would like feedback/opinions about fixtures in curbless shower

elphaba_gwSeptember 30, 2012

Would appreciate feedback on best way to place fixtures.

Shower will be curbless. Remodel not yet started.

Though neither my husband nor I are wheelchair bound, we are both in

our 60's.

I have balance problems that are fairly significant. I use a cane sometimes when going out.

I will probably mainly use the handheld shower and bench. My husband will probably use the fixed and possibly rain shower.

It is unlikely that we will both shower at the same time however not impossible to think that there will be two in the shower with one helping the other.

The GPM rating for our plumbing will allow for water to flow from two fixtures simulataneously.

Handheld shower is above the center of the bench in the second diagram in case that isn't obvious

Please don't hesitate to provide option(s) that are different for the fixtures.

Other things to consider:

1. shower might be used by someone in wheelchair (without help)

2. showers are digital, i.e. no handles/levers. Shower flow and temp

manipulated by pushing a preset button on the control panel

3. I don't like niches so want to use good quality stainless baskets

4. am willing to purchase another bench if this pull down bench is too big -

(have had trouble finding one that is rated for more than 250 lbs)

5. height of pony wall is adjustable at this point.

6. Design is fixed for number of fixtures - fixed, handheld, and rain.

Design is fixed also regarding dimension - 60",60"

Window size and shower door location are fixed.

Size and number of bars,stainless baskets and bench location are NOT fixed.

7. I have no familiarity with understanding whether a handheld shower

should be installed overhead the bench. If not overhead, how far out

is comfortable?

Just the shower - fixture config 1:

Just the shower - fixture config 2:

Full Hall Bath configuration:

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I have a curbless shower that's far too narrow to ever be ADA compliant, but I did put in a couple of grab bars by HealthCraft. The Invisia Collection looks like regular polished nickel bathroom fixtures, and they blend in with the Jado shower and TP fixtures. I have the corner soap dish and the towel bar with a curved grab bar above.

Here is a link that might be useful: HealthCraft - Invisia Collection

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Thanks for the tip about Invisia! Their pull down shower bench is exactly what I need - weight limit is 500 pounds and it is smaller in width but larger in depth - perfect! that will give me the room I need to move the hand held shower where I think I want it - at least have more options. Didn't show up on my google searches, Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:56PM
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We have our handheld on a slide bar on the skinny end of our bench and out just a few inches from the front edge of the bench. In your diagram the most similar spot would be just as you enter the shower to the left over the digital controls. As it can swivel on the slide bar, you can sit on the bench and have the shower stream run over you the way a stationary shower head would do and then change the direction of spray with just a touch of your hand. It also has easy access for pulling down and using as a handheld.

You could also easily place it on a slide bar just to the left of the left hand stationary shower head. With the swivel feature on the slide bar you should be able to have the shower stream directly forward or swiveled over toward the bench. Again, it would be within easy reach for adjustment or for use as a handheld from the bench position. The only drawback with the position would be that you are then spraying water in the direction of the shower doorway which I'm guessing will be doorless. Then you have a slip hazard just outside the shower area.

If you could put the bench on the back wall either under the window or off to one side of it and then place the hand shower on either of the two side walls, that would be ideal IMO.

I will point out too, that the fewer potential obstacles in the shower the better. I know you're not a fan of niches, but in my experience the stainless basket or tile/stone shelf protruding into the space can be a hazard should you lose your balance or slip and fall. I got a little disoriented while in the guest shower at my DM's house. I ended up bumping my head on the protruding corner shelf in the shower. While it was just a bump, it could have been so much worse. Just something to think about.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Thanks mydreamhome for your information that is firsthand. You have given me hope that the handheld is "adaptable" because it swivels. FYI - Haven't definitely decided but leaning in the direction of having a shower door.

But I'm thinking your suggestion about the bench under the window is probably best for optimum function. I was trying to avoid because I didn't want bench to be "focal point" but functionality is more important than aesthetics at this point.

I will re-think my opinion about niches. Eliminating obstacles must have priority. And as a side benefit, the niches, if done right likely will provide a more "minimal" look which is good for aesthetics too.

Lots to think about. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I also agree with mydreamhome about the location and spray direction of your handheld shower wrt the bench. The fixed shower head in our standard shower stall is located a few inches off center, closer to the shower entry, for just that purpose.

I understand why your initial design has the bench tucked in the pony wall corner. But the 8" bar on the pony wall is a pretty small target to reach for from the bench. It might actually be easier to operate and get in/out of the bench if it's under the window. Of course you'll probably tweak the locations of your grab bars if you moved the bench.

To place a few shower items for easy access from the bench, maybe you could use an Invisia corner shelf? Would it be useful to "hide" an inside corner grab bar in the pony wall corner -- there if needed but pretty much of of sight?

Beautiful bathroom layout, btw. Very nice use of space!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:52AM
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With handheld shower head, they typically come with a wall mounting bracket...it can be a bracket on a sliding bar, a bracket on the shower arm that comes out of the wall, or just a plain old wall bracket, for example.

You can usually buy additional wall brackets.

So, for example, you could keep your "main" handshower set up where it is located in Figure 1, then mount an additional wall mounted handheld bracket near, or over, the bench. You want water on the bench? Just take the handheld off the main bracket and hang it on the bracket on the wall over the bench.

Here's an example of a secondary wall bracket, you'll obviously find different configurations for different manufacturers:

In several showers I've mounted a wall bracket low on the wall, at thigh/knee height, for shaving legs. So it's not uncommon to have one handheld and several wall brackets that the handheld can be moved around to.

You have a 60" shower with mobility issues, so get the longest hose you can for your handheld. 8' long hoses are fairly common. It'll assist with not just showering, but cleaning the shower too. Being able to extend the handheld across the entire shower, or to the other side of a bench or wheelchair, will make things much easier.

I understand the desire for the fold-down bench, and the fold-down is indeed a better option than a fixed or tile-in-place type of bench when a wheelchair may be needed in the future. But in showers where mobility may truly be an issue, I do recommend a removable bench or stool. It can be placed wherever needed in the shower. It can be used by a caregiver or by the one needing care. It can be removed from the shower and used as a seat outside the shower if needed.

Another option is a "walker/seat" sort of like this one, you can use it to steady yourself as you move in and out of the shower, and to sit on as needed. It's not the prettiest, but it's the first one that came up in a search:

There are "medical" looking seats like the one above, and nicer looking ones made from wood, or metal and wood. You can always install the fold down as you have planned, and add a removable bench down the road if the fold down alone doesn't suit your needs.

Grab bars...good to think of this now. To economize, you'll want to plan out the bar locations and add solid "2-by" blocking behind the tile backer board for the grab bars to be mounted to. As an alternative to solid blocking, the best grab bar anchors I've found are Wing-It anchors. Expensive, but you can do chin-ups on grab bars mounted with Wing-Its:

You have a 30" grab bar on the "north" wall and a 24" grab bar on the "east" wall. I'd recommend running those closer to, or right through, the northeast corner of the shower. That way someone standing under the fixed shower head has an easily accessed grab bar on either of the adjacent walls.

I'd consider adding a 24" grab bar in front of the handheld as well.

One other thing to consider...most handheld showers that mount on a vertical "slide bar", the slide bar is flimsy plastic, or thin-gauge metal. Not something you'd want to depend on to steady yourself if you had to grab hold of it. There are a few manufacturers that use a slide bar that is rated as a grab bar. They are structurally secure. Sort of the best of both worlds.

And finally, you could use something like the following for your hand held shower head; a handheld bracket that can mount to a real world grab bar.

Hope this helps more than it confuses. Best of luck with this project.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Yes, mongoct, I think the brackets are a great idea. Two at least, probaby three. The hose on the handheld will be long for cleaning as you describe. Think two of the brackets will be the kind that can be mounted on a grab bar - pretty slick. As you suggest I can add a removeable bench later and will reserve a spot beneath the windows in the event that becomes necessary. I wouldn't mind if the removeable bench was a focal point. This decision will allow me to feel better about using the smaller Invisia bench now which takes up less space since that is all I need right now.

Trying to keep it from looking like a hospital wherever I can. That is the hardest thing about this. It is clear that function is definitely most important but then I can't help trying to fudge here and there to keep it from looking too industrial. I'll keep the "walker seats" on the radar screen cause I definitely see how useful they could be but not ready for them yet.

Yes, docdom - Think I will replace the 8 inch bar (may not be such a thing, LOL) with one of those bars at an angle that is often installed next to a toilet - probably 18 inches (on the slant). I was looking at those Invisia corner shelfs. I'm having trouble because I keep trying to avoid the fact that the bars are probably the most important thing since I really do need them now with my balance issues. I really didn't want bars everywhere but I guess that is life. The Invisia fixtures are definitely a step above, LOL.

Y'all have really helped me make some decisions. That is REALLY the hardest part of this remodeling (other than paying for it of course).


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:46PM
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In addition to invisia, moen now makes a shelf basket that's a grab bar, if you haven't seen it:

They also have towel bars and toilet paper holders that are grab bars.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Oops, sorry, forgot the link. They also have a corner shelf, too. I mention the moen because they are a lot less expensive than invisia, if budget is a concern.

Here is a link that might be useful: wall basket on amazon

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:08AM
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