Universal DESIGN BATHROOM | Minneapolis MN

Universally Accessible

We first introduced this St. Paul condo and its stunning kitchen renovation in Single Level Living in Lilydale.  In the bathroom, universal design features were included for aging-in-place.

Natural light illuminates this universal design bathroom.

One of the first things you see when you enter the room is the natural light pouring in from the existing skylight, creating a bright, airy feel. The light is reflected and enhanced by the porcelain wall and floor tiles. We created a focal wall in the accessible design shower with large-scale 24×48″ tiles. It’s not only visually striking, it’s easier to clean with fewer grout lines.

Universal Bathroom Design Features

Grab Bars

The vertical and horizontal grab bars provide support at different heights.

Small Tiles on Shower Floor

The shower floor is 2 x 2-inch  tiles. Why the small size in the shower? Smaller tiles provide more grip and fewer slips. They meet both comfort and code standards for universal design. 

Universal Bathroom Design Features

Curbless Shower

The curbless shower makes the space very accessible for wheelchairs and walkers. And, because there’s nothing to step over, it’s safer for everyone in the family and guests with mobility issues. 

You may be wondering, how does the water stay in the shower? We created the necessary pitch in the shower floor so that the water drains to the center instead of out of the shower. We also added a special waterproofing membrane under the shower and adjacent floor to catch any splatter. 

Showerhead Placement

Another accessible design feature is the placement of the showerhead on the opposite wall from the controls, which allows one to turn the water on and let it heat up while staying outside of the spray zone. 


Northland Cabinets created the custom quarter-sawn oak vanity topped with a quartzite countertop. The owners chose one sink in order to maximize storage, opting for two three-drawer stacks and a soft close cabinet under the sink. The statement mirror has a matching oak frame.

The medicine cabinet features the same door style as the vanity but is painted white to match the walls. Because it was shifted to the sidewall, it doesn’t limit the size of the mirror in front of the vanity.


The linen closet opens into the bathroom and the hallway, so towels and supplies can be accessed from both sides. The door design matches the vanity and medicine cabinet. 

The result? This universal design bathroom is now a serene and beautiful space for the owners to age in place gracefully for years to come.

Guide to Universal Design

Our in-depth guide to aging-in-place home design is packed with ideas and information.

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