Bathrooms are one of the most-used rooms in a home. It’s important for them to be functional, to work well and flow well, and to be accessible. Here are some key features of an accessible bathroom remodel:
1. Ground-Floor Bathroom
When it comes to age-in-place design and accessibility, keeping important rooms on the ground floor to avoid needing to use stairs is common. If you have a bathroom on the ground floor, it’s a good idea to remodel it to suit your needs.
If it’s not a full bathroom and is a different type of bathroom, it may be worth expanding it into a full bathroom. If there is no bathroom on the first or ground floor, you may want to consider adding a bathroom so there is accessible bathroom access that doesn’t require stairs.
2. Walk-In Shower
Better accessibility and more customizability are some of the benefits of a walk-in shower. In addition to being able to customize it to include convenient features and being able to fit in a variety of bathrooms, walk-in showers also reduce tripping and fall hazards because they don’t require stepping up into them.
They can even be designed to be curbless to avoid tripping hazards altogether and to allow for roll-in and roll-out wheelchair access. Bathroom upgrades like this, and in general, are some popular home renovations to make during retirement. And, because upgrading the bathroom also increases home value and is interior work, it can be a good choice at any time, no matter the season.
Take a look at the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team adding a bathroom with a walk-in shower to this home!
3. Walk-In Tub
Although walk-in showers tend to be more popular and common bathroom upgrades, walk-in tubs are becoming more popular. These types of bathtubs include seating and are built with a door that allows for easy access into the tub without having to step over a high side. These doors are designed to keep the step required for entry low to the ground, be easy to use, and also to close and insulate tightly for a waterproof seal.
There are many benefits of walk-in tubs. Walk-in tubs can be a good option for people who want the accessibility of a walk-in shower and the experience of a soaking tub. If you have space for it in your bathroom layout, you could even opt for a walk-in shower and a separate freestanding or corner walk-in tub. Including both, if you have the space, is one of the bathroom design trends and can increase the value of your bathroom remodel.
4. Built-In Seating
Whether a walk-in shower, walk-in tub, or a shower/tub combo, built-in seating is one of the key features in an accessible bathroom remodel. Built-in seating, especially in bathroom areas that are known to get slippery, can provide a sturdy place to sit that will not shift or move to create tripping or fall hazards. This type of customization, especially in the shower, is also one of the popular bathroom remodeling ideas.
Not only does it decrease the risk of dangerous falls, but it can also provide more independence and make it easier for someone with limited mobility or muscle or limb weakness to be able to bathe themselves without needing assistance. Upgrading the bathroom is one of the home renovation trends and making upgrades like this can help make a bathroom more accessible.
5. Textured or Anti-Slip Flooring
In addition to bathroom flooring ideas and options that are not prone to being slippery, it’s also a good idea to add textured or anti-slip flooring features to areas that are likely to get wet and to areas where slips are likely to occur. Textured flooring near the bathroom sink or vanity and outside of the shower or tub are a good start.
Anti-slip grips for the floor of a bathtub or shower are a must. If there are mobility issues to consider, it’s usually best to avoid floor mats. However, if there will be floor mats, you can add anti-slip pads to them to keep them from shifting around or flipping up to become tripping hazards.
6. Grab Bars
Grab bars in a shower or tub are key features in any bathroom, especially in an accessible bathroom remodel. In addition to the shower or tub, you can also place grab bars strategically around the bathroom to allow for improved mobility around the bathroom and not just within the shower or bathtub.
Provided these are within reach, sturdy, and installed securely, grab bars can offer added balance when stepping up, stepping down, or moving across a wet surface. They can also provide extra leverage for sitting down or standing up to reduce the risk of slips or falls.
7. Wide Doorways
Wide doorways are key features in an accessible bathroom remodel. Not only do they allow for easier movement, especially if a caregiver is required to assist someone into the bathroom, but they also allow room for walkers, wheelchairs, or other assistive devices for easier, smoother entrance into the bathroom.
8. Plenty of Space in the Bathroom Layout
Cramped bathroom layouts are a common issue and are one of the signs it’s time to remodel your bathroom. Having plenty of space to move around in a bathroom layout improves the function and flow for everyone and is particularly important in an accessible bathroom remodel.
Not having enough space, not having enough storage, and having a poor bathroom layout are all bathroom remodeling mistakes to avoid. You want to make sure there is plenty of room to enter, move around, transfer from a walker or chair to other seating, and more. Not only does this make using and moving around the bathroom safer, but it also makes it much more comfortable.
9. Raised Toilet Seat
Replacing a standard toilet with one that is a little higher and with a raised seat reduces the distance required to sit and stand up. Not only does this reduce the risk of falls, but it also makes it easier for someone with limited strength and mobility to use the toilet on their own.
By reducing the distance and severity of the angle required for sitting on the toilet, you also reduce the pressure and threshold required for balance, knees, arms, etc. for getting on and off of it. A grab bar nearby in addition to a raised toilet are bathroom upgrades that can increase accessibility and independence.
10. Lower Counters and Open Vanity
There are many things to consider to help choose the best vanity for your bathroom remodel. In an accessible bathroom remodel, you want to balance storage and other features with accessibility. This often means lower countertops and leaving the area under the sink open or choosing a floating sink to allow for people using a wheelchair or walker to easily access the sink and things on the countertop.
You can also opt for motion-sensor bathroom fixtures and faucets to reduce the reach required to use them. Convenient features and details like these can make a bathroom more accessible and are some of the best ways to update a bathroom.
11. Multiple Ways to Control Lighting
It’s important to get the bathroom lighting options right in a bathroom remodel. In an accessible bathroom remodel, it’s important to include multiple ways to control the lighting. Motion-sensor lighting is useful as is voice-activated lighting.
When thinking about lighting in the bathroom, you can have standard light switches, but you also want to make sure they are easy to reach and use. Additionally, you want to make sure that there are other ways to control the bathroom lighting that don’t rely on manually flipping a switch.
Remodel Your Bathroom With Zephyr Thomas
Remodeling bathrooms to be more accessible and functional are home remodeling ideas for aging in place and can also improve the overall function and flow of your bathrooms. If you’re thinking about renovating your current bathroom, also think about some of the key features of an accessible bathroom remodel. You could end up finding that you want to include several of them.
There are a lot of things to consider when remodeling your bathroom, especially if you are taking into account things like upgrades, accessibility, and more. If you’re considering bathroom remodeling or adding a bathroom to your home, contact Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 to schedule a free estimate. We can help you narrow down options and create the bathroom you want in your home!
Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team completing a bathroom remodel for this homeowner!