Six Ways to Future-Proof Your Bathroom During Your Next Remodel
Dear JM Construction,
I’m finally gearing up to remodel my main bathroom. I’m planning on making this my forever home, so I’d like to be able to plan ahead for features and fixtures that may come as my home and I age together. Do you have any suggestions for “future-proofing” my new bath?
Denise in Dover, MA
We love that you are thinking ahead! There are quite a few things you can do to make sure your bathroom is as functional in the future as it is now. Here are six of our favorites:
- Consider a walk-in shower over a bathtub. Bathtubs are great, but walk-in showers have long-lasting appeal when you are aging in place. Plus, tiled showers can be sized to fit your space and provide additional areas for seating or other plumbing features, like dual shower heads.
- Add structural support to your shower walls for future grab bars. While you are down to the studs in your project, add additional framing and support “behind the scenes” so you don’t have to recreate the wheel (or the shower) later on.
Quick tip: Take a picture of this framing before the walls go up, preferably with a measurement tool so that you know exactly where to start drilling when the time comes.
- Leave room around your toilet. Code dictates you have 15-18” inches from your toilet center on each side. Consider a bathroom design that places a toilet next to a wall or knee-wall that could provide adequate support for future grab bars.
- Err on the side of too much storage potential. We rarely run into bathroom situations where clients complain about too much storage or too much space. An open bathroom plan can allow for detached furniture options, like seating or a small dresser, that can be taken out should you ever need more room to move around.
- Think ahead with power. Make sure the wiring in your bathroom can handle anything you throw at it, from today’s hottest high-wattage blow dryers (which may require up to 20A on their own circuit) to tomorrow’s increasing line of wifi controlled smart outlets (which usually require a neutral wire). The good news? If you don’t know what to make of this tip, our electrician will!
- Update your plumbing. We always recommend new supply and drain lines as a part of a remodel to prepare you for any surprises once we open up the walls. If your house has cast iron, galvanized, or copper pipes, it’s a good idea to give them a thorough inspection all the way down to detect and correct potential problems before they start.
The JM Construction Team