A bathroom should be accessible and comfortable, making the entire bathroom area a safe room. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to optimize safety in your bathroom design. Whether it is through the use of small safety additions or massive renovations, a safe bathroom is something everyone should seriously consider. This guide will go over everything you should know about optimizing safety in your bathroom design.
Start With Safety Grab Bars
Safety grab bars offer so much to a bathroom design in terms of stability, safety and overall bathroom accessibility. There are a few things to note when discussing safety grab bars, many of which are often overlooked by the average individual. Firstly, grab bars are not only for individuals that have balance or mobility issues. Grab bars can be beneficial for any person using a bathroom. Areas in the bathroom such as the shower will be amazing locations for grab bars, as it tends to be one of the most slippery or unstable spaces in the bathroom.
Another great benefit of safety grab bars is the versatility in both design and where they can be installed. Grab bars are made to fit every situation, but not every situation can fit every grab bar. Specific grab bars are designed for specific situations. For example, in a shower, there may need to be a grab bar installed in the corner. Instead of using two separate grab bars to fill the corner, specially designed corner grab bars can be used. The same thing can be said for different areas of the bathroom as well. Different lengths and shapes are always available options to fit your unique situation.
Non-Slip Shower Mats
Much like a safety grab bar, a non-slip shower mat is an incredibly useful and effective safety feature for any bathroom. In general, there are two different types of non-slip shower mats. The first goes in the shower. This type of mat prevents slipping in the shower, especially on wet surfaces that will generally always be wet. These non-slip shower mats can be placed in a shower and secured with suction cups or some other type of anchor to keep it in place. Again, these items are great for any individual’s safety, not just for those with certain mobility issues or needs.
Aside from the non-slip shower mats inside of the shower, it is also important to consider a non-slip shower mat that can be placed just outside your shower. This is arguably just as important to do. By placing one just outside your shower, you get a few great benefits. First, you will be able to prevent slipping when you get out of the shower. Secondly, it provides a warm place to step out when you are finished showering. Third, it will help absorb any water that drips from you or the shower, protecting your bathroom floor and yourself in the process.
Shower Seats for Increased Stability
Sometimes a shower seat may feel a bit too much or somewhat cumbersome to include in your bathroom. Most shower seats you see will be bulky or hard to move. Of course, these shower seats will be effective at what they do, and sometimes even preferred by some. However, there are plenty of other options to consider with shower seats if you do not want the typical or traditional shower seat.
Wall mounted shower seats are excellent options to consider. These shower seats can be installed securely on the wall to hold an individual safely. A wall mounted shower seat can be fixed, or have the ability to fold into the wall. If you don’t want an added shower seat in your design, consider a renovation to your shower to have a built-in shelf or shower seat that can be used as a bench. Some walk-in showers will have this feature, which helps with both safety optimization and storage if you so choose.
Bathroom Layout Is Important for Safety
It can sometimes be an overlooked aspect of bathroom safety, but the layout of your bathroom as a whole can be one of the most important parts of optimizing bathroom safety effectively. A proper bathroom layout can be everything to a bathroom, especially when it comes to comfort and accessibility. Of course, there are several factors that play into the layout of a bathroom in terms of safety optimization. The size of the bathroom, the shape of the area and what type of bathroom you have will all play into this.
Larger bathrooms will almost always be easier to optimize in terms of space due to the increased floor area. Fixtures will be easier to place and it will be much easier to measure everything that may be included in the bathroom. In smaller bathrooms, this could be a bit harder to do, especially if it is being shared. Of course, the type of bathroom will also determine the layout. Half bathrooms will be structured differently than master bathrooms, so this is something that should also be taken into account.
Walk-In Showers and Bathtubs are Excellent Additions
One of the areas in which accidents occur the most in a bathroom is the shower or bathtub area. This is due to the wet or slippery surfaces, ledges of the bathtub and overall mobility issues that can occur in the area. Thankfully, there are many ways you can optimize safety, with the best option being walk-in showers and bathtubs. These are some of the best staple fixtures for those with mobility issues or anyone who may simply want to optimize the safety of their bathroom design.
The main benefit of a walk-in shower is how easy it is to enter and exit the space. Walk-in shower will typically have a glass shower door or some type of curtain, but a door will be the better option for a number of reasons. It keeps water in more effectively while also providing an added bar for stability or storage on the inside of the door. In terms of walk-in bathtubs, the similar factors can apply. Most walk-in bathtubs will have a door that can be opened and closed, with a seal to keep the water in at all times.
Hand Showers Optimize Mobility and Accessibility
In a shower area, safety is one of the most important factors to consider. Due to this, it is important to have access to everything you need exactly when you need it. Hand showers are some of the most effective additions when it comes to increasing safety and accessibility in bathrooms. One of the greatest benefits of hand showers is the fact that they can be detached from the wall and moved to essentially wherever they are needed.
Hand showers can come in a variety of different shapes and spray styles. Each of these can be optimized to fit your preferences as well as the necessary safety requirements to consider. This isn’t too impactful in the grand scheme of things, but it is definitely something to take into account in terms of comfort and personal preference. Hand showers are also great for cleaning your shower, making it much easier to rinse down areas that are difficult to reach with a standard traditional shower head.
Lighting is Crucial for Bathroom Safety
Of course, every bathroom needs to have sufficient lighting. Lighting helps with visibility, accessibility and most importantly, safety. Sufficient lighting can be implemented in a number of ways to help optimize bathroom safety. Overhead lighting is where you should start, as it will provide the most amount of light for the least amount of effort. The main bathroom area and the shower area should be lighted well with some type of overhead lighting. After your overhead lighting is taken care of, you can start to look at the other necessary areas of your bathroom as well.
Vanity lighting is something every bathroom should optimize. Not only is it necessary for maximum visibility in the vanity area, but it also helps with safety and accessibility in one of the most used areas in the room. It is also important to include lighting in bathroom mirrors and around the other frequently used parts of the bathroom. Visibility is incredibly important in using a bathroom, along with any other room in the house. It is also important to note that LED lighting will almost always be the best option for you , as it is extremely long lasting and more affordable in the long run.
Importance of ADA Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act is an incredibly important set of guidelines that must be followed when it comes to constructing certain bathrooms. Any commercial bathroom will most likely need to abide by the act, as it sets all necessary requirements to accommodate those with disabilities or mobility issues. This includes grab bars in the necessary locations, proper height measurements for fixtures and accessories and other similar features. A residential bathroom does not necessarily need to abide by ADA compliant regulations, but it will be a good set of guidelines to follow if you want to optimize safety in your bathroom design.