When designing your home, it’s important to consider accessibility. Even if all the residents of a home are fully able-bodied, simple design decisions can ensure that guests are always able to comfortably move throughout the house. This can also be useful as you age, or if you’re looking to sell to buyers who have mobility issues.
Accessibility is the heart of Universal Design: a design philosophy centered around ensuring that areas are as easy to use as possible. Today, we’d like to discuss what you need to know about Universal Design. This includes its basic tenets, as well as the ways you can incorporate it into your home design.
The Principles of Universal Design
When practicing Universal Design, there are several different principles you want to keep in mind to make sure an area is truly accessible to the broadest range of people possible. They are especially important when designing a commercial space but can also be considered residentially.
These principles are:
- Spaciousness – Whenever possible, you want to leave room for any accessibility devices that need to be installed later.
- Flexibility – Not everyone’s going to have the same needs. Can a left-handed person and a right-handed person get around a space with equal levels of comfort?
- Simplicity – The more unnecessarily complicated a design is, the more likely someone is to make a mistake.
- Easiness – Whenever possible, a design decision should require the minimum amount of physical effort.
- Legibility – Make sure that people can easily discern all the information they need (e.g., the wiring in your home should still be decipherable, even if someone is color blind).
Universal Bathroom Design
Bathrooms are one of the most important rooms to consider when determining how accessible a home is. Water often gets on the floor, which means you need to take into account the slip resistance of the tile used for your flooring.
You also need to consider how someone will get in and out of a bathtub or shower. It can be very difficult for some people to get into a bathtub. In some cases, it may even be an issue going over a shower curb. Curbless showers represent a more accessible design choice.
Universal Kitchen Design
There are two major things to consider when putting together a universal design for a kitchen:
- Space – You want to make sure there’s enough space in your kitchen to accommodate wheelchairs and other devices used for people with mobility issues.
- Tile – There are all kinds of hazards that can occur in the kitchen. You want something that’s resistant to fire. You also want something that’s easy to clean so that you don’t have to expose yourself to corrosive cleaning materials. Porcelain is a good fit on both counts.
Looking for Bathroom Tiles in Doral?
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Have any questions about what we can do for you? Looking to schedule a free, in-store tile consultation? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always excited to help people find the tile that’s perfect for their space.