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Build a Better Bathroom
Starting New or Starting Over

Whether you are building or remodeling your bathroom, plan for changing needs. Better Bathrooms are convenient, comfortable, and attractive both today-and tomorrow.

Today 

Every bathroom needs these features.
Universal Design
one bath on accessible floor level of home
wide doorways (36 inches preferred; 32 inches minimum)
extra floor space (60 inch turning circle between fixtures)

 
Convenience
hand-held shower head on adjustable slide arm
open knee space under lavatory counter
large mirror, extending to counter top
vertical lighting on each side of mirror
electrical outlets at counter height
easy-change toilet tissue holder
push-button shampoo and soap dispenser

 
Safety
   
ground fault circuit interrupters on all electrical circuits in bathroom
anti-scald controls on faucets
non-skid rubber flooring
reinforced walls next to toilet, tub, and shower (for adding grab bars later)

 Tomorrow

When the health or abilities of family members change, make adjustments to your bathroom.
Special equipment options
fold-away or adjustable grab bars (coordinate colors with decor)
raised toilet
electronic toilet seat lifter
electronic faucet
adjustable sink
knee access under sink

 
Bathing options
transfer chair placed in existing tub (need hand-held shower)
tub with built-in transfer seating area at end
soft bathtub (an expensive option, but protects against injury from falls)
transfer shower (36" x 36") with built-in, adjustable, or removable seat
tub replacement shower (36" x 60")
roll-in shower (60" x 60")


Prepared by Mary H. Yearns, Associate Professor and Extension Housing Specialist, Department of Human Development & Family Studies.

HDFS-H-307
March, 1997


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Contact: Mary Yearns
yearns@iastate.edu
http://www.exnet.iastate.edu/Pages/housing/