Bath and Shower Safety – how to avoid a slip and fall accident in your bathroom.

It never a fun topic, but today we are going to be discussing slip and fall injuries in the bathroom…  Why are we going to play debbie downer and talk about this?  Because it’s important and the statistics are pretty grim.

“Older people(65 and older) typically have greater difficulties with mobility, vision and balance making them more likely to fall or slip which accounted for 79% of bathroom injuries for this demographic,”

“Over a third of the elderly required hospital admission following a bathroom incident. 540,000 slip-fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.”

We want to keep you (and your loved ones) safe, so let’s look at ways to reduce your odds of having a slip and fall injury.

Non-flooring related options

Grab Bars – These may be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally (see photo below) depending on the type of tub or shower, and the bathing preferences of the customer.

Shower Seat – this can be gam changing for people with mobility issues, there are a variety of materials from natural woods to non slip plastics, and they fold up very nicely as well, so the option of bathing is not eliminated.

Here’s a great example a shower that has been converted to minimize the risk of falls, we have a grab bar, converted walk in tub, shower seat, and textured floor (all of which we can install for you!)

Tub converted to minimize slip and fall injuries.

Tub converted to minimize slip and fall injuries.

Flooring – In our decade of experience, we have experienced several flooring options. Sadly, most of them are not that great of options. But we will discuss each one along with the pros and cons.

Bathmats – A bathmat can provide good quality support on an existing slippery surface. Two kinds are made: one with suction cups, one without.

  • The bathmat withOUT the suction cup on the bottom work well, but every now and again it may scoot around on the bathtub surface. So be mindful of that. After each use, you’ll need to remove the bathmat. Water that sits under that mat will etch into the bathtub surface, causing it to become harder and harder to clean. This Bathmats can be a little more tricky to find, but are recommended over the alternative when it comes to the life of your bathtub.
  • The bathmat WITH the suction cups tends to be a preference among our customers, but is one of the worst non-slip surfaces to use. The suction cups give consumers peace of mind when it comes to slipping, but the suction cups quickly destroy the bottom of any bathtub. Again, the water under the suction cups (in a concentrated area with trapped air) along with any under the mat Itself, etch into the tub. Applying weight to that suction cup area, forces the compressed air and water aggressively a crossed the surface of the bathtub, causing the water to etch into the bathtub. (Think about it, water carved the Grand Canyon, what do you think it’s doing when it’s trapped in the top of you bathtub surface) “I’ll remove it after each use.” It’s a thought, but the constant pulling of that suction cup pressure several times daily does just as much damage.
bathmat and decal damage

This tub was destroyed by bathmats and the decals.

Stick On Bath Decals – The concept for bath decals is a dud. It’s basicly, sticking stickers on a slick surface that experiences constant water. Most of the negative comments made by consumers address the difficulty in getting the decals to stick. If your lucky enough to get them to stick, know after you remove them, you’ll need to get your bathtub refinished. The decals imprint the on the tub; when removed the decal is still seen in the bathtub floor. The only way to repair this is to refinish the tub.

Decals imprint on bathtub finish

Decals imprint on bathtub finish

Non-Slip Surface added to bathtub – This is the best option for avoiding a slip and fall, in our opinion. It’s built into the finish. It doesn’t need to be addressed after every use, like you would with a bathmat. There are fine granules, smaller than sand, that are mixed into the primer and placed in a uniformed patterned on the bottom of your bathtub. Primer is then sprayed and then the top coat. It creates great traction, but not enough to where laying in the tub for a bath won’t be uncomfortable. Regular cleaning will be required with this option. The small textured surface is rough and can collect dirt if it’s not cleaned regularly.

 

Please be smart about a bath and shower safety. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Does a walk-in tub conversion make sense for my loved one?

When it comes time for a walk-in bathtub conversion for your parents to continue live independently in their Denver home, or needing to provide comfortable bathing arrangements for a loved one in there home after a surgery, it’s crucial to know your options. Individuals in this situation usually have either time or money restrictions…sometimes even both. Which can place you or your loved ones in a vulnerable position to certain salesmen. So hopefully this will help.

Investing in a brand new Walk-In Bathtub is, in our opinion, a little excessive. The tubs are the length of a standard bathtub, but are 37 – 47 inches high. These bathtubs are created for you to walk into, shut the water tight door and let the tub fill up, bathe, let the bathtub drain and then step out.

There are several concerns we have in this design. First, your bathing time just doubled, easily, if not tripled. You have to wait inside the 37”x60” tub to fill up before bathing and then have drain fully before you can open the door to get out. If there is an emergency of any sort and you need to escape the bathtub, all of the bath water would flood the bathroom. Creating severe water damage. Secondly, most residential water heaters do not hold 40+ gallons of HEATED water. You won’t have enough hot water to bathe in; hence, a chilly bath. Third, The cost for these tubs $5,000-$6,000 not including installation or an additional surround, which can add up to be drastically more. This option, we believe is taking advantage of individuals in these situations.

Another option for a bathtub conversion, is to remove the current bathtub and install a large shower pan. This would involve demolishing the bathtub in place, removing any or all tile within the surround, address movement of the plumbing for the future shower pan, install pan and shower door (more stable then a curtain for balance). Even though this option is decent, it still will take a lot more time then most are comfortable with. Plus, remodeling projects tend to have a hidden, unforeseen hold-up. This in of itself can be stressful, especially if you’re using multiple Denver contractors to complete the remodel. The cost for a remodel can still easily come to $3,000-$10,000. So doable, but not ideal.

What we have found to be the best option for Walk-In Bathtub Conversions is to alter the current bathtub by cutting a section out of the front wall that usually would be stepped over to enter the bathtub. Then install a “U” shaped step to be able to walk directly into the bathtub. These steps can even have a water tight door for bathing, if desired. You would still use the same amount of water, still have your bathroom as it is. This bathtub conversion can range $800-$1,300 depending on the needs and situation of the bathroom. The step is installed in a day and needs 3 days to bond to the bathtub. It’s a fraction of the cost, time and stress.