If you are looking to create an accessible bathroom within your home, it does not mean you need to compromise on style.
Any successful bathroom design, whether a standard configuration or space suitable for a wheelchair user, should blend aesthetics, comfort and functionality.
There is absolutely no reason a disabled bathroom design needs to be boring, bland or clinical!
Disabled Bathroom Design from Instagram
#1 Concealed wet room grab rails
Sometimes we need a bit of extra help in the bathroom. With clever bathroom design, this can easily be hidden. This beautiful bathroom with minimalist design from @brinnietdesign has hidden support grab bars. These are located next to the toilet and the shower rail. In the gorgeous walk-in shower is also a hidden grab rail.
The clean lines and open plan layout would make this bathroom design perfect for many wheelchair users. Most accessible bathroom companies can help advise on the best position for grab rail locations.
#2 Half Height Shower Enclosure
A half-height shower enclosure can make assisted bathing easier, for both wheelchair users and their careers/family members. This bathroom which was installed by @tsheatingandbathrooms, features a large low profile shower tray, with non-slip flooring.
The half-height shower door means that the person who is assisting with bathing can get easy access to help. Yet they’ll remain dry due to the lower half screens. It is a great option to consider in an accessible bathroom design if you are a wheelchair user who requires assisted bathing.
#3 Roll under bathroom vanity unit
A roll-under bathroom vanity unit is a wall-hung bathroom sink which has no cupboard underneath. This allows wheelchair users to roll their chairs underneath the vanity unit for greater accessibility. Being able to position your wheelchair in this way, gives easy access to the sink, and prevents you from having to overstretch. Take encouragement from this bathroom design from @delphinebouvetinteriors with Algerian desert inspiration. Proving that accessible bathrooms don’t need to sacrifice style, and can include a luxurious colour scheme. They don’t have to be just plain white tiles!
#4 Shower seats
Shower seats are an ideal option if you’re looking to maintain independent living, but find yourself unsteady on your feet, or have limited mobility. A shower seat, built into your walk-in shower, will provide you with a safe place to rest or sit. With an overhead shower or handheld shower head alongside the shower seat, it is a great accessible bathroom feature.
A level access shower tray with non-slip flooring and grab bars complete this bathroom design by @bathroomsfortomorrow. The bathroom is completed with beautiful blush paint, for a modern, feminine, stylish finish.
#5 Accessible Wet Rooms even in Small Bathroom Spaces
When you are looking for bathroom design ideas online, you’ll often see large luxurious bathrooms. However, don’t let this stop you, even when you have limited space, you can still create a stylish wet room bathroom, designed with accessibility in mind. This bathroom from @kncosabaap is a stylish example of a wet room bathroom created in a small space. It has a full range of accessible features, providing you with all the things you would expect from an accessible bathroom.
Key features of this bathroom include a centrally located toilet, which means it can be used with a shower chair. The sink unit is slimline to allow a wheelchair to pass it. The whole of the bathroom floor space is wet room flooring. The design also includes a fold-away shower chair, which can be tucked away when not required, for extra floor space.
#6 Ultra-Luxurious Spa Style Walk-in Baths
If you are disabled or have other mobility issues, many people will opt for wet rooms or disabled showers to provide accessible bathing facilities. However, if you love nothing more than a long soak in the tub, a shower cubicle may not be a compromise you’re willing to make. A walk-in bath like @bath_solutions_etc can create a luxurious spa-like experience, in your bathroom.
Walk-in baths have a door built into the front wall, with a low threshold to step through, rather than stepping over the high side of a bath.
Take a seat in the built-in seating area, fill the tub and relax. The built-in grab rail will assist with extra support. You can also get taps with built-in temperature control, to prevent accidental burns from scolding water.
The cost of a walk in bath might be a pleasant surprise.
#7 The extra support around the toilet
If your bathroom layout does not allow for it, or you do not want to make any permanent changes with grab rails attached to the walls, a toilet support rail frame could be a perfect solution. There is no need for disabled toilets to look clinical or medical. As you can see from this beautiful space which isn’t short on style created by @our_home_in_kingstone. They have linked the colour of the toilet rails with their bathroom colour scheme.
The use of plants and links to nature help create a very relaxing feel within the toilet area. All whilst expressing the owner’s style. A toilet seat frame is incredibly easy to install, the rails also provide the user with extra support for getting on and off the toilet. Another benefit to support rails similar to these is that you can get toilet grab rails built into a toilet seat. If required there are options for raised toilet seats, resulting in a comfort height toilet experience, if standard toilet heights are too low.
#8 Bidet Toilets with washing facilities
For some people, a shower toilet is a definite must-have feature. There are various options to create a bidet toilet from a standard toilet, including a bidet attachment, as pictured in this bathroom from @meetomigo. Whilst the wall decor might not be to everyone's taste, the bright pop of colour on the wall makes this space feel fun and fresh.
The bidet attachment fits underneath the existing toilet seat, to provide washing facilities after using the toilet. It's a great space-saving alternative to having a separate toilet and bidet unit. Some bidets have a remote control option. This makes it even easier to operate, as you don't need to stretch or twist for the controls.
#9 Level Access Shower Enclosures
A level access shower floor will suit a wheelchair user, or anybody with mobility issues, as there is no obstructive threshold to navigate over or trip hazard. This striking bathroom design from @meandmywheels has a single-level floor with a slight sloping shower area to control the wastewater flow. The bold black tiles in the bathroom area contrast amazingly against the white marble for a fantastic monochrome finish. Cleverly placed grab rails and a roll-under sink complete a brilliant accessible bathroom design idea.
3 Alternative Sources of Accessible Bathroom Inspiration
In addition to browsing the internet for ideas, there are other ways you can research accessible bathroom ideas and designs.
#1 Visit Accessible Bathroom Showrooms
Showrooms which have accessible showers and walk-in baths are great places to visit. Nothing beats seeing a product in person before you commit to a purchase. It can be really helpful to handle a product and to spot any potential issues you may need to overcome with your bathroom design. An example of this could be if you have arthritis or a similar condition. You may want to test whether the handle on a walk-in bath is easy to grip and hold.
If you only look at products online, you will never know if your new bath is suitable until after it has been installed. Remember there is never a "one size fits all" approach to accessible bathrooms. Every person has different needs and challenges to overcome. Being able to anticipate these issues in advance, allows you to include these adjustments in your design.
#2 Seek out design ideas in "regular" Bathroom stores
There is no reason to limit your visits to bathroom stores which only cater for accessible customers. Visiting high street stores may inspire you. You may see a design you like, that could be altered slightly and may make it accessible. Visiting showrooms will help you get a feel for the styles and finishes you like. As well as give you other design ideas. The more mainstream businesses see that there are plenty of disabled customers out there, the more products they will hopefully start offering!
#3 Exhibition and Trade Shows
There are many trade shows and exhibitions around England and Scotland that cater to accessible products and solutions to overcome a wide range of challenges that disabled people may face.
A couple of great exhibitions and trade Shows worth a mention are:
- Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions
Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions are a range of 5 events held throughout England and Scotland, so their locations are convenient for all. The event is run by Disabled Living and offers practical solutions for disabled children, adults and the elderly. The Exhibitions are free to attend and are a one-stop shop for every type of Mobility product you could require.
The image above is from Abacus Bath's Instagram, showing their exhibition stand at the Kidz to Adultz Wales & West, where they offered hands-on trials of their specialist baths, and expert advice.
- Naidex Show
Naidex is Europe's most established event for independent living and products for supporting people with disabilities. The show is huge, and will no doubt inspire you. Held in Birmingham at the NEC, it's a great central location, accessible within a few hour's drive for the majority of the UK.
- Rise 4 Disability Expo
Rise 4 Disability is another free event, great for those who live in the south as it is held in Kent. It brings together so many different experts in a wide range of fields, as well as has an "Access Your Life" area for daily living aids.