Future-Proof Your Bathroom

We’re living longer than ever, with almost one in five people in the UK now aged 65 or over. Great news – but what’s it got to do with your bathroom?

Well, as you or your family get older and less spry, you may want to carry out some bathroom renovations to make it easier to use. And ideally, you want to do this without compromising on appearance – after all, one ought to make as few concessions to the ageing process as possible.

Here are some bathroom design ideas to think about:

Wet rooms

A wet room has no step for you to trip on between the shower area and the rest of the floor; instead, the whole floor is flush, and slopes gently towards a drain. Wet rooms can look very stylish and have the added advantage of being very easy to clean, though you must make sure the floor is non-slip. It’s also easy to get a seat in if that helps you, either on wheels, free-standing or fixed; handrails are another option for helping you reduce the risk of a fall.

Walk-in baths

If clambering into the bath is getting a bit difficult, don’t risk a fall. Walk-in baths have a door built into the side of the bath. Just remember to always drain the bath *before* you get out. Alternatively, you can get steps or handrails to make getting in and out easier, or shallower baths that are lower than normal height. Baths with a built-in seat can look less institutional and be more comfortable than portable bath seats.

Height-adjustable sinks

These are mounted on the wall, with no pedestal, so they’re easier to sit at too. Sensor-operated taps are ideal if you find it difficult to turn taps on and off – and are nice and hygienic.

Shower controls

You can get shower controls designed to be especially easy to turn, grip and reach. Showers with thermostatic controls ensure that the water is kept at an even temperature, so there’s no risk of being scalded or frozen either through you changing the temperature or someone else turning a tap on elsewhere in the house.

Help and advice

Like every aspect of your home, your bathroom and how you and your family like to use it is a very individual thing.Many specialist shops will have equipment you can try at home before you buy it – they will often bring it to your home for you. Look for suppliers which are members of the British Health Trades Association.

Both your local social services and health service have a duty to provide support and help, including equipment and home adaptations, to people who need it. In England, your council should pay for equipment costing less than £1,000 (£1,500 in Scotland), or you can apply for a grant if the cost is more than this.

If you're thinking about renovating your bathroom, Kent architects Bluelime Home Design are the perfect people to help. With thirteen years' experience of working on homes in south London and north Kent, and offices in Dartford, Bromley, Erith, Bexley and Croydon, we're experts in designs that scrub up brilliantly – so call us at our head office on 01322 517632 for an informal chat.

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