The aging baby boomer population and those with disabilities are finding stylish kitchen and bath options in a new showroom in Methuen, Mass. Frank Webb’s Accessible Living Bath Design Center — a 2,000 square-foot area inside the new F.W. Webb 7,000 square-foot plumbing showroom — focuses on accessible products and installations.
“We felt that with the growing baby boomer population and the trend in universal design, it would be great to have a place for people to see that they do not have to sacrifice style for ergonomics,” says showroom development manager Scott Smith.
He says that many of the products in mainstream plumbing channels are commercial and meet federal Americans with Disabilities Act specifications. “We have some of those, but we’ve taken other mainstream products and installed them such that they meet handicapped specifications,” he says. “Visitors can see they can have a stylish bathroom — it does not need to look like a nursing home.”
The showroom offers a place where plumbing contractors, designers, architects, and remodelers can send their customers. “We can help them choose products for their clients,” Smith says. The showroom is working with a local medical equipment supply company and a residential accessible living design expert to provide support.
Some of F.W. Webb’s other showrooms and wholesale locations in New England also feature accessible products, but not the full array or the vignettes shown in the Methuen space. In addition, the firm is looking to host classes and open houses and to bring in organizations that focus on accessibility issues to provide advice on additions and improvements that homeowners can make.