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Comfortable Throne

Kohler Comfort Height

 

The lowly toilet gets scant attention when remodeling or building a new bathroom yet you certainly don't want any hassle using. People splurge on other things but the toilet is the most important fixture in the most private of rooms.

As I've assisted my young children "go potty" the past few years, I've often thought, "I sure hope they never have to return the favor." You understand if you've been injured or cared for someone with a mobility challenge.


Do you take for granted using the bathroom privately without assistance or struggle? (I'm afraid most do.) Ensure you'll maintain control through any life circumstance by planning enough space and features (e.g. toilet paper holder which doubles as a safety bar) to enable access to and around the toilet, which includes your ability to transfer from and returning to a seated position (chair).

Previously I described general bathroom spacing requirements, the following pertains to the immediate area around the toilet and the fixture itself:

  • Use a "comfort height" elongated model with easy flush lever.
  • Seat height from floor to top 17 to 19 inches maximum
  • Center of seat at least 18 inches inches from a side wall (safety bars within easy reach yet far enough from wall to permit wheelchair access)
  • Placing toilet within 60-inch by 60-inch (5' x 5') clear floor space is ideal
  • If inside an alcove or compartment, provide a minimum 36-inches width to allow transferring from chair.
  • Also consider/plan future options to open that space
  • Block behind whole wall with three-quarter inch plywood or suitable reinforcing material for future installation or custom adjustment of grab bars
American Standard Champion 4

 

The toilet may be the Rodney Dangerfield of bathroom fixtures but please don't go cheap. Inaccessible or improperly functioning toilets pose big hassle and potential safety problems. IF you're going to splurge on one thing, buy a quality commode and consider models with bidet functionality, some higher end models are totally automated and include heated seats and music players!

Bottom line, what price is privacy worth? You're paying for a device that will reliably enable you to go to the bathroom by yourself throughout the decades.

Next, planning for point-of-use at the vanity.

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President Todd Hawkins preaches building science and Universal Design (UD) to teach the benefits of an efficient, convenient, comfortable and flexible Lifetime Home. Also follow him on Twitter @BuilderFish for short tips about how kid-friendly UD makes home life easier and more secure for any person of any age or ability.

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