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Ideas for Senior or Handicap accessible bathroom designs

I am challenged with taking a small closet space that is adjacent to a half bath on the first floor of my mother-in-law's two story colonial and turning it into a handicap accessible tub/shower. Plumbing is not an issue as I can either access the back wall of the current half bath plumbing or come up through the floor which is over a very accessible and heated crawl space.

I am trying to stay away from some of the more heavily advertised elder tub products which are distributed locally and seem to want to ransom a fortune (they must be playing on emotional purchases!) I got quoted $12,000 for a unit, uninstalled! BULL! :eek:

Can anyone offer some ideas for portable units that can be easily framed in place that have either a low lip for a shower base (if we go the strict shower route) or a unit that is cost effective but has a water seal door for a tub/shower combo?

This is an innovative crowd! Have at it!

Re: Ideas for Senior or Handicap accessible bathroom designs

I would recommend a zero clearance shower. sloping the floor toward the drain. I know tile can be quite pricey but with care it can be installed so that it isn't as slick. splurge on the water proof barrier. I think the Ferrante Tile guys were using something that would slope and seal the "pan" but I can't be sure.

I would also suggest a shower chair or seating area and a hand held shower head.

You will be doing your mother-in-law a great service and perhaps increasing the home's value when some on else decides to age "in place."

Re: Ideas for Senior or Handicap accessible bathroom designs

Here are two suggestions, both made by Kohler

Both are 5' units a good size for what you want. The next thing would to consider the shower doors, a lot of accidents are people falling and getting cut by breaking door.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Ideas for Senior or Handicap accessible bathroom designs

the show already did this the concord cottage 2003 season.

we just did this using space under the stairs a closet and old half bath made the whole bathroom floor a pan and tiled base and walls. we only have tile 38" on the walls not for shower.

we did as they show in the second picture in the article except we put the toilet on angle and had a proper wheel chair accessible sink on the same wall as the toilet, next to it. shower zone on other side. now can be used with a shower bench or a rolling shower chair.

using lot of ideas from the other articles. see the second picture on this article http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,547753,00.html

Re: Ideas for Senior or Handicap accessible bathroom designs

I would suggest opening up the walls to install a brace behind the drywall to bolt the grab-bars that you will need to install no matter what path you take. This way, you won't have to worry about hitting a stud, you'll know that you have a place to attach that is so many inches down from the ceiling (in case the flooring changes).

In my town, there is an office of disability resources associated with the city government. They have some great resources and tips for things to include or consider when you are working to help accomodate a disabled or elderly individual. You might start there with their recommendations.

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