Often out of necessity, bathrooms are the smallest room in the house, leaving more space for bedrooms and other living areas. When transforming a traditional bathroom into a new easy access bathing space, the amount of room available has significant influence over final design and product choice.
For instance, whilst many bathrooms will accommodate full length walk-in baths and large easy access shower spaces, sometimes it is more important to reduce the bathing area in order to accommodate turning circles for wheelchair or frame users.
In the very small bathroom it is always a good idea to seek out options which make the most of the small space. Here are a just of few ideas for how to maximise space available:
Much smaller than the length of a standard bath, typically around 1200mm or less, these versatile walk-in baths with seats offer many benefits. First there is the door to provide easy step in access, reducing the threshold to get into the bath to around 8 or 9 inches (200 – 230mm). The moulded seat allows the bather to get up and down in the bath from a comfortable seated position, which avoids struggling to get all the way down to floor level and lie down and then get back up again.
The shorter length means this type of bath can fit into much smaller spaces, with some models available in mini sizes around 1000mm long, such as the Athena Mini, or for a much smaller length consider the Maestro walk-in bath which is just 900mm long. Please be aware that these shorter walk-in baths suit people under 5ft 6inches tall (168cm).
These baths are ideal for busy families as the design incorporates a shower area and bath in one. Some of these baths, such as the Louisiana, are available in 1500mm lengths and can come with power lift seat options for added versatility. This type of bath provides a wider area at one end which is large enough to stand up in and enjoy a shower. The overall shape is that of a “P” hence the name.
Drop the plug in and fill with water and you have a generous sized bath tub to enjoy a nice long soak. A power lift seat or belt, such as that on the Paragon, provides good support for getting up and down in the bath. The P-shape walk-in bath has it all: easy access walk-in door, a shower area for people who prefer a shower and a bathing area for people who prefer a bath.
Most baths of this type provide the access door on the wide part of the bath, which may not suit all bathrooms if a sink or WC is located at this end. If this applies to your bathroom, consider our Calypso walk-in bath, which has the door at the other end on the straight part of the bath.
If a shower is preferred or more suitable for the end user, then a smaller shower tray will be ideal for fitting into a smaller bathroom or for freeing up space in the rest of the bathroom for wheelchair or frame use. For example the smallest shower tray can be as little as 900mm x 900mm (35.5 inches x 35.5 inches). Shower trays come in many different sizes and some can even be trimmed to suit the area they will be fitted into.
Showers are so much more versatile than walk-in baths as the shower trays are available in many different sizes and the shower doors and placement of showering items can be configured to suit the varied and unique requirements of each individual.
For a small bathroom, consider turning it into a wet room so that the whole room may be used as a bathing space. Once showering has finished the same area can still provide space for an individual to manoeuvre in.
Where the bathroom is really just too small to be usable, consider taking down walls and expanding into the room next door. Other options could be to put a free standing shower cubicle into the corner of a large bedroom or convert an unused bedroom or downstairs room into a bathroom.
Many people are also converting garages into combined bedrooms and bathrooms and Bathtime Mobility have undertaken an increasing number of these projects in recent years. Though this may seem the more drastic solution, these options might be preferable in order to continue living independently in one’s own home and can prove cheaper in the long run than a care home.
To discuss your ideas for a mobility bathroom adaptation in your smaller bathroom get in touch with Bathtime Mobility today on 01491 411 041.