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Old 01-30-2012, 10:37 AM   #1
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


We are working on improving my mothers house to make it safer/easier for her. She is 80+, arthritic, diabetic and stubborn. She has had a few falls recently (thankfully nothing broken) and after the last one we convinced her the ER and a hospital stay were necessary. She is now in in-patient physical therapy for 3-6 weeks to build strength and mobility.

Since she refused to let us do anything to the house, we are doing it now that she is not home to complain. Clutter is being removed, lumpy trip-hazard carpet is being replaced, etc. We are trying to do it on a budget, but still maintain safety and reliability.

We want to get the full bath more accessible. It is approximately 9'x7'. From the door, to the left is a built in Formica counter (2 sinks) that runs the length of the 9' wall. To the right is a 60x30 tub/shower. In the far right corner is the toilet. Floor is tiled with 1" ceramic tiles. Sub-floor is plywood with full basement access to the plumbing. Water supply is copper, drains iron. There is no water damage I can see from the basement, but I have not started demo yet. Late 1960s construction.

My thoughts are:
Tub/Shower
Replace the tub with a curbed shower in the existing footprint. She does not need wheel-in, and the curb should be easy for her to manage. We also have the shower seats, etc.

I was thinking of the fiberglass units, but the durability of a Styrofoam base shower pan with a large woman on a shower chair worries me a bit. They also seem pretty expensive for what you get.

I'm thinking I could tile it relatively inexpensively if we stick with basic tiles - no need for marble, slate, etc. Basic white/bone is fine. I have done kitchen ceramic tile, but never a shower pan. How hard is it for a first-timer to do the pan? I've seen the premade ones, but those seem to be expensive and more of a pain from the threads here.

I will install extra bracing the in the walls for grab bars. Will also put in new, scald proof hand shower.

Is Hardibacker board OK for the walls, over a vapor barrier? I figure the floor needs to be small tiles. Is there any advantage to large vs small tiles on the walls, besides cost/look?

Toilet
We already have a handicapped tall toilet to install. There are walls on both sides to install grab bars, so this should be pretty easy. No signs of leaks, damage, etc. with the existing cast iron pipes. I will install extra bracing in the walls as needed for the bars - one side will already be open with the shower demo.

Counter
Demo existing counter and replace with a 36-48" vanity in the corner across from the toilet. This will give her much more room to maneuver with a walker. I'll cap the plumbing for the second sink in case future owners ever want to expand again.

Door
The door currently swings in, towards the tub. This worries me that if she did fall, she could block the door from opening. I think I have room to install a pocket door without interfering with the shower plumbing.

Floor
If I do all of the above, might as well tear out the 1" pink ceramic tiles. How difficult is it to get the floor back to a condition for new tile? I'm not sure what might be underneath except for the plywood subfloor.

I would like to do this for under $1000 if possible. Will look at Habitat for Humanity, etc. for clearance stuff to keep costs down. I should be able to DIY all labor, with the exception of possibly getting a plumber to do the shower pan after demo.


Thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


First off --your budget is to small--

Here is a link to building a hand packed shower base---Materials will cost about $160
Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.

Add durrock tile and setting materials and waterproofing to that--

Floor--plenty of info here on floors--

If budget is a concern--skip the pocket door and simply reverse the swing or use two narrow doors that swing out---

To keep this in budget you may need to do your own plumbing---

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Old 01-31-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Hello,

For a complete bathroom, as said before the budget could be abit too small - but if you wanted to do it on a budget i would really consider using walk in panels on a low profile shower tray, this way you could leave an opening of what ever you needed, while keeping a nice looking bathroom. Any type of easy access bath tups would use your budget by themselfs as they are really specialized and expensive in most cases.

Hope this helped.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Regardless of budget it will be done, as I am past the point of no return. I got the tub and tile surround out yesterday. Thankfully no mold or water damage. Also started removing the floor which is coming up very easily. It is 1" mosaics over a mortar bed w/ metal lath over tar paper.

I had planned on doing my own plumbing. I've been reading up on building a shower pan which I think will be cheaper and much better than a fiberglass unit (although a lot more work).

The subfloor looks good thankfully. I am planning on putting down hardibacker as a base for new tile. Probably 1/2" to match the old mortar bed.

I'll keep the shower the same footprint as the old tub (60x30 roughly), but relocate the drain to the center. I thought about moving the shower and making it more square, but that would get too complicated. One issue I see is the drain pipe from the tub drain is 1.5" and ties into a cast iron soil pipe. Not sure if the joint will accept 2" or not. Is it a good idea to go larger if I can?

For tile I figure I will do 1" mosaic in the center of the shower pan for good traction with a border of larger tiles to minimize cuts (also like the look). Shower walls will probably be 4x4 or 6x6 tiles. Main floor 12x12. My final selection will probably be dependent on what I can find at a good price but I have decided to not go ultra cheap - I don't want to put all this work into an industrial looking pure white porcelain bathroom.

Any good tile shops in the Detroit area that might have good deals? I don't need all that much, so hoping to score a clearance or leftovers from a larger project.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


One top tile man---Jazman--lives and works in your area---I believe he also distributes and sells tile--

Run your post count up to 20 by welcoming new members--

He can then PM you if he wishes---

Drain---2" is code and is needed for the pan drain set---post a picture of the plumbing under there---lots of experienced plumbers here---

Easiest tile for your pan?--2x2 American Olean with built in silicone spacing-

Cloth mesh mounted tiles fall apart when wet and are a pain for a novice.

The drain sets have an optional square cover---much easier to cut around--

I get mine at the plumbing supply house,I was told that the Home Depot has the square covers ,but I have not seen them myself--
"Mud" What Is It? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Thanks for the tile recommendation. Looks like Lowes has some of that brand in stock and in budget that looks good. I don't have time to special order anything.

As for timing, what is the best order to do things in? I'm thinking:

Friday: Demo complete, install shower controls.
Saturday: Pre-slope, backerboard on shower walls and main floor
Sunday: Liner, shower pan, mortar curb
Monday: Shower floor tile, main floor tile
Tuesday: Tile shower walls
Wet-Fri: Real life gets in the way
Saturday: Grout everything

Did I miss anything?
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


After the demo is complete--repair any bad framing--add blocking for grab rails--extra studs for shower door if needed--

Mechanical---plumbing drain and mixer valve--new exhaust fan/light combo?

Next--curb--preslope and liner---liner must go in before Durrock--Then the deck mud--that is what holds the bottom of the rock in place---

I usually add a wood ledger board to the walls (holds up the second row of tiles) and do the walls first--(why make a mess of the mosaics)

then the shower floor and bottom row of wall tile--and curb---
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Attached is the plumbing setup. The old tub drain is in the front. It is 1.5" ID.

Any chance of connecting a 2" line without cutting the stack?

Edit to add: There is a cleanout at the base of the soil pipe. Is there a wye I could connect there to tie in a 2" PVC pipe and just make the cleanout taller?
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Last edited by tev9999; 02-03-2012 at 01:41 PM. Reason: New details.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


More questions...

Trying to maximize space and minimize obstacles, would it be acceptable to use 2x3s for the curb instead of 2x4s?
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Curb---I've never seen that done--but I can not think if any reason not to do it---

That old Iron hub is not adaptable---Bush down to the 1 1/2" (not code but should work)
Or look for another place to enter that main stack---
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Quote:
Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
......
As for timing, what is the best order to do things in? I'm thinking:

Friday: Demo complete, install shower controls.
Saturday: Pre-slope, backerboard on shower walls and main floor
Sunday: Liner, shower pan, mortar curb
Monday: Shower floor tile, main floor tile
Tuesday: Tile shower walls
Wet-Fri: Real life gets in the way
Saturday: Grout everything

Did I miss anything?
Do not EVER let my wife see this post!
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Well my timline is already shot. I'm mostly done with demo, and may be making major plan changes. I took down more than I expected, and now basically have a 9x7 open room that is about 50% drywall and 50% studs.

I'm now thinking of moving everything around. A square shower makes more sense to me than a 60x30. If I move it, I can also get wall space for the wider pocket door that would greatly help. Where I want it is complicated by a window that would be split down the middle by one shower wall.

I could also just cut off the soil pipe and redo it with PVC, making my drain connection dilemma go away.

I'll post some pictures in the morning along with a sketch of my thoughts. Thanks again for the advice. Time for a beer...
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:42 PM   #13
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


Here are some pictures of what I have to work with.

There are 24" deep closets on the opposite side of the north wall (where the tub was) we are now going to use for extra space. This will let me construct a 42 x 48 shower. The 42" will be the north wall, with the south side being the entry. Is this a logical size? We could make it 48 x 48, but that takes quite a bit of the closet in the master bath.

We will also enlarge the door to a 36" pocket door. Is this a problem for tile on one side? I have a couple in my house and the walls around the pocket seem a bit flimsy.

We are getting a family friend who is a contractor to do this stuff - I hate framing and drywall.

The toilet will remain where it was. A new partition wall will be built next to the toilet for a grab bar.

The vanity will face the toilet on the south wall. Probably a 36" or 48".

What do you think?
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #14
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


And my latest plan...

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:02 PM   #15
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Remodeling a Bath for Disabled Access on a Budget


I am also looking to remodel my Moms bathroom. Your posts have been helpful I will be looking to remove her clawfoot tub, gut most of the room and install a shower with no barrier. She doesn't rely on a walker yet, but it's a short matter of time until she does. I'm struggling to find a good sytem that I would have confidence installing. Good luck with this project, I look forward to seeing the end result!

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