What Home Designers Need To Know About The Aging In Place Movement
It’s extremely common for kitchen and bathroom remodels to include the installation of laminate or quartz countertops. Since quartz countertops are actually now the most popular material used for this purpose, surpassing granite in 2014, it’s no surprise that people want to include it in their homes. But seniors who are preparing to age in place may have concerns beyond the appearance of their high quality countertops. They need them to be the optimal height and size while providing superior levels of safety. Here’s what kitchen and bathroom designers need to know about the aging in place movement and what this trend requires.
Lower or Adjustable Heights
Most quartz and laminate countertops will be approximately 36 inches in height. However, if you’re working with homeowners who plan to age in place, you may need to consider installing a lower countertop or even a couple of countertops with varying heights. They’ll want at least one counter that’s between 28 and 32 inches high. That will make it easier for them to sit while they chop vegetables or mix ingredients. Just be sure to leave enough knee space underneath for a chair or wheelchair (approximately 30 inches wide by 27 inches high, according to AARP). Some homeowners may want to consider adjustable countertops that can be moved to the ideal height with the press of a button.
Whether you install quartz or laminate countertops, you should be sure to avoid sharp edges in the kitchen and bathrooms. Those 90-degree angles can be extremely problematic for seniors, as one false move can result in painful injury. To reduce this risk, all countertop edges should be rounded off. That way, seniors can make their way around the kitchen and bathroom without worry.
New Cabinets and Drawers
Seniors who plan to age in place may also need to think about switching up their cabinet and drawer design. Firstly, they may find opting for drawers, rather than doors, on their lower cabinets may help. These drawers will display everything clearly and will keep homeowners from having to dig through storage on their knees to find what they need. Homeowners may also want to get rid of corner cabinets, which usually end up being filled with junk. Adding larger, bar-shaped or D-shaped pull handles to drawers and cabinets may also provide a better grip.
If you regularly deal in the installation of quartz countertops, you need a reputable supplier. And for more complicated installations, you’ll require help from the experts. At L.E. Smith, we’ve even created an online quoting tool, SQUAD, to help your job even easier. To find out more, get in touch with us today!