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Safe & Functional?
What to check for when purchasing products for your bathroom adaptations

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Showering Vs Bathing?
Why choose a shower instead of a bath...

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Accessible Bathrooms - Tips & Guidance

What are the requirements for adapting a bathroom for an elderly or less able person?

  • Ideally the bathroom should be light and spacious to allow for easy movement and manoeuvrability.

  • A level or low level access shower is preferable to a walk-in bath. Both the floor and the surface of the tray should have an anti-slip surface to avoid accidental slipping. If you are a wheelchair user you will need a tray dimension that will allow you to manoeuvre without difficulty.

  • If the tray cannot be installed as complete level access (0mm) a ramp should be used as an accessory for the tray; do not forget that the ramp must also feature an anti slip surface.

  • The choice of shower doors is key to making your bathroom accessible, you should always choose half height doors, they allow a care giver or family member to assist while showering without getting wet. If such assistance is not required, for example in the event that other family members are using the shower, then the curtains can be closed to make up for difference in door height.

  • Choose shower doors that look aesthetically pleasing, a non institutional looking shower enclosure will feel more homely. Suppliers should be able to manufacture both standard door measurements as well as non standard that will meet your individual requirements.

  • We advise the height of specialist doors to be about 800mm, this not too high for accepting assistance and not too short. Polycarbonate panels for shower doors offer the best quality, safety, resistance and strength over any other material. The Shower and taps should be ergonomic and easy to reach and use.

  • Grab rails need to be fitted to assist you and to provide you with security and confidence. Ideally choose stainless steel over plastic grab rails not only for the aesthetics but also for the greater weight capacity and longevity of stainless steel.

  • When possible choose contrasting colours for accessories if you have visual difficulties.

  • A wash hand basin that allows for easy access in wheelchair should have a minimum height of 700mm.

  • The WC seat should be fitted between 450mm and 470mm high to facilitate a smooth transfer (from a wheelchair to the WC and vice versa).

  • Accessories such as towel rails or mirrors need to be fitted at a adequate height so that they can be used by a person in a wheelchair.

What should I check for when purchasing accessible bathroom equipment?

First ensure your installer has experience in accessible bathrooms. The following checklist may be useful when choosing and purchasing your accessible bathroom equipment from a supplier:

Tick CE Mark - Check to see whether the product has a CE mark, this mark indicates that the product has been tested and complies with European standards of conformity. Look for EN14527 for shower trays and EN14428 for shower doors.

Tick Warranties - Does the product come with a warranty? If so, does the product have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects?

Tick Antibacterial - Does the product have an antibacterial option? For safety please ensure that you choose a door that has lifetime antibacterial protection in the plastic parts such as handles and on any white door metal surfaces. Accessible trays may feature lifetime antibacterial protection to protect against bacterial growth, mould and mildew.

Tick Polycarbonate or safety glass - Polycarbonate is the strongest and highest quality material of all. If you choose glass please ensure for safety reasons that you choose a door that features safety glass. Do the shower doors have polycarbonate or safety glass panels and have they been tested? Shower doors with safety glass check the glass for EN12600 mark.

Tick Recyclability - Are the products recyclable? Buying environmentally friendly products helps to reduce waste and tells manufacturers that consumers care about the way products are made.

Tick ISO 9001 - Only choose a manufacturer with ISO9001 system certification. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) sets requirements to an organisations' quality management system and provides a set of requirements for your supplier to consistently provide goods that meet your needs and expectations and comply with applicable regulations.

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