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Are you an architect or designer struggling with the question of whether a tall Doc M mirror is necessary for your wheelchair washroom?
As a manufacturer and washroom consultant of prestige commercial washroom products, including Doc M packs, we will uncover the regulation specified by Document Part M and guidance by British Standards BS8300-2:2018 to help you with the answer.
In this article, we will confirm whether you need a long Doc M mirror in a wheelchair washroom and explore the Doc M mirror dimensions, recommended placement, and significance of independent tall mirrors, even when a mirror is already present above the washbasin.
Do you need a long Doc M mirror?
Yes, there should be a long Doc M mirror in a standard unisex wheelchair accessible washroom because it is necessary to accommodate both ambulant and wheelchair users.
To verify this, let’s look at what the Doc M regulations and British Standards state:
Document Part M mirror regulations
Approved Document Part M only states that more detailed guidance on appropriate sanitary and other fittings, such as mirrors, is given in BS8300. Document M further supports this statement by the inclusion of detailed diagrams, which depict the position and minimum dimensions of mirrors above the washbasin and long mirrors for wheelchair users and standing users.
British Standards BS8300 mirror guidelines
British Standard BS8300 Section 18 Sanitary accommodation states:
“Accessible sanitary accommodation ought to be no less pleasant and convenient to use than equivalent non-accessible facilities. It needs to contain all of the amenities that would be provided elsewhere.” – BS 8300-2:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment Part 2: Buildings — Code of practice
Mirrors are included as an example of these amenities, as long as they do not hinder the functionality of the spaces.
Accessible mirror dimensions
BS8300 provides detailed diagrams of mirror dimensions which correspond to the drawings in Document M, and specify the following:
The accessible mirror height should be set at a maximum of 600 mm above the finished floor level from the base of the mirror.
This Doc M mirror size should also be at least 1000 mm tall.
Recommended accessible mirror location
This diagram depicts a unisex accessible toilet with a corner WC layout where other accessible toilet accommodation is available in the building.
Let’s look at a typical example of where to place the Doc M mirror in an accessible toilet corner layout:
The long mirror should be located away from the hand rinse basin making it suitable for wheelchair users and people with ambulant mobility impairments.
Placing a soap dispenser and a paper towel dispenser above the hand rinse basin is perfectly acceptable, as having a mirror above the hand rinse basin in this type of washroom layout is not an absolute requirement.
The Good Loo Design Guide also includes recommendations for the positions and dimensions for a Doc M mirror within an accessible corner WC which corresponds to BS8300 Standards.
If there is a mirror above the hand rinse basin, do you still need a tall mirror?
It appears that in a unisex wheelchair accessible toilet, irrespective of the presence or absence of a mirror above the hand rinse basin, a tall mirror should be provided.
5 Key takeaways: Accessible mirrors
- There should be a tall mirror inside a standard unisex wheelchair accessible washroom.
- If there is a mirror above the washbasin, you should still install an independent tall mirror to accommodate both ambulant and wheelchair users.
- There are various recommended positions where you can place the mirror in the washroom as long as it does not compromise the functionality of the space.
- Document Part M, BS8300-2:2018, and The Good Loo Design Guide all recommend the dimensions of a long mirror to have its bottom edge set at 600 mm above the floor level.
- The independent mirror should be at least 1000 mm tall.
Having a long Doc M mirror in a standard unisex wheelchair accessible washroom is essential to accommodate people with ambulant impairments and wheelchair users. This is emphasised by regulations and guidelines such as Document Part M and British Standards BS8300, which highlight the importance of mirrors in accessible facilities.
Even if there is a mirror above the hand rinse basin, installing an independent tall mirror is still necessary.
By following these guidelines, mirrors in accessible washrooms can provide clear visibility and accessibility for wheelchair users and individuals with ambulant impairments. This enhances the overall experience for individuals with varying heights and mobility, ensuring that they can easily and confidently access the mirror, and promoting inclusivity and independence in the washroom environment.