Roll-in Shower Tips and Resources
Shelves and ledges—Be sure to install some shelves or ledges that are accessible when you are in the shower on your wheelchair or on the shower seat.
Research local general contractors—Make sure you choose someone who has previous experience with installing roll-in showers or is knowledgeable in universal design. A local dealer may also recommend experienced general contractors and installers with whom they have worked in the past.
Glass walls—Although some roll-in shower models allow for glass walls, only use them if the shower space is large. The opening needs to be larger enough for the wheelchair to enter. You must be able to turn your wheelchair in the shower without hitting any of the walls. If space is tight in the shower, a shower curtain may be more appropriate. Speak to a local dealer for recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roll-in Showers
Can I use my regular wheelchair in the roll-in shower?
Do not use a power or manual wheelchair in the shower. The wheelchair will get damaged and is not safe. A shower wheelchair is water- and rust-poof and many have a commode option (open bottom seat convenient for personal cleaning). Transfer from your regular wheelchair onto a shower wheelchair to take a shower.
I currently have a standard 30″ bathtub in my home and my toilet is very close to the tub—can I put a roll-in shower in that space?
The minimum width for a roll-in shower is 30″ but spacing is very tight and may be uncomfortable. If possible, increase the width at least to 36″ for more room to maneuver inside the shower. 48″ width is optimal for roll-in showers.
Will a standard-sized shower curtain work in my roll-in shower?
A standard shower curtain is 72″ x 72″ and may not be long enough for a roll-in shower. The shower curtain for a roll-in shower should cover the opening and should be long enough to touch the floor. Small weights attached to the bottom of the shower curtain will help keep it in place.
Which is better, a folding or a free-standing shower seat/bench?
A folding shower seat mounted directly into the wall is more stable and less likely to tip. The wall behind the seat must be reinforced for safety. Although you can fold the seat when it is not in use, the seat will still be 3″–4″ from the wall. In smaller showers, a free-standing shower seat that you can remove from the shower when not in use is recommended.
Is funding or financial assistance available for roll-in showers?
In the U.S. and Canada, tax rebates may be available to help with home modifications for seniors and people with disabilities. Veteran affairs for both countries may offer financial assistance as well. Speak to a local dealer regarding different funding or financial assistance programs that may be available in your area.