Since a bathroom has so many hard surfaces, it is a hazardous place to fall. The combination of a hard floor and water (especially with soap or shaving cream added in the mix!) creates slippery footing. Although people all ages can fall, the risk increases as we become older. One out of three people over the age of 65 fall in the bathroom annually, and over 30% of them will be hospitalized with fractures. If you lost your balance while in the shower or stepping out of the tub, do you have something that you can quickly grab within reach while falling that is designed to support the added force of velocity of a fall? Please note that the typical towel bar is NOT designed to work as a grab bar, and may easily pull out of the wall. The added bathroom design detail of including grab bars in a bathroom remodel is important!
It used to be that the addition of grab bars gave an institutional appearance to a bathroom remodel, but there are many choices available now make them an attractive part of the bathroom design and decor. Great Grabz offers many styles the spa look of teak, modern look of clear colored acrylic—including one with floating stones and another that glows in the dark for the child in all of us (pictured below)! They also have a Signature line available in many traditional finishes from chrome to oil rubbed bronze in their Wave and Horizon styles. Jaclo’s straight grab bar is one of the most beefy looking that we’ve seen on the market and can handle a 250 lb. weight load. When selecting a grab bar, ask if it is ADA compliant.
Cook Remodeling has looked over many different companies design collections, and we think Moen has the most attractive toilet paper holder that works as a grab bar to steady the transition from sitting to standing (pictured below). Healthcraft has an Invisia Collection (pictured above) with an bath faucet accent grab bar that curves around the top of the water valve for the bath/shower and with an attractive curved grab bar with a towel rack. If you don’t have a shower niche, they have a corner grab bar with a shelf made of bacteria and mold resistant material which offers the utility of easy to reach storage. Moen also has a shower wall grab bar with an integrated shelf (pictured below).
The addition of grab bars when doing bathroom remodeling increases safety and may prevent serious injury from falling. Did you know that the IRS considers medical expenses to include preventive equipment? And if it qualifies as a medical expense, you can use your health flexible spending account, or health savings account to pay for the addition of grab bars? And any cost that did not increase your home value can qualify as a tax deduction? Check with tax accountant or attorney to be sure.
Happy bathroom remodeling phoenix!