Everyone’s heard the adage about the certainty of “death and taxes,” but there are two other inevitable factors for consumers to consider when repairing or remodeling a bathroom: accidents and aging. The National Safety Council reports that almost 200,000 people are injured annually in their bathroom.
To aid those with special needs (now or in the future) and reduce accidents, install bathroom fixtures that are attractive, practical and safe for families and businesses. For residential baths, our plumbers recommend design ideas and the latest safety features. We aim to meet the needs of families throughout their life cycles, including considerations such as infants, visually impaired adults, people with physical size requirements, and seniors with difficulty walking.
For homes and offices, installations can be created to meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Whether your goal is to provide accessibility to all, or a“universal design” to meet as many special needs as possible without specialized design, Certified Aging in Place Specialists will work hard to find the best solution for you.
Some key universal design considerations include adequate knee and toe clearances under fixtures, faucets and handles located in a reachable range, and easy operation of movable parts. Grab bars should be placed intelligently, and tested for load-bearing ability. Toilets are available in a variety of styles and heights, with 14 to 15 inches from the floor (floor to top of rim) being standard. Products billed as being more comfortable are 16 to 17 inches high, similar to a chair. Shorter types may be installed in schools or day care centers to serve children.
Homeowners without special needs still want to avoid accidents in the bath area. The most common accidents are slips, falls and scalding from hot water. Plumbers may address your bathroom safety concerns with tips like these from the National Kitchen and Bath Association:
- Avoid steps leading into tub or shower areas. Slip-resistant flooring also helps eliminate falls and reduce the risk of falls.
- Consider installing a platform around the tub where you can sit down before entering or after exiting.
- Choose shatterproof glass in shower enclosures, and install hinged doors to open out into the room rather than into the shower.
- Prevent scalding by installing pressure-balanced, temperature-controlled valves in every bath or shower in your home. Faucets should be easily reached from outside the enclosure.
- Keep water sources and electrical switches a safe distance apart. Use circuit interrupters on electrical plugs to shut them off when a hazard is detected.
To stay safe, and improve the look and value, of your bathroom, contact your local Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Set up a consultation to start planning your beautiful, safe bathroom today.