As bathroom design is constantly progressing the need for modern solutions for people with disabilities is paramount. Just because you have a physical restriction you shouldn’t have to miss out on the most stylish or the latest bathroom products when designing your dream bathroom. The simple action of turning a regular basin or bath tap can be difficult for certain people such as arthritis sufferers and so certain tap types can help to alleviate this. In fact laws for disabled bathrooms state that basin taps and bath taps in these areas have to be capable of operation by a user with a closed fist and have a maximum temperature that will prevent users being burnt if they are struggling to control the temperature.
The huge range of taps available in the current market shows that tap types have been developed to help disabled users and provide them with contemporary styles at the same time. We have compiled a list of some of the bathroom tap designs that have been developed which can aid people with disabilities in their bathroom.
What Tap Designs are Available for Disabled Users?
This clever design of taps doesn’t require any actual contact with the tap to deliver the water to the user. Instead clever inbuilt sensors detect the presence of your hands near the taps which triggers the release of water. A controlled amount of water is then delivered through the taps until the hands are removed which then triggers the controls to stop the flow of water. This style of tap is perfect for those who struggle with the twisting or turning action of a tap. These taps are particularly water efficient as they only function when the hands are present and they are available in a range of different styles to suit any bathroom design.
Push Button Taps
This contemporary style of tap requires little or no effort to activate the tap, pushing down gently releases the water from the tap. They have an automatic shut off after a period to ensure no water is wasted. If need be elbows and forearms can even be used to activate this style of tap.
A lever tap tends to be easy to use and these are a more modern style of tap in the current market. Slight movements can deliver hot, cold or mixed water flow to the user. To help disabled users further extended length lever taps are also available which are even simpler to use as they require minimal force to operate efficiently. It also helps with users who may struggle to reach towards the very back of the basin.
Tap turners are easily fitted casings that fit over your existing taps to create a handle that is much simpler to operate much like the style above. This casing can be placed over a variety of taps to enable disabled users to control the tap more easily. The benefit of these is that it doesn’t require you to change the tap in your existing bathroom.
Alternative Operation Taps
This style of taps is more commonly used by people in the medical profession as it is a more hygienic means of controlling the water into your basin however they can be very useful to disabled users. There are three types of alternative operation taps;
Elbow Operated Taps
The use of elbow to turn a tap on or off is useful for users with little or no grip in their hands. The elbow gives a quarter turn action to release and then stop the flow of water.
Knee Operated Taps
A knee operated tap comes complete with multi directional levers that mean you can select hot, cold and mixed water in a controlled and hygienic way.
Pedal Operated Taps
This style of tap is operated by foot operated floor taps which are available in both single and double pedals. The double pedal version has a stop function so that constant flow can be controlled.
All of these styles of taps come in a variety of styles so just because you require more specialist taps that you don’t have a lack of choice for your bathroom. As modern designs flourish you can guarantee that style will not have to suffer for practicality.
What Designs of Bathroom Taps might help Disabled Users in the Future?
As modern bathroom designs improve the styles of taps available to disabled users are only going to improve further. These designs are vital to them as it gives them independence within their own bathroom space. Will we find voice activated taps become a thing of the future or even controlling your taps through your smartphone or tablet? There is already an app developed to help you fill your bath although it is very expensive and not widely used it points to the direction that bathrooms of the future will head. Voice activation would provide disabled users with the ultimate in independent bathroom use.
One thing for sure, with the progress in digital technology such developments may not be too far away in the future. A vast range of digital showers already exist which allow you to set the temperature of the water before entering the shower through wireless technology. How long will it be before this extends to controlling the flow of water and temperature of your bathroom taps?
Grohe are already leading the way with these digital showers providing a remote control showering experience. They have already developed digital tap control but these are not yet remote so are of no real benefit to disabled users at the moment. This is surely the next step though meaning the future looks bright for disabled users gaining more independence in the bathroom.