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Project File: Minor Bathroom Modifications

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM
 
We're back after a very busy summer filled with interesting projects. In the coming weeks I'll share some of the design challenges we faced in the hope they will motivate readers to share their own projects, questions and solutions.
 
My favorite project of the summer was done for Baby Boomers who live in an upscale oceanfront condo in  S. Florida.  Although they had recently redone their master bath, one of the spouses had since suffered a disability and bathroom modifications were needed so the bathroom would remain functional and attractive for both.  Given that they had already spent quite a bit of money on the first renovation, they hoped to keep the accessibility modifications to a minimum.

CHALLENGES:

1. The biggest obstacle to functionality was the curb at the shower entrance.  The disabled spouse accessed the shower via a wheelchair, and while able to stand and pivot onto a shower seat, walking was difficult and the 5" shower curb made it extremely difficult to navigate. 

Our preference when adapting a shower for accessibility is to remove the curb and level the shower and bathroom floors so there is a smooth transition between both.  We pitch the floor and adjust the shower drainage to include trench drains at either the shower entrance or back wall to catch any water from "leaking" onto the bathroom floor.  In this case however, while the pitch was good, the shower floor was actually 1/4" higher than the bathroom floor.  Our client wanted a simple, inexpensive solution so that that the shower floor would not need to be dug out, re-plumbed and re-poured to match the level of the bathroom floor.

2. The disabled spouse was using a free standing shower chair which was in the way when their partner used the shower
 
3.There were inadequate grab bars in the shower to aid the disabled spouse in standing once seated in the shower
 
4.The lowboy toilet necessitated the need for a toilet commode which both spouses disliked.

5.The entrance door to the master bedroom/bath suite was 30 " wide and was a tight turn for the wheelchair when coming into the master suite hallway.  As a consequence, the walls and door trim were getting pretty beat up.
 
 
 
BEFORE  – EXISTING BATHROOM
 

















5” shower curb, narrow glass door entry, free standing shower chair



                     




Lowboy toilet with commode; grab bars placement ineffective for client
















Narrow doorway created tight access for wheelchair


DURING  RENOVATIONS:
 
1. Shower entrance – the 5” curb and glass doors and panels were removed so that non-slip stone tile matching the existing marble was installed as a sloped threshold.















2. A built in shower seat extending across the back of the shower was built to eliminate need for a free standing shower chair.
















3. All the glass, doors and panels were removed.  The ½ wall between the vanity and shower was built up so that we could install a grab bar at an appropriate height for the client’s use on the interior shower wall.

















AFTER – RENOVATED BATHROOM




 





Curb-less entry shower, 36” frameless shower door,
built in granite shower seat, additional grab bars

























The old toilet, commode and grab bars were removed and replaced with a Kohler Cimarron series, comfort height toilet and new grab bars on either side of the toilet better located for the client.






















There was no room to open up the doorway given the configuration of the rest of the condo.  We were able however, to gain an  additional 2” in  the doorway by installing swing away hinges and cutting a pocket in the wall for the door handle so that the door would lie flat against the hallway wall.
 
















Susan Luxenberg, Pres.
HomeSmart LLC

Categories: Project Files

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42 Comments

Reply Shelli
8:58 PM on September 4, 2012 
I like reading this type of content with specific information about common projects many of us are facing. You explained things very clearly with the illustrative photos. Good job!
Reply small bathroom designs
5:58 AM on December 5, 2012 
Nice remodeling work guys the problems that you have mentioned are really big enough to make your work difficult but you guys have handled the project very well giving the place a very nice look with modern facilities installed. I was thinking of a remodeling work for my bathroom area as well hope to contact you in future.
Reply Plumber Bristol
9:06 AM on February 22, 2013 
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Reply Doral Locksmith
10:34 AM on February 27, 2013 
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Reply more here
12:28 PM on May 29, 2013 
Thank you so much for posting this article as I have been a constructing a new house for me, the minor bathroom modifications were so helpful as I was so confused about how to do the bathroom works. Expecting more info from you. Regards
Reply Home improvement contractor
7:25 AM on June 13, 2013 
The main benefit of bathroom modification is that it adds value any property.I am sharing this blog with my other friends as the information is really very useful. Keep sharing your excellent work.
Reply Home improvement contractor
7:27 AM on June 13, 2013 
small bathroom designs says...
Nice remodeling work guys the problems that you have mentioned are really big enough to make your work difficult but you guys have handled the project very well giving the place a very nice look with modern facilities installed. I was thinking of a remodeling work for my bathroom area as well hope to contact you in future.

One of the largest benefits you'll receive when you remodel the bathroom in your home is an increase in the home value.Thanks for sharing this blog with us..
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6:55 AM on July 9, 2013 
Nicely shared about these minor bathroom modifications. I think all these gives a new and fresh look to your home from inside.
Reply Sliding Garden Gates
6:55 AM on July 9, 2013 
I think if anybody thinking for the room renovation then these things really change the inside look of home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly.
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8:36 AM on July 12, 2013 
Home improvement contractor says...
The main benefit of bathroom modification is that it adds value any property.I am sharing this blog with my other friends as the information is really very useful. Keep sharing your excellent work.

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9:03 AM on September 25, 2013 
small bathroom designs says...
Nice remodeling work guys the problems that you have mentioned are really big enough to make your work difficult but you guys have handled the project very well giving the place a very nice look with modern facilities installed. I was thinking of a remodeling work for my bathroom area as well hope to contact you in future.

A contemporary and well designed bathroom is a must these days, as an old designed a messy bathroom ruins the feelings for the whole day. Thanks for sharing...
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5:41 AM on November 30, 2013 
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5:46 AM on October 25, 2014 
Sometimes minor bathroom modifications can give us a comfortable bathroom.
Reply John D. Siple
7:51 AM on May 6, 2016 
A little modification can result in greater accessibility and comfort. All bathtubs should be suitable for children to safely enter.
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