Reading time: 3 minutes / Updated: January 25, 2023
Planning your accessible washroom according to the British Standards and Document part M of the Building Regulations will ensure everything is accounted for to make a wheelchair toilet more accessible. But, the planning stage can be daunting because the regulations and standards are tremendous in detail, dimensions, recommendations, and factors to consider. The last thing you want is to miss out on anything.
As Dolphin supplies the full range of washroom products included in a Doc M pack, we have expertise in providing the correct and relevant items and first-hand experience on-site to assist with accessible washroom installations.
Read our quick guide to learn how to make a wheelchair toilet more accessible, and download our carefully formulated Doc M checklist to ensure you have all the fixtures and fittings you need for a compliant accessible washroom.
What type of unisex wheelchair accessible washroom are you designing?
To make a wheelchair toilet more accessible, it must meet the minimum requirements that wheelchair users need, depending on whether they are in small business premises or a large commercial building.
If, for example, a small business with limited space accommodates one accessible toilet, it should be an enlarged unisex accessible toilet with a corner WC layout. In commercial or multi-storey buildings where other accessible toilet accommodation is available, there should be standard accessible washrooms available.
Is it a left-hand or right-hand transfer WC?
Both left and right-hand transfer techniques are acceptable and compliant, but BS8300-2:2018 notes that a unisex accessible toilet with a right-hand transfer (left-corner layout) is preferable to make a wheelchair toilet more accessible. Where there are more accessible washrooms available in a building, a variety of layouts suitable for left-hand and right-hand transfers should be provided.
What are the accessible toilet dimensions?
There are minimum accessible WC dimensions to adhere to, but these measurements do not necessarily make a wheelchair toilet more accessible. It is preferable to make provision for additional space for wheelchair users so that they can easily do what they need to do and not feel limited in the washroom.
According to the Doc M measurements of the UK Building Regulations, the minimum dimensions of an accessible washroom layout must be 1500mm x 2200mm. BS8300-2:2018, Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment, Part 2: Buildings — The code of practice specifies for an enlarged unisex accessible toilet, the minimum room dimensions should equal 2000mm x 2200mm, and for a standard unisex accessible toilet, the minimum room dimensions should equal to 1 700mm x 2200mm.
As long as you meet the minimum accessible toilet dimensions, there should be no concern about compliance. But in terms of best practice and wheelchair user experience, it is better to provide additional space to make a wheelchair toilet more accessible.
What Doc M fittings and fixtures are needed for wheelchair users?
To make a wheelchair toilet more accessible, you must include the numerous washroom products required by law which means choosing a compliant and comprehensive Doc M pack. Note that some fittings may not be relevant to all commercial washroom designs and can be left off the list.
Download our Accessible Washroom Checklist
This provides all the accessible toilet dimensions and details relating to the Doc M fittings in the list below.
Submit your details and the download will be instantly available.
Accessible washrooms include:
- Alarm Pull Cord with Two Red Bangles
- Emergency Assistance Alarm and Alarm Reset Button
- Hand Rinse Basin
- Basin Mounted Tap
- Wall Mounted Tap
- Automatic Hand Dryer
- Paper Towel Dispenser
- Soap Dispenser
- Toilet Tissue Dispenser
- Waste Disposal Bin
- Grab Rails
- Independent Tall Mirror located away from Hand Rinse Basin
- Mirror above Hand Rinse Basin
- Two Clothes Hooks
- Toilet Brush
- WC Signage
- Independent WC pan and cistern with flush plate (alternative to close-coupled WC)
- Flat-topped close-coupled WC with cistern and spatula-type flush lever (alternative to independent WC pan)
- Colostomy Bag Changing Shelf (not applicable with a flat-topped close-coupled WC)
- Large Hand Wash Basin with a Tap – separate from hand rinse basin (optional and where relevant)
- Sanitary Disposal Unit (where relevant)
- Sanitary Dispenser (where relevant)
- Shaver Point (where relevant)
- Urinal (where relevant)
Make the washroom more accessible for wheelchair users
Ultimately, if you want to make a wheelchair toilet more accessible, it is better to provide additional space and features for wheelchair users. The goal is to give them a just as pleasant user experience as those using a traditional washroom and to ensure wheelchair users do not feel limited in navigating and manoeuvring within the cubicle.
Planning additional space in a right-hand transfer layout and choosing a comprehensive Doc M pack will create the most welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment for wheelchair users in the accessible washroom. Your design will leave a positive impression and will make a positive impact because you have provided everything a wheelchair user may need to enjoy the ultimate washroom experience.