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  • #9368


    Hi there, I will be custom designing and building a 1 story home in 2020/2021.
    I am looking for hallway, doorways, bath, bathroom, toilet and kitchen measurements for wheelchair accessibility.

    Any help or leads Greatly appreciated!


  • Author
  • #9369


    Hello Steve,

    I’ll start by saying that I am a wheelchair user and have previously designed houses for about 6-years in the United States. I assume because you’re posting on Accessible Japan that you’re building in Japan? So, if you’re looking for specific Japanese size units (e.g. exact door sizes), I do not know them but I will give you some minimum & recommended sizes in imperial units ( ‘ =feet & ” =inches) and try to convert them as accurately as possible to metric which should give you a good idea of what you’re asking for:

    • Hallways should be a minimum of 2′-8″ or 81.28 centimeters (this will barely allow for the minimum size doorway in such hallways).
    • Hallway size recommended if you have the space is 3′-0″ or 91.44 centimeters wide, or if you want a person and wheelchair to squeeze by 4′-0″ or 121.92 centimeters wide.
    • Doorways should be a minimum of 2′-6″ or 76.2 centimeters wide (this is the door size itself not counting the trim), this is tight for a bigger motorized wheelchair but passable.
    • Doorway size recommended if you have the space is 3′-0″ or 91.44 centimeters wide, the extra makes it much less likely to bump/scrape the door, however if there’s a hallway immediately after the door, the hallway will need to be about 3′-4″ (101.6 centimeters) or wider.
    • Thresholds at doorways should be as minimal as possible, usually only an issue at exterior doors, and little-to-no steps at exterior doors where possible (if required: maybe a couple centimeters or best option is to have a gentle slope).
    • Bath if you plan to have a lift capable of putting a person in a tub from a wheelchair, standard tubs can work, just make sure to install plenty of safety handrails. Nevertheless, standard tubs may not be wide enough for a shower chair that may be used commonly to wash up (shower space recommended).
    • Shower space is recommended ideally a minimum 2′-6″ (76.2 centimeters) by 5′-0″ (152.4 centimeters) space or bigger (especially if the wheelchair user needs a caregiver to help wash), Japanese baths often have a space beside the tub with a floor-drain that works as a shower space, but make sure the door (if any) is big enough to easily get into shower area and the door swings outward away from the shower space (if someone fell in front of the shower door you wouldn’t be able to open it if it swings in where the person is).
    • Shower additional recommendation, if you are planning a dedicated shower space that will be tiled, have them drop down that floor space by about 4″ (10.16 centimeters), this way you can slope the area to the drain and have no step up into the shower (no threshold), especially useful when using a shower chair with wheels.
    • Bathroom sink should be a floating sink with no cabinets under it so a person in a wheelchair can park under it and wash.
    • Bathroom toilet, you may want to install grab bars that swing up out of the way.
    • Bathroom space ideally you should have a 5′-0″ (152.4 centimeters) diameter circle of empty space so a wheelchair can turn around in the bathroom, this may not be possible because of size constraints so you may want to try to keep a 3′-0″ (91.44 centimeters) wide space in front of toilets and sinks for minimal accessibility.
    • Kitchen spaces don’t have a lot of options for wheelchair users, nevertheless if you have a walkway between cabinets I recommend it be 3′-6″ or 106.68 centimeters wide, this is not only accessible but typically accommodates two people (standing) to work in the space back to back. You could also have no cabinets under the sink for wheelchair access (though usually people want the cabinet space), but I would never recommend having no cabinets under a cook-top (if someone in a wheelchair is sitting with chair under cook-top and a spill of hot oil occurs, it could easily cause life threatening burns on the torso and below).

    I think I covered everything you were asking about, if I missed something let me know.

    I hope that helps,


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