Today, I’d like to share a remodeled bathroom that belongs to a very special young man.
Ben is the son of my cousin Beth and her husband David.
Beth, my sister Stacy and I were all pregnant at the same time and gave birth within three months of each other. Ben, along with his two cousins, turned 14 this year.
At 18 months Ben was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Beth says, “NF1 can affect people very differently. Some people have very few symptoms and others have extreme complications and challenges. Until a couple of years ago, Ben’s biggest challenges were speech issues and cognitive delays. Now, he is experiencing orthopedic issues due to neurofibromas (small tumors) that are part of the nerves in his back.”
Due to these tumors, it recently became necessary to remodel Ben’s bathroom and shower to be wheelchair accessible. Though we don’t have any before photos, I’m sure you can imagine. Beth said it was your basic builder grade tub/shower combination bathroom. Bland and boring with no color.
This is what Beth shared with me about the process and the new bathroom.
“My favorite part about the bathroom (other than the accessibility) is the cabinetry.
David and the builder came up with the sink/vanity design.
The cabinet maker also made the wall cabinet and although it looks shallow, it’s recessed into the wall to allow for more storage. I really have all the storage I need with it and the medicine cabinet that was already there.
The first priority was that it work for Ben, but we also didn’t want it to look institutional. Ben’s favorite part is the heater in the ceiling…it’s like sitting under a hot hair dryer!
The picture above shows both “showers”…one handheld and then just a standard shower. They’re on separate valves so guests can use the traditional shower.
When Ben takes a shower he sits on a portable shower bench. We roll him up beside the bench and he transfers. Rolling shower chairs are also available.
The floor starts to slope just the other side of the toilet. Our builder (Peregrine Builders LLC) installed the “Schluter” waterproofing system under the shower area AND under the main floor (and up the walls some) because we were concerned about water issues. It hasn’t been a problem at all. It drains just like it should. The shower is roughly 4’x6’.
It’s really not 100% ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, but it works for us. We haven’t installed grab bars yet (we have them) because we don’t need them right now. The floor had to be raised about 2 inches to allow for the draining (to avoid busting up the slab foundation), so there’s a little slope going into the bathroom.
I ordered the liner online (84″x84″ – the space is 6’ wide) for only $34. I had it within a week and am very happy with the quality. We used a rod purchased at Lowe’s.
The wall color is Behr “Shale Gray”.
Overall we’re very happy with the new bathroom/shower. We can’t say enough good things about Brian Fulbright, owner of Peregrine Builders. He really worked with us to determine the best solution.”
I think they did a wonderful job! Other family members had a hand in this bathroom remodel as well. My Aunt Becky (Ben’s Mammy) and Aunt Nita contributed by making the beautiful shower curtain. (Sewing runs in the family!)
Everything came together to create a beautiful space that functions perfectly for Ben’s needs.