Bathroom Safety Features

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Dear Drury Design,

I’d like to make my bathroom safer. I’m getting a bit older and will likely need support rails and grab bars before long. However, when I think of bathrooms with extra support, my mind goes to those big stainless-steel support rails like you see in public restrooms. I’m not a fan of putting those in my house. What are my options?


Claudia from Hinsdale


The expert providing the answer to this week’s question is Basia Kozub, CKBD. She’s been with Drury Design for 9 years. 


Dear Claudia,

We understand the concern for safety and style in your bathroom. Fortunately, there are design options that address both concerns! Here are a few suggestions for incorporating mobility support into a bathroom design without compromising the look you have in mind: 

Thoughtful design: A designer experienced in this realm understands the need for extra space in some areas and nearby support in others.

Designer support:  Support rails and grab bars don’t have to dominate the look of a bathroom space. They can be minimalistic and stylish.  They come in different styles, sizes, and finishes to match your needs. They can double as base supports for adjustable shower heads.

Why not make stylistic choices? Grab bars come in a variety of finishes, shapes and sizes and can be used to complement your bathroom’s overall aesthetic. You can match your bath plumbing fixtures both in style and finish.

Shower seats: A shower bench or seat provides a place to sit and rest while also offering support and stability. They come in various materials and can be integrated into the shower design. Space permitting, we always try to include built-in shower seating in every project. If we have limited space, we try to find the best solution that we can find. You can choose between built-in benches, floating benches, small corner seats and folding seats.

Shower seat options include models made of water-resistant teak wood.

Tub support: Some of our mobility-minded customers prefer a tub with a deck so they can sit on the edge and swing their legs around into the water. We can also add grab bars to the tub deck so that you have something sturdy to hold on to when trying to get in or out. Others might want to consider a walk-in tub with built-in grab bars. Some clients are very concerned about the safety of a tub at an old age and instead choose to convert a tub into a curbless shower with a seat and grab bars.

Build now, reveal later: We help some of our customers plan for the future. While doing a remodel now, we can identify locations for wall supports for grab bars/rails that will be needed later. In other words, we can block in the wall for support now (add a secure, support-worthy horizontal 2 x 6 between studs) so there’s no need to go into the wall later. You’ll want to feel confident when you’re putting your whole weight onto a grab bar. If you don’t want the support right away, we’ll simply block it in so that it’s much easier to install later.

As you can see,  designing for safety is all about planning – knowing the products, installation options and being a step ahead to avoid injury or unneeded remodels to a remodel. We’re well-versed in this area and would be happy to help you if you have further questions.


Basia Kozub, CKBD

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