Gaius planning guidelines

Designing toilet and bathroom facilities that promote accessibility and independence

All Gaius products are designed following the Design for All principle, using a 1:1 model space. Accurate proportions and measurements have been achieved through thorough testing. The starting point in Gaius solutions is to promote independence in toilet and bathroom facilities, and the optimal siting of furnishings is very important. The solutions are compact and save space.

Doors and doorways

  • An accessible doorway to toilet and bathroom facilities is at least 85 cm wide, and it should be sited such that the facilities are also accessible with auxiliary equipment, such as wheelchairs.
  • Instead of a threshold, a doorway drain is recommended. If a threshold is needed, an elastic threshold is the best option. At the very least, the threshold should be slanted, although crossing even a slanted threshold may be difficult in a wheelchair.

Handholds and support rails

  • In bathrooms, handholds should be placed horizontally on the walls so as to facilitate moving around even without auxiliary equipment. Vertical handholds are useful when getting up from the shower seat.
  • The basin rail also functions as a support rail, making moving around easier. The rail and its distance from the basin must be sufficiently wide so as to provide a decent grip.

Toilet seat and washbasin

  • The toilet seat and washbasin are best placed on adjacent walls cornerwise, so that the basin rail can easily be reached when sitting on the toilet. A supportive grip of the basin rail to get up from the toilet is easiest to establish when the distance between the toilet seat and basin rail is 260–400 mm. When the toilet seat is located close to the basin, the tap and bidet shower connected to the basin unit can also be used without assistance.
  • If more room is needed for assistants, the basin can be placed at a distance of 400 mm from the toilet seat; however, if the distance is 480 mm or more, support rails should be placed on both sides of the toilet.
  • In the Hospital bathroom, a support rail is placed in front of the toilet seat to make getting up easier, and it provides additional support when transferring to a wheelchair.
  • To avoid users having to twist their body, the toilet paper holder should be placed obliquely forward from the toilet seat, within arm’s reach. In the Gaius Original and Public basins, the holder is hidden beneath the edge of the basin unit.
  • The basin unit, shower seat and toilet support rails are intended to function as personal aids. To ensure the perfect fit for each user, they should therefore be height-adjustable.
  • Approximately 130–150 mm of free space should be left behind the toilet seat, in order to ensure that assistants can remain in an ergonomic position when lifting and to facilitate cleaning. With sufficient free space provided, the toilet seat can be reached by a wheelchair or a shower chair so that the front edges of the chair and toilet seat are at the same level. This makes it easier to move in a lateral direction.

Shower and shower rail

  • The shower rail has to be sufficiently robust to function as a support rail. If the shower is located between the shower and toilet seats, washing is also possible while sitting on the toilet.
  • If a shower bed or auxiliary lifting equipment is used in the bathroom, this space should be at least 4.75 m² in size, and enough room for an assistant should be left on both sides of the shower bed (approximately 2,000 x 750 mm).

Mirrors, mirror cabinets, and electric sockets

  • The dimensions of the mirror should be such that users can see themselves while sitting in front of the basin. A tilted mirror and mirror cabinet are viable alternatives for a regular mirror.
  • Electric sockets should be placed in a cabinet next to the basin, or in another place, at a height suitable also for users in wheelchairs.

Colours, materials, and lighting

  • Deliberate use of colour differences and contrasts facilitates perception
  • In order to facilitate spatial perception, the floor should be darker than the walls
  • A non-slip floor material makes for a good basic solution, but it should not prevent users from dragging their feet
  • Perception, glare, and lighting matters should be taken into consideration when planning the facilities and selecting furnishings
  • Matte and treated surfaces minimise glare
  • The perception of edges can also be made easier
  • Rails, the toilet seat, shower seat, and other furnishings should be easy to distinguish from their background surfaces
  • Backlight and glare should be eliminated, and the use of an indirect lighting element is recommended