So you’ve just remodeled your bathroom and it looks gorgeous. The new marble floors sparkle and the shower rivals anything you’ve seen on HGTV.
But how much time and attention did you put into making sure the bathroom is safe for your family? Unfortunately, bathroom safety is usually last on the list of “to do” items when it comes to bathroom remodeling projects.
Slips and falls account for over 20,000 fatalities per year in North America alone. Over 75% of slip & fall deaths occur among seniors ages 65 and over. Let’s face it, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in your home.
Given these disturbing facts, what can you do to create a slip proof bathroom? Here are some tips for making your bathroom slip resistant:
Check the slickness or slip factor of your flooring before you install it
A quick & easy way to test for this is to see how your flooring reacts to splashing a little water on it. (Just be careful that you are fully supported during the test.)
While a new floor may offer slip resistant features, this could change over time through wear and tear;especially in high traffic areas. So, making an inexpensive flooring choice can cost you in the long run if the floor has to be replaced sooner that expected.
Since surface roughness can affect friction, take care to consider floor surface characteristics that can reduce slip & fall accidents. The most important factors are friction, lubrication, and surface wear & tear.
|Flooring Type||High Slip Factor||Low Slip Factor|
|Clay tile||When soiled (grease) and wet||When clean & wet|
|Smooth glazed tile||When wet,waxed||With abrasive granules|
|Marble, Granite||When wet or polished||When dry|
|Wood||When polished,waxed||When dry|
|Porcelain, Ceramic||When polished or wet||When dry|
|Linoleum||When wet,waxed,buffed||When dry|
|Terrazzo||Depends on coating||When wet|
Pay attention to floor waxes and polishes
Newly waxed wood floors are a good example of a slippery walking surface. If you have a hallway that’s made of wood next to a bathroom with linoleum tile, this could present a potential hazard. The slippery wax can be easily transferred to the tile and create an environment conducive to falling if the person changes her gait or loses balance.
Elevation and floor transition
Transitioning from a non-slippery floor (like carpet) to a glazed tile or slippery walking surface increases the chances of a fall occurring. To be safe, make sure transitional flooring contains similar slip resistant properties; especially when factoring in floor waxes or polishes.
Creating a slip proof bathroom involves installing the right floor for the right environment. Seniors who have mobility issues should take care to consider other bathroom safety products such as grab bars, tank-less toilets (for wheelchair accessibility), transfer benches, shower chairs, toilet safety frames and bench or wall mounted shower seats.
While doing your research on how to create a slip proof bathroom, look for products that are ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant. Walk-in or Safety Tubs are also useful in reducing the probability of slips and falls in the bathroom.