Bathroom Reveal - ADA Shower with custom Vanity in small Bathroom

Nancy in Mich
last year
last modified: last year

Lets see if this will post today! I had the entire bathroom with all the comments in a post yesterday that never loaded. Today I will try with a couple of photos and add photos in the comments. Please jump in with any questions and I will do my best to answer.

Don't forget, Houzz chops the photos and you have to click on them to see the whole thing!

The shower is by Transolid. It is sold on the site. This is the ADA trench drain 37.75" x 63" shower base and the Remodel Shower Wall Kit. You have to talk to someone on the phone to make up a shower wall kit because they do not show up on the website, but they do have them. I also ordered the Wall Extension Kit. The regular wall kit ends just below the shower curtain rod, at the half-round molding that goes around the shower. The Wall Extension takes the walls up to the ceiling. I also bought a panel to use for my ceiling, so the entire shower would be done in the Transolid walls. Transolid is a solid surface product. That means the color goes through the material and if there are ever any scuffs or scratches, they can be sanded out.

This is the view from the door. We widened the bathroom door and all the bedroom doors to 36" in this project. I designed this vanity myself and Jim Hartman, Contract Remodeling, Roseville Michigan (586 405 2175) made it. There are three features: the shelves by the toilet, a drawer, and a pull-out shelf. It had to rest on the floor because I tend to grab and put my weight on furniture when my knees pop out (happens daily), but it also had to be wheelchair and rollator walker accessible. The top had to be 16" deep so that we would have enough floor space for turning a wheelchair or walker around. Jim made this of walnut veneer over birch plywood and we got a solid walnut top laminated at Armstrong Millworks in Highland, MI. Finished with Waterlox.

More to come in the comments!

Comments (41)

  • Nancy in Mich

    In this comment, we will cover the features of the vanity.

    TP storage, and right next to where you would use it! I saw this idea right here in the Bathroom Forum in Houzz, done by Grannysmith. She had it hidden behind drawer fronts looking from the front of the vanity, so that it did not unbalance the size of the drawers compared to the left side of her vanity. When you opened the upper and lower right drawers, though, you could see that the right part of the drawer front was just hiding the thicker "leg" where the cabinet had the open storage on the side. I thought it was a clever way of having storage next to the toilet. I just hid mine with a wide leg.
    There is a drawer here, and a pull out on the left.
    No drawer pulls because I got the push-to-open drawer slides for both the drawer and the pull-out with a...
    ...pegboard where I can hang my various hair tools.
    This outlet and the one down by the floor on the other side of the toilet
    where the Washlet is plugged in both have these USB ports. Our speakers
    charge with USB and we use our radio in the bathroom all the time, so it
    made sense.

    The faucet is from Canada, by Rubinet. It gave off vibes similar to the shower set and the brand has an excellent reputation and a lifetime warranty. Thanks to StarCraft Builders and their faucet reviews for pointing me to Rubinet.

    The sink is a Sbordoni semi-recessed sink I found on Houzz. I chose it because it had the drip edge. Of all the semi-recessed sinks, it was the only one that had a practical drip edge.

  • dmpsd

    I love the vanity. It looks great and functional.

    Nancy in Mich thanked dmpsd
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  • Nancy in Mich

    This time, we will see the rest of the shower.

    is a long view of the wet walls. the shower controls are by Strom. I
    loved their option of getting the ceramic discs with the words on them
    to indicate what the valve controlled. With three shower heads, I
    figured that this was a good thing! Of course, I did not think to take a
    picture of them! the big center valve with the chrome back controls
    only the water temperature. The lower valve controls the hand held
    shower volume. The left upper is for the rain head, which is peeking
    into the picture in the center top, and the right upper is for the wall
    shower head. All of the room and shower handrails are Jaclo. The wall shower head is Speakman. The rain head is a 12" Hansgrohe.
    The Hansgrohe is flanked by two dals LED water resistant lights. They are pretty nifty and my contractor already loved them before I had them. They have such a low profile that they will fit right in the depth of the ceiling drywall, they are their own self-contained electrical box and don't need that blue octogonal box behind them. You can place the lighting anywhere in the room without thinking about where the beams are with these things. You can put them anywhere you can get the wires to. They come in water resistant and "normal."

    is the shower floor. It has a regular drain near the center of the
    trench drain. It is covered with a piece of the 1/4 " Transolid
    material, but an open slot lets the water in all around. A half-inch
    high ridge directs most of the water to the main drain.
    The low corner shelf is by Invisia and it is meant to be a good solid grab bar. I am using it as a foot rest for washing.
    is the bathroom's second shower pan. Really. I wanted a floor drain
    in the bathroom because of the no-sill zero-access shower pan. I wanted
    backup. An insurance policy. See the square in the floor? (It is about a foot and a half in front of the leg of the vanity.) It is a
    drain. If anything overflows in this bathroom, we are covered.

    Jim went to Virginia Tile and talked over the situation with the counter guy who he buys his Kerdi supplies from. He sold
    us a Kerdi shower floor slope kit to fit most of the bathroom, and a
    ramp that goes from the height of the edge of that kit down to the
    threshold at the entry of this room's door. That will keep any spill
    inside this room. After preparing the floor joists (some were high by as
    much as 1/4 inch - no wonder the old floor's grout all cracked!) and
    putting down new subfloor (cement board, I think), Jim and his son
    applied thinset and then the shower kit. The next day, they applied
    thinset and the Kerdi membrane, continuing up the wall 5 inches. After
    that, they could tile. The shower floor is set into thinset, too. I am
    not sure if the waterproof membrane was adhered to the front edge of
    the shower floor slab, or if that joint was just caulked. My bathroom
    floor is waterproofed as well or better than most showers around here

    The guy at the Virginia Tile counter told Jim that this is
    the method required by code for putting in a wheelchair accessible
    shower. It was required by ME. Since there are really no penalties
    around here for not getting inspections on a lot of things, I don't
    bother with much of what Jim does. He is usually pickier about doing
    things the right way than the code is. He is a general contractor,
    licensed to do all the trades. He does not do jobs too big for himself,
    he tells me to call that trade in when the job is too big. I trust him. We do get inspections for some things (like replacing the electrical service panel, pouring a new slab foundation, replacing a furnace or a water heater). For Jim's work, not so much.

    So far, no significant water has escaped the shower pan.

  • Nancy in Mich

    See the vertical grab bar on the corner of the shower on the left side of this photo? If not, click on it and you will see the whole photo and you can see where you are in the room.

    new cabinet! Since we moved the shower wall 6 inches further out into the
    bedroom next door, that meant that the room's closet became 6" deeper.
    So I stole it back (and then some) with this cupboard that Jim made for
    us. It is also Walnut veneer over birch. It is the first time that
    this bathroom has had storage that was not a huge, inaccessible
    undercounter vanity cabinet with no shelves or accessories.

    This is the room's
    birch sliding door, too. You can see the thermostat for the heater there on the wall, and if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it you see the heater above the door and the first of the two train racks that I got on sale at Pottery Barn about five years ago. Half price, could not pass them up. There are three big hooks that slide along that back rail.

    Inside the new cabinet. Towel storage. TP storage. What else could you want? Soft-close hinges!
    the heater! This is a radiant heater that will shine down and heat up
    the objects (tile floor,, sink, counter, wall...) and is controlled by
    the timer thermostat on the left. So we can set it to warm up the room
    for an hour or two before Bill gets up in the morning and it will be
    toasty! The floor and his towel will be warm. This is called a cove
    heater. We had one for Dad when he was alive and it worked well. I put
    one in Bill's office/music/library last year and the winter was nice in
    there for a change. This is also a good shot of Jim's walnut wall

    is the long view of the vanity area. From left to right: the recessed
    shelf unit Jim made for the spot where a small medicine cabinet used to
    be, right and left opening medicine cabinets from Restoration Hardware
    with lights and electrical outlets inside that I got on sale. The
    lights above are tube sconces from Pottery Barn. Originally they were
    to be on the sides of the cabinets, but this
    bathroom went through so many design changes over the four years I have
    had the lights that they ended up above the mirrors in the end. The
    sink is from Sbordoni, an Italian sink maker. I wanted a sink that extended out like this to make it easy
    to use from a walker or wheelchair. The vanity top is only 16" deep so that a walker or wheelchair will have room to turn in the room if needed. If you look at where the counter top meets the wall, you can see that we had room for a couple of inches deeper, but I had to give that up to be sure that if I ever needed it, I would have the room to maneuver.

    Toto Carlyle II and Toto Washlet S300e. The seat sprays electrolyzed
    water onto the walls of the toilet before and after each use and every 8
    hours when not used. The proximity sensor, however, will have the
    toilet spray if we walk by the room if we don't keep the door closed. I
    am still working out the bugs. I do like the "car wash and dry"
    feature of the Washlet. The windowsill is solid Walnut, by
    That's all!

  • cat_mom

    Über functional and nice looking as well!!!

    Nancy in Mich thanked cat_mom
  • Kitty Lanier

    What a beautiful, super functional and accessible bathroom.

    Nancy in Mich thanked Kitty Lanier
  • Denita

    I love what you did in this bath. It has storage, practicality and beauty. It is so well thought out too. Congrats on getting your long awaited bathroom with everything in just the right place.

    Nancy in Mich thanked Denita
  • grannysmith18

    Wow. Beautiful and functional! We have the same Toto washlet. Love it.

    I really like the pull-out with the pegboard. I'm doing something similar in the Master bath we're working on now.

    Wishing you many, many years of enjoyment from this gorgeous bathroom.

    Nancy in Mich thanked grannysmith18
  • lizziesma

    Great use of space. A lot of thought and planning obviously went into this bath. Enjoy!

    Nancy in Mich thanked lizziesma
  • writersblock (9b/10a)

    You obviously spent a lot of time thinking this out, and it sure shows! Great bathroom, very nice looking.

    Nancy in Mich thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • aprilneverends

    I'm very impressed. Totally accessible, superfunctional, very well thought out-and looks beautiful and not sad one bit. Love walnut plus gray. Many happy showers to you!!

    Nancy in Mich thanked aprilneverends
  • Nancy in Mich

    Wow, thanks everyone! I did have a lot of time to plan, and that was unintentional. Jim, my contractor, was working a commercial job for almost three years, so I had to wait for him to be available. Everything in the remodel was done by Jim Hartman and his son/apprentice, Jacob.

    I was also waiting to find a deeper wheelchair accessible shower pan. I actually found Transolid on YouTube, of all places! I saw their video of their shower pan while browsing there, then searched them out. I have never come across in any internet search for ADA showers. I learned of the site from talking on the phone with Transolid. The Transolid products are becoming more available and do show up on a Houzz search now.

    Aprilneverends, I nerver intended to have the walnut top on the vanity. Until the final planning, I was going to use Cambria Parys quartz.

    I had a few problems with communicating with the local supplier of the product while planning the design of my vanity. I tried to ask a few questions that would help me to decide among four sinks I was considering and I had a local shop fax four sheets of paper, each one showing a diagram and asking one or two questions about what was possible to do with these sinks, which are unusual, and used in unusual ways in relation to the stone. For instance, look at the angle that the top had to be cut at to meet the belly of my sink.
    I figured that Jim could manage this. Stonecutters? They did not even answer any of my questions about using the four sinks. Subsequently, I learned that they had lost the Cambria account and we had no local supplier. Jim's usual dealer used a supplier from further away, but I was becoming disenchanted with the process of dealing with the fabricators and having seen the gray and walnut in other bathrooms on the forum, I decided to go for a walnut top.

    So I decided that I would go totally walnut and say goodbye to the Parys. I saved $2200 on materials. Given the extra busy-ness that the floor had, in the end, I think it was the right choice. The floor was the one variable that I had not previously chosen. I had several options identified, but had not settled on one. The ones I liked best were all marble, and I refused to put marble on the floor, once I really thought about it. Since the floor was being sloped so much for the floor drain, it needed a small tile, so it was this small hex or a similar penny tile. Hex won due to far less grout.

  • PRO
    Mega Builders

    Very nice!

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  • PRO
    Filipe Custom Woodwork

    No reason why the disabled cannot have something nice and elegant.

    Thank you for sharing! Will save.

    Nancy in Mich thanked Filipe Custom Woodwork
  • PRO
    Creative Tile Eastern CT

    I'm familiar with your research for some time. Great outcome!!

    Nancy in Mich thanked Creative Tile Eastern CT
  • roarah

    Well done! I love the built in shelves on wall and by the toilet? I love the wood with the blues and greys. I love the functionality of it all!

    Nancy in Mich thanked roarah
  • kats737

    Well done! I love all the thoughtful details that work for your needs, but in a very beautiful way.

    Nancy in Mich thanked kats737
  • Nancy in Mich

    Thanks for the nice comments.

    Your advice really did help me, Creative Tile Eastern CT. I think you were in on the discussion when I decided I was going to have a floor drain. I think that no one came out and said, "you need a floor drain with that," but led me in that direction!

    In four or five years of planning, I got a lot of good advice. Enduring was always there to give me ideas and I greatly appreciate all the help she offered to me. Although I may not have said, "yes, that is the product I need!" and jumped on one of your finds, Enduring, your advice and the advice of Mayflowers and so many others over the years really did help me to think through the issues. Your photograping a chair in front of your sink really did help me see the relationships and went way beyond the call of helpfulness! Thanks so very much!

    Another special thank you goes to all of the folks who did solid surface showers and shared their photos and discussed the issues: HB, rerod, Teenytidyhome, Hudson Smith Interiors, Janice DeMatteo, Lehman Associates, P.C., Rob McDonald, and especially Joseph Corlett, LLC, whose unstinting support for solid surface showers gave me confidence in my decision.

  • enduring

    OOOOHHHHH Nancy, this is spectacular. I love it all. That shower is to die for!! and the floor is pretty in the room. I like that the new cabinet near the entry is shallow, easy to reach. I love. your vanity and the practicality of the open floor space for maneuverability. I like the shallow depth of the 16" counter, it looks nice next to the door trim; not too crowded.

    You have done such a wonderful job and are going to get so much use out of this room. So happy for you!!!

    Nancy in Mich thanked enduring
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    Nancy in Mich thanked OTM Designs & Remodeling Inc.
  • PRO
    Designer Drains

    Great job!

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  • Lyndee Lee
    It is quite rare that I see a bathroom that appeals to me in these three key directions: functionality, appearance and workmanship. This bathroom gets top marks in all three areas. My other key criteria is appropriate to the style and era of the home, and based on this post, I am sure it gets good marks in that area too.
    Nancy in Mich thanked Lyndee Lee
  • Nancy in Mich

    Lyndee Lee, ours is an 1978 ranch home. Builder special, very bare bones, they did not even put lights in the bedrooms! I have been fighting my impulses to make it into something that it is not for the whole time we have lived here. I have done a few things right, though, like using sheet Marmoleum on the floors in the public areas. I recently have been refurnishing the family room with an MCM theme, and that influenced this bathroom's vanity a lot.

    The workmanship is all Jim and Jacob Hartman. I have had Jim do two kitchen remodels for us in the past and many other jobs. Jim is meticulous. Exacting. He is teaching his son to do the same quality work. I can trust that they will do something correctly. And Jim is constantly asking how I want everything done, making no assumptions. I then ask his opinion, and almost always go with it! I waited until he was free to do this job because I needed his opinions and good judgement when it came to putting this kind of shower into my home. My husband is not a mechanical kind of guy. He is a musician and a good cook and an excellent provider, but he does not "see" things in spacial dimensions and understand their problems. I needed Jim to bounce the issues of this curbless shower off of. I know him enough to understand when he is satisfied that a plan is good and when he is not. I did not want a contractor who would do something because "that is what the customer wanted." I wanted a collaborator who would help me get what I needed, but do it in a way that made sense for the house. I waited several years for Jim to be free to do my bathroom. I needed his expertise and judgement as the final say-so after getting the opinions for the experts online here on the Bathroom Forum to fill in my lack of knowledge. I am so glad to have Jim to trust in that role! I know how rare it is.

  • PRO
    KT tile

    Looks nice!

    Nancy in Mich thanked KT tile
  • Jules M

    Beautiful mix of form and function!

    Nancy in Mich thanked Jules M
  • ilovecomputers

    I love all the storage, I love the idea of warm towels after stepping out of the shower, I love the colors and I especially love the floor.

    Nancy in Mich thanked ilovecomputers
  • B o b McCauley

    Looks great!

    Nancy in Mich thanked B o b McCauley
  • R11 thal

    Thanks for sharing. Wish I had a Jim and Jacob here in Berkeley, CA :)

    Nancy in Mich thanked R11 thal
  • Janet
    Hi Nancy in Michigan, I’m Janet from Michigan! I found your post of your beautiful bathroom because it has many features I am thinking about for my own remodel. Thank you for all the detailed source information. I don’t have need of an ADA designed bathroom today, but who knows the future and we hope to stay in this condo as our final home. Having been through bilateral knee replacement (both at once) I got a glimpse of some of the functional difficulties of using the bathroom. Congratulations on such a well planned and executed bathroom!
    Nancy in Mich thanked Janet
  • Nancy in Mich

    Thanks, Janet! I have always found that details are important. If you don't know the name of the thing in the picture, it is very hard to find it! I probably picked up the habit in the Kitchen Forum. Check that place out, if you have not been there.

  • Janet
    I’ve been on the kitchen forum for about 9 years! Just finished the long awaited kitchen remodel two weeks ago (well, almost finished, but usable now). Bathroom is next!
    Nancy in Mich thanked Janet
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  • m2dougherty

    Inspiring and Beautiful!

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  • Janet

    Nancy, now that you’ve used your bathroom for more than a year, I’m wondering how the shower is working out for you. Does your floor stay dry? How is it for cleaning? How do you feel about the shower curtain? Is there anything that you would do differently?

    Nancy in Mich thanked Janet
  • cpartist

    Nancy I've followed you and your needs for a functional bathroom and am so pleased to see the results. It's beautiful and functional and doesn't feel at all like a "handicap accessible" bath. It just feels like a beautiful and well thought out bathroom. I have a good friend in a wheelchair and I'm going to show her this.

    Nancy in Mich thanked cpartist
  • Nancy in Mich

    Hi Janet, yes, the floor stays dry. We squeegee the walls and floor after most use and I have never cleaned the walls. Every few months, I clean the shower floor because it develops a pink, slippery organism in the floor crevices. I use an e-water system called Force of Nature that makes an electrolyzed water that kills crud like that with no other chemicals. Then I brush with a scrub brush and rinse and it is fine again. We use a cloth to wipe all that chrome in the shower and I have never had to clean it. I don’t get it dry, just wipe it so there are no drips to calcify minerals on the chrome.

    I find that the shower curtain billows a bit inward, but not enough to be a bother. I did buy a couple of decorative shower curtains to use outside the white vinyl one and wish I had not spent the money. I like the white better. I believe I got the heavy anti-microbial curtain at some odd site online, but I can’t think of where right now! It has not needed washing yet. I sometime squeegee off some of the water from it. We have never accidentally sprayed below or around the curtain with the hand sprayer, so it works well with no glass doors.

    The corner shelf/grab bar that I had mounted low for a foot rest has held up very well. No issues at all. The shelves that came with the shower are sturdy and having no issues, even though they mount with no grooves to hold them, just caulk.

    Everything else is working fine. Oh - the one possible exception is the faucet with the handle on the side keeps wiggling loose. It then rotates on the sink a bit. Hubby had tightened it by hand, but needs a special wrench to get up there.I may contact Rubinet to see what they recommend. We don’t want to tighten it so much we crack the sink! I think that the side-mounted control puts one-sided forces on the stem, eventually making it turn in the nut. If the handle were on the left side, it would turn to tighten, not loosen, the nut. Since we are right-handed, I wanted it on the right. Maybe LocTite is what I need. Any ideas?

    I did see some rust developing on the trench drain cover. I just removed it. It is easier to clean the trench, now, too. This shower base has a shallow trench (less than a half inch, I would estimate) molded into the base. It is easy to step over it. That is easier than stepping over a curb would be. If I ever need a wheelchair, I will reinstall it. I need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

    I love my rain shower head and Hubby loves his Speakman wall head. No issues with either.

    I use my big, sturdy plastic shower stool as my vanity stool. I have it at the tallest height due to my terrible knees. I dry my hair sitting on it. I can see most of my head in the mirror, so I am happy with that. If anyone were to wear makeup and want to sit to apply it, I recommend having the second mirror mounted lower. I knew I would have trouble seeing in the mirror when I had it mounted even with the one over the sink. I did not want it looking odd, so took a chance with it. It works for me. If I had gotten a lower faucet, it would have been possible to mount them both lower, but I hate those squat faucets that you can barely get your hands under more than I dislike not seeing my whole face in the mirror while sitting. It was really the only chance I took in the design and I do not regret it. But then, one of those squat faucets would not be getting loose and turning!

  • Nancy in Mich

    Thank you so much for the kind words, cpartist. If your friend has any questions, I would be glad to answer them.

  • Janet

    Thank you so much for your feedback! (Are you in a position with your knees that you are considering replacement? It was a long recovery, but I had a good recovery and it gave me back my life, pain free! It was the best thing I could have done!)

    Nancy in Mich thanked Janet
  • Nancy in Mich

    I did find a surgeon willing to do one knee, and I trust him. The question remains whether I want to risk ruining my half-good shoulders and bad wrists that will have to do the work in recovering. I have a connective tissue disorder that makes all joints loose and wonky.

  • PRO
    PRM Custom Builders

    Great use of space! We're here in Oakland County MI :)

    Nancy in Mich thanked PRM Custom Builders
  • P M

    Fabulous well thought out job!! Beautiful! Congratulations.

    Nancy in Mich thanked P M

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