Q: Can you please speak to homeowners, tradesmen and designers about ways to include accessible designs to every new bathroom? As senior citizens, too many of the homes we visit seem uncomfortable for us.

A: One hot topic for bathrooms is Universal Design, or UD for short. The basic concept is to design bathrooms so they are accessible to all, taking the user’s age and ability into consideration.

For instance, a UD bathroom might have a low-threshold, walk-in shower for ease of use. Other feature include digital shower controls, decorative grab bars, seating areas, taller toilets, and higher and lower side-by-side sinks.

Remember to follow local codes, and consider white or off-white fixtures rather than trendy colors that can become outdated. Who wants to use a bathroom for the future if it looks like a blast from the past?

Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.