Make your Bathroom Design More Accessible

A bathroom design reflects not only your personal taste and style, but also the requirements of your household.  A busy master bathroom intended for getting ready every day may be designed differently than a guest bath that will be used infrequently.  Or, a bathroom intended for a house with small children may have different design requirements than one in a house with no children.  A bathroom renovation is the perfect time to not only update your style, but also to transform the mission of your bathroom based on the changing needs of your household.

One common trend today is to create a more accessible bathroom style, which supports aging in place but also provides better accessibility for any household member with mobility issues.  There are many design features that improve the accessibility of your bathroom for your home.

Think about Space

First, consider installing a full bathroom on the lower level of your home, giving you access to a full bath without having to go up the stairs.  This can be very useful, especially if your house has multiple levels, and if you plan to have a bedroom on the first floor.

Space is also more important when designing a bathroom with mobility issues in mind. Whether you need to accommodate a wheelchair, or are thinking about space for someone using a walker or cane, a larger bathroom with more allowance for space around the toilet or sink can make it much easier to maneuver.  Vanity and sink height, as well as the distance to the faucet, can also make a difference in how easy it is to access these areas on a daily basis.

Consider the Best Options for Bathing

While bathtub styles like a freestanding tub are very attractive, tubs can be very difficult to get in and out of when your mobility is reduced.  Some tub styles are more accessible, or even better change your tub for an extra-large shower design that is both stylish and also easier to access.  A curbless shower with an extra-large opening, or an open shower design like the one shown here, will ensure you can easily access your shower whether you are walking in independently, using a cane, or sitting in a wheelchair.  These showers have no threshold meaning you will not risk tripping when entering the shower and can also roll a wheelchair straight into the shower. 

Consider including a built in shower seat like this one, making it easier to maneuver once inside the shower.  An adjustable showerhead and a handheld showerhead will also improve your shower experience, making it simpler to bathe while standing or sitting.

Don’t Forget about Toilet Height

A bathroom remodeling project is the perfect time to replace your toilet with a comfort height toilet, which is approximately 2 inches taller than a traditional toilet.  While these toilets may not be appropriate for a home with children, they are the height of a standard chair and make sitting down and standing up easier for an adult with reduced mobility.

Add Grab Bars for Safety

Grab bars can be easily added wherever they are required to increase safety in the bathroom.  Include one at the toilet to aid in sitting and standing, and add grab bars on the exterior and interior of the shower or tub like the ones pictured here.  Grab bars are available in an array of styles and finishes to complement your bathroom so they will blend in with your décor rather than standing out. 

A bathroom renovation is an ideal opportunity to transform your space into a bathroom that will fit your lifestyle as you age in your home.  Contact us to find out more about designing an accessible bathroom, or for more bathroom remodeling ideas visit our design gallery here.