When remodeling the bathroom in your forever home, you want to make sure you choose a shower enclosure that can grow old with you. Unfortunately, not all enclosures are made equally when it comes to safety and usability when mobility issues begin to surface. The following can help you choose an attractive enclosure that meets your current style needs while still allowing you to age gracefully in your own home.
1: Go Barrier-Free
A barrier-free shower pan doesn't have a lip or curb on the entrance side. Generally, the pan instead slopes toward the drain so water doesn't drain out of the bathroom. Opting for this style of shower pan means that there is no lip to pose a tripping hazard or to act as a barrier to walkers or other mobility devices. If you are concerned about water leakages, you can have a collapsible dam installed. This seal keeps water in but it collapses when its stepped upon or rolled over.
2: Add a seat
Seats are nice in the shower at any stage of life, but they often become necessary when mobility issues begin to come into play. There are many options, both stylish and utilitarian. You can choose a prefabricated enclosure that already has a seat molded into it. You can also have a custom tile enclosure made with a seat designed into the curves of the shower. If space is an issue, fold-down seats are another option.
3: Mind the door
Solid door enclosures are very popular from a design standpoint, and they are also useful since they prevent water from leaking out. The issue is that many door designs limit the size of the shower entry. Skip sliding doors in favor of doors that swing open completely. If there isn't room for this, there are bifold door options that only take up a small amount of entrance space when open. The width of the enclosure door when open should be sufficient to allow a wheelchair or walker to pass through, in case one of these devices is ever needed.
4: Skip the clear glass
Clear glass showers are trendy, and they help open up the space in the bathroom, but you may not appreciate them as much when you are in your golden years. Not only can it take more work to keep the glass clean, but there are also dignity concerns. If you are ever in need of a caretaker, they may need to sit in the bathroom as you shower or check on you while you are bathing. Opting for a frosted door allows them to see a silhouette while still allowing you to maintain some modesty as you bathe.
For more help, contact a company that specializes in creating shower enclosures, such as Jesse's Tri-City Glass & Mirror Inc.