7 Bathroom Design Tips to Prevent Slips
With the right design approach, you can incorporate moisture-resistant materials like tile into your bathroom without the potential slipping hazard. Here are seven tips to optimize bathroom safety.
1. Low-Curb or Curbless Shower
Since the majority of slips and falls occur when stepping over a bathtub wall or shower curb and onto a wet, slippery surface, it’s a good idea to incorporate a low-curb or curbless shower entrance when renovating or designing a safety-conscious bathroom. Curbless showers remain one of the best slip-prevention features in the bathroom, as it’s much easier for people to walk into a shower than step over a curb.
2. Built-In Bathtub
Freestanding bathtubs are quite popular these days, but when it comes to safety built-in designs are the way to go. Consider a bath with a significant deck surface around the tub so that you are able to sit and pivot into and out of the tub easily.
3. Include Grab Bars
Grab or assist bars come in horizontal, vertical and diagonal orientations to assist people of all ages and degrees of mobility. If someone is falling, their first reaction is to grab onto something, so it’s important to provide them with a strong, sturdy option to stabilize themselves when they start losing balance.
In the past, grab bars have taken on a sterile aesthetic, but many manufacturers now make them in styles that are more appealing. Some grab bars even pull double duty by hiding their function as a towel bar.
4. Add a Bench
By incorporating a seat or bench into the shower, users are able to sit when tired, wash while sitting down, and take a rest before leaving the shower if needed. All of these things can prevent a fall. Incorporating other tips mentioned, in addition to the bench, will go a long way in preventing slip-and-fall accidents.
5. Honed or Matte Finish Tile
If tile is the material of choice for your bathroom floor, go with a matte or honed finish to prevent slipping. Unlike a polished surface, honed or matte finishes have good grip and can be applied to just about any ceramic, clay or porcelain tile. This means you are able to pick from almost any tile color and style, and have the peace of mind knowing they’ll provide grip underfoot.
As you can imagine, polished tile on a bathroom floor is not the best idea, as it becomes quite slippery when wet. Incorporating smaller tiles with lots of grout lines will help. If you’re uncertain whether your chosen tiles are a good fit, test them by wetting the surface and pushing down on them with your hand to see if your hand moves easily. If so, consider choosing another product.
6. Other Textured Materials
Porcelain or ceramic tiles aren’t for everyone. If you aren’t a fan, there are plenty of other slip-resistant floor materials to choose from. One stylish and versatile option is textured concrete. Another is slatted wood flooring, offering an uneven texture that is good for grip. Slatted teak wood, for example, provides a relatively strong grip and water doesn’t pool on it.
Luxury versions of vinyl plank and vinyl tile flooring also offer slip resistance, but not all are created equal. Try to stick with vinyl tiles that have texture or wood-grain embossing for added protection.
7. Rugs and Bath Mats
Rugs and bath mats make an easy solution for bathrooms needing a nonslip surface on the floor. Just be sure to find something low-profile so it doesn’t become a tripping hazard. If you get a rug, it’s important to use a nonslip rug pad underneath so that it doesn’t slide.