Archive for bathroom design

We call them the golden years – and they should be just that. This year, National Aging in Place Week takes place on October 15-21. It’s a week that’s focused on bringing families together to make the home a safer place for multi generational living. This week-long event was spearheaded by the National Aging in Place Council, a senior support network that brings together resources such as healthcare, financial services, and products to make independent living safe and comfortable. To kick off the week, we’re sharing the story of one determined senior that made her home a haven for aging in place.Here’s a sobering and unfortunately, all too real, bathroom safety fact: every 2.3 seconds, an adult 65 and older suffers a fall that can threaten their life, safety and ability to live independently. Jane B., a South Carolina homeowner and senior citizen, recently sought out a solution to avoid becoming part of the statistic. After a close call slipping in her hazardously slippery shower, she came across an ad for a walk-in tub which would answer her bath safety concerns. After a call to a reputable local renovation company, Metropolitan Renovations, Jane had a slip resistant American Standard Walk-In Tub installed… and the rest was history.

Well, that’s the short of it. Similar to the many seniors who live in their own homes, Jane had lived independently for many years and was determined to keep it that way. After all, the “Golden Years” are meant to be just that – a time to relax without the worry of preventable threats. One day last year, Jane fortuitously walked into her local home improvement store which offered American Standard Walk-In Tub options and would recommend a reputable installer to boot.

Metropolitan Renovations, a remodeling company that serves Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, installed Jane’s new Walk-In Tub and renovated her bathroom to address her safety concerns. As a certified Aging-In-Place specialist, Metropolitan Renovations also offers home modifications such as non-slip floor surfaces, wider doorways, grab bars and defined-edge countertops to accommodate the elderly or those that have limited mobility. After a short period, their experts had Jane’s old shower removed and replaced with a new Walk-In Tub with Jet and Air Massage options which provide relief for her fibromyalgia and arthritis.

With the addition of her new safety-minded renovation equipped with an American Standard Walk-In Tub, Jane now feels more secure when bathing and carries a new found sense of confidence in her surroundings. Now that’s aging gracefully.

Tips to prepare you or your parent’s home for aging-in-place:

  • Install lever door handles which are less challenging for arthritic hands
  • Grab bars – everywhere! Surrounding the bath, toilet, seating areas and more with a grab bar will add stability to those with poor balance
  • Right-Height Toilets simplify standing and sitting
  • Toss out or secure loose rugs which can be tripping hazards
  • Faucets with hot-limit safety stops prevent scalding in the bath or at the sink
  • Arrange furniture to eliminate obstructions
  • A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) can put together a great plan for your home. To find one, check out the National Association of Homebuilders’ directory here

Follow us on Twitter to get more bathroom safety tips all week long! Start designing your ultimate safe and accessible bathroom here.

At the American Standard research and design center, we’re constantly keeping an eye on emerging trends in the kitchen and bath world in order to design products that fit the end user’s needs flawlessly. In the April issue of Professional Remodeler, Gray Uhl, American Standard’s Director of Design, spoke about the latest trends in bath remodeling. Among his observations was the increase in a need for products that work in existing spaces in response to the people staying in their homes longer and creating multi-generational living spaces.

This got our gears turning; what are some other trends that are emerging in bathroom interiors? We asked Gray to clue us in on  some of the hottest trends of 2012:

Now it’s your turn! Watch the video below to see how you can win an American Standard Outreach Faucet (our response to the need for a more versatile bathroom faucet) and maybe even see your product idea come to life!

For the chance to win the American Standard Outreach Faucet, leave a comment to this post with a product idea that isn’t available today that you’d love to own or with a style that you’d like to see us develop. Professor Toilet and his team will choose their favorite entry on Monday June 25, 2012 as the winner,  so hurry and enter before Sunday June 24, 5PM ET.

EDIT: Congratulations to Kay Thrasher who thought of a clever way to add more counter space with minimal effort.  She says, “I have a very small bathroom with limited space. I’d love a bathroom sink that had a cover or partial cover so I could have more counter space when not using the sink and remove it for full access when needed.” Congratulations Kay!

As the weather begins to warm, the Professor’s mind turns to happy thoughts of a favorite season: springtime bathroom remodeling season, of course. For those who are ready to change things up, the Professor is pleased to offer a few pointers regarding current bath design trends for inspiration.

The American Institute of Architects reported that through the end of 2011, homeowners continued to view the integration of water saving faucets, toilets, and showerheads as important components of their bathrooms. Water saving toilets and showerheads in particular used to get a bad rap for providing poor performance, but thanks to recent technological advances, saving water doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. American Standard’s H2Option, featuring powerful siphonic dual flushing action, and turbine technology-powered FloWise collection of showerheads are two notable examples of high performance, low flow products.

The transitional style is predicted to be the most popular look for bathroom fixtures according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2012 Style Report. This style, which walks the line between traditional and contemporary to create a modern yet classic look, is beautifully expressed by the elegant, sculptural Pyke collection of bath faucets by JADO.

Aging in place is also a top priority for many Americans, and incorporating universal design features into the home – especially in the bathroom – is a growing trend. And with luxury options like whirlpool, air bath, and combo massage features now available, installing a walk-in bath can feel like an indulgence rather than just preparing for old age.

White continues to be the most popular bathroom color scheme, and it’s a look the Professor finds especially attractive when complemented by wood furnishings with dark finishes like the espresso-colored hues available in the Porcher Solutions collection of modular bath furnishings.

Whether you’re just swapping in a new faucet or getting bold with colors and fixtures: go forth and remodel!

One hot new trend in modern bathroom design is toilets with a concealed trapway. The Professor is a big fan of this style not only because it looks so clean and attractive, but because the straight sides are easier to keep clean and attractive. Some manufacturers even add special surfaces – like American Standard‘s EverClean finish – that inhibit the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface for even easier cleaning.

These toilets do tend to be a bit more costly than traditional toilets because it is necessary to add an additional layer of chinaware that acts as a curtain surrounding the trapway. Additionally, firing chinaware in one piece is tricky: it takes a lot of detail and engineering to get good final pieces out of the kiln.

The extra cost can be well worth it if you shop carefully, however. The Professor especially likes American Standard’s new Studio and Boulevard models, both of them dual flush luxury performance (LXP) toilets. The toilets are beautifully designed and offer superior performance thanks to their innovative PowerWash technology that ensures both a powerful flush and thorough bowl cleaning, every time. Both the Boulevard and Studio dual flush toilets have been independently rated to flush as much as 1,000 grams of solid waste —the highest possible score in the Maximum Performance (MaP) test, an independent report of toilet bulk removal performance.

With so many great features, the Professor is certain that the slightly higher price tag is well worth it.