Plan your bathroom remodel to fit your needs for the next 30 years
As we get older, we start to experience more physical limitations – our balance feels off, we can’t navigate stairs as well as we used to, and our vision starts to decline. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stay in our homes. It just means our homes might need a few adjustments.
One of the spaces with lots of room for improvement is the bathroom. Here are six ideas to consider when remodeling your bathroom for aging-in-place.
- Get rid of the tub/shower unit. Opt for a zero-threshold shower or a shower pan with a low profile. This will eliminate as much of a height-difference as possible between your floor and the floor of your shower, meaning you won’t have to make such a big step to get into the shower. And make sure your shower floor has a good texture and grip to it to keep you from sliding when it gets wet.
- Pick high contrast materials. They don’t need to be neon, but consider using darker colors and lighter colors in contrast to help determine visual field of depth. For example: in an all-white shower, it can be difficult to discern where the floor stops and the wall starts. By making the floor of the shower significantly darker than the walls, the contrast will help you see the changes in surface areas much easier.
- Switch out the toilet. Replacing your standard toilet with a chair height, or “comfort height” toilet will make it that much easier to squat. A good height for a toilet bowl is 16-17” from the finished floor to the top of the seat. Additionally, consider replacing your standard toilet with a bidet. It can be strange to get used to a bidet if you’ve never used one before, but as we lose mobility, it can be a great way to ensure a proper cleaning after using the bathroom.
- Choose single handle faucets. Also called “single hole” faucets, these fixtures only require one hand to operate and can easily move between hot and cold water without tedious adjustment. Lever-style handles are especially great for anyone struggling to grip a round faucet knob, or dealing with arthritis.
- Make it easy to clean. Opt for materials that have less spots for bacteria to build. Solid surface showers and countertops are way easier to clean than tile with grout lines. Although if you do opt for tile, make sure your grout is epoxy-based or polyurethane-based to avoid the need for resealing. Toilets with concealed trapways leave less places for dust to settle. Plan to choose materials with the least amount of maintenance possible.
- Install grab bars. This is one of the more typical remodel ideas when planning for aging-in-place. There are so many great options for grab bars, and they don’t look nearly as commercial as they once did. You can get grab bars built in to other fixtures, like your shower faucet or a towel bar. Even if you don’t plan to install the grab bars right away, have the proper backing installed where they’ll be placed in the future to make installation easier and more secure.
We want to make sure you can stay in your home as long as possible, and by including these few additional adjustments, your bathroom remodel can help ensure that outcome. With our design agreement and product selection process, we can walk you through the best options for your bathroom remodel. Give us a call today and get the bathroom remodel process started.