What Are the Different Types of Wheelchair Accessible Showers?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2019
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Wheelchair accessible showers, sometimes called barrier-free showers, can be designed to fit along a wall or in the corner. There may be multiple pieces used in their construction or only a single one. The inside of the shower enclosure may have a seat, grab bars, or a shelf for toiletries. Some models have a traditional showerhead, while others contain a hose-like connection. They may be made from fiberglass, ceramic tile, or porcelain.

Many people decide to replace existing bathtubs with wheelchair accessible showers. In these instances, the models are usually around the same width as the bathtub itself but not quite as long. They may be designed so that the edge of the shower stalls are only slightly higher than the surrounding floor in order to make it easy to roll a wheelchair in and out of the enclosure.

Wheelchair accessible showers can also be designed to fit in the corner of a bathroom. There are two side pieces to these units, but they do not have a back section. These units may be ideal for homeowners who have limited space.

Some wheelchair accessible showers consist of a single piece, while others contain multiple sections. Single-section units are typically made of fiberglass, while those with more than one piece could contain two or more different materials. One-piece units are often preferred for new construction, while barrier-free showers with multiple pieces typically work best when modifying existing bathrooms.


Even though wheelchair accessible showers are usually open in front, they may have a trackless shower door on them. This door may be in two sections, and each fold to a side. Some shower stalls may have a shower curtain which is attached to a rod between the two outer walls.

The showerhead can be designed to be on either the left or right side of the unit. Some models have a traditional showerhead, while others contain a hand-held device, which is normally connected to the wall with a long narrow hose. The showerhead might be high up on the wall or slightly lower so people can bathe while sitting in a wheelchair or on a stool.

People who have limited mobility may want to consider the many options available for wheelchair accessible bathrooms. These include both wheelchair accessible showers and walk-in bathtubs. Installing one of these products can help individuals maintain their independence and self-esteem for many years to come.


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