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juliede

ladyrob1, probably sell the house at that point!

   
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mizjayne

We are embarking on a demo & rebuild of what will be our forever home. On the cusp of 50 with arthritis, there are many trends that I love, like the free standing bath, but I have been questioning, how I get into it or clean it in 20 years time. So we'll compromise with a built in bath that I can sit on the of side & swing my legs into. A higher toilet with a concealed s-bend & a frameless shower with a seat built in from the start, so we don't end up with all those ugly disability aids added in the future.

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PRO
Annie Cass Landscapes

Mizjayne, congratulations on proving that universal design is for everybody! It's such a no-brainer, isn't it? The fit and able are perfectly capable of using fittings designed to allow ease of access for those with physical compromises - indeed, those changes almost always make the said fittings luxurious to use! - so why not build bathrooms that way in the first place?

So far as I can see there are two reasons. The first is that the designer is lazy with his or her imagination. They don't even consider how the bathroom's user would manage if they broke a major bone in a traffic accident, for instance, or were confined to a wheelchair by some sudden disability. It's not just the very old or those disabled from birth that need to be considered, is it?

The second reason is cheapness. Yes of course it costs more to build a wheel-accessible shower bay than install a ready-made sad little prison of less than a square metre in area that you need to step into. Of course a bathroom of more than five metres square costs more than one the size of a broom cupboard. But money spent on something that ultimately isn't functional is surely money wasted?

So yes, baths you can step into and out of without crippling oneself, possible handholds that are actually shelves, nice big showers with built-in seats and, yes, enough floor space that users don't trip over the furniture or each other are not luxuries at all but basics. No matter how pretty the aesthetics, fail on those basics and your bathroom is a let-down for ALL users.

   

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