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Universal Design Makes a Bathroom Better

Little things make a big difference, Property Brothers say


Jonathan Scott: We're Drew and Jonathan Scott from Property Brothers.

[Jonathan Scott, Property Brother; Drew Scott, Property Brother]

And we have also brought in our property parents, Joanne, Jim, they're the experts.

[Joanne Scott, Mom; Jim Scott, Dad]

They're going to stand in for you guys.

We want to show you a few things you can do around the house to make it your forever home.

[Property Brothers (And Their Mom and Dad) Design Your Forever Home]


Drew Scott: Here is the bathroom.

Jonathan Scott: This is actually a little larger than your average bathroom.

But you want to make sure that you have lots of accessibility.

I think it's important to try and frame in for a water closet, have the toilet in a separate area, because that way, you can have grab bars with walls on either side.

[Place grab bars on either side of your toilet for maximum maneuverability.]

Drew Scott: This countertop is really low.

I think that would get sore on your back.

Joanne Scott: Yeah, it is.

Drew Scott: Always think about the height for your countertop.

And it is nice to have a medicine cabinet

[Be mindful of counter height...]

or some open shelves that are up at your standing height,

[and have shelves at standing height.]

because then it's easy access for your toothbrush, or your brush, or anything else that you need to have, instead of bending down to the cabinet.

You can also get toilets that are taller too.

[Make sure your toilet is at a comfortable sitting height and easy to stand up from.]

Really old homes tend to have low tubs, low toilets.

All that stuff should be raised up.

Jim Scott: I think a bench in the bath here would be a good thing.

And older folks sometimes have trouble stepping over that.

Drew Scott: Yeah, you have the taller tubs that are therapeutic.

They have the bench inside.

You open the door, sit in, and close it.

[Add a bench to your tub or shower.]

Jim Scott: Yeah, that's right.

Drew Scott: Whether you do that, or whether you do a shower, you can also have a bench in the shower.

Think about where the plumbing is in the bathroom, as well.

[Save money by keeping plumbing in the same spot when renovating.]

If you keep it where it is when you're updating the space, then you're going to save some money too.

Just freshening up with a bit of paint and new lighting can go a long way

[Sometimes all you need is lighting and fresh paint to make a space feel new.]

because it can make it feel like a brand new space.

Hopefully we've given you a few valuable tips for your forever home.

En español | The bathroom can be your in-home spa — and why not? At this age, you deserve your very own throne room. It doesn’t have to be a mega-overhaul. “Even a new shower head with a massaging wand can freshen up the bath,” Drew says. “Little things like that are very important.”

Major bath renovations are notoriously costly so “make sure you’re spending smart,” Drew says. All-in-one vanity units aren’t as expensive as custom cabinetry. If you’re swapping out older fixtures, keep the same layout to avoid major re-piping. Says Drew: “Just freshening up with a bit of paint can go a long way because it can make the bathroom feel like a brand new space.” Same goes for lighting. “You can get night-lights that are just plug and play. As soon as you walk by them, they turn on automatically. You don’t even have to think about it.”

Universal design makes the bath safe and comfortable for everyone, at any ability. Higher toilets (“comfort height” is a descriptor to look for) are easier on the knees and back. Permanent or removable seats in the shower let you sit and soak. Nonslip flooring no longer means ugly adhesive strips. Even grab bars come in attractive designs these days. Age in place — in style!

Ideas for Creating Your Forever Home