Simple Bathroom Remodeling for Accessibility

December 17, 2010

The huge baby boomer population across the world is aging. And for many in this generation the thought of giving up their independence and leaving their homes for a residential care facility is horrifying. That is why there has been a huge upswing in the number of requests for home remodels that focus on accessibility. By adapting their homes, even before they need to, older Americans are giving themselves a chance to remain in their own surroundings for as long as possible, even though they may develop physical infirmities that limit their movement.

Remodeling the bathroom is often the number one priority. Here are some of the remodeling tweaks that are being commonly put into practice to ensure that a home’s bathroom is accessible for all:

Countertops – By raising the height of bathroom countertops to around 40 inches those who have trouble bending are better accommodated. However, for a bathroom counter top to be the ideal height for an individual who uses a wheelchair it should measure about 36 inches high. One solution that some bathroom remodelers use is to install a double sink arrangement along a longer bathroom, divided countertop, installing one sink at each ideal height.

Flooring – Slips and falls in the bathroom can happen to anyone, regardless of their age. Such falls can be extremely dangerous for older people though. Slippery flooring surfaces can be coated with a specialist non slip substance if a completely new floor is not in the budget and area rugs should be avoided if at all possible.

A better solution though is to have a textured ceramic tile floor installed, as the no slip coatings can make it hard for a wheelchair user to maneuver around their bathroom.

Bathroom Faucets – Some bathroom faucets can become very difficult for those with hand and grip problems to use. Fortunately there are number of innovative faucets for both the bathroom sink, the tub and even the shower that can be easily operated by anyone. There are even some that do not need to be touched at all.

Other Bathroom Fixtures – In a bathroom that is being remodeled for accessibility purposes a taller toilet is a good investment to make, as is the installation of a walk in tub. Grab bars should also be installed in all the right places, especially around the toilet, the bath tub and by the door.

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