Shower Transition for a handicapped wheelchair person to serve her special needs.
3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
September 21, 2012 in Before & After
This customer of mine is handicapped and is sitting in a wheelchair. Her old shower was a prefabricated molded shower including a shower pan with an over 6 inch high curb and a metal framed shower enclosure. It was very difficult for her to get in and out.

The target was to create a barrier free shower which nevertheless holds a bit of water while she can sit in it having a shower. The door opening is wider as normal and the doors open like French doors to the inside as well as to the outside. This makes it easier for her to operate the doors from her wheelchair and also to get in and out. The shower door opening is wide enough to roll in with the wheelchair so she can have a shower while sitting in her wheelchair if wished or needed.

The floor tiles inside the shower are pretty slippery, this makes it easier for her to move around with her legs. She also uses soap to make it more slippery. For the outer floor we used non-slip tiles to make sure the wheelchair stays safe when she is leaving it to have a shower.

The inner shower floor as well as the outer floor are heated by an electrical floor heating system which makes it very comfortable for her to sit on the floor.

The baseboard is made from the same tile as the floor tiles and the corners between the baseboard and the floor are sealed with 100% silicone in grout color. All tile edges are covered by Schluter Rondec profiles.

- The shower walls are built and waterproofed with the Wedi System.
- The shower floor is concrete and waterproofed with red guard.
- All corners inside the shower are waterproofed wit Mapeeband.
- All corners are caulked with 100% silicone in grout color.
- Both the inner and the outer shower floor are electric heated.

You will find a couple more pictures at:

Project: Barrier Free Wheelchair Accessible Disability Shower - Maple Ridge


3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
Maple Ridge, BC (Greater Vancouver)
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3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
Hi John,

I spent 2 full days searching the internet to find the shower pan which suits my customers needs however there is no such thing available in North America. Only a couple shower pans from Kardewei - - which are unfortunately not available in Canada and the USA were suitable for her. However these pans to import would burst her budget. Therefore we created a customized Shower pan which is exact what she needed.


3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
   October 7, 2012 at 1:42AM
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Custom Home Planning Center
I've done a few the custom route, but our readers should be aware that the industry has address many of the same problems in less expensive ways. Your solution is a good one for those who can afford it.
   October 7, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Warmup Canada - Floor Heating Systems
A very nice job indeed!
1 Like   October 30, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
I am not getting the sit on the floor comment - and slippery tile easier for her to move around with her legs - this must be a case where she has the ability to move a bit more than my experience with a family member - wheeling into the shower was only option - and this looks small - nice but small -
   November 1, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Looks great! I love that the floors are heated!
1 Like   November 1, 2012 at 10:01AM
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3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
Hello Paradise, I know it sounds strange however my is leaving her wheelchair to have a shower. She uses her arms/hands to lift herself down to the floor and thereafter she enters the shower. It is actually like walking on her hands. Therefore the slippery shower floor (she can't move her legs) and the heated floors. BTW: She loves it. ☺

She was doing this already in the past with her old shower which was a huge effort because she was holding and lifting up herself by pressing her arms against the shower door jambs and she is doing this now with her new shower without any effort. And this is exactly what she wanted - inclusiv the glass enclosure. She told me it is "training" for her arms to make and keep them strong.

The entrance door looks maybe small but is wide enough (33 inch) to wheel in the shower in case she can't lift up herself anymore. For an additional helper is not enough space however if this should this be the case, it is possible to remove the glass enclosure partial. The outer floor is already pitched towards the shower so the splashed water will drain properly. There is also a waterproof membrane underneath the tiles around the shower pan.

Cheers Bertram
   November 1, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Architect Andrew Morrall
Here is an example of an 'inverted' shower pan, with no curb. This was a basement remodel and we were able to set the shower pan at a slightly lower elevation than the surrounding raised finish floor.

   November 1, 2012 at 2:17PM
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3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
@ Custom Home Planning Center - In this particular case we had NO other option because all shower pans which are at least on two sides rimless where square however we needed a neo-angled rimless shower pan to have enough space to enter the toilet with the wheelchair. A quarter-round shower pan would also work however there are no fitting glass enclosure available here in North America.

So the fact is: There is really NO such shower pan available here in north America !!! Only some German shower pans from Kaldewei would work, however if you buy such a pan through a distributor here in Canada it'll cost you about $3500 to $4000. (I asked a couple distributors) And if I would have imported it by myself it would still cost her about $800 to $1000. (I asked a couple German distributors.)

Regards, Bertram
   November 1, 2012 at 2:25PM
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