ADA Kitchen and Bath Design to Enable Living in Place
Expert Tips for Making Your Home Accessible
Adapting your home to accommodate disabilities or age-related physical limitations requires careful thought and planning. Rooms that are generally compact, such as the kitchen and bathroom, must be barrier-free to allow for easy wheelchair access. Appliances and other items of regular use must also be within reach. Before you start your remodeling project, learn about the key considerations that will support living in place for you or your senior family members. A contractor with experience in ADA kitchen and bath design can help ensure your home is safe and comfortable.
Key Elements of Accessible Kitchen and Bathroom Design
- Space planning: Accommodating a walker or wheelchair in your kitchen and bathroom means ensuring there is enough space to maneuver these mobility devices. In the kitchen, for instance, it may involve expanding the traditional triangle placement of the stove, sink and refrigerator to include garbage disposal and the dishwasher. Ideally, you should be able to perform a range of functions from one area. Storage cabinets must also be within reach. In our experience, U-shape and L-shape layouts are the most convenient.
Being one of the smallest rooms in the house, using a wheelchair or walker in the bathroom can be challenging. As per ADA recommendations, doorways need to be at least 32 inches wide and the interior space at least 12 sq. ft. Curbless walk-in tubs, shower stalls and toilet areas with grab bars are a must. Some individuals may also require bath benches.
- Effort: Placement of similar or related items together in your kitchen will minimize effort. Persons with mobility issues will also benefit from continuous countertops which allow sliding of pots, dishes, etc. Storage cabinets with open shelving are preferred over those with doors. Ovens and microwaves at countertop height are convenient. Hands-free faucets are ideal.
Similarly, having towels and bath supplies near the bathing area and makeup and medicine in the vanity or sink area will facilitate easy access. You can install switches and electrical outlets that are operable from a sitting position.
- Ease of cleaning: Choose kitchen flooring, countertops and appliances that are low maintenance. For example, glass cooktops are easier to clean compared to stainless steel. Store your cleaning products in drawers that slide out and are easy to reach. Pay attention to surface finishes of bathtubs, toilets and showers. Slip-resistant flooring is a must-have but it should also be easy to clean. Ensure proper drainage and adequate ventilation in the shower area to prevent mold growth.
- Safety: Adequate lighting in the kitchen and bathroom is very important. Avoid tripping hazards like small rugs and mats in the kitchen. Keep an easy-to-reach fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.
Falls and accidents in the bathroom are common. Install grab bars for support in the shower or tub and near the toilet seat. Avoid surfaces with sharp edges to minimize injury in the event of a fall. Consider mixing valves that limit water temperature to prevent burns.
Santa Clara’s Kitchen and Bathroom Specialists for ADA Design Solutions
At California Bathroom & Kitchen Remodelers, we offer custom design and retrofit services to meet your unique needs. Our beautifully designed, accessible bathrooms and kitchens help individuals with disabilities live an independent lifestyle. Skilled craftsmanship and quality products enhance the functionality and value of your home. Our team provides personalized attention to ensure your project is completed on time and within budget.
Since 1994, we have served homeowners across the Santa Clara Valley, including in Willow Glen, San Jose, Almaden, Cambrian, Santa Clara, Los Gatos and Los Altos Hills, CA. Read these testimonials from our customers who appreciate our workmanship and customer service.
If you need to remodel your home for a family member with a disability or age-related infirmity, call us at 408-360-9700 or contact us online. We can schedule an in-home consultation for ADA kitchen and bath design to support your living in place requirements.