Age Proof a Bathroom Age Proofing a Home

Ageproof a Bathroom for Lifelong Living

Wouldn’t it be nice to remodel a bathroom so the design is ideal for every family member – whether it’s a rambunctious 8 year old or a refined 80-something? You may be giving a baby (or a dog) a bath or making it easy for an injured athlete to take a shower – whatever the situation, your remodeled bathroom will be a success if you incorporate universal design concepts.

Here are suggestions to consider if you’re remodeling a bathroom that will make it convenient and safe for everyone who uses it.

Access to a bathroom: Expand the width of the door entrance to 36-inches to accommodate a walker or wheelchair. And replace a door knob with a Level Style Handle so it’s easy to open and close.

Flooring: The durable surface should be slip-resistant, textured, and light in color with a low glare. And of course it should be easy to clean and maintain.

Cabinetry and Faucet: Raise a standard height vanity to about 34-inch high. Consider a Wall Mount Sink because it is more accessible, but don’t forget to add storage. A single lever faucet is easy to use, or choose a Hands-free Faucet that senses when to turn on and off.

Shower: A low or no threshold curbless base makes it easy to enter a shower and a slip-free surface makes it safe. Consider built-in seating or a bench for comfort and a Shower Hose Bar that adjusts easily.

Toilet: If you’ve ever recuperated from an injury you know how low most toilets are. Choose a Toilet with a comfort height of 17-inches to 19-inches.

Lighting: When possible use natural lighting and incorporate multiple sources over a bathtub, shower and vanity. A LED Night Light Receptacle with a sensor assures there’s always light in the dark plus provides a receptacle outlet.

Electrical: Make it easy to turn on lights with rocker-style (not toggle) switches installed at a convenient height. Add easy-to-reach Rotating Electrical Outlets for applianaces with bulky plugs where they’re most used. And a Towel Warmer is a luxury touch in any bathroom that provides additional heat.

Grab Bars: Choose double-duty grab bars like a Shelf and Grab Bar and install them in three locations: near the toilet, along the showerhead wall and the back wall of a tub/shower.


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.

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