Bathroom remodeling is being looked at in a whole new light. Recent trends in bathroom design have included making showers as large as possible with tiled walls and glass doors, large 2-sink vanities, and a soaking tub. Trends have changed to become a bit more practical as individuals age, becoming less mobile. There are several ways to remodel your bathroom so that it meets you and your family’s needs now and into the future. Making these changes may enable you to live in your own home longer.
Bath Remodeling Trends
The goal in making a bathroom that accommodates your physical needs as you age, as well as of anyone with an injury or other type of illness that makes them physically challenged either in the short-term, or long-term. Most of what you need to consider is the accessibility of items and ensuring safety.
Bathroom design is directly related to the physical condition of those using the facility. Installing hand bars or grab bars strategically around the bathroom, such as on tub walls, helps you to better sit and stand safely. Grab bars are no longer the industrial metal looking bars seen in hospitals. Todays grab bars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. It is recommended that you install bars that are textured, as these are easier to hang onto than smooth ones.
Building a shower that you can roll a wheelchair into and that does not have a lip or curb to step over improves access and gives a lot of room to maneuver a wheelchair or walker. Adding a shower seat gives the person the option to sit and take a shower. Seating options include a build-in seat or a moveable seat or stool that can be folded up and stored away. Adding an adjustable shower head/hand held shower combination enables you to easily position the stream of water to any height. And installing the faucets so that they are reachable needs to be considered.
Faucets and Sinks
Physically challenged individuals will also need to be able to reach and use the sink. As such, the sink needs to be at the right height and, in some cases, allow a wheelchair to be moved underneath it. Lever handles on faucets work well as does floor pedal controlled faucets where the water can be turned on and off by your feet. It is also a good idea to install anti-scald controls both on the sink and bathtub faucets to avoid potential burning.
Install mirrors at a usable height so that the individual can see their reflection. Fog-less mirrors and those that include a space that magnifies the image are suggested. Mirrors that tilt up-and-down, and back-and-forth, can also be a great addition.
Cabinets and other storage units should be easy to access (open and close). Small carts on wheels stowed beneath the sink work wells. A medicine cabinet, if included, needs to be in-reach of the individual to be usable.
Throw rugs are definitely not a good idea to keep in a bathroom simply because it is a significant safety hazard. It is very easy to trip and fall! Instead, install anti-skid tile or an anti-slip rug so that it remains secure to the floor.
Bathroom doors should be lockable and un-lockable from both the inside and the outside. This is important, as you will not be able to access the bathroom if it is only un-lockable from the inside and someone has fallen or has hurt himself or herself. Use lever handles for doorknobs. Doors should open to the outside and not to the inside of the bathroom. Pocket doors are a super edition as they are great space savers and easy to slide back-and-forth.
Other items to consider when remodeling a bathroom include:
- A nightlight and/or a lighted toilet seat.
- Faucets that turn on-and-off with a swipe of a hand.
- Sensor-driven lighting that turns on when someone enters and is in the bathroom and off when they leave.
- A toilet paper holder that is easy to reach and that can be changed with only one hand.
- An easy reachable shelf that holds shampoo, soap, etc.
- And an alarm or phone that can be used to contact help if needed.
Remodeling a bathroom does not mean that you need to add elements that make the bathroom look industrial or hospital-like. Creative designs for all of these items have made remodeling to meet physical challenged individuals easy with the end result being both stylish and functional at the same time.