By Gene And Katie Hamilton
Short of a complete remodeling job to transform a bathroom to make it convenient for any age family member, here are some less expensive replacements and improvements you can make. Some of these upgrades are a simple swap, while others involve more work, but any or all of them will go a long way to make your bathroom safer and more convenient for every age family member in your home.
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Replace a Tub with a Shower. Change an unused bathtub with a shower into a standalone shower and create an easier and safer entrance and exit with a shower receptor that has a lower step-over threshold versus a bathtub. The unit is designed to fit a standard 5-foot bath alcove space and comes in both left-or-right drain configurations.
Install a Pressure Shower Valve. Prevent scalding with a pressure valve designed to control the flow of hot and cold water, protecting you from a blast of scalding water when someone flushes a toilet or turns on a dishwasher. These anti-scald controls are designed as replacement units and eliminate the need to tear open the wall to remove the old valve and lines, a major concern when remodeling.
Install a Shower Hose Bar. Add a movable hand shower on a bar, a convenient addition to a showerhead that makes it easy to focus the direction of spray wherever it's needed. When someone in the family suffers from low back pain, you can massage sore muscles with a spray of soothing warm water. For bathing kids who don't like a tub bath, the movable showerhead makes short work of the ordeal.
Install a Curved Shower Curtain Rod Expand the room in a bathtub shower by enlarging the space confined by a shower curtain with a space-expanding rod first featured in the small bathrooms of motels. Now they're available for consumers who want to stretch the space in their bathtub making it easier and safer to move around and bathe with comfort and ease.
Replace a Toilet For comfort replace an old low and water-wasting toilet with one designed with a higher 17-inch rim often called the "right height". The higher rim is particularly convenient for anyone who is physically challenged because it’s easier to use. Choose one that’s also designed with a quiet flush feature and one that conserves water.
Install a Wall Hung Sink Make a sink easier to reach for family members with difficulty reaching the faucets on a typical bathroom base cabinet with a wall-hung sink with access below the sink. This is particularly useful for someone in a wheel chair or suffering from a sports injury using a walker or crutches.