Planning on Staying in Your Own Home for Life? Here are the Best Walk-In Shower Options

Most of us want to stay in our homes as long as we possibly can — and why not? Home, for most of us, really is where the heart is. It’s where we make memories — raising our children, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and weathering the bumpy times that inevitably come into each of our lives from time to time.

But just because we love our homes and want to stay, doesn’t mean that a few changes aren’t in order to make that dream a reality. Doorways may need widening, counters may need to lowered, while toilets are raised, etc. And we definitely need to think about how to make a daily shower easier for the years when we’re less steady on our feet and falls can be devastating. When it comes to bathing as we age, eliminating obstacles is a priority.

Curbless Showers

In order to enter a shower safely with a walker, a curbless shower can’t be beat, since even a low curb surround can be an obstacle. Whoever you get to clean your bathroom, whether it’s a relative, a home aide, or a housekeeper, will appreciate the convenience of curbless shower when it comes to washing the floors and tiled walls, too! You can also have your shower built with an extra wide-entry and door to accommodate a wheel chair or walker, or even an assistant.

It’s important to install a bench and a couple of sturdy grab bars — both inside and outside the shower as well, for added stability and confidence on a wet surface. (Benches can be wall-hungrather than built-in, if space is tight.) A handy (close to your bench) removable hand-held shower sprayer can then be used to shower while you sit, rather than attempting to keep your balance to stand while showering. It makes rinsing your hair and washing your feet a lot easier too!

A stationary half-wall is also more convenient than dealing with a standard swinging shower door, which can block your access to a grab bar. (Keep in mind that there are extra-wide shower door options out there, though.) A sliding shower door is even worse, since it blocks access to half the shower space and makes assisting a bather a pretty difficult prospect.

Walk-In Tub/Shower Combo

Walk-in tubs with showers can be costly, but they’re worth the expense if you love an occasional soak in the tub. Here again, though, it’s best to skip what most people consider an upgrade — a sliding or frameless shower door. Either install a half-wall or consider a good old-fashioned $20-$30 shower curtain and liner.

The Bathroom Floor

Since bathroom and shower floors get wet, it’s important to have a non-slip floor installed to lessen the chances of taking a spill and injuring yourself. Talk to your contractor about options like

  • Mosaic tiles – Lots of grout lines make them more slip-resistant.
  • Pebble tiles – Not only are they slip-resistant, but rumor has it they feel great on bare feet, giving them a mini massage of sorts!
  • Penny tile rounds – They’re fun and practical, as well as slip-resistant.
  • Teak slats – Teak contains a resin that makes it water and humidity-resistant. It can be installed with spaces between the slats allowing water to drain into a reservoir below.

Noticing a pattern here? Lots of great texture means better traction! For a unified look, have the wall tile match the floor.

Find the Right Contractor

When redesigning your bathroom for your “golden years”, it’s best to try to find a contractor who specializes in aging in place renovations. In the Houston, Texas area, there’s none better than Legal Eagle Contractors. We’ve been Houston’s top remodeling contractor for 38 years and can design and build an aging in place-ready bathroom that looks fantastic and will meet all your needs for years to come! Contact us for a free consultation and quote today! (Cautious? We invite you to check out our numerous accolades!)