Bathrooms are an important space that should be functional and let you relax after a long day. For tall people, however, they can be cramped environments, where they bump their heads in the shower or have to crouch to fit in the tub. Most standard sized bathrooms simply aren’t built with big and tall people in mind.
The good thing is that bathrooms can be adapted for people with larger-than-average stature. Learn how you can remodel your bathroom with your size in mind.
Tall Toilets Offer Comfort
Standard toilets are not an ergonomic option for taller people. Look for a toilet with a height that lets you sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor and stand up easily.
A good toilet option to consider is a “comfort-height” toilet. These toilets are 17-19 inches off the floor, whereas a standard toilet is 15 inches high. “The higher bowl height can be good for the knees and back and can offer real advantages to taller folks,” says interior designer Lisa Kahn. If you are concerned about what years of sitting in the bathroom with poor posture will do for your hips and mobility, you may find that this size of toilet can help prevent unnecessary pain.
Comfort-height toilets aren’t the only option when it comes to making a more comfortable bathroom situation.
There are several ways to raise toilets to a height that is comfortable for you, says the team at Tall.Life. Raised toilet seats or toilet seat raisers (installed below your toilet) are ways to manipulate a standard sized toilet. Another way is to install a wall-mounted toilet at the height that is most comfortable for you.
“Replacing the existing toilet with a taller floor-mounted model or installing a wall-hung toilet are usually considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing options for achieving a taller toilet seat height,” says Rhonda Bonecutter, owner of Zero Barriers Consulting. A wall-hung toilet will give you the most flexibility in your choice of toilet height, but will require a plumber who has experience installing these types of toilets.
Don’t forget the details that coordinate with the toilet — like the toilet paper holder. If your toilet paper holders are properly positioned, you probably don’t think too much about this small, but very practical fixture. On the other hand, when a toilet paper dispenser is positioned behind you or too low, it creates a noticeably uncomfortable situation.
Ideally, the center of the holder is 26 inches above the ground and 10-12 inches in front of the bowl, writes interior designer Erika Christiansen. These measures work well with standard or comfort height toilets, but make sure you test it out first to see if you think the positioning is comfortable for your reach and toilet height.
Though you may be convinced that you need a taller toilet, you will have to make this decision with your family. If there are shorter family members in your home, you may want to reserve a taller toilet for the master or ensuite bathroom, while keeping other toilets in the home at standard size so that everybody can be comfortable.
Vanities for Your Size
Just like standard sized toilets cause discomfort in your knees and hips, standard sized vanities will force you to hunch over to brush your teeth, shave and get ready for the day.
Designers have created comfort sized vanities to help reduce the amount of bending required when you’re in front of the mirror or at the sink. Like kitchen counters, comfort height vanities are about 36 inches high, says Lorna Hordos at Hunker. You can also find taller vanities that range from up to 48 inches tall. It just depends on what height is most comfortable for you.
To determine the best height, try stacking some cardboard boxes on your counter to see what the difference would be, says designer Cheryl Khan.
After determining your ideal height, you could also opt for a floating vanity that can be wall mounted at a custom height. Not only are these vanities functional, they are stylish. “The simple, clean lines and open floor space underneath can also help to make small bathrooms look and feel more spacious,” explains the editorial staff at Hayneedle. If you are remodeling your bathroom to look more modern, this could be a practical and aesthetically appealing choice.
When it comes to vanities and sinks, what matters most is where the sink sits. “An above-counter vessel sink will naturally sit much higher than an inset below-counter sink, and so a vessel should be placed on a lowered cabinet to compensate,” says Yanic Simard, principal designer and owner of Toronto Interior Design Group. “Ultimately, you should try a few different sinks and figure out the height that feels most comfortable for you.” The vanity will also impact what type of mirror you select and how it is positioned.
There are a few rules of thumb when placing the mirror above the vanity and sink, says interior designer Arianne Bellizaire. Even though one standard is to place it a few inches over the highest point of the faucet, what matters most is that the mirror is placed at eye-level. This can prove difficult with family members of very different heights.
One solution is to use either very large framed mirrors or unframed wall-to-wall mirrors. Home decor writer Anabelle Bernard Fournier at The Spruce highlights several large mirrors that can serve as inspiration for your bathroom remodel.
Showers You Can Actually Enjoy
One of the most important spaces that you need to be comfortable in is your shower. Banging your head or crouching to rinse your hair can be a serious nuisance.
The standard height for mounted shower heads is 80 inches (about 6 feet and 8 inches), says Rasanjanee Polgampala at Finest Bathroom, although they are commonly installed at between 72-78 inches. For very tall people, this might not be enough space. For additional room, the shower head can of course be mounted higher. If this is not an option, however, you can choose between an adjustable height shower head bar, high rise shower arms or showerhead extension arms.
Curved or S-shower heads are popular options because they can be installed at a standard height, but their shape gives extra height for the shower head. The S-shaped arm acts as a base for the type of showerhead you attach to the end. These types of extensions are sturdy and last a long time, according to Michael Joseph at H2ouse.org. Adjustable shower attachments can give you the space you need above your head without any major remodeling.
It’s not just the showerhead that can be constricting. Tall people have larger arm spans than the average person and need a wider space to be fully comfortable. Interior designer Kimberly Horton took her husband’s larger stature into consideration when designing their bathroom remodel. “We not only had to size the stall for my husband but also use an extra-large custom door.” They chose a corner shower with a stall that measures 5 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 3 inches.
Remember the shelving says Bryan Sebring, owner of Sebring Design Build. If you’re investing in a bathroom remodel, you don’t want to have to balance your shampoos and soaps on the sides of the tub or put them on the floor. You can build sized and sloped shelves into your shower’s walls, making your shower experience more organized and free from unnecessary bending.
Long Bathtubs Are Not Just a Fantasy
Do you think bathtubs are a luxurious experience reserved for small people? Think again. Bathtubs come in many different shapes and sizes.
To know what length of bathtub you will need, Leeroy James at People Living Tall suggests that you sit down with your legs extended straight in front of you and measure from your toes to behind your tailbone. This will give you an idea of what length you need to lay comfortably in your tub. Remember to allow an extra inch or two for movement.
Jenni at The Housist says the ideal measurements for a long tub are typically 72 inches in length, 36 inches wide and 20 inches tall. You’ll need that extra width and height because when larger-than-average people sit in baths the water needs room to rise. You don’t want water overflowing out of your bathtub.
You may never have thought that you could enjoy baths, but with some simple measurements, you can find a bath built with you in mind.
Your towel bars, rings and hooks are other fixtures in your bathroom can be adjusted to make your perfectly fitted bathroom.
“There are no hard-and-fast rules about how high to hang towel bars and robe hooks,” explains Josh Garskof at This Old House. A good starting point for a towel rack is 48 inches off the ground and a robe hook can be placed between 66 and 72 inches. These heights should be comfortable for most people in the family, but if you have had trouble in the past with hanging towels or clothes, you may want to consider adjusting these fixtures.
If you are feeling cramped in your bathroom, consider minimizing the fixtures in your bathroom to make extra space. This could entail replacing a double vanity with a single floating vanity. Or, if you’re not big on baths, remove the bathtub completely and choose a more spacious shower stall.
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