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As eyes age, it becomes difficult to differentiate colors with minimal contrast, such as navy, black, brown, or pastels. Colors and patterns should be chosen with consideration of the total room in terms of contrast and light. Use matte or low-sheen surfaces that reduce glare. Contrast created by placing light objects against darker backgrounds, or vice versa, can be used to highlight edges, borders, or controls, however overuse of contrast, particularly on the floor, can block a person from maneuvering and must be carefully planned. Easy maintenance becomes more critical with the sensory changes that occur as we age, and today there are a number of products for the surround that can reduce bacterial growth risks.

Glazing, Doors, and More on No-Threshold Showers

For existing tubs and showers, a shower curtain is easier to maneuver and does not protrude into the clear floor space. Although all shower glass doors are tempered, there is still a safety concern that someone with visual or cognitive impairments will not recognize the glass. Textured and opaque glass can help with this confusion and reduce glare.

When the size and direction of flow of the water are right, thresholds can be omitted, with func­tional and aesthetic appeal (see Figure 8.47). While this European or no-threshold design is good for everyone, it becomes more critical for a person using a mobility aid, or a person who has trou­ble lifting a foot in walking. To function as a no-threshold passage, the height of the threshold at

FIGURE 8.46 A beautifully executed celling lift the shower should not be greater than 1/4 inch (6 mm) if square or 1/2 inch (12 mm) if beveled.

installation, A pitch in the level of the floor of not more than 1/4 inch per 12 inches (6 mm per 305 mm) will

Courtesy of Kohler Company

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aid in water containment. This pitch will decrease when the entire bath is built as a wet area. A trough drain placed where water is to be collected can further improve the design as it provides greater area and a smoother floor surface (see Figure 8.48). For more specific information on the concept of no-threshold showers, refer to "Curbless Shower, An Installation Guide," an online publication from the Center for Universal Design (www. design. ncsu. edu/cud).

42"

 

42"

 

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(a)

 

39"

 

76" v

 

39"

 

FIGURE 8.47 A, the thresholds have been elimi­nated in this shower with a double entry, B, doors and threshold have been eliminated in this serpen­tine shower with a trough drain at the entry,

Mary Jo Peterson, Inc

 

(b)

 

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(a)

 

FIGURE 8.48 With the appropriate grill, a trough-style drain becomes an aesthetic and functional asset.

Courtesy of (A) QuARTz by Aco; (B) Infinity Drain; (C) Quick Drain

 

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