Special Needs Bathrooms Are Getting Better
For a long time British bathrooms were strictly utilitarian and built in a "one size fits all" fashion. This did not pose a problem for much of the population but for others, the "standard" bathroom was something of a nightmare. People with special needs often have a hard time in bathrooms built for "normal" people.
Bathroom designers and builders understand that people with special needs have different requirements than those who do not. They design bathrooms specifically for people with special needs. These designers understand that people with special needs require bathroom fixtures that can hold a person's body weight. They understand that things need to be higher or lower and more accommodating than bathrooms that are built form before function.
Usually a bathroom that is constructed for a client with special needs will feature a stand alone sink, a toilet that has a wider seat and is either higher than usual or lower than usual (depending on the client's needs) to accommodate people who are shorter or people who have trouble bending or people who need to transfer from a wheel chair to the toilet (or another fixture).
Usually the shower stall in a bathroom that has been built for people with special needs will have a seat or bench installed that can be removed if necessary. If the bathroom features a bath tub, that bathtub usually has jets to help massage the client's muscles. The tub is either raised up off of the floor to accommodate people with trouble bending or lower and into the floor for those who are shorter or need more space.
A bathroom that has been designed for someone who has special needs will often have quite a few extra support beams built in around the room. These beams usually look like bars and are bolted into the walls surrounding the sink, the shower and/or tub, and the toilet. These beams are installed to help a person with special needs manoeuvre from one part of the bathroom to another and to support them as they transfer from any chairs or crutches to the different areas of the bathroom that the person needs to use.
Designing a bathroom for special needs people often poses a challenge because contractors want to accommodate the needs of their clients but they also realize that the client has regular contact with people who do not have special needs. Designing a bathroom that works just as well for people with special needs as those without can be difficult.
When designing these bathrooms it is important to remember that, before form is function. The bathroom needs to be able to support someone who might not get around so well or be very good at holding themselves up. Softer corners are ideal, as is easy to reach support. Look for elements designed to hold weight. Once these elements are in place, creating a beautiful design should be easy!
This page has been written with contributions from experienced heating engineers from Essex and plumbing and heating engineers from Epsom. Several of the company's experienced plumbers from Northamptonshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our heating engineers from Mill Hill and our Barnes qualified plumbers.
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