11 Ways to Age-Proof Your Bathroom
Learn how to create a safe and accessible bathroom without sacrificing style
If you’re planning to stay in your house for the rest of your life, it might be wise to renovate your bathroom with accessible design in mind. Along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the spaces homeowners use the most. They also happen to be wet zones, which increases the likelihood of slips and falls. That said, reducing slip hazards and ensuring adequate lighting and maximum comfort are vital when creating an age-proof bathing space. These 11 ideas will ensure that your bathroom is safe and easy to use for decades to come.
1. Install a shower bench. A safe place to sit in the shower is vital for an age-proof bathroom design. Decreasing the amount of time you stand in the shower not only eases the strain on your body, it also reduces the chances of slipping and falling.
Your bench can be a built-in and tiled or free-standing. You can even use waterproof seat cushions so you’re not sitting on a hard surface. Find a bench that is large enough for comfortably sitting and bathing.
2. Install a handheld shower head. These clever shower heads are easily adjustable for height and, when placed adjacent to your shower bench, enable you to wash up while seated.
3. Install double-duty grab bars. These provide something for you to hold on to as you’re entering and exiting your shower. It’s best to install one on the outside of your shower and on each of your interior walls so you can safely navigate the space. Grab bars are highly functional; they can also double as towel and robe racks.
4. Increase the height of your vanity. The standard vanity height is 31½ inches (not including your countertop). This isn’t always high enough for homeowners. Raising the cabinet height to 34½ inches (this will reach standard kitchen counter height, including a 1½ inch countertop) can prevent you from having to hunch over as you’re washing up.
Sam Ferris – Houzz Contributor – February 12, 2016