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Accessible Bathrooms

Part 4

Space & Layout:

Accessible bathroom design, not only incorporates consideration for items such as fixtures, vanities with knee room and grab bars, it requires consideration for maneuverability.

Keys to the successful design and construction of an accessible bathroom:

Items for assisted mobility such as wheelchairs and walkers require turning and maneuvering space.

To allow someone who requires wheelchair or walker to conveniently place themselves in front of and into all bathroom fixtures you must have an unobstructed area of 30 inches (750 mm) by 48 inches (1200 mm), as shown in Figures 15 and 16, for a 2-piece bathroom.

Using a pocket door, rather than a standard swinging door can add a substantial amount of maneuvering room to a small bathroom, as shown in Figures 15 and 16.

Additional information on pocket doors.

accessible bathroom
Figure 15 - Accessible 2-piece bathroom
accessible bathroom
Figure 16 - Accessible 2-piece bathroom

Three piece bathrooms require more maneuvering space than a 2-piece bathroom.

When designing a 3-piece bathroom there should be a clear unobstructed area that is a minimum of 5 feet in diameter, as shown in Figure 17. To accommodate power wheelchairs or electric scooters, additional maneuverability is required and the free unobstructed area should be a minimum of 6 feet in diameter.

Note: that if the door opened inward, a substantial amount of the maneuvering space would be lost.

accessible 3-piece bathroom
Figure 17 - Accessible 3-piece bathroom

No matter how many fixtures may be in the bathroom it is important that the maneuvering space is there to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

Depicted in Figure 18 is a bathroom with a large bathtub, walk-in shower, toilet, double basin vanity and a storage cabinet. Sufficient unobstructed maneuvering space has been left between all fixtures in order to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

accessible 4-piece bathroom
Figure 18 - Accessible 4-piece bathroom