How to Design a Bathroom for Accessibility

Designing an accessible bathroom involves many decisions. Some of the key considerations when creating one include:

An accessible bathroom should provide ample space around each fixture, including room for a toilet. Light switches should also be lowered with lever handles that make gripping easier or turning easier.


Bathroom layout is a key factor when designing a handicapped wheelchair-accessible space. American Disabilities Act guidelines call for at least a 30″x48″ clear area between each plumbing fixture and mobility device to allow room to turn and turn around easily. A doorway should also be widened to facilitate wheelchair access with lever-style handles rather than doorknobs easier for wheelchair users to use; additionally lowered sinks and low storage options help declutter floorplans more effectively while making storage more convenient for individuals who cannot reach higher spaces by providing lower storage solutions than higher places!

A walk-in shower without an overly high or shallow curb is more practical and safer for people with limited mobility than a traditional tub, which requires them to step in or out. These kits come prefabricated with everything needed – pan and drain, bench seat, and wall-mounted support bars. You can even create the effect of a wet room by pairing it with vinyl flooring that doesn’t slip.


For optimal safety and ease of use, bathrooms must be properly illuminated throughout. Light switches must be low enough for both standing and sitting users to easily reach, with large rocker switches being easier to operate; new lighting products now offer motion sensors or voice-controlled features as an added convenience.

Mirrors should be installed at a height that allows someone in a wheelchair to use them easily, and tilted so as to better view the area around the sink.

If you are designing or renovating your bathroom, accessibility features should be top of mind from the outset of the project. Installing them when initially constructed will be less expensive than making modifications later and can take advantage of grants available for access improvements. Installing grab bars to the tub, shower, toilet, and sink will help ensure that it complies with ADA compliance; there are many stylish options that blend into the overall design of the room!


Bathrooms can be dangerous environments for those with limited mobility; luckily, with thoughtful modifications, they can also become stylish and relaxing spaces.

Consider replacing your tub with a walk-in shower to make bathing safer and easier, ensuring it has sufficient space for wheelchair maneuverability and is accessible without curbs preventing direct wheeling of a wheelchair. Plan for flat, curbless entryways so the wheelchair can access without stopping halfway into space.

Lighting is an integral element of safety. Install light switches low enough for wheelchair users to reach, as well as dimmers or motion sensor lights with individual options for increased brightness or softening based on individual needs.

Lever handles are easier for those with limited hand strength to open, and lower thresholds reduce falls and injury risks. Install lower shelves to store products within reach and use pull-out drawers or shelving to reduce reaching overhead – these features will declutter your space while giving easy access to items like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, toiletries, and first aid supplies.


Many homeowners plan to make their bathrooms more accessible for themselves or future residents. Modifications may be made during a remodel or as part of a new home build project; adding accessibility features during construction is much simpler than retrofitting at later dates.

One of the first modifications that many consider is adding grab bars to their tub, shower, and/or toilet area. Grab bars are invaluable in aiding mobility or providing support if one falls while in the bathroom; additionally, they could become increasingly useful if their condition worsens over time.

Walk-in showers or wet room designs have also become increasingly popular with homeowners, as they provide both safety and a modern minimalistic style that’s easier for wheelchair users to navigate. Furthermore, adding an additional bidet may help increase hygiene while simultaneously supporting independence.