accessible bathroom grab rail

  • VAT exemptions will be available for people living with a disability or long-term illness
  • A wet room is likely more expensive than a shower room
  • The main factor influencing costs will be the size and layout of your current bathroom

Wet rooms, walk-in showers and walk-in baths are all excellent solutions for elderly people and people living with limited mobility.

But with so many different options and configurations to choose from, working out a budget can be difficult.

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Doing some research will help you to design an affordable bathroom that you will be happy with for many years to come.

Like most renovation projects, the answer to most costing questions is “it depends”. The size of your room, the quality of the finish and the amount of plumbing or electrical work required will all have an impact on the final cost of the project.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to disability bathroom costs in the UK.

Table of contents:

    1. VAT exemptions and grants
    2. How much is a disability bathroom?
    3. Advantages of mobility bathrooms
    4. What to Consider When Choosing a Disability Bathroom Design
    5. Is a wet room more expensive than a shower room?
    6. How much is wet room flooring?
    7. Installation, labour and other costs
    8. Disability Bathroom Checklist
    9. Effects of Covid on installation

    VAT exemptions and grants

    Did you know? – If you have a disability or you are living with a long-term illness, you don’t have to pay VAT on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use.

    In addition, you won’t have to pay VAT on the cost of installing these items, repairs and maintenance or spare parts and accessories.

    You may also be eligible for a grant to help pay for the costs of your new bathroom. For example, you may be entitled to the Disabled Facilities Grant if you, or someone that lives with you, has a disability.

    You will need to either own the property or be a legal tenant and expect to continue living in the property for five years or longer.

    The grant won’t affect your entitlement to other benefits. The amount you are entitled to will depend on your income and savings, and you will need to apply through your local council.

    Foundations is part of the Home Improvement Agencies (HIA). It helps disabled homeowners to make improvements to, repair or adapt their homes, ensuring that they can continue living in their homes safely and independently.

    If you want to learn more about grants, benefits and funds that may be available to you, Turn2us and Charity Choice offer excellent advice.

  1. (We do not offer grants or help with the process)Walk-in Showers

    How much is a disability bathroom?

    There are many different elements to consider when working out a budget for your disability bathroom. These include material costs, types of materials and labour costs.

    On top of the installation of the actual walk-in bath, there are also other costs that might have to be considered.

    If you want to renovate other parts of your bathroom (for example install a new toilet and sink, install a shower cubicle, wall coverings, lay new flooring, redecorate), you will need to factor in these additional costs.

    Advantages of mobility bathrooms

    Whether you want to modify your existing bathroom to include a walk-in shower or bath, or completely redesign the space as a wet room, installing a disability bathroom will help you to enjoy a safe, comfortable and relaxing bathing experience.

    From stylish bathroom suites and contemporary walk-in showers to luxury walk-in baths, modifying your bathroom will offer you peace of mind, so you’ll be able to relax, unwind and enjoy the space. The long-term benefits of investing in a mobility bathroom are also very clear. As we grow older, we all experience mobility issues at differing levels. Ensuring that your bathroom is mobility-friendly is a very smart investment for your health, wellbeing, and general safety. Studies have also shown that upgrading your bathroom adds value to your property.

    What to Consider When Choosing a Disability Bathroom Design

    First of all, decide on your main priorities. Are you looking for a practical bathroom that will allow you to wash quickly and easily? Would you like to install a luxurious bathroom that is designed for pampering? Or are you looking for something in between?

    Think about the size and space that you have available. This is important when considering the layout and design of your new bathroom.

    Consider the dimensions of the room and the type of storage you will need. For example, you might choose a floating or corner sink where space is limited.

    Consider lighting and ventilation. Does the room have a window, or do you need to think about artificial lighting? What is the existing colour scheme, and would you like to change this? Will you need to completely remodel the bathroom design, or is it possible to work with what is there already?

    Is a wet room more expensive than a shower room?

    The answer tends to be yes, as the installation of a wet room waterproofing, and drainage is much more complex that installing a standard shower tray.

    How much is wet room flooring?

    In a wet room, the entire space needs to be waterproofed. The drainage is installed below floor level and flooring sealed above.

    This is a skilled job and tales longer than installing a stepped shower tray above ground level.

    There are various types of flooring and designs which may differ in cost.

    You will also need to use compliant electrical materials such as waterproof lighting if these may be exposed. These are likely to be more expensive than other bathroom light fittings.

    Installation, labour, and other costs

    If you want to replace an existing radiator with a heated towel rail or want to move the radiator or towel rail to a different part of the room, you will need to factor in the cost of the associated plumbing work.

    If you have decided to install a shiny new walk-in shower, the chances are you will also want to replace your toilet and basin at the same time.

    Whichever disability bathroom project you choose, you will need to factor in the cost of other elements. These might include flooring, wall coverings, heating, ventilation and lighting.

    In some cases, you will need to enlist the services of a qualified electrician, heating engineer or plasterer, which will mean incurring additional costs.

    Every bathroom is different, and the price of your project will vary depending on the size of your bathroom, the amount of work required and the materials that you choose.

    Disability Bathroom Checklist

    Here are our top tips for planning your disability bathroom project:

    • Measure up your bathroom and decide whether you would benefit most from a wet room, walk-in shower or walk-in bath. Which option would work best in the space you have available?
    • Decide whether you want to completely remodel the space or just install new elements, for example replacing the bath with a walk-in bath or replacing the shower with a walk-in shower. If you’re not sure, contact our bathroom experts, and they will do all this for you and be able to give advice on what is achievable for your property and best for you.
    • Find out whether you are entitled to VAT exemption.
    • Find out whether you are entitled to any other financial assistance such as a grant.
    • Consider the finish you want to achieve and set an appropriate budget.
    • If you only have one bathroom in your home, consider whether you need to stay elsewhere during the installation. Most bathroom installations will take up to two weeks, so you might want to stay with a friend or family member while the work is being done.

    Effects of Covid on installation

    At the time of writing, tradespeople are permitted to enter private homes, providing they are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. A common sense approach should be adopted, for example opening windows to increase ventilation and being mindful of social distancing.

    Avoiding rogue traders is especially important. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in unskilled people taking advantage of homeowners.

    Be mindful of this if you receive a quote for the work that is very low, or if somebody promises to complete the work within a very short timescale.

    In fact, coronavirus guidance will probably mean that your project takes longer than it usually would. Whilst this may be frustrating, remember that a good tradesperson will be working in line with additional health and safety regulations imposed by the government.

    Try to be understanding of any delays, as it may also take longer for materials to arrive or the relevant tradespeople to be available.