One of the most important fixtures in a bathroom is a toilet. No one gives a whole lot of consideration to a toilet. Most people walk into a plumbing supply store or home improvement store, look at its and choose a color they would like to coordinate with the bathroom or maybe your only consideration is water conservation. Other than that, it is a toilet, what is there to really think about. The answer is a lot especially if you or someone you love is in a wheelchair.
Wheelchair accessible toilets are an important part of the design plan of a handicap accessible bathroom. Just because the bathroom is wheelchair accessible, it does not mean there will be a trade off between style and functionality. Manufacturers have come a long way in recognizing that consumers want high style along with accessibility and functionality. For best safety practices choose ADA approved toilets.
Choosing an Accessible Toilet
Choose a tall toilet also known as a high rise toilet. A high-rise-toilet is taller than standard toilets to allow for ease of transfer from a wheelchair onto it seat. it seat and wheelchair seat are both very close in height, which makes for an easy move from chair to toilet. It takes much of the stress out of using the bathroom, something many of us never consider.
Toilet Heights and Sizes
When choosing a high-rise-toilet make sure the height from the floor to it seat is 20 inches tall. Some toilet manufacturers may claim their toilets are wheelchair or handicap accessible, but the truth is unless they follow the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act known as the ADA, it is not to be considered handicapped or wheelchair accessible. Choose ADA approved toilets from reputable retailers.
Another accessibility consideration is the mounted of a grab-bar. A grab-bar securely fastened to the wall directly next to it and extending past it in both directions is a necessity. The ADA also prescribes guidelines for grab-bar height, these rules should be followed exactly. The ADA has done a lot of research in regards to heights, sizing and particular products. Position a grab-bar next to it at 33 inches for safety and convenience. Secure the grab-bar through the wall into the wall studs for maximum safety and holding power. grab-bars installed into sheetrock will not hold, as sheetrock does not have the strength to stand up to the pulling and support require by those with disablities or physical challenges. Never use grab-bars that toggle mount or stick to the wall with adhesives. They do not provide the require strength for the grab-bar to be safe. Pulling on a grab-bar to transfer from the chair to it and having the grab-bar pull out of the wall can lead to a serious injury.
Americans with Disabilities Act Approval
Always check with the ADA for further guidelines, tips and rules.
Buy only ADA approved toilets and grab-bars.
Only buy from ADA approved retailers. Do not allow a non-ADA retailer talk you into purchasing a product that has not been specifically designed and manufactured for wheelchair accessibility.
Using toilets and grab-bars that have not been approved by the ADA will jeopardize the safety of the person you are looking to assist. Safet should always be the first consideration when choosing a toilet and grab-bars for an accessible bathroom.