Bathrooms can be one of the most dangerous places in our homes at any age, but especially as we get older. If you’re thinking about a bathroom remodel and know you plan on staying in your home for as long as possible, consider a universal bathroom design. Here are the steps to take so you have a bathroom that will serve you well for years to come.
Work With a Remodeling Company
Admittedly, it’s tempting to hire an inexpensive contractor or even try to do the work yourself. However, if you truly want universal design in your bathroom that will serve you no matter what mobility issues you may face in the future, hire a bathroom remodeling company. They know the codes
and products that meet aging-in-place needs. When you do it right the first time, you won’t need to remodel again and you’ll be able to sell your home with the term “universal design bathroom” in the listing, which will appeal to many buyers.
Accept You May Lose Space From Adjoining Rooms
Because one of the requirements of a universally designed bathroom is a 60-inch turn radius, you may have to take space from an adjoining room. Another requirement is at least a 36-inch doorway. That may require moving the door in order to achieve the required width. You also need three feet in front of the door to make the turn required to get into the bathroom. If you don’t have available space in front of the door, consider a 42-inch door, which reduces the space necessary to turn.
Add More Lighting
Did you know that as we age, our eyes require more lighting than they did when we were younger? In fact, a 60-year-old needs about three times more light to see clearly than a 20-year-old! If you currently have lights only above the vanity, consider adding recessed can lighting. If a window is the only light in the shower area, add a can light in there as well. You can always have them on separate switches if you don’t want them all on at the same time. Adding lights during your bathroom remodel is easier and cheaper than adding them later.
Counter, Switch & Toilet Heights
One of the best investments in any bathroom remodel is a comfort-height toilet. Combine this with a grab bar, and almost anyone can have privacy in the bathroom for years to come. However, it’s not the only element whose height you’ll want to consider. Look at the current placement of your light switches. If you or a family member becomes confined to a wheelchair, will they be able to turn on the light themselves? Lowering them now may be the right choice.
Vessel sinks are a big trend in bathroom remodeling, however, they’re one we don’t recommend in bathrooms where couples want to age in place. This is because they add height to the sink, and you may not be able to easily access a vessel sink from a seated position. Instead, look at traditional sinks and lower vanities.
Contact G.M. Roth for Your Bathroom Remodeling Needs
Whether you’re looking at a traditional bathroom remodel with standard features or are considering a universal design, G.M. Roth can help. Our service area extends from Manchester, NH, through Amherst, MA, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (603) 880-3761 or fill out our contact form.