Whether you or someone in your household is getting older or you need to accommodate a disability, an accessible bathroom is one of the most important areas in your house to remodel. More than 2/3 of emergency room visits are due to bathroom falls with the tub and shower being the most hazardous areas for young adults and most falls for the elderly occurring near the toilet. Here are the top 4 things to consider when you’re thinking about making your bathroom more accessible.
Accessible Bathing Options
Whether you have limited or difficult mobility, or you have to accommodate for wheelchair access, a shower/tub combination makes it near impossible to shower easily. We recommend a Kohler Walk-in Shower with a rolling or fixed shower seat, a level entrance sloping to the drain, and a wide shower entrance or door. You can also opt for a Kohler Walk-in Tub - they have a super low 3” step-in height, extra wide door options, and heated surfaces for optimal comfort.
Grabbing bars should be installed in all bathing areas. If optimizing for wheelchair access, you’ll want to think about the turning radius and width of the chair to customize shower depth and door width as well.
Slipping in the bathroom is a danger for everyone regardless of age or mobility. You want to ensure that you install slip-resistant tiling, like a textured tile or pebbled floor, or use a slatted wood mat in the shower to prevent falls. Make sure all areas in the bathroom are clearly lit and that you have overhead lighting in the shower. Again, installing grabbing bars is an essential safety feature.
Your vanity options depend on whether you need wheelchair access. If you are accommodating for a wheelchair, you’ll need a vanity without cabinets and enough clearance for open knee space. You’ll also need a low or extra long mirror.
If you don’t need wheelchair access, you could benefit from a sturdy vanity with lots of storage that can be used to hold on to while far away from grabbing bars.
General Accessibility Features
Think about the width of your bathroom door, how low light switches need to be, and the general layout of the bathroom - especially if it needs to be wheelchair accessible. Take into consideration the turning radius of the chair in key areas like the shower, toilet, and vanity. Storage options should be adjusted to accommodate low reach or limited mobility. The location and height of other items like towel hooks, soap dispensers, outlets, etc. will also need to be customized.
We understand this is a lot to think about, but the good news is you don’t have to do it alone! If your ready to take on this project, we’d love to come out and give you a free quote. Our Kohler options can even be installed in as little as one day!