Chris Reed - Reed Design Build
No matter how delicately you present it, there is no easy way to bring up grab bars. Designing bathrooms can be fun and exciting, there are so many choices in tiles, counter tops and lighting… but when it comes time to bring up the G-word, we typically get the same back-stiffening, wide eyed, horrified reaction. But it’s not a visual reminder of “impending doom” as much as a safety feature, no different than a handrail on a stair case.
We approach grab bars as forward thinking. Now-a-days, who knows when one may slip on a wet department store floor, get hit by someone texting while driving. Or have an animal jump out at you while walking a dog and break a leg. Why mention such bizarre accidents, because they happened to friends, clients and even my family…and for someone in a leg brace, arm splints, or knee walker, a grab bar could mean bathing without assistance. We should also consider them for loved ones when visiting (perhaps mom or dad) or perhaps your pregnant daughter-in-law and of course ourselves. We can never be too careful.
So, it seems like a reasonable argument, but the thought of putting those institutional style bars in your new luxurious spa shower makes you cringe right? Well, Good News! Designer grab bars are making their way into the marketplace. Grab bars are coming in waves (literally). They now come modern to traditional in all finishes to fit all design styles. With the highly stylized look, designers now have the ability to integrate them into the design to so they blend right in. Many Times they can even be cleverly disguised or used as a towel bar until needed.
Ideally the grab bars would not be an afterthought. What if the perfect height grab bar placement is right where your existing shower valve is located, or there is nothing substantial to attach it to? And, wouldn't it be a shame to install a grab bar right SMACK in the middle of a custom mural. YIKES! Planning ahead by initially incorporating them into the design means you can adjust the plumbing, design the tile and reinforce the walls differently among other things.
So, the G-word really isn't quite as bad as it seems after all. They are lovely now and while you may not technically need them today, next year, or ever it’s comforting to know they are there for your family, your guests and yourself.
Images by Houzz.com
Bathroom Design by Harrall Remodeling, San Francisco
Shower Design by Rhonda Chen Interiors, Los Angeles
Shower Design by 2Scale Architects, Houston Texas