What They Wanted
My office received a call from a Mrs. H, who lived in this home with her husband for nearly 50 years. She called and said her husband was having some difficulty getting in and out of the bathtub, which was not an accessible bathroom.
I visited the home and found the tub located in the very back of the house. It was the original tub from around 1943. As we talked, Mr. H mustered the courage to tell me what was really wrong. In our business we sometimes have very personal conversations, and this was no exception. Mr. H had developed some sores and one of them had been infected about 3 weeks earlier. He was in the hospital, and decidedly did not want to go back, even though the sponge baths “were ok, just once in a while.” Mrs. H decided to see if she could get some professional advice about what to do to make the bathroom more accessible.
How We Did It
Here’s where we started. The tub was too tall for Mr. H to use safely.
Besides accessibility, this was a tough area to maintain
Also, the exposed subfloor was dangerous and uncomfortable.
Before / After
Frankly, this is one of my most satisfying remodels. We made an enormous difference to this customer’s quality of life. Mr. and Mrs. H are really good people, and I wish them the very best as they enjoy their new bathroom!
“We Love It, And We Are So Thankful. It Just Feels Like Our Home Again,”
– Mr and Mrs H
As we sat down in the living room, we settled on the highest priorities:
- The bathroom had to be safe, as an injury would mean a very hard recovery for either of them.
- The bath or shower itself had to be clean and inviting, so Mr. H would not avoid using it.
- The floor needed to be repaired to avoid splinters.
- The new remodel needed to include to critical items: a) a seat and b) a shower.
- The light from the window should be preserved if possible.
Responding to these priorities, I proposed a walk-in tub remodel, with several important features:
- The new tub would have a low step for easy entry.
- The new tub would not be as long as the old tub, so Mr. or Mrs. H would be able to reach the controls while sitting comfortably.
- The new tub would have jets to circulate the water around Mr. H’s legs to improve circulation and to clean.
- We would not build a full height wall for a shower head, in order to allow the light to come through the bathroom. Rather,
- We would install a hand held shower at the front of the tub.
- We would use acrylic surfaces which would not stain, and which have no grout to maintain. Acrylic would be used for the tub and the wall.
- We would replace the wood sub-floor and add a solid core floor covering to make sure splinters weren’t an issue.
- The wall containing the plumbing would be 40 inches high to maintain the natural light.
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