Home Care Library
Bathroom Makeover Ideas
Energy & Water Saving
Health & Safety
Special Needs of the Elderly.
Fan vent timer.Installing a timer on your bathroom’s vent fan can allow you to reduce the humidity after a shower, without having to remember to come back to turn it off.
Toilet topper cabinet.A “toilet topper” is a storage cabinet that is designed to go in the space right above your toilet’s tank (see types, costs, and reviews of toilet topper cabinets).
High-efficiency toilet.If you have an older home, you might want to consider upgrading to a toilet that has a more effective flushing system.
Built-in shower seat.If you have a tiled walk-in shower, then in one of the corners you can install a marble shelf that can be used as a shower seat, or a foot rest for ladies who like to shave their legs in the shower.
Entertainment features.Adding entertainment features to your bathroom can include: a flat screen TV, music speakers, a waterproof shower radio, etc.
Heated flooring.If your bathroom is on a first floor or is located over a garage, then adding a heated floor can be wonderful during the winter.
Heat lamp.A heat lamp can make drying off a more comfortable experience.
Additional fan in shower stall.If you have a walk-in shower stall, adding an additional vent fan for this area can help dry it out more thoroughly after a shower.
Storage cabinets & shelves.Adding either built-in or floor-standing cabinets and shelves can both look nice and give practical storage space to your bathroom.
Shower door.If you currently have a shower curtain, then adding a shower door can help cut down on mold and reduce water leaks around your shower.
Built-in shower caddy.If you have tiled walls, then marble shelves can be added in a wall corner to create a built-in shower caddy for your shower items.
Jacuzzi tub.Replacing your existing tub with a Jacuzzi style whirlpool bath is a very nice upgrade to any bathroom.
Walk-in shower.If you have the space, adding a walk-in shower is a nice upgrade to a bathroom.
Steam shower.Adding or converting your existing walk-in shower to a steam shower can give you an enhanced shower experience.
Bidet.And lastly, although more popular in Europe, installing a bidet is an upgrade that you might want to consider.
ENERGY & WATER SAVINGS
Here are some suggested ideas for reducing energy and water use in your bathroom:
Hot water recirculation system.Adding a hot water recirculation system enables hot water to be available as soon as you turn on the shower or faucet, so you can save you up to 10,000 a gallon of year in water that is wasted while waiting for the shower to heat up.
Low-flow shower head.Installing a low-flow shower head can reduce your shower’s energy use by up to 50% (see types, costs, and reviews of low-flow showerheads).
Waterproof shower timer.Adding a shower timer can help cut down on your hot water bills, and it can be especially helpful if you have children (see types, costs, and reviews of shower timers).
Dual-flush conversion kit.Adding a dual-flush feature to your toilet can save up to 7,000 gallons of water per year (see types, costs, and reviews of dual-flush conversion kits).
LED light fixtures, or CFL bulbs.If you are making over your bathroom, you might want to consider replacing your light fixtures with energy-efficient LED light fixtures, or otherwise replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs (see types, costs, and reviews of LED lightbulbs and CFL lightbulbs).
Tight shut-off faucets.If you have faucets which tend to leak, you should consider replacing them with newer style faucets which enable tight shut-offs. Drips may seem small, but when dripping 24 x 7, they add up to a lot of wasted water.
Drain-water heat recovery system.A drain-water heat recovery system captures the heat from the hot water that goes down the drain for your shower or tub, and uses this energy to pre-heat the water for your hot water heater.
Faucet aerator.And lastly, if your sink faucets do not have aerators on them, then you should consider adding them (see types, costs, and reviews of faucet aerators).
HEALTH & SAFETY
And here are some ideas for improving the health and safety of your bathroom:
Sturdy handrails and grab bars.Water, soap, and slippery surfaces create a perfect place for slips and falls. To improve the safety of your bathroom, you should consider adding sturdy handrails and grab bars in strategic areas (see types, costs, and reviews of bathroom handrails/grab bars).
Non-slip strips.Adding non-slip strips to your shower floors and tubs, and to the areas in front of these areas and your sink, can help reduce the risks of slips and falls in your bathroom (see types, costs, and reviews of non-slip strips).
Beefing up shower and bathtub features.If you have a shower curtain rod, you should make sure that it is secure and strong enough to use to break a fall. And similarly, shower and bathtub features that cannot support a person's weight (such as soap trays, towel racks, etc.) give a false sense of security, and should be removed and replaced with stronger features.
Ground fault interrupters ("GFIs").You should make sure that all of the electrical outlets in your bathroom are GFI style outlets, to reduce the risk of electrical shocks when you are standing on a wet floor or touching a wet countertop.
Chlorine filter for shower head.Chlorine released from hot water in your shower is bad to breathe and bad for your skin and hair. A chlorine filter added to your shower head can remove this dangerous chemical (see types, costs, and reviews of shower chlorine filters).
Shatterproof glass shower doors.If you have glass shower doors, make sure it has shatterproof glass, if not then it is best to remove them to reduce the risk of injuries that can be caused by broken glass.
Soft water-spout guards.Adding soft guards to your tub’s water spout will help prevent head injuries in the tub.
Eliminate sharp points and edges.You can reduce potential injuries by using cushioned or rounded edges on all bath or shower fixtures.
Add locks to cabinets.If you have children who either live or might visit your home, you should add locks to any bathroom cabinets that hold medicines, cleaning products, and cosmetics.
Dehumidifier.And finally, adding a portable dehumidifier in your bathroom can help reduce the humidity that can lead to the formation of mold on bathroom surfaces (see types, costs, and reviews of dehumidifiers).
Here are some suggestions for ways to make your bathroom more attractive:
Tile accent border
Beadboard / wainscoting
Knob and hardware replacements
Paint, wallpaper, etc.
Artwork (but able to tolerate high-moisture environment)
Matching rugs and shower curtain
SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE ELDERLY
And lastly, here are some upgrades that address some of the special needs of the elderly:
Fall prevention measures.The items mentioned in the “Health & Safety” section aimed at preventing slips and falls are even more important for the elderly: Sturdy handrails and grab bars; Non-slip strips; and Beefing up shower and bathtub features.
Access to shower needs.To keep from have to make awkward reaches, it is important to ensure that towels, soap dishes, and shampoo holders are all in easy reach.
Toilet frame.Adding a toilet frame is helpful for the elderly, so there is support for knees when sitting down or getting up from the toilet.
Sitting stool for the shower.Adding a sitting stool for a shower stall can be helpful for the elderly. It is best if it is brightly colored, so that it is easier to see in the shower.
Hand-held shower.Adding a hand-held shower head makes it easier to shower when sitting down, or if being aided by an assistant.
Walk-in safety tub.A walk-in safety tub enables a bath to be taken without having to climb up over the tub wall.
Bell next to shower.And lastly, you might want to consider adding a hook or low shelf near the shower so that a bell can be placed, which can be rung if assistance in needed in an emergency.
We hope this article and video has given you some helpful ideas for making over your bathroom, whether your needs are improved functionality, energy & water savings, improved health & safety, improved aesthetics, or the special needs of the elderly.
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