4 tips to reduce bathrroom barriers

4 tips to reduce bathrroom barriers

Are you considering a bathroom remodel that takes into account the special needs of an elderly, disabled or plus-sized person? Here are some ways to create fewer obstacles in your bathroom:

  1. Consider the "visitability" factor. Will it be accessible to everyone who comes into your home? Incorporating "universal design" concepts can help make your bathroom barrier-free.
  2. If you're settled in the house of your dreams, think ahead. Install reinforced blocking in your bathroom walls to allow for easy mounting of grab bars even if you don't need them yet.
  3. Choose fixtures that someone with limited mobility, flexibility and reach could use. Many companies now make toilets and sinks that meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. Lever bath handles, large drawer pulls and handheld showerheads are easy-to-find alternatives.
  4. Consider hiring a specialist to help. Find one on Angie's List by doing a keyword search for "Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist" on the My Angie page

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Remodelers offers services to those with special needs

More companies are offering services and products for plus-size consumers as well as the disabled and elderly, who have some of the same needs. These services include kitchen and bath remodeling and installation of specialized fixtures.

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April Bettinger


There are several decorative ways to add a grab bar to the shower and I agree with Deborah's comment. Moen Kingsley has a beautiful grab bar we've installed may times. If you can manage to install them into a stud or open the wall up behind the installation to add backing this is a good option - you do not want to add a grab bar and trust just a screw or the wallboard to hold if you do have an unfortunate slip in the shower. If you cannot add any substance to the wall, I would recommend looking at a site called Wing It's. They have decorative grab bars and a special anchoring system that will hold up. I'd also recommend that you hire a professional to install this for you if there is any question about "how" to go about it as it is a health / safety issue.

Deborah Parkhill Mullis


Based on firsthand experience, I would say that if you are considering a towel bar in your tub or shower, go ahead and pay a little more to make it a grab bar. I recently had the childrens' bathroom remodeled and decided to get a grab bar so that it would not break if the children put too much weight on it. I also reasoned that a visiting elderly relative might find it useful but I never dreamed that I would have torn ligaments in both my knees a little over two years after the remodel and be making use of the thing myself for months while I underwent physical therapy and healing. Best extra money I spent in that bathroom!

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