In 2008, it was estimated by the Centre of Disease Control that around 21.8m people in the United States would have a non-fatal fall in the bathroom. While this research isn’t the most up to date, it does give an indicator of just how many people have falls in the bathroom each year. Trends have also not changed drastically around the type of bathrooms people use, so it’s likely that these statistics are still very much representative of the situation people face when bathing.
While these falls are more manageable during younger years, once we enter the later period of our lives, these falls can become severe and even dangerous.
Older people are also more likely to have falls, due to a combination of factors, including balance problems, muscle weakness, and poor vision. Long-term health conditions can also be factors.
In the UK, falls for people over the age of 75 are actually the most common cause of injury-related deaths, according to the NHS. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that people are aware of the situation, and that we reduce the risk of falls where possible – including in the bathroom.
Slip-resistant wet room flooring – the alternative to anti-slip bathroom mats
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of falls, not using an anti-slip nat, is by using slip-resistant materials in surfaces that get wet.
For example, if you have a wet room, always get this installed with slip-resistant wet room flooring (vinyl or tiled).
Specially made surfaces are designed to help you get more grip on the flooring, even when wet.
Slip-resistant flooring can be designed in a variety of ways. This can be done through acid etching, slip-resistant coatings, and other methods. Make sure you only use flooring that Is recommended for this specific use.
Can I get slip-resistant built into my bath?
Often, many bathroom companies will use slip-resistant materials when constructing bathroom products, as there is a higher risk of falls.
As slip-resistant surfaces in the bathroom are so important for everyone’s safety, not just the less mobile or elderly, they are regularly used as a base for baths and shower trays.
For example, our Hampton Elite bath features a slip resistant base, to help prevent against falls that might occur when entering or exiting the bathtub.
What’s the alternative?
The alternative, cheaper option, is to get an anti-slip bathmat for your shower or bath. These are typically made from rubber, with suction cups on the bottom, that help you grip to the bath or shower floor and prevent slipping.
Many people consider anti-slip bathmats to be a bit of eyesore. Many are not stylish and ruin the aesthetics of their bathroom. However, they are chosen for practicality and not for their looks. However, when it comes to anti-slip bathmats, there are things to look out for.
The ant-slip bathmats can quite easily collect dirt, grime and be difficult to keep clean in your bathroom. After a few months, this then will not come off, resulting in a permanently dirty bath mat. This can create something that is unclean and unhygienic.
Bath mats can also become loose, making them a trip hazard If not properly secured. Make sure you check the fitting regularly.
What are my options?
If you need a simple, quick fix, then an ant-slip bathmat is certainly an option. However, we would always suggest a more permanent solution if in the position to do so.
Getting a walk-in bath or walk-in shower with slip-resistant flooring will always be a great long-term solution for bathroom safety, but also means your bathroom retains its natural style, uninterrupted by any mats that may not suit it.
If you have any questions about our slip-resistant flooring and products, give us a call and we’ll be happy to go through any questions you have.