Renovating to create a safer, more practical, space for our client
In the fall of 2015 Hammerdown completed an extensive, and very involved bathroom renovation for a client whose needs were suddenly changing due to some medical issue. Our client was soon to be requiring the use of a wheelchair. Their current bathroom was essentially unusable in the existing configuration would not allow him to use the shower safely or independently. In order to transform the existing bathroom into one that was both wheelchair accessible and safe, we needed to completely gut the existing bathroom and shower and replace it with a custom built barrier free shower. A barrier free show allows a user in a wheelchair to enter and exit the shower without having to get out of their chair. In order to achieve this major structural work had to be done, that would be completely unnecessary in a normal bathroom renovation.
In order to maintain a safe space, the floor of the bathroom had to be flush with the existing floor in the house, and continue into the shower without any encumbrances. The only way to do this is with a waterproof Shluder System membrane over the entire shower, bathroom floor, and lower portion of the bathroom walls which would then be covered in tile. To accomodate the thickness of the waterproofing system and the tile, while keeping it in line with the existing floor of the home, the entire washroom floor had to be rebuilt at the structural level. This required significant re-joisting and an alternative floor sheathing system that would never be required in a typical bathroom renovation. The shower also required a special type of linear drain, that would be ADA compliant, and be safe for a wheelchair to pass over without any damage.
We installed a series of grab bars and flip down seating. Plumbing needed to be installed at non typical heights in order to make them more easily usable from a seated position. Significant extra framing was required around the toilet in order to securely fasten the flip down grab bars needed on each side of the toilet.
This project required a considerable amount of extra planning, labour, and specialized products that would never be necessary in a standard renovation, and would not be able have been so expertly achieved if not for the specialized training by Schluter Systems that our entire install team has received.
We take great comfort in the fact that we created a space for our client to maintain his independence and safety, despite an unfortunate medical situation. We are especially proud of the fact that despite being designed with safety and accessibility in mind, the shower is still modern and beautiful with it’s large porcelain tile and quartz accent.