Accessibility is hot in both new construction and remodels.

Driven by an aging population and a desire to create spaces that can change as our needs change, adding accessibility features in bathrooms increases both perceived and actual value to bathrooms — and therefore, the entire project.

Fortunately, there are some easy additions and design tweaks contractors can make to capture this value:

Barrier free showers. One of the most dangerous actions in the bathroom is to step over a tub or other obstacle. Designing your shower to be barrier free allows for safety and also adds a luxurious look.

5 feet of clearance in bathroom. For a person in a wheelchair, the need for space to move around and maneuver is important. 5 feet between fixtures gives enough room for a 180 degree turn.

36 inch (or wider) shower doors. These make it much easier for people of all abilities to access a shower and can provide an illusion of extra space.

Hand-held shower heads are vital for people with limited movement. It is also a great convenience for those of any ability… plus they make it easier to clean the shower.

Grab bars. No matter what your age, grab bars can prevent slips and falls. It’s easy to find a style that suits any decor, and they can easily double as towel holders. Adequate blocking behind drywall helps ensure the bar will support you no matter how you use it. Choosing a Bestbath® shower means the integral full wood backing allows unlimited accessory placement with no extra blocking required.

Shower seat. Useful for all ages, it can be for more than just sitting. You can prop your foot on it while shaving or use it for storage. Many even fold away when not in use.

Easy to reach accessories. A lot of injuries occur when stretching to reach the soap or shampoo. Placing shelves and a niche at a “mid-level” so that accessories can be reached while standing or sitting is a valuable design feature.

DON’T JUST DO IT, TALK ABOUT IT
Beyond adding these accessibility-friendly features, the most important thing contractors can do to benefit from this trend is to talk about their work.

Discuss the benefits of accessible design and aging-in-place features with clients. Demonstrate how it can add value. And, yes, show off your work in this area on social media such as Instagram and Facebook.

Contractors that do are expanding their opportunities and their profit margins while simultaneously separating themselves from the competition.

To learn more, download Bestbath's accessible bathroom layout ebook.