Research shows that bathrooms injuries are likely to occur if your bathroom is not well designed. That’s why it’s a good precaution to properly safeguard your bathroom for all who use it. Plus, if you have elderly family members or small children in your household, you ought to have a universal bathroom design. Here are a few ideas to make your bathroom ideal for use by everyone—no matter their physical ability or age.
Some people prefer to sit while in the shower, while others do not. In the case of senior residents, installing a fold-down seat or a bench in the shower can be very practical. To make sure the seat is easy to use, it should be installed at a height of 17 to 19 inches. That way, a person in a wheelchair will have no trouble using it. The seat surface should be between 15 and 17 inches wide and be installed lengthwise. It should also be up to code and have a load capacity of 300 lbs.
Sprays and controls
To enhance usability, installing a handheld shower spray can be very helpful. The shower spray slides on a wall-mounted rod and can be locked into place or pulled out from its support. Make sure the controls can be reached by everybody—even from outside the shower. The handles should be installed at a height of 40 to 50 inches. A thermostatic valve is a good way to prevent burns that may result from poor use of the controls by small children or elderly family members experiencing motor skill issues. A lever handle is easier to use.
Wall niches and shelves
Always make sure your bathroom has at least two wall niches for holding soap, shampoo, and other shower items. One of the niches should be installed lower, for kids and seated bathers. The other niche should be put up higher for standing bathers. Smaller niches are easier to integrate into your decor. What’s more, they reduce the risk of objects falling. Corner shelves take up less space. In general, they should be installed at a height of 40 to 50 inches.
Flooring and walls
Tumbled stone or non-glossy ceramic tiles are the perfect materials to make sure your bathroom floor isn’t slippery. An excellent way to showcase style and functionality is to install mosaics or other small pebble pieces into a dense grout network to give your floor a rough texture.
Showers require adequate lighting inside and at the entry. Correct lighting reduces the chance of tripping or losing your footing. The ideal location for overhead lighting in your shower is in the farthest top corner. This is the best place because the bather will not block the light as they shower.
Today’s grab bars are available in trendy finishes, elegant colours, and chic styles that blend beautifully with other bathroom accessories. For example, Utile shower wall panels offer moderns designs compatible with MAAX’s 300lb load capacity GENERATION+ grab bar. The best place to install grab bars is at the entry and at various heights in the shower. They should be installed at a height of 33 to 36 inches. Longer grab bars are more practical. The distance between the wall and the grab bar should be at least 1½ inches and the diameter should be between 1¼ and 2 inches. A grab bar installed vertically in the entry makes it easy to access the shower safely.
Grab bars are necessary since they can help avoid falls in the shower. They make your bathroom universally accessible and safe for kids, the physically challenged, and the elderly. If you’re building a new house and don’t want grab bars, at least add blocking for them. This will make it cheaper for you to install them in the future, if needed.