Help to modify plan to make bathroom handicap usable

Central79November 17, 2012

New Construction. Foundation has been built so we cannot change the Tub that protrudes (see picture). We are thinking of moving internal wall(counter,sinks and toilet) into bedroom 4. Bedroom 4 would be narrower and bathroom 3 would be wider and tub would stay in place. Window in Bedroom 4 would have to be moved.

Any help and ideas to make bathroom 3 handicap usable and accessible so someone in a wheel chair could use the toilet without difficulties or impediments, would be very apprecdiated!


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You have 5 ft-8 inches width, so you'd only need perhaps one foot push back. Then you could do wall-hung vanity such that knees can go under it, making it easier to turn a wheelchair. You could remove small wall next to toilet and add a drop down bar -- altho' that may not be the side that the user needs. If it isn't, you could probably add one on the right side of toilet as well.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Thanks mjlb!

Do you have any pics or links to show an example of a drop down bar?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Here is a picture of a change I drew to widen the bathroom. I like the idea of replacing cabinets with wall hung vanities and thus I would only have to move the wall about 1 ft. into Bedroom 4 and not as much as I have drawn. However, we are still not sure if we want to loose the storage space.

Any suggestions for modifying these plans further?

Any other suggestions about the toilet and handrail placement?
Is the toilet too confined by this new space?
Thanks for any advice.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:56PM
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"Handicap usable" is very dependent on a specific individual's impairments, abilities, and needs. One person in a wheelchair might need mechanical transfer, another might be able to transfer him/herself to a toilet. Likewise, one person might be able to use a shower transfer bench over a high tub lip; another might need a roll-in shower or (again) mechanical transfer assistance.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Is this for a specific person and a disability or for a possible future disability? In other words, do you know how the person will transfer from the wheelchair to the toilet and how they would use the tub?

Unless you eliminate one of the lavs, diagonal or side transfer to the toilet doesn't appear possible although front transfer might be.

For side transfer the dimension from the center of the toilet to the edge of the lav should be a minimum of 42".

Making the room width 7-3 doesn't do much for access to the toilet but it does make the tub more accessible. However, it is unlikely that the tub could be used without assistance so a shower might be better.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:01AM
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If you used the tub space for a shower, that would solve some of your radius issues needed for a wheelchair and/or transfer. Also if you use a wall mounted sink rather than a vanity.

Actually, even as a non-accessible bathroom I think it's too tight for a double vanity--although technically you have the room for it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:02AM
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    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Thank you Renovator8 !!

This is wonderful!! Thank you so much for the redrawn plan and the exact details.
We are very appreciative, you have been a tremendous help.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:34PM
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The only thing I would change above is to make the door 36".

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:26PM
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The kind of motorized chairs that are now used in private homes need no more than a 32" door but to accommodate a wider conventional wheelchair offset (hospital type) hinges will add about 1.5" to the clear opening or you can use a 36' door but you will need a bit more room on the swing side.

I didn't know how the plumbing will run in the house so I left the shower wall as a chase. It might be better to make the wall of the bathroom a 2x6 stud wall and put the plumbing stack in it behind the toilet. I also don't know if the climate is warm enough for pipes in an outside wall.

I would avoid having a second door to the bathroom because one door is usually unintentionally left locked most of the time.

I would also delete the window at the shower because the sill would be too high for a seated person to see over and it becomes a maintenance issue if it is too low in a shower.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:39PM
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