Examples of bathrooms for aging in place

annkathrynSeptember 18, 2012

I just came across this website that has quite a few interesting examples of renovating bathrooms to allow for aging in place. Most were designed for wheelchair access but would be applicable for other types of disabilities as well.

(I don't know anything about the remodeling company so this is not an endorsement).

Here is a link that might be useful: Remodeling link

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i looked thru several groups of pics listed. Many good ideas.

I sure love not having to step over the edge of a tub to get into my shower anymore.

I do need to check out a grab bar tho. One next to the toilet would be great - especially if you have a broken foot or knee or hip.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:29AM
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I've seen quite a few modern-look bathrooms where they've actually used grab-bars as towel rails for the modern look, so you can have them in place all ready.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:09AM
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There are much better looking grab bars that also function as toilet paper holders, like this one from moen.

I've posted this before, but it's still a good example of how things like grab bars don't need to be obtrusive. In this bathroom, the toilet paper holder, towel bar, and shower basket are all grab bars as well, and there are other companies making similar articles now. They don't have to be those massive obtrusive ones (unless you need folding--those are all still pretty old-style, as yet).

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:55AM
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I bought the Moen toilet paper grab bar for use in one of the bathrooms I'm renovating. It actually looks pretty clunky in person, at least to my eye.

I found a different brand for the shower, an angled grab bar that looks a bit more sleek.

Theses are not installed yet, but I'll post a picture when they are.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:42PM
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> It actually looks pretty clunky in person, at least to my eye.

Oh yeah, I'd agree. But it's a heck of a lot better looking than those white folding grab bars if you don't absolutely have to have a bar that extends out as far as they do.

Yours is from Signature Hardware, isn't it? They also have nice looking plain grab bars (without soap dishes/trays/etc) that coordinate with some of their towel bar lines, but for some reason they never come up if you search their site for grab bars:

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:14PM
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We replaced a fiberglass tub/shower unit (that was difficult to step into and very slippery) with a tiled shower that has a grab bar, built-in bench, low curb, and high-traction porcelain floor tile. Safe and convenient for people of all ages.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Yes, I bought the angled bar from Signature Hardware. I wanted a relatively short angled bar and it was one of the few that I found. I think the soap dish is removable, but I'm going to keep it on for now.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:46PM
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As I was reading your message, I thought this is the exact way I want my tub to shower conversion to be. Can you tell me what products you used? Also did you do it yourself.
? I really like that bench.Do you have any karger pictures?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Good resource. Thanks.

We're building from scratch to have that "ageing in place" ability.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Yes, I like the "grab" bars - we are just starting to plan or reno.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Thanks for all of the great examples and resources posted on this thread. There are also many manufactures that provide walk in tubs to prevent you from having to climb over. One of my favorites is Therapy Tubs

Here is a link that might be useful: Therapy Tubs - Walk In Tubs

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 6:10PM
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The walk in tubs are terrible because you have to sit in the tub while it drains before you can open the door and step out. Also, cleaning the thing would be a pain. Perhaps this is why so many walk in tubs are for sale on Craigslist, barely used?

Grab bars - is Signature Hardware a good source? Are they durable? I was going to get ours from HD, but was told they don't hold up well.

We are doing grab bars, a walk in shower with built in seat, a shower head that is adjustable and can be hand held, and a raised toilet (not just a raised toilet seat - those seem gross). Our new house is one story - able to enter and leave w/out going up and down stairs. Also - light fixtures that have bulbs that can be changed w/o juggling a cover/screw as well as the bulb.

I have serious orthopedic problems, so a house that is accessible for crutches is important. Also, I have Essential Tremor and my husband is at risk for it, so we're trying to make the house/bathroom easy to use if/when we wind up terribly shaky.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 7:10PM
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So these grab bars are made to screw into a wall stud, right?
If I'm getting my tub surrounds replaced with new cultured marble tub surrounds, this is something that I should have done before they install that I assume, so they can cut holes and the bar will attach to the studs?

You all really have me thinking here. We're embarking on a double bathroom facelift, and the hall bath would be the most logical place. But, it would take ALL the money we have for updating 3 bedrooms and 2 baths just to do that one.

We'd tear out an 84" built in vanity, replacing that with a small one, tear down a wall that has a 24" door in it leading to the tub/toilet area, move the toilet over a couple of feet, and enlarging the main doorway. Not to mention converting the tub/shower to a larger walk in.

I wish we could do this now and get it over with. But, we'll have to wait till we need it done I guess. At that point, it'll still be cheaper to do that than pay for months or years in a nursing home.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 7:22PM
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We aren't trying to make our house - we're building right now - wheelchair accessible. That would mean major adjustments to the floor plan, a w/c accessible vanity, etc. We figure that if/when one of us winds up in a wheelchair, we'll go to a nursing home. We are making this accessible for crutches - many people do wind up with a leg cast, etc. even when they are younger - and you don't go to a nursing home for that, but you do want to take a shower. Last time I was nonweightbearing (8 weeks - major knee surgery), the tub bath was *such* a hassle that I vowed I'd rather stink than deal with tubs and crutches! A shower - even a hop in shower stall with bench - is *much* easier if you are on crutches.

Anyway - if you aren't trying to make it w/c accessible, then you don't need to widen any doorways. Put in grab rails by the toilet and in/near the tub/shower. If you plan on replacing the tub/shower, you can get a unit with a built in shower seat - that's more stable than a portable seat. Handheld shower heads are easy to add...and yes, grab rails do need to attach to the studs. I don't know how they attach to the marble - ask your tile installer, maybe? We haven't gotten to that stage of our build yet! Taller toilets are easy to install.

I'm talking to my future PT clinic about grab bars (type, placement, etc) - haven't gotten final details yet.

Incidentally, my sports medicine doc says that it's very wise to plan for orthopedic needs before you need the accessibility. Retrofitting a bathroom is a real pain if you have to do it while also dealing with an injury/health crisis.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 8:07PM
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I have done one full remodel and well on my way with the second. I put 2x8 blocking between studs the distance I anticipate the need for fixtures. On my tub in my first bath, I but the rail at the side of the tub, at about 24" off the bottom of the tub if I remember. Then at the back of the tub I but in a rail at about 42" from the floor to become my towel bar. It is a little harder to get a towel in there compared with a regular towel bar because the bar is thicker. I wanted to have anything that I might grab onto, in a fall, securely attached.

My "in progress" bathroom, I will have a vertical rail at the entryway to the shower. No tub. New 32" doors to the room (couldn't fit 36"). They are pocket doors so not any wasted space delegated to the hinged door. There will be a long grab bar at the long side of the shower at 36" height. I also have blocking in place for the back of the toilet as well as the side. These areas will be fitted with bars as needed. I have taken multiple pictures of the wall space and will take measurements for my records. The walls will go in next week so I am getting everything blocked for grab bars this week.

Here is an example of the blocking around my toilet area:

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:40AM
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modern life interiors


    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:32AM
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We, too, are looking into doing something for aging in place. I am researching it (to death, per DW) now, because I was going to do a simple remodel of a downstairs half bath with new fixtures, new flooring and paint, but now feel that I don't want to do that if I can convert it into a "full" bath.

I ran across on HOUZZ a very tiny bath in OR that is only 3x3 and is a full bath. Using that as inspiration, we are wanting to convert the half bath (44" x 58") to a full bath by making it a wet room: tiled floor with two drains, handheld shower new sink and toilet, other modifications due to water.

My 89 year old MIL lives with us and has to go upstairs now to use a full bath. We face mobility issues with her, let alone when we get to that age.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:41AM
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This is our inspiration bathroom. Our space is slightly larger, and certainly grab rails and other considerations have to be made and planned for, but if nothing else, it is "inspiring" that you CAN have a workable shower for aging in a very small space if you plan right.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:45AM
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I'd like to see a couple of horizontal grab bars, one next to the toilet and the other across the shower area. The shower head holder may or may not be grab bar worthy. They do make shower holders that are also grab bars, but not all are built for that purpose. That one looks pretty hefty. I love the idea of a wet room. I think the door should be a slab door though, so the moisture doesn't condense and run down to the bottom rail and collect and do water damage.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:53AM
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We renovated a house and converted a half bath to a small full bath with a curbless shower and a couple of grab bars.

Someone was asking upthread about Signature Hardware vs Home Depot. I bought grab bars at both. The shower one came from Signature Hardware and then toilet paper holder is Moen, sold at HD. From Downstairs Bath From Downstairs Bath

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:26AM
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annkathryn, What a beautiful (as well as practical) bathroom! Love your tile. Is it Porcelanosa? I've chosen similar tile and that's exactly how I want my shower tile to go - in a vertical orientation - unlike how this tile is usually installed.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Annkathryn, love what you did. We would like to see more pics! Especially of the floor and drain. Also what size is your bath?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 6:13AM
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I love Annkathryn's bath too and remember the reveal so I linked it here. Enjoy

Here is a link that might be useful: Small contemporary bathroom complete

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:16AM
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I guess it's ok to highjack my own thread although when I started it last year I was just hoping to provide ideas for aging in place :)

Thanks for providing the link, enduring. This is the downstairs bath in our small 2-story house. We hope to live here for a very long time. We have an office downstairs that can be converted to a bedroom, with this bathroom next to it for when we can no longer navigate the stairs. It's not really wheelchair-accessible, but it has the 2 grab bars and is blocked for others.

The bath is very small, around 6' x 6' if I remember correctly but I'd have to look at the plan. The wall tile in the shower is Yakarta Wenge from Porcelanosa. The floor tile was very inexpensive, Happy Floors Wood Natif Ambra 12" x 24". My tiler cut it down for the shower floor tiles.

Here's another picture of the drain. From Downstairs Bath

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:29AM
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