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In all of the items in this section, there is a tendency for sanitary, bath and shower fittings to be white. These are often set against white tiling which makes them difficult to see for many users. If the prevailing colour of fittings is white, the walls should offer a colour and tonal contrast over all their area or at least as a wide band below the 900mm level, so that the white fittings visibly stand out. This principle should also be applied to handrails, toilet roll holders and the other equipment in these facilities.


Accessible toilets should be in accordance with Part M of the Building Regulations and are in a corner of their compartment. These facilate independent access for many wheelchair users.

Alternatively, a peninsular wc pan layout allows transfer from either the left or the right but this should only be with assistance, as the drop down rails should not be used for pulling oneself onto the wc pan.

If two accessible toilets of the corner type are being provided, they should between them offer the alternative of one being left hand and the other one right hand transfer. This will help people with an impairment on one side.

The arrangements of wall handrails and drop down rails in the regulations and recommendations are designed to enable people with disabilities to transfer across, lower onto and rise up from the toilet seat.

If obstructions, such as pipes, are kept to a minimum in the corner by the wc pan, there can be enough space for a companion to give assistance to the disabled person.

The centre line of the wc pan should not be more than 500mm from the nearest side wall, so that the horizontal rail can be reached by a wheelchair user when transfering across.

The toilet seat height should be 480mm high to provide level transfer across from most wheelchairs.


The toilet floor should be as non slip as possible, including when wet.

The floor should be as level as possible. A wheelchair may tend to run away from the user when they have transferred to a wc pan or drop down seat.


The sizes quoted for accessible toilets (1.7m by 2.2m in BS:8300-2018, 1.5m by 2.2m in Part M-2015) and peninsular layout accessible toilets (2.2m by 2.4m in BS:8300-2018) should be regarded as referring to the minimum clear floor space. This should not be obstructed by items such as large waste pipes and basin pedestals. These could prevent users from getting close enough to use wc pans or basins. Waste and water pipes under basins should also not obstruct users from getting their knees under the basin.


Drop down rails and side wall horizontal rails are for leverage support when lowering onto or raising up from the wc pan.

Side wall rails are also needed for pulling across sideways when transferring from the wheelchair onto the wc pan. Drop down rails are not intended to be used for pulling on when making a sideways transfer onto a toilet.


Care should be taken with locating hot pipes and radiators. Some users will not be able to feel them and can be badly burnt or scalded without realising it. Hot pipes should be particularly kept away from the wc pan area where the user may lean against them.

Picture of a drop down rail next to a toilet pan

Picture showing a drop down rail being made ready to pull against for sideways transfer from the wheelchair to the wc pan. Generally a horizontal rail fixed to a wall should be used for this, as a drop down rail is not designed to take sideways pressure.


Accessible toilets should have audible and visible alarms outside, activated by a red cord inside. The red cord should hang down to within 100mm of the floor, should preferably be between the wc pan and the side wall (towards the front of the pan), where it cannot easily be mistaken for the light pull, and should have grip tags - one at the bottom and one between 800mm and 1000mm high.

The method for switching it off (reset button) should be clearly displayed inside the toilet and be next to the wc seat.


There should be a full length mirror at a low enough height for wheelchair users and shorter people to see themselves to adjust their clothing, running at least between 600mm and 1600mm above the floor.


The floor area should be kept clear of bins and other obstacles.


Baby change facilities should not be provided in accessible toilets or changing rooms. Some disabled people may get very little warning of needing to use an accessible toilet and baby changing and feeding can make the facility unavailable for a considerable length of time.


Showers should have a drop down seat. There should be a horizontal rail on the wall next to the side of the seat for a wheelchair user to pull across with when transfering. There should be a shower curtain which a wheelchair can be pushed behind to be in the dry but still be within reach of the person on the drop down seat.

There should also be vertical rails for people with mobility impairments. A drop down rail on the side of the seat away from the nearest side wall can also help.

There should be a shower head which is height adjustable by the person sitting on the seat. Other users should always finish by leaving the shower head at a low enough height for a wheelchair user to be able to reach it.

There should be clothes hooks at a low enough height for wheelchair users and shorter people. There can be hooks at a higher level as well.


These should have at least one bench where a disabled person can lay full length on while changing their clothes. Hooks for clothes should be provided at high and low levels. Where lockers are provided, some should be low enough for wheelchair users.

All lockers should make the method of operation and keys or coins needed clear, particularly whether the coins are returned or not.

Entrances into and spaces within changing areas should be wide enough for wheelchair users to manouevre into and around.