When you imagine your dream bathroom, you might visualize a space that’s light and airy or dark and bold. In your mind’s eye, you might picture a great, big soaking tub or a glass-walled, walk-in shower with a waterfall showerhead. Maybe you envision plenty of storage space and great lighting, or beautiful vessel sinks with motion-activated faucets. What you probably don’t daydream about is safety. Rarely do we describe our dream bathrooms as slip-resistant, safe, or practical.
The truth is, considering safety in a bathroom remodel is smart, but it doesn’t have to drag down the look of your dream bathroom. Here are a few tips for seamlessly integrating better safety into a stylish bathroom remodel.
Tip #1 Start at the Bottom
There are nearly unlimited options to choose from when it comes to flooring, from hardwood to ceramic and travertine. While these options are certainly stunning, they’re not always ideal for a bathroom. The good news is that there is a solution that’s slip-resistant, and more forgiving in the event of a fall than harder options, like ceramic: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). LVT can mimic the look of these other materials, which makes it a great style choice. In the shower, look for slip-resistant technology and low-threshold bases to minimize the risk of falls. With this type of flooring, you’ll be able to get rid of throw rugs in front of the tub, toilet, and vanity, which will help to unclutter your space and make your bathroom feel larger.
Tip #2 Choose Trends that Stick
Some design trends are fleeting while others have staying power. The timeless look of subway tile is a great example of a trend with staying power. The popularity of walk-in showers is a product of our needs – more people shower than bathe on a regular basis, so it makes sense as a trend. It has stuck around because the wide variety of design options and possible footprints make it easy to incorporate into any design aesthetic. Beyond design, the low threshold entry, lack of a door, and wider base make it an ideal universal design solution for people of all ages and abilities.
Tip #3 Serve Double Duty
There are dozens of products to choose for your bathroom remodel, from the countertop and vanity, to the tile and fixtures. One way to save money is to select products that can serve double duty. If you’ll be remodeling your bath or shower, consider adding a shower seat now. Even if you don’t need to sit while showering, it’s nice to have a spot to rest, and it’ll come in handy if you’re ever dealing with an injury or need to have surgery. It can also serve as a storage bench for body soap and shampoo bottles to keep the shower floor clear of clutter. Modern shower seats fit seamlessly into the design of your shower, and some styles can even be designed to retract or fold when not in use.
Grab bars are definitely not a trendy design element and many after-market options tend to look stark and institutional, especially in a newly designed bathroom. But, they do offer stability and peace of mind in a room where 200,000+ injuries occur every year. Our first instinct when we slip is to reach out and grab for something to hold onto. In a bathroom with no grab bars, that might very well be a towel bar. The problem is that towel bars are not made or installed to hold more weight than a wet towel. What you can do, though, is install a grab bar in place of towel racks in your bathroom. This way, they’re incorporated into your design, work as intended to hold towels, but also are strong and sturdy enough to support your weight in case you lose your balance.
Tip #4 Space Out
Many of the bathrooms we see prior to a remodel tend to be over-crowded with aftermarket shelving, extra baskets, or containers on the floor. These items are typically purchased to create more space for the homeowner, but actually end up doing the opposite. And when a small bathroom is overcrowded, it tends to look even smaller and more cluttered. From a safety perspective, cramped quarters can be difficult to maneuver in, especially for those with limited mobility. When designing your new bathroom, consider the types of storage you’d find most useful. Maybe a linen closet with a built-in laundry hamper would come in handy. A floating vanity with baskets along the bottom shelf might be ideal for storing small bottles and jars.
Tip #5 Confidence is a Beautiful Thing
The thing about design is that while there are overarching aesthetics, everyone has their own preferences. So, trying to keep up with the Joneses is not only impossible, but also likely not even your style! While gorgeous displays and HGTV shows can sway your tastes a bit, ultimately you are the one who has to live in your new space. Making product choices or selecting materials that don’t make you feel comfortable and confident will lead to a bathroom remodel you won’t love. Nearly 90% of seniors say they want to stay in their own homes as they age. That requires a bit of practical thinking: what products will allow you to move confidently in your space? If you have balance issues, or difficulty climbing into and out of a tub, be open to options you may not have considered before. The latest walk-in tubs look elegant and are equipped with thoughtful design features, such as door handles that are easy to operate, faucets that are easy to reach and use, and comfortable slide-in seats that accommodate users of all ages and abilities.
Tip #6 Consider Small Details
Small details can be overlooked in a bathroom remodel. For example, round door handles are common, so we tend not to think about other options. But, if someone in your home has limited strength or mobility, that standard door handle isn’t ideal. Instead, select a lever-style door handle. Not only are they easy to open for those with limitations, but they are also easier for parents who have their hands full with an infant or toddler. Little extras such as light switches and outlets are rarely top of mind in design but being thoughtful about where they’re located in your bathroom can make a difference. Placing them at a lower height accommodates family members of different ages and abilities.
We can’t wait to hear what the bathroom of your dreams looks like, and help you sneak in safety elements that offer added peace of mind. Re-Bath makes it easy to turn your dreams into reality, with a bathroom that’s as safe as it is stunning. Schedule your free in-home design consultation today and let’s bring your dream space to life!