bathroom remodel

7 Universal Design Ideas to Incorporate in your Bathroom Remodel

“Between 2006 and 2030, the number of people in the U.S. age 65 and over will nearly double from 37 million to 71.5 million. Of that group, 87 percent want to remain in their homes as they age, according to a study conducted by the AARP. This underscores the importance of aging-in-place projects for remodelers and dovetails with an important statistic: Falls account for more accidental deaths among seniors than all other types of accidents combined.” – Professional Remodeler Magazine.

It’s typical to think of those ugly, commercial grab bars when you think of aging-in-place design for the bathroom. Here are 7 not-so-obvious design details that make functionality better for all ages creating a Universal Design.

1. Thermostatic Valve in Shower

Nobody wants to be scalded with hot water. A thermostatic control valve can cap off how hot the water can get. It also can control water volume which can save water when you are doing things like shaving or shampooing.

2. Color and Texture Contrast

Whether your eye sight starts to deteriorate or you can’t seem to find your glasses, contrasting colors in a design help you to see the start and stop of different objects such as a bathtub or shower curb against the floor.

3. Lever Handles vs Knobs

Grip strength weakens as we age but what happens when someone breaks their arm? Levers make it easier to open doors and turn on faucets by simply pushing on them.

4. Handheld Shower Head

Handhelds are great for people who need to sit while showering but also for kids beginning to shower and even pets.

“Add an extra hook next to the bench to place the handheld while using it.” – Jolynn Johnson

5. Grab Bars

Gone are those commercial grab bars in your home. Grab bars are now disguised as towel bars, shampoo shelves and corner soap dishes.

“I really like the toilet paper holder that is a grab bar. Delta makes a nice one that is reasonably priced.” – Carol Kornak

6. Bench

Benches serve a purpose in a shower including a seat for showering but also as a foot rest while shaving legs, or a place for toiletries.

“There could be a built-in bench, fold down bench or include adequate space for a portable bench in the shower.” – Barb Bircher

7. Trench Drains

Eliminating the threshold of a shower allows for wheelchair accessibility but also tends to look better. Trench drains allow for a curb-less shower, but some existing bathrooms do not allow for it. With a big enough shower, you can also eliminate the door, making it so much easier to get in and out.

Finding an NKBA professional gives you confidence knowing they have a knowledge and understanding for accessible and universal design. As a NKBA member, we are always learning and striving to provide our customers with the products, design and service to exceed their expectations.

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Soprano

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