So on our list of MUST dos is get a shower in the main floor bathroom. When we built the house, we always knew that a main floor bathroom shower was in the retirement plan.
I had in mind a wonderful tile shower. I wanted it wonderful and perfect…then I saw the price tags and saw the work to it. I knew tiling wasn’t in Kramer’s repertoire of things he could manage so we put in an old claw foot tub. It was what we had and we were going the cheap route….besides, I liked claw foot tubs.
Fast forward and I was doing childcare with the claw foot tub on the main floor of the house. The childcare kids would go in and turn on the water. Of course it was the hot water. I always worried about the water being hot and hurting the kids. I don’t keep the water that hot but still…I didn’t like the idea of kids turning on the water in a bathtub. So…about a year or so ago I asked Kramer is we could take the claw foot tub out. We never used the tub anyway. We did and I put the changing table where I change baby diapers in the bathroom where the tub was.
Fast forward to Kramer’s health problems. He used to shower in the basement all the time. I shower upstairs. We had no need for a main floor shower but now, we do. With Kramer in a neck brace, maneuvering up and down the steps isn’t practical. It doesn’t allow him to be as independent as he’d like. So the plan is to get a main floor shower.
Kayla’s husband Spencer was great trying to quickly get a shower put in while Kramer was still in the hospital but Kramer and I ended up slowing things down. Yes, we want a shower…but we still want a nice shower that we’d pick in a style we’d like. We’ve always wanted a tile shower.
So…how do we do that?
I’ve been Pinteresting.
I seem to be attracted to showers like this one….
I like the wood look tile. I like the half walls.
Then I saw this….
I liked this even better. If I can avoid a door, that would be awesome. It would also help cut costs and cleaning. I like this one with the glass. I don’t need two shower heads.
I love the storage on the side. I’m campaigning for this.
We had the carpenter stop by. He had a different idea that he shared. I didn’t hate that idea, but I think I like this one a little better.
Our bathroom is a little wider so the half wall, that Kramer says he would want to be shoulder height, would be wider.
What do you all think? I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of ideas. Yes we’d love a floor level shower but that’s not possible. The carpenter did say is we end up needing it, he could build a little ramp. That made me feel better.
I know lots of people will suggest a shower chair….We are considering putting a wall chair like this…It folds up.
This was not an expense that we were thinking we needed to address at this point but here we are. Thankfully we’ve kept a savings account. We do want to do it right. I know we’d both rather do it right rather than slap something temporary in.
So add this project to the stuff we are trying to juggle and manage. Thankfully a lot of this can be done by others. We just have to get people in and deal with the mess.
Oh but wait. Kalissa found something else.
Where all the white woodwork is we’d put trim to match our house. Oh my…I love this. Now to choose.
I would definitely go with the lighter look. The other wooden one looks awfully dark.
Love the look of the lighter shower. Good luck deciding!
I think all of them are nice. You are going to have a tough time deciding. Good luck.
Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.
Can I suggest putting in grab bars? Also as my in-laws are having their bathroom redone to be more accessible, my physical therapist daughter suggested a bath chair that is separate and adjustable for them as opposed to a built in one. And something else she suggested for them was putting in bars along side a taller toilet.
I’m sure whatever you do will be right for you.
That’s a great idea. My dd moved into a house that was set up for someone in a wheelchair, including the bathroom – it was wide open and huge. The shower itself was behind the wall, there was a window with curtains if need be and very little water leaked out. Yes, grab bars and maybe some thing on the floor to make it non slippery.
Good luck – this is a great idea and I know you’ll come up with something wonderful!
I’m trying to figure out the same thing for my bathroom and haven’t decided on a solution yet. All three designs look great, or combination of the three. I like the suggestion made by Karen for the addition of grab bars. And it is hard to tell from the photos but I suggest making the doorway wide enough for a wheelchair.
Choosing a walk in shower without a step over threshold will give you easy access.
When my dad put in a second bathroom, I watched him choose inch-wide green tiles because they were cheaper than the larger tiles. Little did I know how many times I would have to scrub the mold out of those inch wide grout lines. Get the Biggest tiles you can afford so that there is less grout to scrub!
Grab bars in the shower are great!! This house had them when we moved in, and we use them in the shower to steady ourselves now and then.
Check the thrift stores for stand alone shower seats from medical supply stores. Often that’s where they end up.
I love the white shower, but would use Bigger tiles of course.
Having done two bathrooms and taking out the tubs so the shower could be larger and more of what we needed I would suggest skipping the shelves in the shower and putting in grab bars. When you install the bars, have both of you stand in the shower so the height is proper for both of you to use. Know one wants to hit there elbows on the bars when you try to wash your hair. I was sorry that I put shelves into one of the showers, they never quite held the bottle and stuff I needed and were a pain to keep nice. I preferred a hanging caddie for all the shower items. I like the frosted window and the storage alongside of the shower for the towels. I had a full glass door on one of our remodels and found it was really easy to clean and we had a handle installed on the outside to hold towels. I look forward to whatever you decide for your space.
Grab bars, a portable shower chair, the less grout the better, light color, and the best and quietest exhaust fan you can buy. A higher toilet, with grab bars. All doors wide enough for a wheelchair or walker. Have the carpenter make the ramp now if you can’t avoid the step up into the shower. Looking at the pictures, the ramp might interfere with access to the toilet. Make it as easy to maintain as possible; those corner shelves look nice, but will be a pain to clean, especially in the corner. Keep everything as simple and functional as possible.
Here is some ideas on wheelchair/walker accessible showers. They guard against installing a wall. Interior designer in me. And yes, grab bars are essential.
And more. You can still select tile and the look you want.
Houzz is a sight for interior designers with lots of pictures. Enjoy.
I would use a portable shower chair with side arms. They give person more security and something to push up on when standing up. The fold up chair is neat but I am thinking it will be a pain to keep the hardware clean. I would suggest getting the no step entry figured out and installed now. That step may become a real problem. Seems maybe you could get rid of the shelves on the left, make that the entry, then you turn right once you enter shower and have the floor slope down as you walk to the right where the shower faucet would be (behind the partial wall). I had a shower like this in a historic house in Charleston when I was in college.
Pretty choices! Enjoy designing since being sick doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun. Less tile, less grout to clean. That’s why I like solid surfaces. But all of your examples are nice. I think a good size tile seat and grab bars are important. You can use a large shelf/seat regardless of circumstance. And wide enough entry for a chair even if not needed now it’s just practical and makes thing a bit roomier.
Hi Jo, love the white! Make sure you have enough room to fit both of you in the shower as their may be a time when you’ll have to assist Kramer with bathing. Hugs to you all!
When we were building our home, my husband put in a 1 piece shower. No tile and grout to clean. I have a tub with the look of tile but still no grout to clean. We bought them at either Home Depot or Lowes. Look around and get the look of tile without the work.
Hi Jo, from personal experience, you need as much width as possible, you would never get Kramer into the white shower on a wheelie chair, need lots of room for a carer or yourself too, and grab rails. If you possibly can go hobless or have the ramp put in. Shower curtains are a pain but probably the best option, unfortunately. Love the lighter colour, makes it all look much larger and brighter. Rieann from Western Australia.
Of the three, I like the last one because of the frame around the glass (and frosted glass for some measure of privacy). You could mount grab bars on the frame. Also the glass is more enclosed by the frame. My mother-in-law slipped in the shower and fell against the glass door (like your #2 example above) and cut herself badly. But for all three, I have the same concerns about space for the opening and another person to assist, if need be (just went through that with my dad).
This might be impractical based on your situation, but if there is a showroom near you that has displays set up you might want to check them out. It would give you an idea of whether the set up would work for Kramer.
I like the white bathroom the best. . . but for myself I would have to check it out because I don’t like feeling “closed in”. I am not usually claustrophobic but I don’t like being in small bathrooms.
I am sure that the perfect solution will come to you.
Great ideas. Use the larger tiles on the walls but need smaller tiles on the floor for a smooth even floor. Get a shower extension slide rod that supports an adjustable hand shower head with a hose. Then if you are sitting the shower head can come down to 48-50″. The water valve is installed at the side at 50″. Glad to hear Kramer is home and prayer for him to get stronger.
Your shower ideas are beautiful…think ahead to if either of you need to use a walker… the narrow openings will be a challenge (or maybe impossible). I know from our experience…simple and functional, and a curb free entrance. Ask your medical providers for advice.
I like all your “idea pictures”. Personally, I prefer the white tiles. The idea of a full wall with the windows would be my favorite. My brother-in-law has been in a wheel chair for over 20 yrs due and has lived in several houses since he became disabled so I have seem quite a few different bathrooms made “accessible”. Since you are doing this from scratch, I would definitely plan based on the worst case scenario and then you won’t have to make due if something does happens. If you have the room, even if it means giving up the idea of a closet on the end, make sure the shower is deep enough for a wheel chair to roll in and turn and fit a 2nd person behind it so that a caregiver can help out showering. Also, have the plumbing lines run so that the shower controls are on the wall facing the shower head or at the end of the long wall facing the entrance. That way you can turn the water on from the bathroom itself, allowing the person showering to just walk/roll into the warm shower and not get hit with a blast of cold water when turning the water on. The tile shelves are not a good idea because they are slippery when wet (of course) so things tend to slip off as you are putting them back on the shelf & they don’t hold much. A better solution is a hanging shelf or a wide “window ledge” in the window wall. Just make sure that it easy to reach from a wheelchair. I also agree with the other commenters that large size tiles are easier to keep clean. You have a lot to think about and in my opinion are right to wait and do it slowly and correctly and still be “pretty”.
I like the white one best. The wood one is a little to dark. Good Luck with your new project
Just have to comment that someone mentioned a built in tile seat- they get slippery so that defeats their purpose. You’ve gottten a lot of great ideas and I hope they help!
My dad needed help in the shower for the last 3 years of his life. My mom put in the biggest shower she could so that the caretakers could get into the shower with him without getting wet themselves. Grab bars all the way around the shower helped him stand as he had very poor balance. They used a shower chair when he couldn’t stand. My mom also put in grab bars around the toilet, and a handicapped accessible sink, so he could brush his teeth from a wheelchair. It wasn’t a cheap project, but it allowed my dad to spend his last years at home. Now the bathroom is done if my mom ever needs it herself. Also, some of the upgrades were deductible as medically necessary. Check with your accountant.
Good luck deciding – they all look great! Grab bars are something we wish we had installed when our shower was installed. We added two a couple months ago when my husband was having balancing problems. We wish we had done it during the building phase of our shower.
We were lucky enough to have a house built when we moved to Florida a couple of years ago. I LOVE our shower. Two things we did because of our age…first, we had them build a bench into the shower and second, we didn’t put a lip in the doorway to trip on. We do not have a door and I just wipe up whatever water gets out int he doorway before I put the towel in the wash. It is just perfect for us seniors! Hope you get exactly what you want! Oh, we also had a handle to the shower wall since I fell last year. It is a suction cup that I bought on Amazon.
Speaking from experience – I just had my bath remodeled for my 44 yr son with Spina Bifida. At 76 yrs old, I’ve used it too. I had a marble look walls, comes in 3 sections. NO grout to clean. Looks great. Also, had the controls put on the back wall, with handheld shower attached. Had fold down seat. We can set on the seat and use handheld shower head without standing. Great for washing hair and legs. Turn water on and off while setting, also has shower head if we want to stand. Put in grab bars. Always needed. I know looks are important, but I went for what was needed and convenient. The floor is slip proof. Also needed. My son
has to set and it’s so convenient. He scoots across the seat and get out easily. Grab bars inside and outside the wall. Also a raised commode. Good luck in what you decide.
Everyone has great ideas. I’m going to offer something different :)
Use glossy tiles on the walls if at all possible. We had a house fire and the showers were redone with the natural looking tannish tiles. They are wall tiles, though not glossy. Much like the wood look tiles you pictured.
I dislike cleaning them. My previous showers had glossy white tile with cobalt tile accents. The glossy tile cleaned up super easy! No scrubbing! Best comparison would be washing a corelle dish versus a plastic container. The food just sticks to the plastic so much more. Just my opinion.
I’m praying for all of you!
Susan Rizzi plus others have some great ideas – yes for all the room in the shower so that carers can shower him without getting wet themselves, room for them to move the shower chair around, etc. Have you considered a heated floor in the shower/wet room? warm and keeps mould at bay!
Something extra – In the future, use of a hoist to raise and lower your husband into and out of a shower chair so allow lots of room in the bedroom. We have suggested standards over here for disabled planning – platinum, gold, levels, etc. which includes most of the ideas already mentioned. Check these on the web if you need too but I am sure the US would also have these. Perhaps have a chat to the people involved in the care of your husband as they would have a good idea of his future needs. Fingers crossed for a good transition from hospital to home for Kramer.
Love the style of the white shower. I think it looks like it belongs in your house. You could always change the color .
Something to keep in mind is the width of entry into the shower area. At some point, a wheelchair may need to fit through it. We have that need, but our bathroom simply isn’t big enough.
Still praying for you.
Good luck with your decision and carrying through with the work. too bad you can’t manage a no threshhold shower as that would be great but definitely plan and install the ramp during the remodel, not later. My mom was a paraplegic and had many things mentioned above: grab bars, wide entrance, shower wand – you wont regret spending the extra at the beginning rather than retrofitting as needs occur. hope you can manage to get some tax deductions as mentioned earlier.
I’m trying to make plans to renovate my parent’s ensuite shower and these examples are what I’ve been searching Pinterest for! You found it and I immediately pinned it to my own board.
Best wishes to you.