We receive a lot of inquiries about remodeling home bathrooms to meet ADA guidelines. What is ADA? Simply put, “The Americans with Disabilities Act is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life.” This requires public and commercial spaces to follow set guidelines for universal access. No one’s required to follow ADA in their home, but it’s a great place to start. Creating a fully ADA compliant bathroom can be costly and may require major restructuring, so it’s better to pick and choose what will work for you.
Why Follow ADA Guidelines?
If you’re already looking to remodel your bathroom, investing a little more in accessibility can go a long way. It can add resale value, accommodate for your future needs, and you’ll have a space that anyone can use no matter their age or abilities. There is never a downside to increasing accessibility.
If your remodel is going to last the next 10-20 years it is worth considering how your needs may shift. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also be able to incorporate features into the overall design rather than tacking them on later. Sturdy, anchored grab bars are an easy addition that can act as a temporary towel rack. A shower seat can be a place for your soaps and shampoos. Your needs can change without warning, and it’s always better to be prepared.
Design In Mind
Accessibility does not mean sacrificing style. Curbless showers are an elegant solution for an open and seamless design that removes tub ledges to climb over. They are highly customizable with any choice of tile, glass doors or no doors, and linear drains that blend right in. Helpful features don’t have to stand out, like opting for touch faucets that don’t require using handles.
Customize It To Your Needs
ADA is designed as a one size fits all solution, but a bathroom you’re using every day requires the perfect fit for you. Most ADA guidelines are set measurements for the height and orientation of fixtures and surfaces that might not feel comfortable for you. ADA requires moving cabinets off the ground, and that gives you an opportunity to rethink where you want your storage.
You can achieve universal accessibility without uniformity by creating options. Having two different counter heights allow for pulling up wheelchairs as well as a child who needs to wash their hands. A showerhead on a slide bar is a simple solution for those of different heights to have equal access. Washlet toilet seats can be a life changer for those with limited motor functions and gives everyone the option for that deep clean.