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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Dill

Bathrooms beyond ADA

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What are the primary reasons for bathroom remodels or why do most people remodel bathrooms? Let me help you out and save you time on what we call in research, systematic reviews. Here are a few common themes that popped up:

Top reasons to remodel your bathroom (in no particular order):

  1. Adapt to lifestyle changes

  2. Increase home value

  3. Improve function and safety

  4. More storage

Let’s think about this.

If we integrate Universal Design principles from the beginning, we wouldn’t have these reasons to remodel; however, given there are more homes being remodeled than newly built, we will focus on the remodeling…so keep reading.

Another fun fact, bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in our homes. Think about how much time we spend there. A fun Daily Infographic based on the UK life expectancy of 81.5 years, men spend more time in the bathroom than women. Men spend on average 9 minutes a day showering and women spend 9.5 minutes while both will spend about 30 minutes a week drying off. Men spend a significantly greater time shaving at 20 minutes a week while women spend 8 minutes shaving (I’m thinking because of the coordination and fine motor skills it takes to carefully shave a face).

Now think about how the amount of time would change for someone facing a temporary or permanent disability, including women who are pregnant, in postpartum. Factor in our natural aging process. We are ALL going to face some sort of barrier that will challenge our function if we haven’t already. In those challenging times, the bathroom is no longer accessible because the shower door is too small and there is a large step to enter without anything to hold onto for stability. The sinks are too high and it’s impossible to finish brushing our teeth or washing our face because of fatigue, pain, or muscle weakness and no place to sit and complete our tasks. Or, we cannot wipe our own behind because we fractured our wrist or had shoulder surgery.

Our bathrooms can quickly turn our functional independence into a nightmare or rob our dignity. Therefore, I want to help you plan ahead, be proactive, be prepared and provide tips on how to check off all four of the most common reasons to remodel your bathroom.

When designing your bathroom whether it’s a remodel or new construction, consider the users in that space and type of products that will optimize function at various stages of life. The search on products and design can be overwhelming when planning for your current stage of life and into the future. Or perhaps, you are working with a client who has faced some changes in their life and need some adaptions to optimize their functional independence.

This is a prime time to:

  1. Hire an occupational therapist to join the design-build team or simply review your plans, products, and materials.

  2. Design beyond ADA. Just because the guidebook lists the minimum ADA requirements (this does not even apply to residential homes) or just because products are stamped with the ADA compliant logo, does not mean this is the best design for all.

Follow along the series, Bathrooms Beyond ADA, to learn more about the “how to” enhance quality of life in the bathroom. Don’t miss a beat and subscribe to our email list, follow Blue Day 2 on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for updates.

Thinking about remodeling your bathroom? We are now offering all our consulting, construction services and more through our new construction company, Custom Joy. Email us: to get started!


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