If there is someone in your home who is wheelchair-bound, you know how hard it is to get into a standard tub/shower combination. Even a walk-in shower with a floor that sits level with the bathroom floor may not provide enough access for the wheelchair. To make it possible for a wheelchair-bound individual to get into and out of a shower, you can construct a shower pan that provides enough space for the entire chair.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Masking tape
- Circular saw
- Jackhammer or sledgehammer
- 1/2-inch plywood
- Concrete mix
Locate then measure the area around the drain where you want the wheelchair shower pan to be located in the floor. You will need a space that is at least 30 inches out from the wall and 60 inches wide to accommodate a standard wheelchair. Mark the perimeter of this area with masking tape.
Measure approximately 2 feet out from the side of the marked area where you want to place the shower’s entrance. Mark this 2-foot area of the floor separately with masking tape.
Cut into the floor with a circular saw to remove the floorboards in the area marked for the shower pan if the floor is wood and trim down the joists inside the marked area by 3 inches. Use a jackhammer or sledgehammer to break up the floor if it is concrete or cement to a depth of 3 inches.
Measure the spaces between the floor joists that you trimmed down, if you're working with a wood floor, and cut wood boards that sit at the same height as the trimmed joists to this length. For example, if you trimmed down an 8-inch joist to 3-1/2 inches, use 3 1/2-inch boards. Cut enough boards so that you have one to place every 6 inches between the joists and secure the boards with wood screws drilled in at a 45-degree angle to pass through the cross-pieces and into the joists.
Cover the new wood structure of a wood floor with 1/2-inch plywood. Screw the plywood into the joists to create a surface for the shower pan. Remove the broken-up pieces of concrete or cement inside of the marked area on the floor to prepare the shower pan surface.
Add enough water to concrete mix to make a thick, just spreadable, material. Use a spade to spread the concrete in the shower pan area so that the concrete sits roughly 1-inch high around the drain and slopes upward toward the edges until it sits level with the surrounding floor. Use a level to check the slope of the concrete surface then wait for the concrete to fully dry.
Remove the nails from the floorboards in the second 2-foot section of a wood floor where you want to place the shower entrance and take up the floorboards. Spread mortar between and over the joists to build the floor back up and create a slight slope to the section of floor and angled down toward the shower to make a small hump in the floor. If the floor is concrete or cement, build the floor up at a slope in the same manner to create a small hump approximately 2 feet out from the shower to help keep water in the shower area.
Types of Laminate Floor Transitions
Laminate is a floor covering product used to resemble hardwood flooring. It is made from planks comprised of a composite base topped...
How to Cut a Hole in the Ceiling for Attic Access
Cutting a hole for attic access gives you additional storage, as well as easier access to the mechanical systems of your home....
How to Build a Wheelchair Accessible Shower
People who are physically challenged need bathroom facilities that allow them to shower safely. The average home bathroom does not have the...
How to Build a Roll-in Shower
A roll-in shower by definition is a waterproof area large enough for an individual in a wheelchair to shower independently while remaining...
Building Instructions for Wheelchair Porch Lifts
A porch lift can be added to a home to make the home wheelchair accessible. A lift has advantages over a wheelchair...
Shower Seat Dimensions
Shower seats provide convenience, safety and a measure of independence for the elderly, disabled or wheelchair-bound. Many types of portable and permanent...
Engineered Floor Joist Span Specifications
The typical engineered floor joist is made of lumber in the shape of an 'I,, thus commonly called an I-joist. Floor joists...
DIY Build a Handicap Shower
A handicap shower is built to specifications spelled out by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). It is built even with the...