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Bench press

  • Kelvin Grimes

A key component of any hygiene room or Changing Places toilet is the adult-sized height adjustable changing bench. It’s written into the standard specifications, but how does one make the choice between a wall-mounted or mobile version (beyond any cost considerations)?

From a practical point of view, a wall-mounted bench requires the wall to have appropriate structural support strength. A stud wall will not be strong enough to take the weight of the bench, even before the bench is subjected to any weight loading when someone uses it. A mobile, floor-standing bench requires no such considerations.

The room should, to comply with guidelines, be a minimum 12m2. This is to allow adequate room for a wheelchair user and at least one carer to move around easily.

If a mobile bench is selected, the bench’s ‘footprint’ is permanently occupied, impingeing on the free space in which to move. A wall-mounted bench is, as it says on the tin, mounted on the wall, and can be folded back flush against that wall when not in use, giving additional room to manoueuvre.

So, to make an informed decision, consider the issues beyond the ‘bottom line’. What additional cost, if any, is there to strengthen the bench- bearing wall? How ‘tight’ on space is the room from the outset? If it is only just the 12m2, there may be a cupboard next door that could be knocked into the room to expand available space and thus choice over bench…

Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD