finish. The circular shape of the ceiling flush mounts is a nice balance between the hexagonal floor tiles and the rectangular shower tiles. We love the look of this horizontal Eglo light for over the bathroom vanity.
If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, remember to consider who’s using the space. Whether it’s the in-laws or even planning for your own ease of use down the road, there are a lot of benefits to doing your research beforehand.
Create This Look
Love what you see here? Bring in this shopping list and our professional Project Experts will help you special order the materials you need to Create This Look.
- Rock Solid’s Stonewood Bath Cabinets – Bath vanity, v-groove shaker in navy grey
- Rock Solid’s Stonewood stone vanity countertop
- Ceiling light fixtures – Canarm RIVER semi-flush mount or the Canarm ODESSA flush mount
- Over the mirror light fixture – Eglo TOMERO wall light
- Penny style ceramic tiles – Olympia Tile + Stone, Ontario Series, Hexagon Matte (colour: Snow White Hexagon)
- Wall tiles – Olympia Tile + Stone Chess Series (colour: Biscuit) 7.5cm x 15cm (3” x 6”)
- U by Moen Smart Shower (Model: TS3302TB)
- Moen Brushed Gold One-Function Spray Head Eco-Performance Showerhead
- Moen Home Care Chrome Handheld Shower Bath Safety Accessory (Model: DN8001CH)
- Moen Flara brushed gold two-handle high arc bathroom faucet or Moen Flara brushed gold one-handle high arc bathroom faucet
- Moen Home Care Teak Folding Shower Seat