Help with grab bar/faucet placement near roman tub

2ajsmamaMarch 5, 2012

Hi have a roughed-in master bath, 7ft long tub deck with 11" from tub rim to each wall of the alcove, it's 4ft deep (front to back) under a window so probably won't install a grab bar on the long wall as it will be too low to be of use.

The drain AND supply lines are run to the left hand side/end of the tub. The right hand side/end wall has a pocket door in it so the first stud is 24" in from edge of tub deck.

I had specified the drain (and faucet) be on the right hand side so that I could install a grab bar on the linen closet (left hand) corner. But modular home came with the drain on that side since they said they didn't have the right pitch for the drain to be able to put it at the other end (5ft away).

So, should I put the faucet on the deck in the right front corner where the blue and white plastic is (can't do middle - deck supports in the way, deck isn't deep enough in middle of tub to put it there)? That means 5ft long hoses from the tub valve/faucet to the shutoffs. Then I could put grab bar where I had planned. Would it look strange to have the faucet so close to the pocket door leading to the WIC? Also would be dead ahead as you're walking through pocket door from master BR (usually left open). Not to mention that I've never seen a faucet mounted at the opposite end of the tub from the drain (and right by my face as I'm soaking).

I also have a separate handshower and handle I wanted to mount in right hand back corner so it *would* be right by my head (for shampooing), but the one I got is too short to reach over the rim from the deck (rim is 2" high, 3.5" wide) so would have to be mounted on the acrylic "bumpout" on the front edge of the tub. I have placed the ORB escutcheons for the handle and wand there to make sure they'd fit.

This would be on my left hand side if my feet are on the drain. It also would be within 2ft of the faucet and I don't know whether that would look crowded, and app. 38" from the grab bar and I don't know if it will be hard to swing my foot over. The tub deck will be app. 20" from finished floor (depending on heat/tile depth) plus the 2" high rim plus the height of the diverter handle (Delta Victorian H516) - I haven't bought the handle yet but I assume it's another 3.5" high or so, based on the size of the faucet handles.

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I think you could put your faucet on either front corner of the tub and be fine. Our tub has the faucet, controls & handshower at the drain end of the deck on the corner. My Mom's tub has the faucet, controls & handshower on the head end on the corner (opposite end from the drain). Both have their pros & cons.

For me, everything is right there where I need it when I go to run the water for a bath--close the drain & turn on the water. When cleaning the tub it comes in handy having the handshower on the front corner right there with the controls vs. the back corner of the alcove as it provides easy accessibility--I have to climb on my tub deck to get to the back corner of the alcove. If you're already talking grab bars, I would not recommend putting your handshower on the back side.

Having the controls at your head is also convenient as you can easily reach them without having to sit up out of the warm bath or use your foot to run some more water in the tub as it cools off. Plus if your handshower is right there at your head with the controls, you can better control the temp & flow of the water.

As far as how far your handshower will reach--I think your plumber can change out the hose with a longer one. Also, as long as your faucet & controls are on one of the corners of the deck you should be fine with space to climb in & out. It's when you start putting the faucet & controls in the front middle of the deck that you have tub access issues--we tried it out in a Parade House & it's truly an accident waiting to happen! For grab bars, I find I need them more either on the side of the tub or on the tub deck to help in getting safely to a standing position. If you opt to put a grab bar on the left wall & you choose to have the faucet on that end too, I would try to scooch the faucet, controls & handshower as far toward the overflow drain as possible with it still being on the front side so it won't be in the way.

Just some things to think about. Hope it helps!

Here's a pic of my tub setup:

Here's Mom's--you can just make out the arc of her faucet & one control at the bottom left corner (her tub is open on that end so while the faucet is on the backside, she still has complete access to reach it without being in the tub.)-

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:29PM
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I love the niches! Though your mom's looks built-out, not recessed between the studs. I could do that, even with the pocket door, but it would have to be very shallow as there is only 11" from the wall to the tub at the closest point. I also love the windows all the way to the deck - wish mine were lower (maybe not all the way down, but so that I could see out when sitting) but I lost the battle on that window and the one over the kitchen sink - I kept putting in bigger windows and they kept changing the plans, every time a study plan came back it had the smaller windows in again so I figured there was a structural reason and gave up.

I could take out the linen closet - I've never liked linen closets in bathrooms, always take out lowest shelf to slide a hamper in and use the rest to stock up on shampoos and soaps - towels go in hallway linen closet where they won't get musty. I just need to keep a column at the front corner of the linen closet near the tub, there is a vent pipe running there - though maybe it could be relocated to the opposite wall of the closet, that is shared with the toilet/shower compartment, that's a thick wall anyway b/c of another pocket door (that slides in the opposite side - b/t the shower and the vanity which I'm not crazy about but I don't think I'm into trying to gut the unfinished bathroom around the brand-new tub and shower.

Anyway, code says the controls have to be accessible from outside the tub, so faucets definitely have to go in front corner if I don't tear out the linen closet and box out around that vent pipe. I could forgo the handshower completely but it is convenient for rinsing hair and for rinsing the tub after cleaning (which I have to get into to tub to wipe so I usually clean just before or after using the tub). I could just return this small handshower and get a slightly larger one (with multiple settings!) that could mount on the deck and then I don't have to put it right in the middle, on the acrylic rim.

I don't really like a big spout right near my face, would have to try it out and make sure it was far enough away not to be claustrophobic (or a hazard!) if I put it at the head of the tub instead of by the drain. The hot and cold water lines are the ones that would require 6ft hoses from the shutoff valves to the faucet handles/valves, the handshower is fine since it won't be that far from the spout (even when I had planned on it being opposite end, I just figured I'd put a 10-ft braided washing machine hose on).

Maybe I will put a grab bar under the window - have to see if it really helps getting up/out. But if I were to put on on the deck for assistance getting in (I've only got a 30" inseam and the deck will be about 20" from finished floor), where would you suggest I put it?


    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:29AM
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ajsmama--What Roman faucet did you select for your tub? Your mention of a giant faucet at your head made me remember some of the large ones I saw in the showroom. No matter the size of the faucet, the inside parts are the same size in the big one as a skinny one--so just because the spout is bigger does not mean your water flow will be greater. We opted for a skinny one (Delta Addison) as I wanted the tub area to feel more elegant vs. masculine. Also, you could switch up your arrangement of the controls and put the handshower on the opposite end mine is on.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:08PM
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All the fixtures are Delta Victorian line - skinny faucet, but big handles and the faucet is tall and long (the better to reach over the tub rim). My handshower has a handle diverter, not a pullup diverter, since I wanted it more than 18" away from the faucet (and like a handle diverter rather than the pullup, I had a handle diverter - big Delta Innovations fixtures - in the last house).

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Tried it out - even with the skinny spout, I just am not comfortable with it coming over my shoulder. So it's gotta go on the drain end. I found the handshower diverter could fit on the thick deck, so I can move that off the rim and onto the deck (though probably will be to the front/my left as I'm sitting). Leaves the small (7.5" long) handshower on the acrylic "bumpout" - wish it could go on the back one so near my right hand. No access there though to get the nut screwed on underneath - unless I remove some cement board and cut a whole in the plywood underneath to get my hand in, then replace the cement board?

I can scoot the spout over closer to the drain but might have to go with a larger tile (I picked 12") so it doesn't fall on a groutline. Also have to be careful of nails(!) securing the cement board to the plywood. Not sure how to mark deck before/after tiling so we don't tear up a ceramic drill bit/hole saw.

This is assuming I'm still putting a grab bar on the linen closet corner. Even then, I'm so short (5'2" with 30" inseam) that holding onto the bar and stepping over the deck/rim/handles will be tough. I can remove the 1/2" plywood spacers on the face of the 2x4 frame (already removed 1/2" cement board) and put 3/4" finish material (wood) directly on the 2x4s but it's still about 3" too far for comfort.

Can I/should I secure a grab bar right in front, in the middle (behind the handshower)? Will it be secure enough going into tile, 1/2" cement, and 1/2 - 3/4" plywood? I could probably get 1 screw on each end into a 2x4.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 1:40PM
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