New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Showers

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

Accessible, Universal and Ageless Homes with Wheelchair Showers:

As more families decide to build multigenerational homes - with floor plans designed to accommodate extended-stay guests - we're seeing a strong increase in requests for home plans that integrate wheelchair accessible spaces.

When balancing the needs of multiple generations, bathrooms are one of first spaces you'll want to add accessible design components to. 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers

Wheechair Accessible Bathroom Features:

Accessible baths come in all shapes and sizes, with a range of features designed to suite your exact needs. Some features are required, while others are optional benefits you'll want to consider when bulding a custom home. 

Take a look at the wheelchair accessible guidelines in Raleigh custom homes, and see how easily they can blend in: 

1. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Guideline #1: 5'x5' turning radius inside the shower

A full 5x5 turning radius inside the shower enables a mobile device such as a wheelchair to turn around within the space, for ease of use. Here's an example:

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers

In this photo, grab bars are positioned along the tile walls. A hand-held shower head supplements a rain shower head.   

2. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Guideline #2: Attached or detached shower seat or bench

A universal design shower seat can be constructed of wood, plastic, or metal, with cushion, plastic, or wood seats.

A fold down shower seat attached to the wall of the accessible shower can come in different widths and lengths for comfort. Most seats are either 18" or 23" in width.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers


A built-in shower seat or bench (like the one pictured here) can be a great accessory even in a standard shower, particularly with aging in place (or ageless home design) in mind.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers

3. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Guideline #3: Hand held shower head

A hand held shower head can be much easier to use than a standard shower head.  There are many different varieties of shower heads to match different styles and budgets. Hand held shower heads and glide bars can be found in chrome, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, and other finishes.

A yoga glide bar allows the shower held to be held in place at adjustable heights. The showerhead can also be removed from the glide bar and used by hand.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers

This master bathroom - from a version of The Judson - a corner bench offers a planned transfer space from the wheelchair or other vehicle to a built-in shower seat.

Beyond the tile shower, you can get a glimpse of a handicap accessible bathroom vanity. To allow roll-under space, the vanity cabinets are located on the counter top, still within easy reach.

4. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Guideline #4: Grab bars

Shower grab bars can be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on the specific needs and requirements. Often, you may see a combination of vertical and horizontal bars (horizonal along the walls, and vertical near the shower head). 

Grab bars should always support at least 250 pounds of weight.  The diameter of a grab bar should be 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.

In order for grab bars to provide correct support, they should be installed into studs and not unsupported walls. 

If you're building a universal design or wheelchair accessible home, make sure your custom home builder provides additional blocking and framing in the shower and bath area to support any necessary grab bars.  Even if you're planning to install grab bars later, this will allow easy future installation. 

Grab bars can be white, chrome, brightly colored, or finished in alternate finishes, depending on taste and budget.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom | Accessible Showers

In this master bathroom - from a version of The Firebird - you'll find an example of universal design door hardware. Instead of door knobs, which require greater hand strength and the ability to grasp and twist, this closet features "sliding closet door pulls." 

Here are some examples of recently completed Raleigh custom homes with mobile device accessible bathrooms:

How To Build a Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom:

Click here for a Houzz Photo Gallery of wheelchair accessible showers

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.

Tell us what new home features you're looking for, to get started on your North Carolina custom home.


Tags: accessible builders, Wheelchair Accessible Home Builders, accessible home requirements, accessible shower, Accessible Home Builders