Bathroom Design for Everyone
We're living longer, staying active and remaining in our homes independently well into our 80s and 90s. So why include accessibility features we used to consider “handicapped modifications” in your bathroom remodel plans? Features that make a bathroom more wheelchair accessible are often on most homeowner’s bathroom remodel “wish list” already. Consider these ideas: 1. Enlarge a Cramped Bathroom
The bathroom in the photos below began as a standard tract home bathroom - 5 foot wide by 9 foot long.
After studying the required side-yard setback, we determined we could enlarge the length of the room by building a new exterior wall 2 feet into the side yard and then we also added 1 foot to the width of the room by re-framing the wall between the master bedroom and master bath. The new 6 foot wide by 11 foot long space was a vast improvement.
2. Add a "Beach Entry" Curbless Shower
Whether you have a shower-tub combination now, a shower pan or a tiled shower curb, it's definitely a stylish upgrade to have the bathroom flooring transition into the shower with no raised curb or visual stopping point. The floor material will often change in the shower bottom, but the continuous flat surface not only makes life easier in a wheelchair, it also makes the bathroom look larger and more open. 3. Leave Maneuvering Space around the Toilet What if the daily exercise you’re doing now leads to an injury or surgery and you have trouble getting around during your recovery? It's not unusual to have a knee, hip or foot injury that reduces your mobility for a short while even if you’re usually very fit and agile. Doesn’t it make sense to have some extra room around the toilet for crutches or a temporary walker or wheelchair? 4. Consider Widening the Opening to the Room Small bathrooms tend to have small bathroom doors. If your re-design can include widening the doorway, that’s a change worth making. While bathroom doors are often 28” wide or smaller, a door of at least 32” wide could make your access feel much less restrictive and your life a great deal easier down the road. In the example below, we relocated the door to the side wall allowing us to enlarge the doorway to a spacious 56” with a pair of barn doors over the opening that added design style as well as functionality.
Other improvements to consider while remodeling a bathroom are adding framing in the wall to allow for secure grab bars in the future, keeping your sink height to 34” or less and possibly even installing a sink cabinet with removable doors below that could allow for knee space if needed.
Most remodelers are also leaning toward beautiful surface materials that require a minimum of cleaning and maintenance. Large quartz or marble-composite slabs covering each shower wall with one large sheet will give you a quality high-end look while being much easier to maintain than tile and grout.
Creating a more spacious updated bathroom is every homeowner’s dream. So, when your bathroom remodel planning begins in earnest, contact Lorain Design to design an exquisite bathroom that will function for you now and in the future. It not only makes sense, it's a wise financial investment.