Among all trends in our homes, one remains the most enduring: multi-generational living. Experts say it’s because young people often can’t afford to move out and older members of society face isolation. To cope with this, we all get a bit closer together by sharing homes.
But that means you need to make your shower safe for every member of your family. The rest of your home, too, of course, but this particular space is top of the priority list.
Anyone who’s ever slipped in the shower will know why. I’ve had that experience, and I’d prefer never to repeat it.
But it’s particularly important to make your shower safe if you live with people of varying bodily ability. Reducing the risk of slips and falls is the best way to ensure everyone’s safety.
How do you go about that, I hear you ask?
Well – I have the lowdown on what you need to know.
Choose the right tiles to make your shower safe
First of all, not all flooring is equally suited.
The best choices for busy family bathrooms are non-porous and hard-wearing porcelain or ceramic tiles, which come in a whole host of designs.
Thanks to advances in digital printing, replicating stone and other materials is getting easier. This means you can have a glamorous marble-look surface without the necessary maintenance.
As you choose tiles, look at their slip-resistance rating – this indicates whether or not they are safe to use.
It is given as an ‘R’ followed by a number. The scale runs from R9 – very little resistance – to R13, which means the tiles are safe to be used around a pool. You’ll typically find R11 and R12 in more industrial settings.
To make your shower safe, a rating of R10 is a good choice.
It’s best to stay away from glossy designs, as they are slippery already – you don’t want to add a wet foot to that.
Installation is key
Always ensure there’s a solid, even sub-floor to lay your tiles on, which will help prevent cracking.
Grout also makes a difference in terms of safety, as it adds to the non-slip finish.
Large-format tiles create a beautiful sleek look. But smaller sizes with more grout lines – including mosaic sheets on mesh – are a safer solution due to having more grout lines.
Of course, you can also opt for a shower tray. These come with anti-slip properties, too, and eliminate the need for any grout on the actual surface.
Whether you choose tiles or a tray, make sure to fit it flush to the floor. A level entrance further reduces the risk for trips and falls, plus it means it’s always accessible – even for wheelchair users or if someone needs crutches. It might sound unlikely to happen, but it’s always good to make your shower safe in advance.
If you don’t need it after all, you’ll still have a super-sleek, stylish design.
Underfloor heating will help to make your shower safe
Not only will you always have toasty feet, it will also help water dry off quicker – a key feature in a multi-generational household.
Plus it’s more hygienic too, as the faster any water spills and drips dry up, the less time any bacteria has to build up and fester. In addition, underfloor heating also means you’ll also have fewer water marks to clean – winner.
Always take care to buy a system that fits your home as well as your needs.
Don’t forget about brassware
One of the final steps you need to take to make your shower safe is to reduce the risk burns and scalding. This is where thermostatic showers come in.
They keep the water at the temperature you set, so there will be no surprise hot or cold stream. Make sure you also pick designs with cool-touch surfaces. This will reduce the risk of accidental scalding when switching off the water.
So, are you ready to have grandma and grandad move back in again?
Featured image: Onyx Pink tiles in polished and matt, £90 per sq m, Hyperion Tiles.