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Easy access bathroom help needed - small space

(13 Posts)
katymac Mon 13-Nov-17 10:51:41

Next year I am creating a new bathroom downstairs so I can remain in the house once I am older, so I'd like it to be easy access/safe etc

I will be using an architect or designer; but I'd like some ideas to take into the discussion with me

The sensible thing would be to have a wet room, but I hate showers so I am wondering about those short deep baths or a bath with a door? Or maybe doing a wetroom and have the bath fitted over the wetroom floor so when I can't do baths any more I can remove it?

I know it's taking future proofing quite seriously but I already struggle with stairs some days & our bedroom is already downstairs so a 2nd bathroom down here would be fab anyway - but I think it should lean towards the accessible

Any helpful hints or tips?

PigletJohn Mon 13-Nov-17 11:21:47

the time may come when you are unable to get in and out of the bath. I'd suggest you have a folding seat fixed to the wall near the shower. Position the shower knob and hose on the long wall so you can reach it from the seat. The seat is best fixed to a brick wall, not a plasterboard one.

Eventually you may be unable to lift your legs to climb over the side of the bath.

Put in at least one grab rail. If you put them in horizontally, you can use them as towel rails and they will not look weird. I recently got some that are a good match for the towel rails in the same room, had I known in advance that they look OK, I might have suggested grab rails instead of towel rails all round, and they were not expensive (polished stainless is a close match for chrome). I'd say you need one at each end of the bath, and one along the long side. If they are at waist height you will not bang your arms on them when soaping yourself at the shower.

The rails should go into a brick wall, or onto the studs if plasterboard. Plot it before any tiling as the studs may need reinforcement or an extra-strong noggin.

You will also need rails beside the WC, which should preferably be straight in front of the door. A door that opens out is preferable, and the lock should be one with a knob on the inside, and an emergency snib or turnbutton on the outside.

example towel rail

example grab rail It is thicker.

There is a leaflet on designing bathrooms for the disabled, but I don't know a link.

Local plumbers are likely to be familiar with things like grabrails because they are very widely used now.

RB68 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:26:21

The sitting baths are I think known as japanese baths. I have used them in hospital when pregnant - main issue was waiting for it to empty before opening door = getting cold to be honest. What has worked for MIL at 86 is a shallow bath with some supported steps up - you can get them specially for access so they are wide, shallow and have none slip surface.

All of it is fugly though. Personally put the bath in and put the money aside to put wet room later when you really need it. Get a bath you can sit on the edge of a swing legs in, and has good holds at the side.

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 11:44:30

Those special disables seated baths with a door get a really bad rep - takes ages to fill (with you sitting there) and ages to empty (with you sitting there) so you get cold.

Like PJ says, a seat in a shower wet room would be better.

Or maybe doing a wetroom and have the bath fitted over the wetroom floor so when I can't do baths any more I can remove it?

I woudl do this - get a shallow bath, with a decent side you can sit on and handles.

katymac Mon 13-Nov-17 11:52:19

Thanks for all the info - it's (hopefully) a good few years off yet but I'd rather get stuff in place as all too often I have seen older people get stubborn and refuse to upgrade/change when they actually need to.

So those sit bath with the door are flawed then - good to know

Like the idea of stinless steel grab rails/towel rails - great idea (thanks for the tips about plasterboard/reinforcing)

Bubblysqueak Mon 13-Nov-17 11:58:05

If you're looking for something that looks pretty as well as being accessible, watching diy sos on iPlayer might give you some inspiration. As they have found some greatbsolutions for accessible bathrooms for a variety of needs.

katymac Mon 13-Nov-17 12:08:55

Oh good idea thanks - iPlayer here I come!

katymac Mon 13-Nov-17 15:22:47

Aaarrrgghh only one episode on iPlayer - damn!!

YouTube here I come

Bubblysqueak Mon 13-Nov-17 15:56:56

I've seen really nice towel rails which are also grab rails and gorgeous sinks which also have inbuilt grab rails.

PigletJohn Mon 13-Nov-17 17:36:33

and baths with grips are fairly common

IckyPop Mon 13-Nov-17 17:54:23

Can I suggest getting in touch with your local council and speak to the occupational therapy dept (if it still exists )for some advice? The OTs are experts in bathroom adaptations and equipment and should be able to advise what to avoid etc even if you’re not asking them to do an adaptation.

Main things to avoid is those expensive door baths. Although access is easier remember you will have to sit in it while it fills, and drains- not so great esp in cold weather! Also if you want a shower go for no tray; even small lips are hazardous for those with mobility issues. You will need someone who knows their stuff to ensure enough space, room to manoeuvre etc.

PigletJohn Mon 13-Nov-17 19:43:34

here's one

katymac Mon 13-Nov-17 20:06:36

Thanks - that makes for interesting reading

I know an OT so I may ask her for some input - she is a good friend

I've never been a fan of acrylic baths - so pressed steel here we come!!

I think a good solid bath with wide edges and reinforced wall for grab rails or attaching equipment & the idea that if the time comes the bath goes & the shower is left behind in a so careful spacing for the toilet

This has really focused the mind - thanks all

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