Universal Design in the Bathroom | Countertops and Sinks


I love looking at beautifully designed kitchens and baths, and these photos are exceptional.

Via Penny Hull at Stanton Homes – New Homes Raleigh Triangle Area (Stanton Homes – New Homes Raleigh NC and Surrounding Areas):

New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom

Choices for Vanities and Countertops

As part of the 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh, one of the things we look forward to is sharing really cool ideas from new home builders and interior design experts who are willing to share some of their secrets and most popular features.

Our most requested universal design ideas make your bathroom safe, user-friendly, functional, and beautiful – through built-in convenience that costs a lot less when you plan ahead.

Countertop Height – New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom

New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom | Raleigh Accessible Homes | Raleigh New Home BuildersHow high should a bathroom countertop be for maximum efficiency and functionality?  

Standard vanity cabinets are about 32″ high.  At Stanton Homes, we use 35″ high vanities, which are optimum height for standing in front of the countertop.

But the most functional countertop height may actually be a combination of heights.  Think about including a standard or dropped height “seating” section at the vanity if at all possible.  A comfortable chair specifically for the bathroom can be perfect for applying make up or completing other tasks. 

The seating area should have leg room of 27 to 29 inches, and be 32 to 36 inches wide. 

If the seating area is at a sink, the piping should be set as far to the rear as possible and covered with a protective panel.

New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom | Raleigh Accessible Homes | Raleigh New Home BuildersCountertop Choices – New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom

Rounded edges are user friendly.  Think about traditional Formica tops with their sharp right angles.  Today’s options include cultured marble, solid surface, and granite, all of which can offer nicely rounded edges.

Consider your color selections.  Countertops should contrast with cabinetry and wall colors, very helpful for anyone with limited vision.

How easy are your countertops to clean?  Any countertop with an integral sink (like cultured marble) eliminates seams and makes cleaning easier.  

Granite is beautiful, but keep in mind that it is porous and will need to be sealed.

New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom | Raleigh Accessible Homes | Raleigh New Home BuildersVanity Space and Storage – New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom

Do you have room for the curling iron, electric razor, and other items?  Make sure there’s enough countertop space (and outlets) to safely keep often-used personal items on the countertop, but out of the way. 

For a large vanity, you might even consider a stack of upper cabinetry, or an appliance garage. 

Include an outlet inside the cabinet or garage, and it’s easy to charge electric razors when not in use, but out of sight. 

Consider the amount of storage space, especially if one section of countertop is accessible for seated users.  It might make sense to include a set of drawers instead of a large cabinet, for ease of use.

Vanity Door Hardware – New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom

Choose cabinet and drawer hardware that’s easy to grasp and pull.

Large “C” or “D” shaped handles work great, and can add interest and contrast to your vanity cabinets.


New Home Universal Design in the Bathroom | Raleigh Accessible Homes | Raleigh New Home BuildersYou might also be interested in these related Raleigh new home trend articles:

Accessible Homes – Design and Features

What is Universal Design?  Easy Living Homes

Specially Adapted Housing – Grants for Veterans

Building a Home with the VA’s Specially Adapted Housing Program

Mother In Law Suite Homes – Floor Plans and Ideas

Virtual Tours – See This Week’s Most Exceptional Homes

“Stanton Homes for Heroes” Military Discounts


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Article copyright Stanton Homes 2010.   Provided for informational purposes only, no claims are made by Stanton Homes regarding the validity of any statements.  Please note:  all listing information per MLS, and current as of posting date.  Information subject to change.  Stanton Homes does not make claims to ownership of above lot listings, but can work with homebuyers to purchase lots and build.  Home plans to be approved on an individual basis, subject to neighborhood restrictive covenants and lot restrictions.  Ask for further information regarding any community, lot or floor plan.  Photos represent typical homes and details of each neighborhood, to help highlight different options available in the Raleigh/Triangle area.  No claim of ownership is made to homes or land pictured.  

About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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