Many people kid-proof their homes when they have little ones. However, most child-proofing is temporary and doesn’t take design into account. Make your home kid-friendly instead, paying attention to the smallest room of all, the bathroom. This area often gets neglected, but setting it up with kid appeal can help it grow with your family.
Keep It Adult-Sized
When you remodel a bathroom with children in mind, you may be tempted to install smaller fixtures that kids can access easily. However, when the average bathroom remodel costs about $18,000, most homeowners won’t want to go through the process again a decade later when their kids have grown.
Therefore, don’t minimize the size of the vanity, toilet or tub. If you do, your bathroom won’t be as convenient for the adults in your family to use. Moreover, guests may be uncomfortable if they share the bathroom with the children.
There are plenty of other ways to make your bathroom safer and more accessible for your little ones.
Choose a Standard-Height Toilet
A standard-sized toilet with a seat height of 15 inches is ideal for a kid-friendly bathroom. Child-sized toilets are inconvenient for adults. Install a child seat on the toilet or bring in a temporary option for potty training.
Avoid a tall, comfort-height toilet, though. The seats on those rise 17 to 19 inches off the floor and may be too small for kids.
A high-performance toilet might be a great idea for kids that enjoy flushing inappropriate objects. Some contemporary toilets are made with easy-to-clean material that resists mold and mildew. You might also want to choose a toilet with a lid that doesn’t slam.
Revamp Your Vanity
Your vanity should be standard height or taller. Although younger kids may not be able to reach the sink, they seem to grow more quickly than you’d expect. Eventually, they’ll be most comfortable with a vanity that is at least 30 or 32 inches tall.
Families with more than one child might want to install double sinks. If the bathroom doesn’t have space for this, double faucets in a single sink can provide more than one station for washing hands and brushing teeth.
Improve Your Storage
Kids can accumulate a lot of clutter. Keep it contained with flexible storage options. A medicine cabinet above the sink can keep smaller items out of harm’s way.
Vanities with cabinets are better than those with legs. You can put safety features on the doors and drawers while the kids are still young, but they’ll conceal bath toys and personal items.
Keep a stool inside of one of the cabinets to help children reach toilets and sinks. Better yet, transform a low drawer into a slide step. When your kids get older, it can be used for storage again.
Shelving in the shower or bath enclosure gives everyone a place to stash their shampoo and soap. Install some at lower heights to give your kids easy access.
There’s often extra room in the walls. Adding built-in shelving will give you more nooks to stash magazines, toys and towels.
At the very least, make sure there is a towel hook for everyone in the family. Place them at the children’s height so that they can’t give you an excuse for leaving their towels on the floor. You can also stack your towel racks with one above the other. This is a great way to use wall space.
Another great place to stash towels is on a low shelf under a vanity. Keeping safe items within the kids’ reach helps them become more independent.
Make Sure That Everyone Can Bathe
Stall showers are perfect for smaller bathrooms, but they’re not practical when you have to bathe an infant or toddler. But your current bathtub may be so grimy or worn that you don’t feel confident using it with your little ones.
A traditional bathtub with a shower head is still ideal for kids. If it’s hard for a little one to climb over the edge of the tub, add steps leading up to it.
Replace your old tub and wall surround with non-porous materials that don’t use grout. It will resist mildew and be easier to clean.
Install an adjustable shower head to accommodate everyone in the family as well as adult guests. A hand-held option helps you wash younger children and clean the tub.
Although most people associate shower seats or benches with elderly adults, these accessories are helpful for kids. They’re especially useful in stand-up showers.
Control Water Temperature
If you can’t reduce the temperature of your water heater, consider installing anti-scald devices in your bathroom. These constrain the amount of hot water that can flow through faucets, minimizing the risk of burns.
Add Non-Slip Surfaces
The biggest hazards to children in bathrooms come from slippery surfaces, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Make sure that you use non-skid mats in the tub and shower if they don’t have slip-resistant surfaces. Place absorbent rugs or bath mats on the floor around the sink and toilet as well.
You might want to add a soft cover to the faucet in the bathroom. This can keep kids from getting hurt if they slip and fall against it.
Don’t Skimp on the Paint
High-quality paint protects the walls from moisture and is easy to clean. Select neutral fixtures and lighting for the bathroom, but get funky with the paint color. This is temporary; the bathroom can be repainted when the kids grow out of the bold colors or you sell the house.
Use Waterproof Flooring
Most homeowners use appropriate flooring materials in the bathroom. However, some older houses have hardwood throughout the home. Somehow, kids seem to get more water outside of the shower enclosure than down the drain. Protect your space with flooring that stands up to plenty of splashes, such as faux-wood ceramic tile or vinyl.
If you have children, you probably don’t want to put a bathroom out of commission for a long time while you remodel. The professionals at USA Bath can install a new tub in one day. Contact us if you’re planning to transform your bathroom. We can give you tips on everything from fixtures to paint and help you create the perfect bathroom for your family.