Remodeling your bathroom may seem like a chance to get everything looking cool and in style. But before you start looking at fashionable fixtures, look at what practical items you can install. A bathroom that has everything you need is a lot more desirable than a bathroom that simply looks like something out of a design magazine. Plus, if you have a bathroom that has several practical features in place, and you decide to sell your home later on, those features could be a big plus, rather than a past fashion mistake.
Designing bathrooms with features meant to help you safely use the bathroom as you get older are very desirable. Even if you're currently in the best of health, you still have to look out for mistakes and accidents, and these features can help you avoid problems. Install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet -- not extra towel racks, but real, solid, strong grab bars -- and be careful about positioning. The University of Missouri Extension warns that diagonal bars increase the risk of falling, especially if the bars or the hand you use to try to grab the bar is wet.
Add shower or bath seats and place an attachment for a handheld showerhead at waist height instead of up high. Look into nonslip flooring; you can get some very nice patterns that don't look like something out of a hospital.
No doubt you're putting in a medicine cabinet and some under-sink storage. But add an eye-level sundry/supply cabinet to the bathroom as well. These allow you to get extra toilet paper and more without having to go to another room. Many bathrooms already have small cabinets above the toilet or racks placed over the toilet, but an eye-level-to-floor cabinet is easier to reach. Build it into the wall or attach a separate cabinet to the wall with bolts to avoid tipping risks.
Windows You Can Actually Reach and Ventilation Fans
If you don't have a ventilation fan in the bathroom, install one. When they work, they work well and can prevent mildew from forming. This is a very welcome feature if you live in an area with cold winters; who wants to open a bathroom window when it's below freezing outside?
Also, if there is a high-up window in the bathroom, or if you want to add one, change it so that you can reach the window without standing on your toes. That can be a slip risk if you're standing in a wet tub. A lower window reduces the slip risk. If you're concerned about people being able to see your silhouette in the shower (frosted glass blocks clear views but can allow outsiders to still see movement), there are opaque, decorative, colored window films you can add to the inside of the window. Still use frosted glass, but the glass plus the film will reduce the view outside to nil.
A Standalone Toilet
Look in magazines at pictures of European apartments and you'll see these toilets with the flush mechanism inside a wall, and just the bowl sticking out of the wall. Those are rather impractical for people who don't want to call a plumber every time the toilet runs a little long. Stick with a plain old standalone toilet with a tank you can open easily.
Give bathroom remodeling companies a call to see what they can do for you regarding these features. Once you decide on the practical stuff, you can then see what decorative perks you can add to make the bathroom look even better.