Getting Your Chair through a Narrow Doorway

Have you ever found your doorway is to narrow and your chair does not fit through the door?

It is often the most over looked item when considering the purchase of a wheelchair, shower chair, floor lift, or other medical equipment, the width of the doorway.   What is the overall width of the wheelchair or commode chair as compared to all of the doorways it has to go through? 

The problem is we tend to measure the space between the door frames and not realize that the butt of the door sticks out into the open of the door and keeps the chair from clearing the doorway.  Then we find that the chair or the floor lift does not fit through the doorway.

When this happens you can always remove the door, but then you have no privacy or odor control, if you get my drift.  If you have room you could tear the old door out and install a wider door, but this can be costly and time consuming, not to mention messy. 

A possible fix is to replace the door hinges with Expandable Door Hinges or I have seen them called Offset Hinges.  This type of door hinge moves the door in line with the door frame generally adding up to an inch to the opening.

Expandable Door Hinge
Expandable Door Hinge

These hinges also help if the door is wide enough for your chair but the footrest keep scraping the bottom of the door.  We have these in our home to help reduce the number of times the door gets scraped up.  I look at it as how much time they buy me between paint jobs and doors are the worst for me to have to repaint.

In most cases these are easy to install by simply remove the current hinge and replace with the new one.   I have not been able to find these in local hardware stores or even the big warehouse chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot.   The first set I bought was at a specialty door store and cost more then twice what we sell them for.  The Expandable Door Hinge we sell is a pair of heavy duty hinges that can easily support the weight of a solid wood door. 

One thought on “Getting Your Chair through a Narrow Doorway

  1. The expandable door hinge is a great tip. One thing that we advise is to have customers measure bedroom and bathroom spaces as well as door widths prior to purchasing products.

    Sometimes spaces are just too tight to navigate with adaptive aids and mobility products. This is particularly true of items; like shower chairs, bath benches and rails.

    Thanks for the tip.

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