Home improvement is synonymous with spring cleaning, and for the mobility-challenged, a bathroom remodel is an ideal project to enhance the beauty, comfort, accessibility and safety of a home. Here are TOP 10 IDEAS for home bathroom improvements to help attain optimal accessibility:
1. Shower Seats – More than just a comfy place to relax while showering, adding a shower seat provides a place to rest your feet, and if you’re concerned about it taking up too much space, a folding shower seat option is available.
2. Built-In Shelves – Skip the metal or plastic shower caddies that can make your shower look and feel cluttered and opt for built-in shelves instead. These are perfect for keeping your bathroom necessities neat and tidy. This also eliminates any tripping hazard for seniors or a disabled person transferring from a wheelchair or lift into the shower area.
3. Skip the Threshold – Creating a curbless (zero-entry) shower not only gives your bathroom a sleek and modern look, it also allows for aging in place. Removing the trip hazard and mobility barrier of a threshold makes your bathroom safer and more practical.
4. Consider the Placement of Hooks, Towel Bars, and the Toilet Paper Holder – Many times these are the overlooked details in a bathroom remodel, especially when the shower or the toilet is being relocated. These elements shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought, especially since they need to remain within reach.
5. Shop Showerheads and Handhelds – Upgrading your bathroom should include making your shower experience easier. The right handheld shower head with extension can make rinsing those hard to reach areas a breeze. The placement of a fixed showerhead should depend on one’s reach. A central rain head is a popular option. Installing a combination of fixed and handheld showerheads also provide more flexibility.
6. Get Rid of Your Whirlpool Tub – Many homeowners have whirlpool tubs in their bathrooms that are either broken or rarely get used because of the amount of water they require, or perhaps transferring from a wheelchair to the tub is too difficult. Consider ditching the whirlpool tub for a euro style shower. Add extra storage in your bathroom with the freed up space, while you’re at it.
7. Upgrade Your Vanity – If the bath necessities stored within your existing vanity are out of reach, then consider upgrading to a roll under vanity. If you no longer need a second sink, then remove one and install a series of grab bars or a handheld to make aging safely in place possible.
8. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – The mirror in the bathroom is often overlooked. While one large mirror is common, a popular alternative is the use of multiple, selectively placed smaller mirrors. This can make a bathroom feel larger or they can fit into awkwardly shaped spaces.
9. Shed Some Light – Adding recessed lighting to your shower and throughout your bathroom can create aesthetically pleasing and functional light. Adding a dimmer switch can help you control the intensity of the light. This is helpful for people who are sensitive to bright light. Or as your vision goes with age, an adjustable light/mirror can be ultra helpful when needing to see up close.
10. Include Accessibility Features in Your Design Wishlist – What day-to-day tasks do you find challenging within your current bathroom? Would solid shower walls, or the removal of barriers make bathing easier. Be sure to include your practical needs and challenges within design requirements. Find a happy medium between style and practicality.
Hopefully, these 10 bathroom accessibility improvement tips will help you find a qualified bathroom remodeling contractor for your project, and one that is operating under heightened safety protocols.
Or, if you’re ready to get started, visit our accessible bathroom remodel to request a FREE consultation and let our design team help you create the accessible bathroom of your dreams!