Slip-and-fall accidents can happen when you least expect them, but one place you know you’re at increased risk is in the shower. Wet tubs and tiles can mean you’re just one wrong move away from a fall that could cause serious injury.
If you’re worried about the possibility of slipping and falling in the shower, you don’t need to remodel the entire bathroom -- although that is one solution. Check out these safety enhancements, from cheap and simple to full-scale renovations.
Go to the Mat
For most bathtubs, the cheapest and simplest solution to avoid slip-and-fall accidents is to use a textured mat designed for this purpose. Just be sure to measure your tub first to confirm that the mat you choose will fit, and look for a model with suction cups on the bottom to keep it in place.
If a full shower mat feels like too much, you can also buy smaller clings that stick to the bottom of the tub and provide a little traction. Spacing these out properly will help you avoid treacherous falls without covering the entire floor of the tub.
Have a Seat
While impractical for bathtubs, spacious shower stalls can be made safer with the addition of a water-resistant chair or stool. Having the option to sit is especially helpful for those with mobility issues or injuries. Even a cheap plastic patio chair will do the trick nicely.
If you have the space and think a seat would make a nice permanent addition, consider talking to a contractor about installing a tile-covered bench in one corner of your shower.
Another fairly cheap and simple solution is to install one or more grab bars in the tub or shower area. These stability bars are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, so all bathing areas can be accommodated with off-the-shelf products. And if you’re outfitting a bathroom for someone with mobility issues, grab bars are also helpful next to the toilet to make sitting and standing easier.
After years of use, a bathtub may need professional refinishing to restore its original luster. If your tub has reached this point, or if you’re looking for the effect of a bathtub mat without the bulk, look into refinishing your tub with a textured agent. Contractors can include a sand additive in almost any bathtub finish to give you a little grip across the entire surface while leaving the tub smooth enough for comfortable baths.
From the Ground Up
Any of these light-duty solutions will make your tub or shower safer, but if you’re open to serious remodeling, you can factor slip-and-fall safety into your plans.
When renovating a shower stall, select new floor tiles with traction in mind. Porcelain tile tends to be slippery and smooth, but vinyl or textured tiles will help you get a grip when things get wet. You can also look into a zero-entry shower design to eliminate any obstructions over which you might trip getting in and out of the shower.
If you have a bathtub, you can always consider removing it entirely and converting to a shower stall, which can eliminate or minimize the need to step over the edge or stand on one foot. You could also switch to a walk-in bathtub, which is a great solution for bath lovers who have disabilities or challenges with stability.
Stay Safe with the Pros
Need help with any of these improvements or other ways to make your bathroom safer? Reach out to your local plumbing pros for assistance when and where you need it.