The Motionspot guide: How to create an accessible bathroom or wetroom
Five Steps to creating an accessible bathroom or wetroom.
One of the most frequent questions we are asked is ‘How do I design an accessible bathroom or wetroom?’ The answer is almost always that it is personal to the needs of the main user, but there are some tips that can help shape your thinking to help ensure you achieve the stunning bathroom of your dreams!
Prioritise your needs and requirements
The first step is to consider how you want to use your bathroom and wetroom. Answering some simple questions about what level of support do you require will help to prioritise the must haves from the nice to haves… For example – Do you need to be seated in the shower? Do you need carer support? Do you have limited strength in one side of your body? An Occupational Therapist can often help with this by making suggestions on the types of support you may need in relation to your needs both now and in the future.
Getting the accessible layout right
Once you have a thorough understanding of what elements of support you may in the bathroom, the next step is thinking about how you move around the space. It’s worth thinking about how you will use the room both now and in the longer term.
Motionspot uses principles from disability design regulations (Part M and BS8300) along with input from OT’s and best practice to produce the best layout given the space available. Starting with a floor plan, we will plot the location of products form a bird’s eye point of view. Next comes the elevation plans which will look at the perfect height for each product for a side on view.
As an example, toilets set at the best height for transfer to and from a wheelchair (usually 450 – 480mm from the floor), door frames can be widened to 900mm to allow for wheelchair access, and turning circles within the centre of the room are considered to make sure that there is enough space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, or walk with an aid or carer.
Select the right bathroom and wetroom products
Selecting products for an accessible bathroom or wetroom needn’t be daunting or dull. There are hundreds of accessible products that can create stunning wetrooms and bathrooms, removing the notion of having to have a boring or clinical ‘disabled bathroom design’.
Products that are universal in design can offer the support required but without compromising aesthetics: For a sleek and contemporary look, chrome warm-touch grab bars and rails can be fitted with removable technology, they can be taken off the wall when not required and replaced with a cover plate. Stylish shower seats can be installed that can also be removed with ease if they aren’t required all of the time.
Basins with integrated hand rails can double up as towel rails to offer discreet support for ambulant users. Shower riser rails contain integrated support of up to 130kg avoid the need for lots of rails cluttering up the showering area. And bi-folding screens can offer a larger showering area but can be folded back to maximise room space when not required.
The finishing touches
Tiling can change the feeling of any room. Choosing non-slip tile which can be used within the wetroom and rest of the bathroom achieves a uniform look and removes any potential trip hazards that can occur with shower trays. If vinyl is required then there are colours and finishes that can transform the look and avoid the drab grey that is so often found in disabled toilets and bathrooms.
Underfloor heating is the perfect accompaniment to a wetroom and will help tiles to dry quickly after showering.
Wetroom shower screens with bi-folding and pivoting folding panels can help to maximise the circulation space, so ensure ease of movement around the room.
Installation of an accessible wet-room
Using a reputable installer – ideally with Trading standards approval – will make a huge difference in the time and finish of your final complete bathroom. Motionspot can provide details of installers who have previously installed Motionspot wetrooms and bathrooms and know how important it is to get the layout and product installation right.
Top tip – The time it takes to install a bathroom is often underestimated. If a bathroom needs to be stripped back to the brick or stud wall, any bathroom re-design can take up to 2-3 weeks to install. It is usually expected that minimalist design is quicker to install, but it’s often not the case as minimalist design means perfect lines, large tiles and a longer installation time. Motionspot can help with the project planning of all projects if requested.