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Unread 01-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
debshome
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urgent need for info for curbless wheelchair accessible shower remodel

Hi, have been asked to help convert a prefab shower/tub unit to a roll in shower for someone who has recently been paralyzed and is wheelchair bound. Materials and labor will be donated as this couple can't afford much. I built a mortar bed shower and did all the tiling with kerdi underneath (thanks to the excellent help from this forum) in 2010 and that's the only experience I have. I can lay the tile but getting the contours just right with mortar is the part that I have no clue about. The foreman for the project asked me to do this and after reading about curb-less showers, realize this is a special area of expertise. The foreman tends to plow right into projects without doing much homework (he's an expert carpenter but not a tiler or plumber) so I want to do all I can to make sure we don't create a worse problem down the road.

2 photos attached. Bathroom is 65" from vanity edge to bathtub, bathtub area is about 29" wide, depth of room front to back is 63", and doorway will be widened to 4' with double doors opening outward. A shower curtain hanging from an outwardly curving rod will be hung in front of shower. Believe there is just enough room between toilet and right front corner of bathtub for a wheelchair to be wheeled in backwards. House is on a slab and from photo you can see the tub is prefab. Floor is vinyl right now.

Here are the issues I'm concerned about:

Foreman's plan is to lay 12" sq ceramic tile on top of vinyl with thinset for floor. Okay to do this? Result will raise the floor higher than the tub area. Do we need a raised curb between shower area and floor as well? He plans to put cement board around the shower and on floor.

Foreman plans to use the existing drain opening in the tub (it is on the right side of the tub) building a mortar bed covered with 2" square tile. I will use kerdi on walls and floor and also schluter drain. Please tell us how to configure the tub area to slope away from the bathroom floor and into the existing drain location.

Also, foreman wants to use the same 12" tile on the walls of the shower as the floor and I say no, it's too big. Right? What's the largest tile that can be used on shower walls?

Any other info I left out u need to know? Other issues I haven't thought of? Foreman is doing demolition today (Jan 2) and will plow right ahead so please reply as soon as possible. Am concerned we will create other problems if we don't get the contours just right. Thanks so much!

Deb
Tuscaloosa AL
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Unread 01-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
eurob
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Deb,

Could you post the layout of the bathroom ? Where the door and the vanity is located ?
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Unread 01-02-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
debshome
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I will describe it as best I can. One photo is taken straight on from just outside the new doorway, vanity is on the left (man is in the way) and tub on right, toilet in middle. The other photo just shows the tub unit. That help?
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Unread 01-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
debshome
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When I said raised curb in my original post, I mean a hump, not an actual curb.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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Yes Deb , I understand what you mean . The way I see it , that bump should be placed perpendicular to where the tub ends ( the side closer to the door ).

The sloaping should be done so the water goes to the drain from the left to the right , looking from the door inside the room , until where the tub starts with 1/8 per foot slope and then sloap it to the drain with 1/4 per foot slope. This way will give you more space to move the wheelchair around and whatever water gets outside of the tub area may return back to the drain.

Another possibility is to sloape the whole floor from the door with the appropriate slopes , 1/8 per foot from the door along the perimeter walls towards the bathtub and 1/4 per foot where the tub area is . This may create a treshold where the door is and has to be checked on the site for practical POV.

Before any of the sloaping decisions are to be taken , check what are the perimeter heights vs. the drain . Do not forget the waterproofing and the drain system ( inclueding the appropriate diameter )that works the best with the minimum height requirement.

For the floor , I suggest you 2'' x 2'' where slops are involved and for the walls , well you can use whatever dimension you prefer. The 2'' x 2'' is a conservative dimension and depending of the way you are sloping the surface , you can increase to a wider size of tile.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
debshome
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Thanks, eurob. I think I need to know what the slab looks like after the tub unit is removed. I left before that. Can I do this right???? These poor people are just at our mercy!

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Unread 01-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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I'm sorry to hear about the situation.

I don't know if you will be able to do it , this is more complex than the simple words can describe it. Whatever your decision is , you will always find support in here.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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ok, I have a diagram below.

If I can build my own mud shower base, tile the shower INCLUDING the ceiling, lay 1" hex tile in the bathroom, water closet, and laundry room, AND use spectra lock grout in the shower, I can do this....with y'all's superior knowledge and John's reading material to help me (even tho I'm a girl). Yeah. Can't I?

Ok, in the next day or 2, I'll know what it looks like under the tub unit and what the drain area looks like and will attach those photos. If y'all can think of anything else I can provide that will help u guide me, I'll do it.

In case the foreman decides to go ahead and bulldoze his way into starting this, would laying the tile on the floor be ok to do at this point?
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Unread 01-02-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
tileguynky
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Here is a link to some of the regulations from our guvernment on curbless showers. Let me fore warn you, they are about as clear as mud. However, ther is some good technical info; pitch info, grab bar locations. Second link is more info on grab bars.

ADA Accesability Guidelines

Grab Bar info
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Unread 01-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
debshome
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Thanks, Greg. Ur right about them being clear as mud. I had already read over them and gave up understanding them.

2 changes in our plans tonite:

We'll probably use the same 2x2" tile throughout the bath, floor and shower.

Vinyl flooring has been removed and now there's just the slab overall


I read where I need to check that the floor is level. Still reading - printed out the info from the Schluter website which seems helpful. Would it be possible to mud the entire room?

Thanks in advance for all your help!
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Unread 01-02-2012, 10:05 PM   #11
chuck stevenson
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Deb,

Yes, you could mud the whole room and make it a "wet" room.
The ADA requirements of a 5' shower and commode area are for public access. Residential is not as strict but guidelines are similar as Greg linked to.

You may have to rework some walls or at least relocate the commode.

I hope you are able to work this out.
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Unread 01-03-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
debshome
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don't leave me yet

Thanks, Chuck, I think that's what we're gonna do. We're depending on reduced or donated labor and a tile guy will probably be willing to build the mud floor, then I can do the tiling using kerdi. I see now that making the whole room wet is the only way to go cuz there's no way to keep the water inside a shower curb even if there was one.

I have a unit of spectra lock (unmixed of course) left over from my job last year. I would estimate it to be about 1 and 1/2 years old. Is it still good?

Hey, even tho we have a plan, y'all don't abandon me yet! I want to do this right. This poor woman had back surgery and ended up paralyzed. It's so sad...and she's not old.

Thanks so much for ur help.

deb
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Unread 01-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
debshome
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Does the new e-book Tile Bathroom Remodeling pt 1 address curbless showers?
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Unread 01-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #14
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Deb ,

In theory it should be ok , sometimes just by the way the product '' looks '' when you are mixing it , you can tell .

I would suggest you to call Laticrete for an approval .
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Unread 01-03-2012, 05:54 PM   #15
ceramictec
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urgent need for info for curbless wheelchair accessible shower remodel

Hi Deb,

I did a blog a few years ago on a curb less handicap roll in shower that might help you. it was a similar plastic enclosure.

http://ceramictec.com/accessible-han...e-shower-tampa

I would first want to relocate your toilet to the left to give you more room in the shower.

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