2020 Bathroom Trends Perfect for Aging-in-Place.
Updated: Apr 21
Many people hesitate to prepare their home for aging-in-place because they're concerned about aesthetics and the impact on resale value. They're under the impression that if they make modifications to meet potential accessibility needs, their home will look like a nursing facility. Fortunately, many of the current trends in bathrooms are perfect for aging-in-place. Making accessibility changes, if done well, will actually enhance the appearance and value of your home.
Wet rooms have been very popular in the UK and are now taking off in the US. A wet room is a bathroom in which the shower is typically open to the rest of the room or separated by a single wall. The floor of the shower is flush with the rest of the room with a very slight angle to allow the water to be directed towards the drain. The curbless shower in a wet room is ideal for those who use a wheelchair or other mobility-assistance device and also makes it easier for those with decreased lower body strength to use the shower.
In 2020, we’ll see a lot more texture in furniture like rattan chairs and velvet couches and the texture trend will also be seen in tile. Tiles with handmade texture are predicted to be all the rage. This is great from an aging in place standpoint because these tiles tend to have a better COF (coefficient of friction) rating. Slip-resistant flooring should have a COF reading of .5 or greater—the higher the better. This rating is available for every tile on the North American market.
Who doesn’t love being around nature? In our everyday lives, most of us are constantly surrounded by man-made objects. Exposure to nature changes our emotional state and is scientifically proven to reduce stress. Even seeing images of it can have a positive impact on our emotional well-being. Designs inspired by nature will be a leading trend in bathrooms in 2020. You’ll see this through elements including plant walls, wallpapers and sinks. More and more people are looking to make their bathrooms spa-like to create a relaxing escape from their hectic lives. Incorporating natural elements takes this trend to the next level.
Bathroom vanities are not what they used to be. The typical cabinet under the sink has changed to feature cleaner lines and more visual interest. The trend towards floating vanities really fits the bill. From an aging-in-place standpoint, they allow much better access for older adults who use a wheelchair allowing them to get closer to the sink and face it directly rather than awkwardly trying to reach it from the side. Best of all, these floating vanities can be set to the perfect height for the user.
Roll-out cabinet shelves in kitchens have become commonplace. It makes access so much easier for everyone, not just older adults. Why limit them to the kitchen? You’ll start seeing this feature a lot more in bathrooms in 2020. Roll-out shelf installation does not require modification of existing cabinets which makes them a cost-effective change that can make a big difference. For older adults, roll-outs provide easier access to items that would otherwise be difficult to reach due to struggles with balance or limited reach due to use of a walker, cane or wheelchair. Additionally, pull-out shelves typically have raised sides that provide the benefit of keeping smaller bathroom items from rolling off and hitting the floor eliminating an unnecessary fall risk.
In 2020 people are giving a lot more consideration to the technology available in the bathroom. Tech has revolutionized toilets just like it has changed other aspects of our lives. Many high-tech toilets include a bidet feature with a warm air dryer which make cleanliness much easier. This feature can be especially helpful for those who have balance issues or weaker lower body strength and can positively impact their ability to manage the activities of daily living. Some other interesting features include motion-activated seats, automatic deodorizers and no-touch flush. The less things you touch, the less chance you have of coming into contact with germs and sharing them with others. Given the weaker immune systems of some older adults, this new technology can help with maintaining good health.
Whether you follow trends or not, making your home aging-in-place friendly doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on style. By implementing a thoughtful design plan, your home can be the place you feel most relaxed, comfortable and safe that reflects who you are and your own personal taste.