It seems everywhere we look these days we see designers and architects talking about the "boom" in Universal Design updates within new and freshly remodeled homes. When we started to use this term with potential clients, few knew exactly what it meant, but most had great appreciation for it, once it was explained. Without leaning on Webster's too heavily, we would define Universal Design as:
Developing a bathroom environment so it can be accessed and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size or abilities.
While we could get into the seven principles of this design framework, it might be more beneficial to provide real-world examples that the Diamond Bath team has actually designed and implemented within our client's homes across Northern Illinois. Here are a few features to consider to make your professionally remodeled bathroom more universally appealing:
1. Low-Threshold Tubs & No-Threshold Showers: Ironically, these are sometimes called "walk-in" showers (or curbless) but the real appeal for these type of showers is for someone who may be wheelchair bound or has difficulty raising their legs would not have any issues with these installations. We suggest install no-slip tiles and grab-bars within these updates to make movement within the tub, shower or toilet safe and easy for all.
2. Shower Benches and Hand-Held Shower Heads: We discussed the renowned popularity of shower benches many times in the past as a "must-have" for anyone with legs to shave. However, shower benches, either built-in during remodeling or a shower seat added separately, can be a literal life-saver for those who may have difficulty standing for long periods of time. It's also relatively easy and affordable during the remodeling process to add a second water line for hand-held shower heads that are in close proximity to the shower bench.
3. Lever Style Handles: We're not really sure who it was that decided that attempting to turn a knob with wet or damp hands made good sense, but we truly prefer lever handles for Universal Design requests. Levers are ideal, not only for faucets controlling your shower and bathroom sinks, but also for wide bathroom doors and on any vanity cabinets that might be present. Even if you are not focused on Universal Design elements for your bathroom project, please pay attention to your faucetry options when installing new hardware at home.
For more suggestions about making your bathroom more universally appealing to all, contact Diamond Bath today to schedule a free in-home consultation! Or call our Crystal Lake offices direct at: 815-893-0282.
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