Bath Out, Shower In For Disability Bathroom Project

We were recently asked to replace a bath with a shower as part of the redesign of a customer’s bathroom in Bere Regis, Dorset. As an elderly and disabled lady, the client needed a bathroom that would offer ease of use and long-term convenience. By replacing the existing bath with a large shower, the design would work for the client now, and continue to meet her needs in the future.

Future-proofing with a walk-in shower

Replacing baths with large walk-in showers is becoming an increasingly popular choice for many people – not just the elderly or disabled. The convenience and practicality of replacing a bath with a shower gives a long-term solution for people looking to future-proof their homes, enabling them to remain independent as they get older. With the demand for these sorts of bathroom makeovers, manufacturers are now offering a wider range of large shower trays and doors with this type of project in mind. This opens up more opportunities to embrace style alongside functionality.

The disabled bathroom project’s challenges

Underfloor pipes in disability bathroom renovation
We were asked to remove the client’s bath and replace with a shower and tray to accommodate her specific needs. There were a few issues we had to overcome, which became apparent as the project evolved. To start with, we had to re-run radiator pipes under the floor and reconfigure the water supply and drainage pipework. Initially, we were only going to remove the tiles in the area of the bath, however the client then decided to remove all the tiles in the bathroom and replace with white tiles, which gave a nice sleek look. We also found that after plastering and re-tiling, the slider we’d quoted for (Simpsons Elite 1700mm) wouldn’t fit, so we had to find another with a different adjustment.

Bathroom installation considerations

Fiora shower tray in new disability bathroom
As with any bathroom design and installation, there are many things to consider to ensure the end results meet the customer’s requirements. With this particular project, we had to make sure the bathroom met the client’s needs as an elderly and disabled lady and would continue to do so over the coming years. For ease of access, we used a sliding shower door, so it wouldn’t protrude into the room and cause an obstruction and potential hazard. The walk-in shower needed a level-access shower tray and we made sure the drawers on the basin unit were easy to use too. We also had to consider the location of the seat within the shower, as well as the grab bars.

Materials used to replace the bath with a shower

Disability shower seat and grab bars in walk in shower area
We used the Fiora Silex Black slim shower tray, which was made to measure to fit the space. While Fiora do supply a 1700×700 shower tray specifically designed for replacing baths, this standard size wouldn’t fit for this particular bathroom installation. We used the Prestige 1700mm sliding door and a chrome-finished shower column from Vado, along with a Cassellie Bali Ash white unit and shower seat. To complement the black level-access shower tray, white suite and tiles, we finished the bathroom off with Karndean Opus flooring.
Easy access disability shower area with glass sliding door
Room H2o bathroom installer, Steve, sums up the project: “We removed the bath, toilet, flooring and all the tiles. We prepared the walls for plastering and tiling, installed the shower screen and vanity unit and painted the ceiling. In total, it took three weeks to replace the bath with a shower and complete the bathroom installation.”
The outcome is the client now has a highly functional and stylish bathroom that will continue to work for her in the years to come. The total cost of the bathroom installation was £8,000. Any customers who are registered disabled don’t have to pay VAT, which gives significant savings on bespoke disability bathrooms.
To find out more about our bathroom design and installation services, and to view our displays, please visit our large showroom in Wareham, Dorset.