There are more than 11 million people in the UK with a physically debilitating illness, impairment or disability – which can turn simple daily tasks into a huge struggle. Fortunately, there are adaptations you can make to a bathroom to make life easier, especially for tasks such as showering and using the washbasin. Such modifications can allow you to create a safer and more practical space that allows the disabled user to retain as much independence as possible.
If you are planning to create a wet room with a disabled user in mind, room size is one of the main things that need to be considered. Although you can fit a wetroom in just about any space, a wheelchair user will require greater room to manoeuvre than the average individual. You may need to think carefully about the fixtures within the bathroom to maximise space, including the size and positioning of the wet room fixtures.
Level Access Shower
One of the biggest differences between a wet room and a normal bathroom is the shower feature. Level access showers are perfect for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, as they eliminate the need to raise your legs off the floor to get into a bath or shower unit. Wheelchairs can be positioned under the shower with ease via the level access, or alterative support could be in the form on a fixed shower seat. This also means that the chance of slips, trips and falls is also much lower, so the individual may be able to carry out these tasks without the support of another.
Wall Hung Sink
A wall-hung sink basin is a perfect addition to a wet room – disabled users can sit down in front of it without a protruding pedestal or unit. Wall-fixed basins are stylish and can be installed at a particular height that is comfortable for the end-user, whether this is standing or sitting. There is also a possibility of the basin being fitted onto a rise and fall bracket, which can be controlled electronically or hydraulically, and be able to be adjusted for different users.
One of the most important safety features to include in a wet room designed for disability is the installation of support bars or ‘grab bars’ – they offer stability, security and safety when it comes to manoeuvring around. They should be installed around the main areas of the room, such as at the entrance of the shower, inside the shower area, next to the toilet, and next to the sink basin. Retractable ones are good for next to the toilet so it can be pulled down from the wall.
The doorway which is used to access the wetroom from the house may need to be enlarged so that it fits a wheelchair through easily without scraping the doorframe.
Anti-slip flooring is a must-have in a wet room designed for disabled people. As we all know, water can be slippy, but it’s particularly unsafe for those who are fragile or with limited mobility. Making sure that you keep users safe with the best quality flooring is important for the users and their loved ones’ peace of mind.
If you are designing a wet room for a disabled user, then you need to make sure it is suited to their ability and needs. Find out more about our wet room kits and view our range of products available.