Roll-under sink luxury accessible bathroom design

The Principles of Luxury Accessible Bathroom Design

The concept of Luxury focuses on creating a sense of opulence, sophistication, and exclusivity. In a physical form this is characterised by high-quality materials, attention to detail, and a seamless blend of form and function. In a bathroom setting, luxury designs often include rich and varied textures, and elegant finishes that work in harmony with the wider environment.

In this article we will take a look at some examples of accessible luxury wet rooms and bathrooms as well as some of the design choices you can make which will elevate the finish of any bathroom adaptation.

Accessible Luxury in a Commercial Setting

The Ned, opened in 2018 as a hotel, spa, and members’ club, and has become a popular venue in London. It was redesigned by the team behind Soho House, featuring a rooftop wellness center, luxurious suites, and a members-only cocktail bar in the original bank vault.

The wheelchair accessible hotel rooms feature Art Deco design elements, and the accessible marble mosaic bathrooms designed and installed by Fitzroy of London contain either a level access wet room area or low-level bathtub, both with accessible bathroom furniture and fittings. Everything the bather touches is high quality with solid brass grab rails and hinged support rails being used, even the shower seats are made of a solid brass frame with polished teak accents for comfort and durability.


Luxury accessible wet room design in a domestic setting

Accessible Luxury in a Domestic Setting

Completed in 2022 this luxury accessible wet room installation was developed for a wheelchair user. The specific remit was that the room should have clean lines and not look clinical. Delivering the vision involved reconfiguring things like the walls and all of the services. The stunning end result saw the installation of Mira Select Flex thermostatic shower into a large sleek bathing area. A wall hung basin mounted at the perfect height for the clients chair was easy to use, as was the discreet Closimat Palma Vita wash and dry toilet.

The room itself was quite large for a domestic setting which allowed for the integration of a few items of furniture away from the shower area, this combined with the fact that the porcelain wall tiles were not set at full height throughout softens the feel of the room and brings warmth to the experience. This is further supported by the integration of some bathroom plants, good tone mathing for the metals elements. The room itself was downstairs without a window or a particularly high ceiling, so lighting was kept simple with ceiling spotlights and a stylish mirror with integrated vanity lighting.


Chose a distinct design aesthetic

Selecting a specific design style or aesthetic is more straight forward in some homes than others. An old 19th century farmhouse that retains many of its original features would probably lend itself to a level access shower room or wet room, which would look stunning if classic style glasswall tiles were used along with accessible Victorian style taps.

However, the reality of many homes is that they don’t feature a consistent style and have have been updated gradually over time. In those circumstances it is probably safest to go for something minimalist and modern. Where products need to come from multiple manufacturers try to ensure styling is consistent. More contemporary styles comfortably integrate walk-in baths in their various forms due to the finished used and their shape. Unfortunately there are no walk in roll-top baths even in a more modern style, primarily due to the fact that they are elevated off the floor, limiting the possibility for a low threshold, and their traditional construction does not lend itself to incorporating a door, therefore missing a key accessibility requirement.

Select tiles instead of vinyl

One of the easiest ways to add that feeling of luxury to your Bathroom adaptation is to use wall tiles and floor tiles instead of bathroom wall panels and vinyl floors. Due to their durability and ease of cleaning, these options are often used in clinical and commercial bathroom environments, but where usage is less frequent at home, and hygiene requirements are less onerous they are not necessarily needed.

Tiles change the feel of a room and are available in many designs, from period style items to contemporary. One of the most important considerations when selecting a tile is the finish, particularly for floor tiles, which should be anti-slip.

Anti-slip tiles reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Tiles with a PTV value of 36+ indicate that a tile has a high level of slip resistance, making them ideal for wet areas such as accessible bathrooms. You will sometimes also see these tiles listed as R11 or R12 tiles, but the British standard is to use PTV. Whether you have a traditional or contemporary bathroom, these tiles can add a touch of elegance support your planned style of design.

Combine metal finishes across surfaces

There’s no perfect formula for determining how to mix metals correctly, but there are several approaches you can follow for achieving a mixed-metal look that looks more premium.

A hierarchy of finishes is most likely to give the effect you are looking for. A 50/50 split of finishes can feel unfocused. When you walk into the room, you should be able to identify the hero finish, the focal point. Other finishes can then be integrated as accents to complement it. So what acts as a good base of focal finish? Satin or brushed finishes are often a good starting point. High-shine finishes, like chrome and polished brass, can be difficult to mix effectively with other metals.

Choose a main finish that makes up about 75 percent of elements, then select one or two accent metals, considering their colour tones to determine if they go well together. Warm tones are found in brass, copper, gold, and nickel, while cooler tones are present in stainless steel, chrome, and other silver metals. Matte black is more neutral. When mixing very different metals, like polished stainless steel with aged copper, use a finish in the middle, such as brushed stainless steel, to bridge the gap.

Consider statement lighting

The default choice for many accessible bathroom lighting schemes in the UK are ceiling integrated spotlights on a single manual or motion sensitive infra red switch. Whilst this is cost effective, it does not deliver a luxurious experience, as it offers no control, you’re either in the dark or in the headlights. It is possible to use a dimmer switch to vary things, but that does not change how the lighting units look when not switched on.

Larger rooms with higher ceilings have more scope to integrate statement items such as ceiling mounted pendant lights or character wall lights also known as sconces. At the planning stage it pays to plan all of these in advance so first fix work can run the necessary wiring.

As with all aspects of accessible facilities, safety has to remain paramount, the IEE Wiring Regulations – 17th Edition identifies four key bathroom lighting zones that any electrical work must conform to. Along with specific Ingress Protection (IP) ratings for components used in each area. Don’t forget to specify accessible light switches too.

If you or somebody you care for is considering adapting their current bathroom, shower room or wet room, please contact our accessible bathroom experts for advice, to download a brochure, or request a no obligation home visit. We have an extensive portfolio of accessible designs we can share, featuring luxury disabled bathrooms, Luxury wet rooms build in limited space and many other accessible bathroom ideas.

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