Welcome to part two of our dive into the world of tile from the Universal Design perspective. Last time we looked at tile materials and their safety and durability features. This time we’ll be looking at how the aesthetic design can actually contribute to the beauty and the safety aspects of your home.
If you missed the first part of this series, take minute to check it out here. If you’d like to learn more about tile materials and shapes, you can also check out these videos: The Different Tile Material: What You Should Know and Tile Shapes.
As we get older, our eyesight is one of the first things to become a challenge. Using contrasting colors on a tile floor is a great way to prevent dangerous falls by making surface changes more obvious. If you have a shower with a curb that you step over, using a tile that is darker or lighter than the tile on the bathroom and/or shower floor will make the curbs location much more obvious. If you have a curbless or barrier free shower, a great Universal Design feature, using a contrasting tile begins where the sloping shower floor begins will make the floor change much more noticeable and easier to navigate.
Ever reach your hand out to steady yourself in the shower? Misjudging the distance to the wall can easily give a bit of a scare or worse. Using contrasting color or a decorative design in wall tiles will give the otherwise monolithic tile surface more visual texture and make shower use safer.
In the first part of this series, we talked about the importance of tile being slip resistant. Another way to encourage grip with your tile design is to use smaller tiles in areas that will be wet on a regular basis. Smaller tiles have more grout lines and the grooves between the tiles will give your feet more grip on a wet floor. This design feature can be used on the entire bathroom floor, or just in the shower where water and soap are more likely to make tile slippery. The National Tile Council of America suggests using 3×3 tile or smaller for the best slip-resistant results.
When we say your options in tile design are limitless, we mean it, and building a safer bathroom doesn’t mean building an ugly one. Using the tips above along with other thoughtful Universal Design features, you can create a beautiful space that safe and easy to use for everyone.
Our goal with these pieces is to help you get the information you need to make educated choices for your home and family. If you’ve found this helpful, or have questions or requests for other topics, please leave them below, and we’ll make sure you get the answers you need.
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