Design tips for an accident-free bathroom
If proper safety measures aren’t taken, the bathroom can be a safety hazard in the home, especially for homeowners who are older and more prone to falling. To combat the bathroom’s slippery nature, follow a few simple steps to create a safe and practical environment that satisfies people of all ages, levels of ability and physical stature. Here are some easy ways to make your bathroom an accident-free zone:
Using slip-resistant flooring is a great way to ensure safety in the bathroom. Non-slip vinyl flooring, tile and cultured marble are some good materials to look for, especially when coupled with small, washable area rugs.
Installing easy-access bars near the shower, tub and toilet areas is a simple way to help reduce the risk of falling in the bathroom. These bars can be both horizontal and vertical and can be found in an assortment of finishes to match the other fixtures in the room
Prevent slipping in the bathroom by eliminating any steps leading into the tub and shower areas. Also, add a bench or platform to sit on while entering and exiting these areas. For maximum comfort, padded shower and bath seats and hand-held shower fixtures can be installed, too.
Installing tiled showers with a curbless entry can help prevent tripping. This style of shower typically does away with the shower door for an easy walk-in entry, which also eliminates the risk of shattered glass. Conversely, when installing a shower door with hinges, be sure the door opens away from the shower and not into it, which makes it easier to get out if there is an emergency.
When installing a new tub, consider a bathtub with a door that eliminates the need to step over the front of the tub, allowing for safe and effortless entry. Some new models (such as Safety Tubs) even come equipped with a faster drain.
—Information provided by www.nkba.org and Kerrie L. Kelly, ASID, www.kerriekelly.com
did you know…
According to the National Safety Council, almost 200,000 people are injured each year in the bathroom. These accidents are typically slips, falls and scalding. These results illustrate the importance of creating a bathroom environment that is accessible to and safe for everyone.
If you’re already considering expanding the bathroom for easier mobility, or simply more room, consider adding heated floors, heated towel bars and proper venting. These features can make the bathroom more comfortable, especially for those who are sensitive to the cold.
A great way to have an eco-friendly bathroom and also up the technology ante is to install remote-controlled products with motion detectors, such as lights, toilets and faucets. This does away with the turning of faucet handles and searching for a light switch in the dark and cuts back on water and electricity usage.
It is not recommended to buy non-slip bath and shower mats because eventually they do start to slip. This can cause accidents in the bathroom. Instead, tubs and showers should have non-slip surfaces, such as non-glare vinyl, tile or cultured marble.