Handicap Toilets: Best Toilets for Home Use
Handicap Toilets: Best Toilets for Home Use 
Handicap toilets allow many people who have mobility issues the opportunity to use the bathroom with dignity and privacy.

Allowing those with disabilities to use the bathroom at home with dignity is important. One of the most common complaints of the disabled is the "feeling of utter 
dependence. I would like to at least use the restroom alone." 

Public Restrooms

The ADA bathroom requirements are that public restrooms have 
at least one commode for the handicapped that meets ADA 
standards. They must be at least 16-18 inches in height from 
the floor and must provide at least one rail on the wall. 

The handle for flushing must be on the same side as the 
wider floor area, so that those in a wheelchair can flush. The ADA does allow for motion sensor handles. The ADA requires there be a 60-inch turning radius within the stall, for those who must use a wheelchair. 

Requirements for public toilets are much more stringent than those required for accessible bathrooms within the home. If a business owner has a restroom that does not meet the ADA requirements, the business owner is subject to fines and the possibility of loss of business license. 

It is extremely difficult to convert a small restroom into an ADA compliant one without extensive remodeling, so a business owner should start with the required specifications. In a commercial setting, it requires much more than having a handicap toilet to be compliant. The stall size, grab bars, and even toilet paper dispensers must meet strict standards. 

Home Restrooms

Remodeling private home disabled bathrooms is not nearly as difficult as remodeling public restrooms. Converting a private bathroom to a handicap accessible bathroom, complete with a handicap toilet, may be done as a DIY project. 

Before beginning such a project:

1. Visit a local home improvement store. Many popular toilet manufacturers make handicap toilets. They also manufacture raised toilet seats that can be placed on the existing commode in order to raise the height to the required 16-18 inches. 

2. Measure the wheelchair or scooter height used by the person with the disability. While the ADA requires 16-18 inches, some wheelchairs and scooters measure 17-19 inches in height. It is important that the person using the handicapped toilet be able to transition smoothly onto the commode.

3. Decide if a grab bar will be attached to the wall or to the toilet. If attached to the wall, the grab bar should be located where the person needing the bar can easily reach it. Many manufacturers of home disability products have produced seats that have the bars already attached to them. 

4. Perform a "test run" with the disabled person to ensure proper use.

  • place the wheelchair, if used, in front of the existing toilet, to check the height needed.
  • check for maneuverability
  • ensure that each grab bar is at the height most comfortable for the person using it. 

If a bathroom needs to be widened for sufficient manueverability, a professional plumber and contractor can be consulted about how best to provide the safest and most practical locations for handicap toilets. 

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