Update a Bathroom for Lifelong Living

To integrate age-friendly changes in a bathroom so you'll add improvements that will last a lifetime for everyone to enjoy, consider these suggestions to make it convenient and safe.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Update a Bathroom for Lifelong Living

Wouldn’t it be nice to remodel a bathroom so the design is ideal for every family member - whether it’s a rambunctious 8 year old or a refined 80-something? You may be giving a baby (or a dog) a bath or making it easy for an injured athlete to take a shower - whatever the situation, your remodeled bathroom will be a success if you incorporate universal design concepts.

Here are suggestions to consider if you’re remodeling a bathroom that will make it convenient and safe for everyone who uses it.

Access to a bathroom: Expand the width of the door entrance to 36-inches to accommodate a walker or wheelchair. And replace a door knob with a Level Style Handle so it’s easy to open and close.

Flooring: The durable surface should be slip-resistant, textured, and light in color with a low glare. And of course it should be easy to clean and maintain.

Cabinetry and Faucet: Raise a standard height vanity to about 34-inch high. Consider a Wall Mount Sink because it is more accessible, but don’t forget to add storage. A single lever faucet is easy to use, or choose a Hands-free Faucet that senses when to turn on and off.

Shower: A low or no threshold curbless base makes it easy to enter a shower and a slip-free surface makes it safe. Consider built-in seating or a bench for comfort and a Shower Hose Bar that adjusts easily.

Toilet: If you’ve ever recuperated from an injury you know how low most toilets are. Choose a Toilet with a comfort height of 17-inches to 19-inches.

Lighting: When possible use natural lighting and incorporate multiple sources over a bathtub, shower and vanity. A LED Night Light Receptacle with a sensor assures there’s always light in the dark plus provides a receptacle outlet.

Electrical: Make it easy to turn on lights with rocker-style (not toggle) switches installed at a convenient height. Add easy-to-reach Rotating Electrical Outlets for appliances with bulky plugs where they’re most used. And a Towel Warmer is a luxury touch in any bathroom that provides additional heat.

Grab Bars: Choose double-duty grab bars like a Shelf and Grab Bar and install them in three locations: near the toilet, along the showerhead wall and the back wall of a tub/shower. Follow this link to an infographic to learn more at Moen.

Looking for a Bathroom Contractor to remodel your bathroom? Click here to get to Home Advisor and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by Bathroom Contractors in your area.

Click on these Links to Articles and Information about Aging in Place

Looking for a Bathroom Contractor to do the job? Click here at Home Advisor a free service that matches homeowners with Bathroom Contractors.