Universal design principles intend to make facilities usable by everyone, regardless of age, size, disabilities, or any other limiting factor. Wheelchair access is included in the planning, which is especially useful in homes where the residents are elderly—and we know many Scottsdale residents who have found their dream home and intend to live there for the rest of their lives.
Showering is not only one of life’s necessities, but a daily pleasure for most people, and you certainly won’t want to give it up when it becomes difficult to stand for long periods of time, or just can’t climb over the edge of a bathtub. Here are three things to include in the shower remodel to make it a universal design.
Universal Showers Are Large
Allowing for a wheelchair or walker increases the required size of the shower, but there are several ways to accommodate this without taking over the whole bathroom (and one fashionable way that does take the whole room!)
The shower doesn’t have to be one of the traditional bathtub or square shapes. Walls that are angled or even curved are being used to allow larger interior shower space without impacting the open space in the bathroom so much. Doors need to be wide, and the newer universal designs often include doors that fold or slide so they are easy to maneuver around when open.
And that whole-room approach we mentioned? It’s called a “wet room,” and means there is no wall separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom, and a floor drain is installed and floors are sloped slightly to help water drain off.
Shower Seating Is Popular
Aging homeowners may need to sit while showering, but even younger people can benefit from being able to sit while showering, for example, for leg shaving or just enjoying the shower during the waiting part of hair deep-conditioning. Options include a permanent bench or chair, or a fold-down model that is out of the way when not in use.
Controls Are Easy to Use
Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of trying to grasp a tight shower knob with wet hands? Universal design uses levers that are easy to use, and places them at heights that are within reach when seated or standing.
These are just a few of the things that make a bathroom remodel fit the criteria for universal design and support aging in place. There is a lot that goes into a great design, so at TWD we have Scottsdale and Phoenix-based nationally certified universal design professionals on staff. They are available to provide you with a design that meets your personal needs, and those you may have in the future, so call or email today and get all your questions answered!