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Aging in Place Bathroom Renovation

Our clients needed to transform a fairly compact bathroom into one that was conducive to aging in place. So we used universal design principles to get it set up for accessibility, ease of use and safety. This down-to-the-studs renovation also gave the bathroom light and bright transitional style with industrial touches. In addition, we were able to add ample storage to the space. Here’s a closer look at this aging in place bathroom renovation.

aging in place bathroom renovation curbless shower

Transitional Style

Beadboard wainscoting, hexagonal tile and a Shaker-style cabinet lean more traditional, while the sleek gray vanity and streamlined faucets and lighting add more modern touches. This nice balance between the two lends versatile transitional style. Using lots of white, clear glass and bright lighting keeps the room feeling light and airy.


The bathroom had a low toilet and vanity and lacked grab bars. But the tub-shower combo was the biggest detriment to accessibility. We are finding that many of our clients are foregoing the tub-shower combo for a roomier shower stall these days. Also, bathtubs are tougher to step over and shower in as we get older.

aging in place bathroom renovation

Aging in Place Bathroom Elements — Shower

One of the impactful universal design elements is the curbless shower. This makes it possible to enter a shower with a walker or  in a chair. And it also gets rid of a tripping hazard even if those items are not required. In order to install a curbless shower, the shower floor needs to slope toward a drain and away from the main bathroom floor. (This slope in the floor is  imperceptible to the person showering.)

curbless shower linear drain, hexagonal tile, black and white

This sloped floor leads the water to a linear drain. Aesthetically, these drains have a wonderful sleek look. We like the way we were able to integrate it into the tile pattern here.

Flooring is an important consideration in universal design. This small-scale hexagonal tile requires lots of grout. This provides better grip to prevent slipping.

aging in place bathroom renovation shower grab bars, niche

Two grab bars add safety features in the shower stall itself. And we placed the niche in a spot where it’s easy to see and easy to grab items from it. There’s no bending down to get the shampoo from a lower niche or off the floor. We also added hooks for brushes and loofahs.

aging in place bathroom renovation handheld shower faucet

A handheld wand is another good universal design element. This can make showering easier whether or alone or with assistance. And it makes it possible to shower when seated within the stall.

aging in place bathroom renovation toilet grab bar

Aging in Place Bathroom Elements — Toilet

Universal design elements seen here include a comfort height toilet and a toilet safety rail. Both of these items make it easier to use the loo independently, whether lowering oneself down or getting back up.

aging in place bathroom renovation vanity

Aging in Place Bathroom Elements — Vanity

Other universal design elements that we may not think about are seen in this vanity photo. One is good lighting for eyesight that is no longer 20/20. Also, the vanity height is higher than old standards used to be. This means there’s not so much bending over, whether to access the drawers or when brushing teeth or shaving. Speaking of drawers, it is preferable to access items in a drawer you can pull out than it is to squat down and dig around behind vanity doors.

gray modern vanity open shelf

Other Aging in Place Bathroom Elements

Another aging in place bathroom renovation considerations are ease of turning faucets on and off and opening drawers and doors. A single-hole faucet with an easy-to-use lever is easier on arthritic hands than separate hot and cold faucets. And the long slim hardware on the vanity drawers make it easy for fingers to pull the drawers open.

We hope you’ve enjoyed touring this aging in place bathroom renovation. If you need help modifying your home to meet changing needs of any kind, please give us a call to  schedule a free consultation.

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