From the Experts

Right-Sizing Bathroom Remodel

Kohler universal design bathroom
Looking to stay in your home for years to come but not sure you will be able to? Right-sizing your home has become a popular trend for people looking to extend the time they can spend in their home. But what does right-sizing translate into when you are remodeling your bathroom?  Your typical remodel involves updating the cosmetics and the fixtures, but a right-sizing remodel focuses on the functionality of the room. Think about how you would use the room if your mobility is limited and you need additional support to continue with your daily routine. Here’s an approach for a right-sizing bathroom remodel. Photo: Bold Independence by Kohler.


Start with the larger items like buying a bathtub. It is important to select one that is easy to get in-and-out of as well as one that is skid resistant to help prevent falls.  If you still want to enjoy a luxurious bath while you recline, walk-in tubs provide extra stability, ease of use, and comfort without compromising design. Wall-mounted grab bars add safety and security without cramping your style. There are now dozens of designer options to choose from that are not eyesores.


Installing a hand-held shower with a slide bar can extend your use of the shower by making it easy to use whether you are in a seated or a standing position.


It is important to swap your old toilets for comfort height toilets. The toilets are just two inches taller than a standard toilet but the height can make an important difference with it comes to ease of use. The elongated toilets reduce strain on the body and make standing up and sitting down easier. The money is worth the investment to make your life more comfortable every single day. Want to take it to the next level? Some comfort height toilets also come with a bidet option for hands-free cleansing.

Wall mounted toilets can be a stylish solution as well.


Switching out your faucets with ones that have lever handles makes them much easier to use since they don’t require a firm grip for twisting and can be turned off-and-on easily.

Counter Tops and Cabinets

Install counter tops at a lower level so they can be used easily if you are seated or if you are standing. Replace cabinet doors with pullout doors to increase access to the stored items inside.

Walls And Floors

Widening hallways and doorways can make it easier to get around your home if your mobility is limited. Most people overlook the importance of their flooring. You want to make sure the surface is not too slippery and make sure the transitions from the different flooring types are the same elevation. Typically when carpet is installed it is higher than the flooring it is installed next to. That height difference becomes a small roadblock as you age. Making sure the surfaces are flush will not only make it much easier to get around your home, it can also help prevent falls.

Strategize: Make Plans And Follow Through

The best time to start right-sizing is now. Making the changes now will be less physically and emotionally draining than waiting until you need the changes. Make the phone calls to a builder and designer to see how you can make the most of your bathroom functionally and aesthetically. That will help give you some peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your bathroom and your home for many more years to come.


By: Barry Fennell, Director of Remodeling Services, Wardell Builders. Inc.



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