Installers have seen a significant increase in demand for barrier-free bathrooms in both residential and commercial projects. This trend is expected to grow steadily this year and for many years to come. Fortunately, the tile industry has responded with new materials and methods that make these bathrooms perform better and look better than ever before.
It is estimated that the number of Americans aged 65 and over will increase from 40 million in 2010 (13% of the population) to an estimated 72 million in 2030 (20% of the population).1 As the baby boomers enter this age group, they may have decreased mobility and find difficulty in stepping into a tub or even over a modest 6-inch shower curb. The popularity of large Jacuzzi tubs in bathrooms seems to have run its course, and many builders now have moved away from these space-consuming and somewhat energy inefficient luxury fixtures to installations with multiple shower heads and sometimes a steam generator, all in the same space.