A shower renovation may be something you pine for if your current one has been in your home for at least three decades. If you have a shower that old, it might be an outdated walk-in type with little room to move around. We forget that the shower should be designed with as much creative thinking as any normal room in the house. But if you have the budget and want to renovate your shower into something more useful and expansive, you may want to adhere to the concept of universal design.
What is universal design in the realm of shower renovation? It a list of common things that most people want in a better shower. And depending on how much money you want to spend, consider each one of these seriously.
Seating in the Shower
Those who’ve grown up with limited-space showers may not even think that anyone would want to sit down in a shower. However, many people do, and you might be surprised at how useful it can be. Seating can be built into the wall or it can be a fold-down seat. Either way, seating can help prevent injuries from perhaps slipping in the shower. That’s especially true with older people who’ve had serious injuries from slipping while bathing.
If you’re concerned about slippery shower floors, the style of flooring you pick can potentially eliminate much of that problem. Ceramic tiles are becoming popular to help provide a less slippery surface compared to what porcelain used to do. Tiles can add real style as well if you have guests staying overnight who may be using your shower.
According to Better Homes & Garden, using tile will also last much longer with less chance of maintenance needed. Keep in mind, though, that if you use a stone tile, you’ll have to reseal the tile every once in a while to prevent leaks.
What to Include on the Walls
You may want to consider the same type of tile on your shower walls. Leaks and water damage can happen there as well, and a sturdy tile will provide plenty of protection. For variety, consider a different style of tile on the wall or with different colors.
Also consider what you’ll have hanging on the walls, as in niches for holding soap and other shower supplies. These always look better built in without making them too obtrusive. Including at least two niches for shampoo and soap is generally all you’ll need, unless you’re into elaborate shower equipment.
It seems most people want shower sprays, even if some people didn’t grow up with one in their household shower. Today, you’ll need one that’s easy to reach and with an extensive retractable hose. It should be placed near the shower seat so you or your guests won’t have to stand up to adjust the water temperature controls. In most cases, a universal design shower will also include a standard fixed shower head with the shower spray as a convenient accessory.
The Overall Size of Your Shower
If you include a shower seat, you’ll need to expand the size of your shower. Building one that allows you plenty of space to move around provides much more comfort and ease in your (hopefully) daily bathing. HGTV recommends at least 42 by 60 inches of space in your shower to accommodate all universal design elements. That’s especially useful if you decide to go with the trend of having a shower with no door.
In that regard, your shower will essentially become another room in your home that’s only missing the inevitable future concept of waterproof pillows.
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