Barrier-free shower area in a patient room

Universal design in the shower: Comfort and support for everyone

Universal design plays an essential role in promoting inclusive and sustainable societies. The design concept improves the quality of life and social participation of all people living in our community. Architecture, interior design, and product design are decisive factors that contribute to the realization of the inclusive approach. However, there are a few points to bear in mind when it comes to making publicly frequented areas and privately used rooms equally accessible to everyone.  In this article, you will learn how to design a shower according to Universal Design aspects and what advantages this brings. 

Universal Design: An overview 

The philosophy of Universal Design focuses on people and their individual needs and is an important building block for breaking down barriers. The design approach is characterized by independence, flexibility, intuitive use, and low physical effort. This influences the design of furnishing concepts and products. Universal design solutions offer comfort and support for every user – regardless of their physical and mental abilities, age, weight, or size.

Designing a shower in the spirit of Universal Design: The advantages

A shower designed according to Universal Design aspects will meet the needs of all users. It offers both comfort and flexible support when needed. It also offers other advantages:

  • Safety

Safety in the bathroom is essential for everyone – whether in the shower or at the toilet or sin.. Products in Universal Design consider safety right from the start and implement concepts that directly minimize potential hazards. Wet, slippery surfaces or excessively hot water temperatures in the shower are a potential hazard for everyone. This can be remedied with grab rails and special thermostats with scald protection.

Our grab rails make your customers feel safe in the shower. Especially in risky situations caused by wet floor coverings or greasy residues from shampoo, soap, and the like, the solutions can help prevent a serious fall. Non-slip floor coverings offer a further safety bonus here.

An ideal holding option is the L-shaped support rail, which enables both vertical and horizontal gripping and thus offers maximum comfort and support. Thanks to the vertical and horizontal arrangement, the solution offers a secure hold and support both when standing and sitting.

The HEWI shower thermostats in the Safe Touch version have a hot water lock that prevents scalding and a technology that cools the tap body from the inside out. This keeps the surface at a pleasant temperature and prevents injuries – this property is particularly useful for protecting the curious hands of children. 

  • Accessibility

A level-access shower is not only accessible for everyone but also extremely modern and comfortable.

In the event of an accident, increasing age, or a change in health, no costly and time-consuming conversion measures are necessary thanks to a shower design in Universal Design.

According to DIN 18040-2, the accessible design of showers requires a floor plan of at least 120 cm × 120 cm. Showers thus offer enough space to move around comfortably. If users with limited strength and mobility require aids or need assistance from care staff, this is no problem thanks to the spacious design.

Our innovative magnetic shower holder also offers cross-generational showering comfort. The solution is designed according to Universal Design aspects, and the handling is considerably simplified. Characteristic features include the easy height adjustment by sliding the shower holder thanks to the magnetic function, the intuitive one-handed operation, the continuously rotatable shower head holder, and the absence of push buttons and rotary knobs.

  • Comfort

Mobile bath chairs and stools offer your customers flexibility and support wherever they need it. The products in our seating family feature modern design style and clever additional functions. In addition to chairs with an integrated towel rail and holding options, a model with armrests is available. This increases comfort and the feeling of safety in the shower. 

In addition to the flexible stools and bath chairs, our range includes various types of shower seats. There is a choice of permanently installed and mobile versions, some of which are available as a hook-in seat, fold-away seat, or height-adjustable.

  • Flexibility

The Universal Design of the shower responds to the changing needs of people and is therefore particularly versatile. It is adaptable in the event of illness, increasing age or changing life circumstances and thus minimizes the need for conversion measures and adjustments.

  • Long-term and sustainable

Sanitary areas and product solutions in “Design for all” range are designed for long-term use. Because they adapt to the changing needs of people, conversions and the replacement of sanitary products are no longer necessary. Thanks to the long life cycle of the products, these bathrooms can be used across generations.

  • Aesthetics

Aesthetics are another important aspect of Universal Design. With HEWI in particular, design and function form an inseparable unit. Thanks to their design, HEWI solutions fit perfectly into any ambiance and do not stand out as a supporting product. Clear style, innovative functions, and the highest standards of quality and durability contribute to destigmatization. The solutions in our System 900 feature a modern design as well as clever functions that enable accessible use.

Short and sweet: This is a must when planning

In order to ensure that the shower is a success for everyone, it is highly recommended that you consider the following aspects:

  • The shower should be at ground level and have not barriers
  • Use non-slip floors and surfaces in the shower in order to prevent falls
  • Install support options such as handrails or grab rails to increase the stability and safety of your customers
  • Integrate mobile and flexible seating options such as stools or bath chairs in the shower
  • Use clever products that allow cross-generational use – what offers comfort today offers support tomorrow
  • Install shelves at variable heights so that both seated and standing people can store their bathroom utensils
  • Make sure the shower has a suitable floor area that allows comfortable showering and offers sufficient space for aids or care staff



Planning a shower? We will support you!

Do you need support in planning a shower with Universal Design in mind? Our HEWI planning service will be happy to support you in realizing your project. Our planning service is free of charge for you as planners and architects. Please contact us using the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!