Understanding Universal Design for Your Bathroom Remodel
One of the most recent bathroom remodeling trends is that of incorporating universal design. A universal design (or UD) is one of the best ways to add value to a bathroom remodel. In the simplest terms, a UD bathroom is one that is universally accessible no matter what limitations the user may have. Don’t think of a universal design bathroom as institutional or unattractive, think of it as universally friendly in any style you choose.
The Popularity of UD
Many people think of a universal design bathroom as a handicap accessible one. Although this is true to some extent, it also has elements that make aging in place easier. Aging in place is a popular trend making this type of bathroom remodel, even if you’re years from needing such accommodations, a wise consideration. Afterall, remodeling any part of your home is expensive and can be inconvenient so you certainly don’t want to go through it twice in a short time.
Essential Elements for a Universal Design
Although there is no checklist you must complete for a universal design bathroom, there are some common elements. These include:
- Wide doorways (at least 32” although 36” is preferred)
- Lever style door and faucets
- Comfort height toilet (consider adding a bidet feature)
- Non-slip flooring
- Low or zero entry showers (consider adding a shower seat)
- Lower bathroom countertop and light switches
All of these elements come in many stylish options which will allow you to reflect the style you want for the space.
The actual layout is quite flexible. There’s not rule about what must be where. The key is that a person using a walker or wheelchair can comfortably maneuver in the space. If you’re remodeling an existing secondary bath, few have the space necessary for these accommodations. This may mean taking space from another room or adding onto your home. If you know that you or a family member will need this sort of accommodation, it’s well worth it to do it right so that they can continue independently for as long as possible.
If you’re looking for a bathroom remodeler with experience in universal design, call Build America LLC at (727) 776-9023. We’ve handled countless remodels and new home constructions throughout Tampa Bay that have allowed our clients to age in place or bring an older family member into the home to live with them. Call or fill out our contact form for your free initial consultation.