Bathroom slip and fall accidents are common, particularly for elderly citizens. Though any bathroom user is susceptible to such accidents, various studies have shown that one in every three senior citizens over age 65 slip and fall each year. Such slips and falls can cause severe injuries. In fact, with its sleek surfaces, soapy and wet conditions, the bathroom is the deadliest place for an unfortunate slip. Proper designs can help in mitigating most of these slip-and-fall accidents. Before any bathroom renovation we advise that you speak with a trusted plumber to discuss ways to minimise accidents in the room. There’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on a makeover for your washroom only to find out you’ve made some terrible design decisions.
A plumber with experience in renovations of this type will know the pitfalls to avoid. If your bathroom is not modeled with these mitigating factors in mind however, don’t worry. There are other super effective safety measures that you can employ. Here are top 8 cheap and simple solutions on how to slip-proof your bathroom:
Non-slip Mats or Decors
A non-slip mat is one of the best options for slippery bathroom floors. Most of these mats are made out of rubber, and that’s why they offer high friction coefficient for excellent gripping. They are ideal for your shower and bathtub. They are available in different varieties but go for the slightly textured to allow for maximum traction. If you fail to get non-slip mats, you can opt for non-stick decals. They act the same as non-slip mats, but they can allow you to make your preferred pattern/arrangement for aesthetic purposes.
Buy a Bath Mat
Use of textured bath mat is one of the cheapest and simplest solutions for most of the slippery bathroom floors. It is ideal for bathtubs. All you need to confirm before buying is the measurement of the tub. This will ensure that you have bought the right size. You can spread out the mats over the entire floor or sparingly but ensure they are providing maximum protection against slip-fall accidents. Bath mats aren’t just a great solution to slippery floors but also an excellent way to add décor. If properly used, they can greatly enhance the aesthetics of this place.
Have a Seat
Although it may appear impractical, it is one of the cheapest ways to slip-proof bathroom floors. If you have a spacious shower stall, you can make the bathtub safer by having a chair or a stool. Most of slip and fall accidents happen while you are standing. If you can have a shower while sitting, you will be reducing the occurrences of these accidents significantly. If your bathroom is spacious, hire a local handyman to install a permanent one. Suppose you can’t afford this, a cheap plastic chair will do the trick. Always make sure that the chair is water-resistant to prevent rusting.
Add Grab Bars
If you want support to hold on, grab bars is the perfect choice for. They designed for walls where they installed to provide stability while you are moving in soapy conditions. They can also be used to provide support to persons with mobility issues. Installing one or several in the shower or bathtub area will significantly lower the possibilities of slipping and falling. The bars come in a variety shapes and sizes thus you can choose one that will also enhance the appearance of your bathroom. You can also spread them over the main areas where support and stability are needed. For instance, they can be helpful next to the toilet.
The wear and tear of the bathtub and shower floors is a key cause of slippage. As the floor ages, it becomes more and more slippery, and it becomes a hazard to the users. Instead of using mats to improve the traction, you can try bathroom refinishing to achieve the same or better results. A properly done finish up will help in restoring the original lustre for a powerful grip. Use of textured agents is a do-it-yourself solution that works extremely well. If you need a more improved and professional touch, hire a contractor for quality and aesthetically appealing finish.
Make the Shower Accessible
Accessibility is a crucial factor to consider, particularly if the bathroom is to be used by someone with mobility issues. There are different ways that you can achieve this even without remodeling your bathroom. Lowering the entry to the tub is one of the ways through which you can make it easier for such users to step in and out safely. Other measures such as installing shower seats and grab bars can also make the bathroom more accessible to the users.
Stick to Liquid Soap
No matter how insignificant this tip may sound, some of the accidents are triggered by bar soaps. Ask some of the slip and fall accident victims, and they will tell you that they were trying to reach for a bar soap or trying to keep hold of it. Making such reaction moves on a soapy and slippery floor can easily result in a fatal slip and fall accident. Use of liquid soap would be the perfect solution to this problem. The soap will not keep on falling all over the place as bar soap does.
Use a Bath Bench
While stepping in and out of the tub, it’s one of the moments when you can easily slip and fall badly. With a bath bench or ‘bath transfer’ bench is a simple and cheap to prevent such accidents, particularly for the elder citizens. Instead of getting into the tub directly, which is sometimes risky, the user will sit down on the bench, then slide over safely into the tub. Just like the shower seat, bath bench can be used with a hand-held shower.
These are the 8 simple and cheap slip-proof solutions to your bathroom. They will make your bathtub safer by reducing the possibility of slip and fall accidents significantly. Other measures that you can take to mitigate such accidents include regular cleaning and lighting the bathroom properly. If you want to have serious bathroom remodeling, you should factor in measures to reduce accidents. Select floor tiles that provide excellent traction such as vinyl or textured tiles. This is a great way to avoid such problems in future.