Keeping It Safe
Grab bars in the shower/tub area are a must given the wet surfaces in a bath. Towel bars won't work — they aren't made to support weight. Because grab bars can't be secured solely to drywall, you'll need to reinforce the area behind each bar with blocking. It should span the distance between the wall studs so that weight applied to the bar is transferred to the studs. An alternative to blocking is to line the entire shower niche with 3/4-inch plywood, which allows grab bars to be mounted anywhere on its surface. Install at least two grab bars in the shower — one at the entry point and one at the water source. "Mount them on a 45-degree angle to put the most surface within easy reach," adds Rawson. Here are some other safety tips:
  • Locate shower-control valves so water can be turned on and the temperature regulated from outside the shower. And aim the water source away from the shower door.
  • Make sure all electrical circuits are ground-fault protected.
  • If you use slippery flooring materials, such as marble and glazed ceramic tiles, opt for wider grout joints and a matte finish. Finally, don't rush through the planning process. Take the time you need to tailor the bath to fit your family — think about who will use the room and how old they are. The answers will start you off on the right track toward planning a bath that meets your needs and adds comfort and value to your home.
  • Ask TOH users about Bathroom

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