Aging in Place: Bathroom Design for your Future

Old man and woman standing with arms wrapped around each other, looking over a green valley.

According to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, "More than half of the nation’s households are now headed by someone at least 50 years of age."


Of those homeowners, over half of them "are addressing current or future needs of aging household members during master bathroom renovations." 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study


There are numerous ways you can plan for your future, and a bathroom remodel that considers your future needs is high on the list. Don't let your future health and well-being suffer as a result of a lackluster bathroom remodel.


Here are some things to consider when designing your new bathroom. 

Curbless Showers

Curbless shower with large gray floor tiles and small, 3D grey wall tiles. There is a glass wall panel with a robe hanging off it on one side.

A shower without a curb/threshold has many benefits:

  • Wheelchair access
  • No steps to step over, perfect for those with arthritis or hip/leg issues
  • Clean look
  • Easy cleaning (fewer corners for mildew to grow in)

We work with three build-a-shower systems that offer tileable curbless shower pans that are pre-sloped for water drainage.

Schedule a free in-store consultation, bring your room measurements, and we'll help you choose the right shower system for your space.

Grab Bars

Close up of brushed nickel curved TileWare grab bar with a integrated towel bar. The grab bar is in a shower with rough, slate-like ceramic tiles on the wall and white square 2-by-2 inch tiles on the floor.

Put grab bars everywhere! By the toilet, in the shower, or wherever you may need a little extra support and safety.


We sell TileWare Product's ADA-approved grab bars in our online store

  • Support over 1000 lbs of weight
  • Available in 3 finishes (brushed nickel, polished chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze) and different designs to complement your style
  • Available with integrated towel/washcloth bars so you won't hang a slippery washrag on your bar
  • Easy to install
  • Integrate beautifully with Wedi, Schluter, or HydroBlok shower systems without compromising your waterproofing
  • Installed before your tile, not after, so you won't drill holes through your waterproofing layer

Shower Benches

Modern-style bathroom with white tiled curbless shower with a line drain, a black tiled bench, and black shower head. There's a vanity with two white vessel sinks, round mirrors,  and black faucets on a gray tiled wall.

Have a seat, get off your feet, and relax a moment with a shower bench. 


These can be custom built to any size and, depending on installation, can support well over 600 lbs of weight.


NOTE: If you install a bench, a grab bar is recommended for help standing up and sitting down.


BONUS: If you install in-floor heating, you can carry it into your shower pan and onto your shower bench for a heated seat. It's okay, our heat system is waterproof.

Heated Floors for Safety and Comfort

Brown and white cat sleeping on a grey tile floor.
If you have pets, they'll love a heated floor. Tile is great for cleaning up pet hair and any little messes they make.

It's sad to say that some people have passed away after falling in the bathroom, not because of injuries sustained during the fall, but because they were unable to get up and succumb to hypothermia on cold floors.  


We carry Schluter's Ditra Heat system, which can be easily waterproofed and customized to your space. Use it to heat your floor, your shower pan, and your shower bench for endless comfort.

A heated floor can:

Low-Maintenance Surfaces for Easy Cleaning

Cambria Ella white quartz countertops on a light gray cabinet with a white, rectangular undermount sink, brushed nickel faucet, a white vase with orange roses, and orange perfume bottle, and a different vase with orange tulips.
Cambria Ella is a lovely quartz countertop material that looks like white marble, but isn't victim to white marble's biggest problems: staining, scratching, and chemical damage.

Quartz countertops have surpassed granite as America's favorite countertop material. These dense, gorgeous, man-made slabs come in hundreds of designs and colors.

  • Easy-to-clean smooth surfaces
  • Don't need to be sealed and re-sealed over time
  • Hard to chip or scratch
  • Hygienic, won't harbor bacteria
Large bathroom with a white built-in vanity with two brown vessel sinks on the left, a walk-in curbless shower with light brown patterned tiles on the wall, and a window with a white radiator underneath.
This bathroom features porcelain tile countertops, floors, and shower walls.

Porcelain tiles are great for floors, showers, and even a low-cost alternative to slab countertops!

  • Available in large sizes for fewer grout lines
  • Non-porous surfaces keep out stains, bacteria, mold, and mildew
  • Available with non-slip textures for added safety
  • Highly durable and hard to chip, scratch, or damage
  • Available in hundreds of patterns and colors for every design style, including wood-looks and fabric-looks
Light gray tile with white grout. A man's hand is using a blue sponge to wipe up a red wine spill.

And finally, use a pre-mixed grout:

  • Never needs to be sealed
  • Stain-resistant
  • Mold-resistant
  • Crack-resistant
  • Easy clean up of spills and messes

Get the Look YOU Want; Don't Design for Others

Shower with white subway tile on the walls. A cream and tan square mosaic covers the shower pan, the back of a recessed shelf, and in a horizontal stripe around the shower. There's a curved floating corner bench and grab bars on the walls.

If you're remodeling your house to put it on the market, then you should consider contemporary tastes and what a potential home-buyer might like. 


However, if you don't plan to leave your house for 10+ years, then this project is for you, not for others. The point of aging in place is creating space for your future. Get what makes you happy!


Do you love purple? Get purple tiles.


Do you dream of decadent gold? Get gold tiles.


Want a heavenly all-white design? Get white tiles.


Do you love color, lots of color? Get colorful tiles.


Do you want a pebble shower pan? Get pebble mosaics,


Always keep in mind that this design is for you, so make your choices based on what you want and need, not what the design magazines tell you to get.

Free Bathroom Design Consultation

Woman in black jacket, pants, and boots looking at the in-stock tile display in Tile Lines showroom.
Our designers have installation experience and can help you through the entire design process.

Call us at 253-872-0449 or email to schedule a complimentary design appointment with the Tile Lines team.


We'll help you consider all stages of your remodel:

  • Choose the right waterproof building supplies for a leak-free shower
  • Design a custom shower with benches, shelves, grab bars, and whatever else you need
  • Pick the perfect tile for your style
  • Choose finishing details such as decorative accents, tile trim, and grout color

Additional Reading

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