What to look for in a shower screen for a wheelchair accessible shower
We understand when life changes and sometimes our needs change too.
When it comes to designing a bathroom that is suitable for individuals with disabilities, one important aspect to consider is the type of shower screen. A shower screen not only provides privacy but also serves as an essential safety measure in the bathroom.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of shower screens available for disabled individuals to help you make an informed decision when designing and ordering your shower screen.
Why is a Shower Screen Important for Individuals with Disabilities & Mobility Challenges?
For someone with limited mobility or using a wheelchair, taking a shower can be challenging. A shower screen helps contain water within the designated area, preventing slipping hazards and allowing for easier cleaning.
It also provides privacy and adds a touch of style to the bathroom, making it a more comfortable and enjoyable space for individuals with disabilities.
When designing an accessible shower, it is crucial to consider the unique needs and future requirements of each individual. By planning ahead, we can ensure that even if a person's health should decline, the bathroom remains suitable and accommodating. Taking these proactive measures ensures long-lasting functionality and adaptability.
Roll In Showers
You may have seen the term "roll-in shower". So, what is a Roll-in Shower? Essentially, a roll-in shower is a shower that doesn't have any steps or ledges to access it. Since there's no barrier to step over, it reduces the risk of tripping or slipping. This makes it ideal for those with mobility challenges, such as those who use a wheelchair or other mobility aids.
Instead of stepping into the shower, you can roll right in.
One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need a shower screen to prevent water from splashing out onto your bathroom floor. But don't worry, there are plenty of stylish options, we'll explore that are available that will complement your décor. Overall, a roll in shower is a smart choice for a modern and safe bathroom.
Types of Shower Screens Suitable for Wheelchair Accessible Showers
There are various types of shower screens available on the market, but not all may be suitable for wheelchair accessible showers.
Overall, a shower without a lip is ideal for people using a wheelchair, walker or for someone who is at risk for falls and can be used by everyone regardless of ability.
Roll in shower
Here are some options to consider:
A fixed frameless panel shower screen is a popular choice for wheelchair accessible showers as it has no bottom track or sill, allowing for easy accessibility.
It is made of a single sheet of 10mm toughened glass, providing a sleek and modern look to the bathroom. The absence of any metal framework also makes it easier to clean. It is important to note that this type of shower screen may require additional support to prevent movement and ensure stability.
Similar to the frameless panel, a framed panel shower screen has no bottom track or sill, making it wheelchair accessible.
The difference lies in the addition of a metal frame, providing extra support and stability. this extra support, can help those who are less steady on their feet to safely get in and out of the shower without fear of slipping or falling.
Fixed panel shower screen frames are available in multiple frame colours and glass options from clear glass to satinlite and spotswood , to allow to match the decor of your home and the level of privacy required.
One potential drawback of a fixed shower screen panels whether framed or frameless is that, without a shower door, water can escape across the bathroom floor. This is due to the fact that the screen only covers one side of the shower. When the shower is in use, water can potentially spray past the screen, especially if the shower head is angled towards the open side.
Similar to a frameless fixed panel, this type of shower screen has no bottom track or sill, making it walker and wheelchair accessible.
An essential feature of the frameless hinged shower screen is its hinged door, which opens outwards to allow unobstructed access into the shower area, making it an ideal choice for those who use a walker or wheelchair.
Having a door not only provides privacy but also effectively prevents water from spraying outside the shower area—this addresses one of the potential drawbacks of fixed panel shower screens.
Furthermore, the door operates on robust, high-quality hinges, ensuring smooth operation and longevity. Most hinged doors are also equipped with durable seals which helps keep water within the shower area, maintaining a dry and safe bathroom floor. If combined with a no-sill design, the hinged shower screen becomes one of the most accessible options for individuals with mobility issues, blending functionality, safety, and design aesthetics in a harmonious manner.
Sliding door shower screens have a multitude of benefits when it comes to accessibility, making them a popular choice for individuals with mobility issues.
Firstly, they are a space-saving solution, especially suitable for smaller bathrooms. Unlike hinged doors that require clearance to open and close, sliding doors move horizontally within the screen's frame, saving valuable floor space.
A key advantage of the sliding door is its seamless operation that doesn't demand any physical effort. The doors glide easily on their tracks, which aids users with limited strength or dexterity.
Furthermore, they can be fitted with large handles or knobs that facilitate easy grip and operation, enhancing their user-friendliness for people with disabilities.
In addition to their functional benefits, sliding door shower screens contribute to maintaining a dry and safe bathroom environment. They effectively contain water within the shower area, preventing slippery, wet floors outside the shower – a critical concern for individuals with mobility challenges.
Lastly, the absence of a bottom sill boosts accessibility, allowing users with walkers or wheelchairs to enter and exit the shower area without any hindrance. Thus, sliding door shower screens balance practicality with sleek design, offering an accessible and stylish solution for bathrooms.
The very popular Mirage Semi-Frameless Shower Screen can be ordered without a bottom sill, which enhances its accessibility, making it an excellent choice for individuals with mobility challenges.
The pivot design on the Mirage semi frameless shower screen also allows for a wider door opening, making getting in and out of the shower so much easier. The difference is that it has hinges attached to the base and the inline pivot system design allows the shower door and in over 180 degrees.
This feature allows users with wheelchairs or walkers to glide in and out of the shower area seamlessly, without encountering any barriers. In addition, the shower screen's door swings open effortlessly, reducing the need for excessive strength or dexterity during operation.
This simplicity in design, combined with practicality, can make a significant difference in the user's comfort and independence within the bathroom setting. Furthermore, with its toughened glass and minimalistic framework, the Mirage Semi-Frameless Shower Screen adds a touch of elegance and openness to the bathroom, signifying that accessibility doesn't have to compromise aesthetics.
Tips to Help You Choose The Right Shower Screen for Maximum Accessibility
When it comes to choosing the right shower screen for accessibility there are a few factors to consider.
The first is the individual's specific needs and abilities. For example, a wheelchair user may require more space to maneuver making the fixed panel shower screens to right solution, while someone with limited mobility may benefit from a hinged door. It's essential to understand the individual's specific needs to make an informed decision.
Next, consider the layout and size of the bathroom. In some cases, a fully enclosed shower cubicle may not be feasible due to space constraints. In these instances, a half-height or walk-in shower - aka a fixed framed shower screen can provide easier access while still ensuring privacy and safety. Or potentially the frameless sliding shower door option or wall to wall shower doors may suit.
Thirdly, considering the use of frosted or privacy glass can offer an additional level of comfort for those who might need assistance while showering. This provides privacy while still allowing caregivers to monitor the situation if necessary.
If choosing a shower screen with hinged door, make sure to install the door so that it swings outward, because if a person experiences a fall while inside of a shower with an inward-swinging door their body can block the door from opening, making it difficult for carers or rescue personnel to get them out.
Planning accessible showers and disability friendly bathrooms takes experience and understanding, as all of our customer’s needs are different, the team at Flexi Showers Discover practical solutions that enhance both convenience and safety, catering to your unique needs and requirements.
For more information on our Accessible Showers and Help Designing Disabled Friendly Shower Screens in Melbourne contact the Flexi Showers Team below.
Flexi Showers Shower Screens Melbourne Showroom - 138 National Blvd Campbellfield. 03 9469 6190