Disability Bathroom Project for Function and Style, Both Now and in the Future
We were recently asked to design and install a specialist wetroom and disability bathroom for a customer in Dorset. Having MS, our customer needed a bathroom that not only worked for her now, but one that would continue to meet her needs as they may change over the years.
Our customer’s old thatched farmhouse in Lulworth is her second home, and the bathroom consisted of a bath, sink unit, quad shower tray and enclosure. The layout presented many problems and wasn’t at all functional – there wasn’t enough room for her wheelchair and she couldn’t get in the shower. Originally, we were going to replace the shower tray and tile the whole floor with anti-slip mosaics. However, as the project began, challenges emerged that saw us re-work the design to create a wetroom that was not only stylish and practical now, but was future proof for our customer’s changing needs.
This is the original bathroom with small curved shower enclosure that was difficult to access for the customer
The project’s challenges
Initially, the original tiles were to stay on, with us removing just the bottom course to tank and then put back on. Unfortunately, we were unable to source the same size or colour tiles, so we tiled all the walls with crisp 60x30 white gloss. We had to strip and replaster all the walls, as the levels were out and needed building up a lot – something that is often found in old properties.
“Being an old building, the main issues were associated with the wall and floor levels, which present challenges for the tiling, and also with creating the correct falls for the wet room floor former – nothing that we’ve not dealt with before on many occasions and I enjoy the challenge of working with old buildings.” Room H2o disability bathroom installer, Steve Armour.
We also found we had to change the floorboards in the existing bathroom, as they weren’t the right size for a wetroom.
Disability bathroom design considerations
When designing a disability bathroom, we need to fully ensure it functions exactly how the client needs it to – not just now but in the future.
Using software called ‘Virtual Worlds’ we were able to create a floor plan and a 3D rendering of the wetroom, so the customer could not only visualise the room and the finishes of the design, but also move and look around the area in virtual reality. This meant she could see the bathroom in detail, understand how it would function for her and make any changes she wanted to before the work started. This is an invaluable software tool for users of disability bathrooms.
The products and materials used
When designing disability bathrooms there’s no need to sacrifice style for functionality. With stunning Harmonie Galapogos 25mmx25mm mosaics in blue, the wetroom floor was given a splash of colour, alongside essential anti-slip qualities. The sleek walk-in shower panels from Simpsons Design gave a practical and modern edge, and we spent a lot of time carefully sourcing grab handles and fittings that were in keeping with the contemporary finish of the wetroom – many of these items are highly functional but unattractive.
On top of the new floorboards we laid, we used Dukka board, which is an innovative tile backer board system that turns the floor into a concrete base, allowing us to lay the mosaics. We used the incredibly strong Aqua-dec wetroom floor former from Impney Showers, and Kerakoll products for the tiling, including BioGel No Limits white tile adhesive and Fugabella 0-5 antibacterial and antifungal waterproof tile grout.
This outcome of this project is the customer now has a stylish and highly functional disability bathroom that fully meets her needs, and will continue to do so in the years to come. And, any designs and installations for customers who are registered disabled are free from VAT, offering significant savings on bespoke disability bathrooms.
To find out more about disability bathrooms, or to view our bathroom displays and tile collections from some of the leading brands in luxury bathroom design, visit our extensive showroom in Wareham, Dorset.
23rd February 2018