Vijay

Planning a shower room for parents

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Evening guys,

 

Got a job to try and fit in while trying to build my house, which is to pull out a bathroom and fit a walk in shower and change around their bathroom. It's for my Mum and Dad who are both 86. His knees are pretty screwed and has struggled to get into a bath. They both very rarely have a bath, favouring a shower these days. So it's time to change things before one of them has an accident getting in and out of the bath.

 

I'm wondering if anyone has any pointers/advice in a shower room for an older generation. Is it possible to have a raised toilet, which I'd assume is wall hung - can they be fitted at any height?

 

Here's pics of their current bathroom. My first thought was to have an 1800 shower where the bath is, but then I had the realisation that once a glass screen was fitted, it would make the room feel small and also have no elbow room.

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So my plan is now to remove the wall between the bathroom and toilet, close off the toilet door and make the old toilet area into a new walk in shower. Something like this

Bathroom layout.JPG

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The cupboard area behind the bathroom door has the combi boiler in it, so water pressure shouldn't be a major issue.

 

There is a window in the old toilet area which I would leave. I'd be looking at having a proper shower seat to make life easier for them which would be under than window.

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Just now, Nickfromwales said:

Assume the soil stack is external so no issue moving the WC?

 

 

Yes mate but they have an kitchen extension, so the soil pipe basically goes out the wall, then 90 degrees, travels along and then joins a stack which goes through the extension roof and boxed in on an internal wall in the extension. I just did the external boxing in around the soil and waste pipes a couple of years ago and got a roofer mate to felt it - but that will have to opened up I reckon :(  You can see it in this pic, you can see the toilet window sill at the top of the pic (so to the right of the stack)

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Raised WC's are commonplace. You can get some nice ones which are fully back-to-wall, which hides the waste / plumbing connections and makes cleaning a doddle. Example. No need to get complicated with frames / wall hung shenanigans ;) 

Super low profile tray can be bought as low as 25mm, and a nice slider with a low / no threshold will compliment that 1600mm gap perfectly. Example

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

Looks a great plan, what are you waiting for lol?

 

lol I'm just so lazy :P

 

Mum is a bit of a cleaning fanatic (old school Italian) so I thought a wall hung unit might be nice for them. It's on an external wall and happy to fix frames if that's what she prefers. I'll certainly show her the raised seat options which TBH I wasn't really aware of.

 

Are the non slip trays good? I'm thinking of safety, it might be wise if they really work?  I did have in mind possibly having no tray and a nice drain in the floor. I don't know if I'd be able to get the right waste pipe heights and I've never done one before. I'm just thinking of removing as many trip hazards as possible..................

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My parents really struggle with how slippery a shower tray is. I would try and get something with some kind of rougher, higher grip surface. A tray is a lot easier to seal and clean than a wet room floor, if you ply and then tile the floor, you can get a low tray that will be level with it. Again look for non slip tiles.

 

In a 1600mm space I would have a 1000mm screen and 600m space to walk straight in. No doors to open and close, way less to clean. Put the shower head at the end where the screen is and the valve at the other end.

 

You might want to put a seat in the shower, or in the space opposite the toilet. It is so much easier to get dressed sitting down in the bathroom.

Edited by AliG

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5 minutes ago, AliG said:

In a 1600mm space I would have a 1000mm screen and 600m space to walk straight in. No doors to open and close, way less to clean. Put the shower head at the end where the screen is and the valve at the other end.

Then you have to tank the floors as well as the walls. 1000mm of glass doesn't cut it for an open enclosure IMO, 1200-1400mm minimum.

Bit heavy on the wallet, but this is nice...Link

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I did a series of blogs on this, and a couple of very detailed conversation threads, which are all linked from this piece. I also identify all products and sources.

It covers most questions in detail and worked very well until mum popped her clogs a year ago. It should help you with thinking about 90% of questions, even if to decide what you don't need.

 

The points I would reinforce:

 

1 - The most important thing I did was to sit mum on the loo lid for about 90 minutes and talk through it all in detail - especially the personal aspects such as position of grab rails, height of shower seat etc.

2 - You need to consider heights for both of them. The shorter one needs to be able eg to touch the floor solidly when sitting on the shower seat, as foot scrabbling will exacerbate risks. Also a consideration for height of loo. If you like I can put some stuff about which aids are available free or you have to buy if they become frail - eg you can borrow a lot from the Red Cross free but unusual loo shapes cause problems for fitting eg 100mm high rise seats versions. Be generous with space so you can eg add a floorstanding frame or a Hitler Trombone (one of those lift up double rails) easily.

3 - With that amount of space consider playing close attention to building regs etc, as they are a good guide.

4 - Everything needs to be operable with one hand (may have to hold on with the other at some point in the future).

5 - Dual shower - overhead and handheld. All operable with one hand.

6 - Shiny grab rails are the spawn of the devil. Use either ribbed plastic or something with a rubberised surface if it must look plush; I used the ribbed Screwfix ones, or the Cassellie ones - also from SF - with the finger grips for the other bathroom. But the latter are a bit thin.

7 - Walk in shower with a minimal lip is a good call, but your planned shower head position will squirt water out.

8 - Door opening outwards in case someone collapses against it?

9 - What about wheelchair accessibility?

10 - Grab rails need to be there to support getting to each aspect of the bathroom as well.

 

ATB. Get it right and they will get an extra 5 years at home.


F

 

Edited by Ferdinand
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6 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

1000mm of glass doesn't cut it for an open enclosure IMO, 1200-1400mm minimum.

We have three showers with a 1000mm screen and they work fine, maybe a little water gets round the corner, but not noticeably.

 

The difference may be that we have shower heads on an arm so they send the water pretty much straight down as opposed to on a rail on the wall where they have to send the water outwards at an angle.

Edited by AliG

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Just now, AliG said:

We have three showers with a 1000mm screen and they work fine, maybe a little water gets round the corner, but not noticeably.

 

The difference may be that we have shower heads on an arm so they send the water pretty much straight down as opposed to on a rail on the wall where they have to send the water outwards at an angle.

What do you have on the floors? Tiles? My bet is @Vijay will go for a good quality LVT for non-slip and ease of maintenance. 1000mm gets a lot of splash from the rainfall heads, done enough to know that if you 'throw some shapes' in the shower then it's going to be worse again. FYI I've done lots where the client has asked for a 1000mm screen, with the caveat that they are made aware by me, up front, of what to expect.... plus I would then insist on tiles and tanking throughout for longevity.  

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That is true, the floors are tiled, I was wondering if vinyl might be better in this case and then the splashing would be more of an issue.

 

We only have 150 or 200mm rainfall heads, the bathroom people did try to spec 300mm and then I think you'd be getting water everywhere.

 

Maybe I am a bit more restrained in my showering!

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I couldn't get a textured shower tray without a special order - so it was shower tray plus stick-on ribbed patches, which work well provided you wash and rinse the soles  of your feet sitting down.

 

Mine works with a 900 screen and the shower head at the far end, but I would have preferred 1m.

Edited by Ferdinand

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Are the stone resin trays that have a bumpy surface better for grip? They look like they would be but that is not necessary the case.

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Just now, Ferdinand said:

I couldn't get a textured shower tray without a special order

Were you very time-constrained? I've had textured trays in as little as 5-7 working days.

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1 minute ago, AliG said:

Are the stone resin trays that have a bumpy surface better for grip? They look like they would be but that is not necessary the case.

Good point. You need to specify "non slip" or you may end up with a decorative tray not a functional one.

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2 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

Were you very time-constrained? I've had textured trays in as little as 5-7 working days.

 

Somewhat, yes. So it could be done.

 

I'm now going to leave @Vijay to his thread and find my supper 🙂 .

Edited by Ferdinand
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4 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

Somewhat, yes. So it could be done.

 

I'm now going to leave @Vijay to his thread and find my supper 🙂 .

Crackers?

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21 hours ago, AliG said:

My parents really struggle with how slippery a shower tray is. I would try and get something with some kind of rougher, higher grip surface. A tray is a lot easier to seal and clean than a wet room floor, if you ply and then tile the floor, you can get a low tray that will be level with it. Again look for non slip tiles.

 

In a 1600mm space I would have a 1000mm screen and 600m space to walk straight in. No doors to open and close, way less to clean. Put the shower head at the end where the screen is and the valve at the other end.

 

You might want to put a seat in the shower, or in the space opposite the toilet. It is so much easier to get dressed sitting down in the bathroom.

 

Fair point about the shower try height VS tile height and I like the simple idea of a seating area, which never crossed my mind.

 

Knowing my Mum, having had lino in the past, I tiled her bathroom floor and she much prefers it, so would probably do the same.

 

@Ferdinand  thanks for the link and info, I'll have a read though the post :)

 

Went round to see my Mum this afternoon and she mentioned the walk in baths that are advertised on tv from Assistive Bathing. They do shorter ones with a moulded seat, so you can have a bath sitting up. From a brief look, they need a lot of water though. Has anyone ever fitted one or know if they are any good? I'd obviously be concerned about the door seal. Not exactly cheap but could be something they'd like and even though I'll do what ever they want, fitting one of those would certainly be a hell of a lot less work for me

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You can just build a bench area into the shower as an option, or there are various seats that you can have in a shower. What I don't know is what works best for an older person - shower seat, walk in bath etc.

 

I googled it and this seemed a useful guide to walk in baths versus showers versus wet rooms. It sounds like walk in baths are for people who want to have a bath and not a shower but have limited mobility. A wet room seems the best solution for covering all kinds of mobility issues.

 

https://www.absolutemobility.co.uk/blog/walk-in-bath-shower-or-wet-room/

 

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Edited by AliG
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When I did mine my first thought was wider door to the bathroom. Then new, strong ceiling joists in case a hoist is ever needed. Bath is slightly sunken so bath floor is level with the bathroom floor. 

 

Making an area open plan for the elderly can be an issue. If they fall, they're falling further  and hitting the floor harder. 

 

Long term I see a plastic garden chair and me being hosed down!

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43 minutes ago, Onoff said:

When I did mine my first thought was wider door to the bathroom. Then new, strong ceiling joists in case a hoist is ever needed. Bath is slightly sunken so bath floor is level with the bathroom floor. 

 

Making an area open plan for the elderly can be an issue. If they fall, they're falling further  and hitting the floor harder. 

 

Long term I see a plastic garden chair and me being hosed down!

 

My upstairs shower has such a chair. This chair has been in our showers for decades ... at the old house the shower / steam room was about 2m x 2m !

 

Seriously, chairs are a good telltale for places that wobbly people need support. I had at east 2 out of 4 grandparents , and my mum, who used chairs for moving around their houses as being more stable than zimmers and similar, and were also perceived as less embarrassing.

 

Our open plan houses with their shiny floors can be scary if you are unstable. We need to think about the route for people to get places as well as being safe when they get there. I have a couple of rails like the rather dim second pic. This one by the front door was for mum to support herself when opening the door, and I hope it looks stylish enough to keep long term.

 

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Edited by Ferdinand

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I think a lot of good points about how unsteady you can get as you get older and this is not just a bathroom issue.

 

I took a cake round to our 92 year old neighbour. It became obvious that I couldn't hand it to her as she couldn't carry it and use her stick to get to the kitchen, so I had to carry it in for her.

 

Being able to do things with one hand is very important. I'd certainly be considering a rail next to the WC and possibly in the shower. The shower seat is definitely the simple option, from speaking to my parents the issue is simply getting them to admit that they might need something like that.

 

This is why I wouldn't want a door on the shower if it can be avoided, it is just another thing to deal with and get in the way.

Edited by AliG

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