How to Make a Handicapped Toilet

If you or someone in your home is disabled, one of the first areas of concern is the bathroom. Being able to use the toilet independently is very important, and with some basic modifications, you can provide an accessible toilet for handicapped use. There are solutions to convert your existing toilet to make it more handicapped-friendly or, for a more permanent situation, you may need to replace the toilet.

A handicapped accessible toilet provides independence to disabled users.

Step 1

Measure the doorway to your bathroom.  If a person in a wheelchair or scooter will be using the bathroom, they must be able to fit through the doorway to access the toilet.

For a standard, 24 to 27-inch wide wheelchair, the recommended door width is at least 32 inches.  If your doorway is too narrow, it will need to be resized or another bathroom chosen for handicapped use.

Step 2

Attach an elevated toilet seat over the commode for a temporary solution when assistance will be needed for a short time, such as after hip surgery, or if you want avoid more drastic remodeling.  Models with attached arms make it easier for the user to position themselves on and off the toilet.

The recommended height for a handicap access toilet is 17 to 19 inches. 

Step 3

Raise the entire toilet with a riser that goes under the base of the toilet.  This requires unscrewing and lifting the toilet, so you will require assistance from a plumber if you are not skilled at advanced DIY toilet installation.

Step 4

Fasten grab bars to the wall next to the toilet, 33 to 36 inches above the floor.  Make certain the bars are fastened securely into the wall studs and can support the weight of the user.

Step 5

Hang the toilet paper roll where it is easy to reach from the toilet without the need to bend or stretch. 

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Elevated toilet seat
  • Toilet riser
  • Grab bars
  • Toilet paper holder


  • When using a toilet seat riser with attached arms, always place even weight on the arms when moving on or off the toilet, to avoid the riser coming detached or tipping.

About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

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