How To Design An Accessible Bathroom

Over one million of us in the UK use wheelchairs, and as the population continues to age, that figure is set to rise. Therefore, accessible bathrooms are an important aspect of home living for many people.

Designing an accessible bathroom needn't be difficult, but there are many things to consider. One of the most important things to note is that style and elegance need not be compromised in return for practicality. At PlumbNation, for instance, we have many designs and styles to make your accessible bathroom stylish and easy to use.

In this article, we will discuss how to create a plan for your accessible bathroom and what types of features you might want to consider.

Creating the accessible bathroom of your dreams

As we have mentioned, designing your own accessible bathroom isn't hard, but it takes more forward-thinking and preplanning.

The first place to start is to look at your daily routine and think about what would make your bathroom more user-friendly and welcoming.

If you are helping someone else design their own bathroom, ask them to talk you through their daily routine and encourage them to speak about what they might need in their new bathroom to make their daily life easier.

Thinking about what you require of your bathroom might take some time, but this preplanning is an important step because nothing could be worse than completing your bathroom, only to find you could have benefitted from some additions. And this happens more often than you might think.

Below, we have included some factors you will want to consider when thinking about an accessible bathroom design.


An accessible shower is a perfect option for many, from wheelchair users to the elderly. They offer a simple alternative to whole accessible shower roomsand are great for promoting independent living due to their ease of use.

There are some things to consider when deciding on a shower for an accessible bathroom:

Ease of access

Wheelchair access

One of the most obvious and important factors to consider is how accessible the shower will be. Depending on your preference, you may want to think about a level shower tray which will make getting in and out of the shower much easier.

Or you might wish to consider a wet room. These are extremely popular those the elderly and those with limited mobility because there are no steps to navigate.

If you're considering a wet room, why not discover how much a wet room costs to buy and install ?


One often overlooked consideration is the shower door. Folding doors that fold inwards can limit movement due to the space they take up inside the shower enclosure.

A wheelchair-accessible shower with a sliding door is a great option, or you might want to leave having a door altogether and instead opt for a shower curtain. A shower curtain is great for those who require help when washing, as the caregiver has more access inside the shower.


How much space you have available for an accessible shower should be high on your list of priorities. The specific dimensions of any walking aids and wheelchairs should be factored in before deciding on an accessible shower. There needs to be enough space if the user has to change their mobility aids and opt for something different.

If space is very limited, it might be a good idea to think about wet rooms that can incorporate accessible features such as a disabled toilet, a grab rail, towel rails, and a basin.

Shower grips

Support bars, also known as grab rails, are extremely useful in a shower, which can be slippery and potentially dangerous, especially when you have mobility issues. Strategically placed support bars can go a long way in promoting independent movement as well as building confidence.

This is where preplanning is once again extremely important. Consider your daily routine or the routine for whom you are designing an accessible bathroom, and think about where these grab rails would be best placed. Carefully consider the height and angle at which these bars should be placed.

Shower chair

As well as grab rails, shower seats are a must if you have difficulty standing for any length of time and are a good option for showers for wheelchair users.

A shower seat can come in many forms; some have wheels that can be used in a wet room and in many showers, while other types of shower seats can easily be folded up and put away when not in use if other people are living with you.

Handheld shower

A handheld shower can be brilliant for a wheelchair user as fixed shower heads can often cause problems due to where they are often positioned.

Thankfully, a handheld shower head can be used as an overhead shower. It is also great for those with caregivers or support staff, giving them greater flexibility and making the whole washing process much more straightforward.

Temperature controls

Digitally controlled showers are becoming big news, and it's no wonder. These digital showers ensure the perfect temperature even before you step into the shower.

Those that come with either wireless connectivity or Bluetooth technology can be installed at the other end of the bathroom, many up to as far away as 10 metres. They also can control the temperature if someone were to turn a cold tap on somewhere else in the home, which previously would not be a pleasant experience for the shower user!


Shower enclosures can be dangerous at the best of times, but they often pose more of a serious risk to those with limited mobility. A shower should feature tiles that offer grip or flooring that will help minimise the risk of slips or falls.

Shower mats are a good alternative, but the exact height should be considered if you use a wheelchair in the shower area.


Any shelves, hanging shower caddys or wall-mounted storage should always be placed at the shower's appropriate height. It's also important to ensure these are properly fixed to the wall and suitable for use in a shower due to the changes in temperature and constant moisture.

Some people prefer to fully eliminate the problem of having somewhere to store toiletries by instead installing a wash dispenser.


Walk in bath

If you would rather have a bath over a shower, there are accessible options. The best of these are those with a lower entry-level, meaning that the user will not have to go to great lengths to place themselves into the bath.

A more popular option is a walk-in bath which is easy to navigate and is a great option for those that need help getting in and out of the bath or assistance with washing.

You can opt instead for a standard bathtub. Still, it's important to check the precise dimensions to make sure that the user's accessibility tools, such as any lifts, hoists or chairs, could be accommodated. Just like with a shower, bars and anti-slip mats should be included, which will make the process of using the bath easier and safer.


Disabled bathrooms need to have an accessible design but how this is implemented depends on who is using it.

If the user also uses a wheelchair, then the toilet should be raised so that it is level with the height of the wheelchair. A grab rail should also be nearby so the user can properly and confidently manoeuvre themselves onto the toilet seat.

An accessible toilet for the elderly or others with limited mobility should incorporate comfort. But, height should also be a factor if they have discomfort when getting sitting and standing up again.



Bidets can be a great asset in accessible bathrooms, which can simplify life if mobility is an issue. Bidets can come freestanding or mounted to the wall. However, a bidet will not always be suitable for working with small spaces.

Hand Basins

The basin is the last thing to consider when thinking about a new bathroom design for a wheelchair user or someone who needs support with mobility. You may also need to opt for a wall hung basin, attached at a height the user can comfortably reach and use. A wall-mounted basin also has the advantage of not getting in the way of a wheelchair as there will be no stand.

There should also be easy access nearby for towels, so a towel rail nearby might be a good consideration.

Browse The Range At PlumbNation

At PlumbNation, we have exactly what you need to make your accessible bathroom everything you could ever want and more. Why not check out our extensive range for yourself and see the difference it could make to your daily bathroom routine.