The aging population in San Luis Obispo County, California is increasing.
What does this have to do with tile installation? A lot more than one might realize.
If you are renovating your kitchen, bath, or home, now is the time to think ahead for aging in place. Whether you are living in your forever home or you plan to sell your home, there are plenty of reasons to consider aging in place for your tile installation project.
What is an aging-in-place tile installation?
Aging-in-place tile installation is a form of tile installation that promotes safety and accessibility for people as they age.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the percentage of people over the age of 65 in our area is increasing significantly. Considering this demographic factor, incorporating certain features into your design for people with physical limitations can pay off in terms of immediate safety and convenience, as well as resale value.
Let’s take a look at some examples of tile installation projects that incorporate features specifically helpful for aging in place.
Bedroom and Full Bathroom on the Main Level
Imagine breaking a leg and having to crawl up and down a set of stairs every time nature called. Whether you’re potty training a toddler, dealing with dreadful flu symptoms, recovering from surgery, having overnight guests with physical limitations, or aging in place, transforming a garage, carport, formal dining room, or other first-floor living space into a bedroom and bathroom just makes sense.
Consider converting a bathtub or curbed shower to a curbless shower. This eliminates the need to step over the edge of a bathtub or shower threshold. People who use a cane, walker, or wheelchair will enjoy the ease of entry this type of design brings. To learn more about this type of accessible shower design, read our article, 7 Reasons to Choose a Curbless Shower.
How can you add comfort and functionality to your shower while also promoting independent living? Add a shower bench. This feature can reduce the risk of falling for people with arthritis, poor balance, or other limitations by providing a safe space to sit or rest while showering. Copher Tile and Stone can design a stylish shower bench in virtually any shape using waterproof, mold-resistant materials that can withstand the demands of daily use.
Grab Bars and Rails
For those who want to age in place with confidence, grab bars and rails are a necessity, especially in bathrooms. They provide extra stability and support for getting in and out of the shower or using the toilet. Available in a variety of styles, grab bars and rails can compliment or even enhance the appearance of your bathroom.
Adam Copher, owner of Copher Tile and Stone suggests, “Even if you are are not ready to install grab bars just yet, we can install backing in the framing to make it easy to install grab bars at a later date.”
Radiant Heated Tile Floors
Poor insulation, drafty windows and doors, or flooring materials that do not retain heat can all result in cold floors and cold feet. To address this issue, people often use throw rugs and space heaters. The problem is that throw rugs can slip, fold, or shift, posing a trip hazard. Plug-in space heaters may help, but the electrical cords can also create a hazard. Heated tiles are warm and comfortable and eliminate the need for throw rugs and space heaters. To learn more about this affordable tile installation upgrade, read our article, The Benefits of Radiant Heated Tile Floors.
Slip Resistant Floors
We can apply a slip-resistant coating to the surface of your porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, or other tile floors. This coating creates just enough friction to reduce the slipperiness of the surface. This is especially important in high-moisture areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, pool surrounds, and patios. We can also reapply slip resistance treatment as needed.
Low Glare Tile Finishes
With aging, eyesight can diminish. Older people may experience problems processing visual information. Glare from highly reflective flooring can be problematic for people with visual impairments. Low or non-glare tile flooring is easier on the eyes, because it reduces the amount of light that reflects off the surface of the tile. Choose tile that is textured or has a honed or matte finish. In addition, these types of finishes are more slip resistant.
Open Shelving and Lower Cabinets
Open shelving and lower cabinets can provide easier access to items for people who have trouble standing, reaching, and stretching. These design elements not only make kitchens and bathrooms more functional and accessible, they create a lot of open space, providing a unique opportunity to showcase a bold backsplash. With so many tile, stone, or glass materials to choose from and unlimited design possibilities, we can create an impressive, conversation-starting focal point.
Beware of Unevenly Laid Tiles (a.k.a. Lippage)
If there is a change in the height of the floor from one tile to the next, it may pose a tripping hazard for people with mobility issues. This problem can be avoided by hiring a reputable, highly trained tile installation contractor.
You might also consider selecting large format tile for your installation to reduce the number of grout lines. If you have a natural stone floor, a stone restoration contractor can grind the tiles down so that they are level with the grout lines and the surface of the floor is completely flat.
The Value of a Tile Installation in a Multigenerational Home
In addition to offering numerous physical, emotional, and psychological benefits, a home designed for aging in place can also have a positive impact on resale value. According to a survey report by the National Association of Home Builders, 39 percent of respondents said that they would prefer a multigenerational home design.
At Copher Tile and Stone, we are very sensitive to the needs of our clients. If you have any health concerns, we will gladly take precautions to protect you and your family members during our interactions, including:
- Prioritizing masking and social distancing
- Offering contactless payment options
- Limiting the number of workers who enter your home
- Keeping sick workers at home
As you plan tile installation projects for your kitchen, bathroom, or home renovation, remember the benefits of aging in place and consider creating an environment that is safe and accommodating.
Copher Tile & Stone proudly stays up to date on safe and accessible tile technologies with ongoing education with Mapei Technical Institute, Ardex Academy, the National Tile Contractors Association, Laticrete, and Schluter. Adam Copher is a Certified Tile Installer (#1644).
By Alice Dean.