The Accessible Life

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Master Bath

The keys to a successful master bathroom are simplicity, space and functionality. Beginning with the roll-in shower, every function was designed accommodate someone in a wheelchair.

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Roll-in Shower + Tub

Master bath Tub + Shower

Master Bath Cabinetry

Master Bath Sink

Master Bath Sink

Air Bath

Air Bath

Roll-in Shower + Tub

  • Master bath room w/9′ ceilings
  • Ample windows above fill room with natural light
  • Whirlpool tub w/built-in transfer bench (mechanical equip. below)
  • Glass wall separates tub from roll-in shower

Master bath Tub + Shower

  • 10′ ceilings and ample natural light provides a spacious quality to the master bathroom
  • Glass room divider separates tub from shower and allows natural light to spill into the roll-in shower
  • Mechanicals for whirlpool tub are stored beneath concrete transfer bench

Master Bath Cabinetry

  • Built-in cabinetry wall separates toilet from vanity
  • Built-in shelves at end of wall provide for towel storage
  • Two cabinets below provide easy access storage and support for vanity above
  • Vanity height 31″

Master Bath Sink

  • Wall to wall cast concrete sink (with knee space below) allows easy access
  • Wall to wall mirror is easy to clean and provides illusion of larger space

Master Bath Sink

  • Cast concrete sink provides for knee space below and elbow support above
  • Horizontal flourescent light behind frosted glass above mirror combines with sunken incandescent lights in ceiling to provide favorable light when grooming

Air Bath

  • 18″ wide deck adjacent to Air Bath provides comfortable transfer area
  • Air Bath mechanical equipment is housed beneath concrete transfer deck

Air Bath

  • 18″ wide deck adjacent to Air Bath provides comfortable transfer area
  • Air Bath mechanical equipment is housed beneath concrete transfer deck and is accessible through removable square at lower left
  • Concrete half wall with glass above separates roll-in shower from tub
  • Built-in shelf along far wall accommodates plants and bath accessories

Overview

The master bath sits off the hallway between the between the bedroom and the dressing/laundry room (see floor plans). It consists of a 5’x5’ roll-in shower, an Aquatics 6‘L x 3.5’W x 2’D Serenity Air Bath, a Toto toilet, a monolithic concrete vanity with ample knee space beneath, and a built-in cabinetry wall that segregates the toilet from the bath and shower areas. My preference is using a rolling shower chair which allows me easy access to both the toilet and the roll-in shower without additional transfers or assistance by others. We installed ample grab bars around the toilet, tub and in the roll-in shower. All of which have come in handy. Remember it’s not a matter of if we fall out of our chairs, just a matter of when. Take a minute to study the bathroom floor plan and notice the 5′ diameter turning circles.

Vanity

The vanity is one long continuous cast concrete surface with open knee space beneath. On either side there are built-in cabinets beneath counter. The left side of the vanity is anchored by cabinetry and shelving (the bottom shelve extends and retract over the vanity much like a drawer). Behind the vanity is a wall to wall mirror which creates the illusion of a larger space. The faucet is from the Brizo Quiessence collection. It’s a simple modern design with a single handle control. There are two sunken canned lights and a horizontal frosted fluorescent light above the sink. Lighting for positive affect in the bathroom can be tricky so give it some thought. I recommend engaging a lighting consultant.

Toilet

The toilet area is slightly secluded by a partial floor to ceiling wall with built-in storage. Notice the open storage shelving at the end of the wall. Another consideration when designing the toilet area is provide room for an attendant to be present for assistance as needed. Some bathrooms are completely “wet” areas with a central floor drain. Mine is not, but I’ve seen one’s that are and was impressed.

Roll-in Shower

A roll-in shower simplifies bathing like no other device. There’s a slight ramp up then a gradual %2 slope down to a central drain. The shower has both an overhead shower shower head and a handheld shower nozzle. The hardware is all brushed nickel so it matches the stainless steel grab bars. The large glass room divider (which sits atop a concrete wall) allows natural light to wash through into the shower area and gives the illusion of a lager open room.

Air Bath

The air bath creates its hydrotherapy effect by blowing air bubbles at various degrees of intensity on 20 minute cycles. The air bubbles are not as vigorous as whirlpool water jets, but you needn’t worry about bath soaps and/or oils clogging and contaminating the water jets of a Jacuzzi style whirlpool. They make heaters for both air baths and whirlpools in order to keep the water hot. I chose to install two water heaters in my basement and forego the heaters in the tub. As the air bubble cool the water, I simple add more hot water. I have no experience with the long term maintenance of whirlpool baths but it stands to reason there are more moving parts and consequently more maintenance required.

There’s an 18” wide concrete deck housing adjacent to the tub. This serves as the transfer deck/surface and accommodates the tub’s mechanical systems below (note access through the removable square at lower left). Deck height is level with wheelchair to facilitate simple and safe transfers. Built-in shelf on back wall offers attractive and accessible storage options. Natural light and glass room divider gives the illusion of larger room.

Click on an image below to tour different parts of McMillan House.

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