previous
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
next
Pin It

The Basics of a Barrier-free Bath

Remodeler Leon A. Frechette offers tips and floor plans to help you adapt an average bathroom for accessibility in this exerpt from his book Remodeling a Bathroom, from Taunton's Build Like a Pro series.

When installing a wall-hung washbasin for a wheelchair user, insulate both water-supply lines and the drainpipe to protect the user's legs from hot temperatures and rough, hard surfaces. When installing a wall-hung washbasin for a wheelchair user, insulate both water-supply lines and the drainpipe to protect the user's legs from hot temperatures and rough, hard surfaces.

Barrier-free design accommodates people with disabilities or special needs but poses a challenge for those remodeling-mostly because special-needs people require more space.

Start with a roll-in shower that fits within the dimensions of a standard tub. Since it doesn't have a lip, there's more floor space for maneuvering a wheelchair or walker. This design can provide accessibility in an area where space is limited. A roll-in shower also provides sufficient room for a "T-turn."

For a more special-needs-friendly bathroom, install lever-type door and loop or lever-type faucet handles, low mirrors, non-skid floors, accessible toilets, and grab bars. The National Easter Seal Society, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, and the Department of Justice-regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-have more information. Consult with your local building department to ensure that the plans you design comply with the building codes in your area.

Leon Frechette has been doing remodeling work for more than 20 years. He aslo leads seminars on popular building topics at trade shows around the country. Drawings by: Mario Ferro
From BookBuild Like a Pro: Remodeling a Bathroom , pp. 15 April 1, 2004