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Universal Design in Bathrooms and Kitchens

The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates show the nation’s population with a distinctly older age profile than 16 years ago. Manufacturers of plumbing supplies are keen to this and have been making stylish products for keeping people safe in their homes. 

As it becomes increasingly important to create living spaces that are universal in their design, we thought we’d put together a list of kitchen and bathroom elements that provide easier access for all.

Universal Design for Bathroom and Kitchen Safety:

safety bars for the bath
Invisia safety bars for the bath

Grab Bars:

Most of the accidents in the home are in the bathroom, where the combination of water and smooth surfaces can make for some tricky conditions. Stylish grab bars are one of the easiest additions to make a home safer and accessible. Having a steady hand hold when getting in and out of the shower can be a lifesaver, literally! 

Wall-mounted sinks and toilets:

Wall-mounted sinks and toilets can ease access for wheelchairs and walkers, because there are no cabinets or pedestals in the way. If you opt for cabinets, consider special storage features, such as pullout shelves and lazy Susans, make cabinet contents easier to reach

Universal design with wall mounted sinks and Roman, roll-in showers
Universal design with wall mounted sinks and a Roman, or roll-in shower

Curbless Roll-in Shower:

A curbless Roman shower is a shower that is not enclosed by a door or shower curtain. This is a great shower option for people of all ages, especially those who use walkers or wheelchairs. This type of shower has no rim to step over, allowing easy access for all users.

Franz Viegener single handle faucet
Franz Viegener single handle faucet

Single-lever faucets:

Single-handle faucets like GROHE’s SilkMove® technology. A wide operating angle ensures smooth and effortless one-hand control of the water temperature and flow. High-spout faucets deliver water in a comfortable position and can be found in our Essence and Concetto collections. Our Atrio collection includes a model with a swivel spout, which can be moved to the side of the sink – perfect if you are washing your hair.

Hand Held Showers: 

A hand-held shower is a necessity for those with physical limitations. And if you add a shower chair, hand held showers are much better for rinsing off than that old plastic cup.

Shower seating
Shower seating by Invisia

Shower Seating:

A bench in the shower is the perfect addition for all ages. Besides using it for seating, you can use it for storage or to prop your leg up while shaving. This bench has a contemporary look and doesn’t take up too much space in the shower.

Tall toilets:

Choose a toilet that is 16 to 18 inches high, rather than the standard 14 or 15-inch high seats. This is more comparable to a chair and is ideal for most everyone in a household.

jason walk in tub
Jason International walk-in tub

Walk in Tubs:

Conveniently designed to fit within the space of a regular bath for installation, Jason International’s Vivere® is perfect for those updating a home for “aging in place”. A built-in chair-height seat and a left or right inward or outward door allows for comfort and accessibility.

Universal Design in the Kitchen:


Brizo pot filler faucet
Brizo pot filler faucet

Pot Fillers:

A pot filler positioned over the stove eliminates the hassle of carrying heavy, water-filled pots across the kitchen. They are either mounted to the wall or on the counter and are articulated, so they fold up out of the way when not in use. These save time, can save strain on your back, and will make a big difference in your day-to-day life.

Drawer pulls and cabinet handles by Atlas Hardware
Drawer pulls and cabinet handles by Atlas Hardware

Cabinet and Drawer Pulls:

Large cabinet and drawer pulls are easier to grip than small knobs, making storage areas more accessible. Oversized hardware makes the appliances and cabinets easier to open.

The interior design of your kitchen and bath can be a gracious, accommodating, all-embracing space good for everyone. If you’d like more details on any of the products shown here, contact us at (314) 375-1500 for an appointment in our St. Louis showroom.

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