Universal Design for Bathrooms

With the help of these clients and their families, we have learned just how important it is to be able to do the simple things in our homes – to splash cold water on one’s face, to be safe when taking a shower or bath… or just to be able to use the commode in a comfortable & safe manner. We sometimes take these simple everyday functions for granted. Yet, for some that are not prepared for this adversity, simple daily tasks can become frustrating, unsafe or near impossible, depending on the situation.

Our clients’ stories, feedback, and desire for their happiness and satisfaction has compelled us to build upon our Universal Design service offerings. The more of these specialty bathroom designs we do, the more knowledgeable and skilled we become at universal, ADA and age in place bathroom design. We encourage you to read our clients’ testimonials and stories that illustrate how a well-designed bathroom can change one’s day to day life. If you have a question about universal design or designing a bathroom around a special need or physical challenge, we encourage you to contact us.

What is universal design for bathrooms?

A universal design bathroom refers to a bathroom design that can be used by a variety of people and their needs. Universal design is the ultimate blend of aesthetic and function for those without or with special needs. In universal design, it’s important that a special needs function does not make the space unusable or uncomfortable for one without the need. This is in contrast to an ADA space that would please special needs above the lack of that need. The special functionality of a universal design can be as simple as building in certain function and ease of use for those who live with physical disabilities or limitations. A universally designed bathroom may contain some or all of the following functions including: roll in or curbless showers, special access bathtubs, easy-access shower seats, grab bars, accessible countertops, high-rise toilets, as well as the everyday accessories that we use such as cabinetry, counter tops, mirrors and storage. Universal design bathrooms do not have to be cold and institutional; they can be custom designed with warm and comfortable amenities, with style and luxury.

What is an ADA Bathroom Design (Americans with Disabilities Act)?

When viewed in context of bathroom design for either a home or business, ADA means that the bathroom contains certain amenities that are in compliance with Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. An ADA designed bathroom can contain certain items or tools for people who are mobility impaired. These items would include things like grab bars, special shower seats, special height toilets, lowered sink, countertop and mirrors that are suitable for individuals in wheelchairs. There are many, many more items that fall into this guideline but these are just a few of them. While these bathrooms must follow specific guidelines, they do not need to “look” institutional.

What is age in place bathroom design?

Age in place bathroom design is the retrofitting of a home or in this case, a bathroom, to be able to provide safety and ease of use as the inhabitants grow older and require different needs from common household elements like sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, handles, racks and storage. Age in place design also accounts for safety, making one’s home and bathroom safe and functional as we or our family members grow older in our homes. Age in place bathrooms can be built with style. They do not need to be institutional and can be custom designed to be warm and comfortable for all users.

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