As you may know, growing older presents particular challenges as we “age-in- place” in our homes. It is important to have a bathroom that is accessible in all ways, and convenient to navigate even with limited mobility. When planning for a shower, you want to make sure to install blocking behind the shower walls so grab bars can be securely fastened. It is a good idea to install a seat, either stationary or fold-down. A hand-held shower attachment is a great way to rinse off while sitting down. Lighting is a very important detail. We install a waterproof recessed light inside the shower, so you can clearly view your surroundings. Depending on the size of your remodel, additional recessed lights will be installed in the rest of the bathroom to ensure you can see everything clearly. We install two exhausts, one inside the shower and one elsewhere in the bathroom, so you will have quick and efficient removal of moist air.
Getting back to the shower… There are drain systems available now that do not require a shower “curb” or threshold. This means that there is no lip to step over when entering the shower from the bathroom floor- the two are flush. This is particularly helpful for those with a limited range of motion or even in a wheelchair. We recommend a bowed shower curtain over a shower door, as the door limits your access and requires a threshold.
Speaking of access, you want to make sure that the doorway into the bathroom has at least a 36” opening to allow for a wheelchair. Access to the sink is also a concern. There are several different vanity styles available, with different heights and clearances to accommodate your particular needs. Wall-hung lavatories are also a good choice for accessible bathrooms. Around the toilet, it is a good idea to install blocking in the walls for grab bars. A comfort-height, elongated toilet is considered ADA compliant.
Here at KCCNE we are very experienced in Universal Access design for both kitchens and bathrooms. We would be happy to work with you to create your dream Bath or Kitchen that allow you to enjoy living comfortable and safe at home for many years to come!