Increasing Accessibility to Bathroom Countertops
Bathroom countertops should be accessible for all inhabitants and guests in your home. Special attention should be given especially to children and the handicapped. Before having the countertop installed, consider the following information below.
Keep the countertop built to standard height. The actual standard height varies from one source to the other. However, it is commonly set at 30 inches from the floor. This height is slightly lower than the standard height for the kitchen countertop which is at 36 inches high.
Nevertheless, the standard height is not compulsory. When deciding the height of the countertop, it is best to consider which is more comfortable for every member of the household. Taller countertops are probably best for tall people especially when there are no children in the house. However, the countertop should be relatively lower if there are children or people in wheel chairs using the bathroom.
In some households, countertops of different heights are built to ensure that everybody can gain easy access. If there are several bathrooms, it is best to have at least one designed for kids, one for adults, and probably one for the handicapped. This way, access will not become a problem for anyone.
Install Grab Bars
Installing grab bars on the walls near the bathroom countertops can help disabled people access the lavatory or the sink on the countertop. This helps seated people them stand up a bit to reach faucets and other objects placed on the countertop surface. Be careful to install grab bars only onto stable surfaces such as walls or concrete countertops. Do not attempt to install them on weak foundations like thin wood.
Remove Cabinet Bases
Improve floor space by not installing cabinet bases underneath any countertop or sink space. Cabinet bases can become a hindrance to countertop access especially for seated people. By removing or not installing the cabinet bases, the wheelchairs can be easily maneuvered inside the bathroom and thus improve overall access for everyone.
Make the Bathroom Clutter-Free
Creating a clutter-free bathroom ensures better accessibility to anything including the countertops. Most people simply leave everything on top of the countertop because there are no other choices to put them into. Therefore, it is wise to install towel rails on the walls, hooks at the back of the bathroom door, and extra shelves and cabinets for other bathroom accessories.
When every accessory in the bathroom has its own designated space, the countertop will be more likely to become clutter-free and easy to access. Keep in mind not to install too many bathroom furniture though. Keep the room as spacious as possible to ensure more room for maneuverability.
Remodel the Bathroom
This is not a compulsory option, but a good one if a member of the household has become disabled. Building a new bathroom for the handicapped is also a viable solution if there is some available space for new construction. When building the countertops, keep them as low as possible for the comfort of the handicapped. In addition, design the bathroom for enhanced maneuverability.