Not many people know how dangerous the bathroom can be. Slippery tiles, hard objects and hot water can make it one of the most dangerous rooms in your house. So, when the time comes to renovation or improve your bathroom, consider adding features that make it safer and more accessible.
Install anti-slip flooring
With most bathrooms being tiled from floor to ceiling, accidents are a common cause of bath injuries. When ceramic tile gets wet you can easily slip and lose your footing, especially when climbing out of a bath or shower.
Rather than installing large glossy tiles in a bathroom, look for tiles that have a slightly textured surface - and more grip than slip. If you have your heart set on gloss, opt for smaller tiles that have more grout lines, as the grout will offer more traction.
Rubber-backed rugs and bath mats reduce the chances of slipping and also offer additional comfort. However, air these out after bathing to prevent mildew or mould.
Natural unpolished stone tiles, non-glazed ceramic and tiles with a textured surface as the perfect choice for bathroom flooring.
Mount grab bars
Today's modern bathroom design incorporates grab bars as standard fittings. Resembling towel bars but capable of supporting much more weight, grab bars help bathroom users keep their balance and help themselves up or down in tub and shower areas and by the toilet. To work properly, grab bars must be securely anchored to walls. So if you’re doing any renovations or improvements, it’s a great time to add a grab bar.
Simplify the Shower
As you get older, trying to balance on one leg to wash your feet becomes an almost impossible feat (excuse the pun). Adding a shower seat or bench is not only good for those who have trouble standing, it makes showering simple.
More and more showers are made “barrier-free” not only in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement residences but also in private homes, where steps are increasingly being eliminated and obstacles avoided. Floor-level showers that are easy to access are becoming the norm in many places and offer greater user comfort. A walk-in shower with a low threshold (or none at all) eases entry for everyone.
Controls and showerheads should be positioned so users can turn on the water and set the temperature before the spray hits them. And the shower controls should be easy to operate - a single lever handle is ideal.
For the showerhead, consider an adjustable-height handheld model. It accommodates different statures and postures.
Balance water pressure
It's a common occurrence in many homes... take a shower and someone runs the cold water, leaving you scalding in the shower. Installing a pressure-balancing valve prevents this from happening. This fitting detects changes in water pressure coming to the tap and adjusts the hot and cold mix to maintain an even temperature and prevent scalding. Talk to your local plumber about installing a pressure-balancing valve.
Safe, convenient and economical, a thermostatic mixer valve ensures maximum showering enjoyment while protecting you and your family from the risk of scalding.
What is a thermostatic shower mixer? It maintains an exact water temperature for the duration of your shower. It protects you from any sudden changes in the water supply to the shower, so even if somebody flushes the toilet or turns on the kitchen faucet the temperature of your shower will remain the same.
How does a thermostatic mixer work? The thermostatic valve mixes the hot and cold water to your pre-selected temperature and reacts instantly to any changes in the pressure or temperature of the water supply by re-adjusting the mix of hot and cold water. Should there be a failure in your cold water supply, the thermostatic valve will automatically shut down. Find out more at www.grohe.co.za
Provide night lights
Make the bathroom safer to use for by installing an inexpensive night-light near the entry. Night-lights come in a variety of shapes and styles, including models with LED bulbs, motion sensors, and auto on/off features.
Go to www.home-dzine.co.za for more great tips on improving your home.