Getting Your Bathroom Ready for an Elder Future

Injuries that occur in the bathroom are more frequent in elder populations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An important question to consider when remodeling your bathroom is: Will I be able to comfortably and safely use my bathroom when I am older? Preparing your home now for when you’re older could potentially save time and money in the future. Here is some helpful bathroom remodeling tips to consider.


Textured flooring is a great way of providing slip resistance in a bathroom. However, the usage of slick tile can increase the likelihood of an injury from a fall. One way to easily identify tile with good slip resistance is to look for grooves or the feeling of texture. The more texture the tile has, the greater the friction. A flooring material’s slip resistance can normally be found on the manufacturer’s website. Another way to increase friction and reduce slippage is to employ smaller tile.


Well-lit bathrooms provide less strain on your eyes. Also, it can allow you to easily be aware of wet spots. Good lighting can be achieved through recessed lighting, vanity lighting, lamps, and natural light.


Flat shower entry allows for wheelchair access and minimizes the risk of tripping. The shower floor will need to be properly sloped to allow a flat shower entry to allow water to drain correctly. If you choose to include a step, don’t make it cumbersome.


Shower benches are a safe place to sit in the shower and can be built-in or freestanding. This can greatly minimize the risk of slipping and falling, as well as decreasing the amount of strain placed upon the body by standing. Waterproof seat cushions can also be utilized to ensure that you are not sitting on a hard surface.


Handheld showerheads create a lavish illusion in a bathroom and are easily adjustable for height. When placed adjacent to a shower bench the showerhead can be utilized to wash while being seated.


Increase vanity height. If you’re more comfortable with the older standard vanity height, don’t increase it. The standard vanity height is 31½ inches (not including your countertop). This isn’t always high enough for homeowners. Raising to the current vanity cabinet height to 34½ inches (this will reach standard kitchen counter height, including a 1½ inch countertop) can prevent you from having to hunch over as you’re washing up. Or if you want to make your vanity wheelchair-accessible, choose a counter height of 34 inches maximum, as specified in the American Disabilities Act guidelines.


A Comfort-height toilet will reduce the strain on your back and knees by making sitting and standing much easier. Most toilets are less than 16 inches high, while comfort-height toilets are 17 to 19 inches high.


Double-duty grab bars provide something to hold on to as you enter and exit the shower. Grab bars are very functional and also double as robe and shower racks. It’s best to install one on the outside of your shower and on each of your interior walls so you can safely navigate the space.

Posted on November 24, 2016 in Bath Design Build

Share the Story

About the Author

Back to Top