Due to health issues, Ben’s elderly Mum moved in with them and being a little less mobile, it was clear that the existing bathroom would not meet their needs.
WORDS Carol Watson PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Taylor
Situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Browns Plains is a suburb of Logan Shire Council and is home to Sharon, Ben and their two teenage children. Due to health issues, Ben’s elderly Mum moved in with them and being a little less mobile, it was clear that the existing bathroom and separate toilet would not meet the needs of Ben’s Mum or indeed the whole family. Functionality and safety were key areas of the bathroom that needed immediate attention.
With the lead up to Christmas and the urgency of the situation, a quick bathroom makeover was always going to be a challenge. Finding the right people to take on the job was crucial to a successful outcome. Having done the research and made several enquires, Sharon Taylor sent a request via the Refresh Renovations Website. Her enquiry prompted a quick response from Home Renovation Consultant and Director, Rachel Whitford.
Based in Brisbane, Rachel immediately understood the urgency of the Taylor family’s situation. “Whilst functionality was very important, the issue of safety was critical for Ben’s elderly Mum. To slip on the floor or lose her balance could have serious consequences so it was important to minimise these dangers and put the necessary aides in place to enable Ben’s Mum to maintain her independence in a safe environment,” explained Rachel.
Developing a new bathroom design
“The existing bathroom had a shower over the spa bath and this was a problem for the elderly Mrs Taylor, who could not step over the bath to get into the shower. Our first design decision was to remove the bath and replace it with a walk-in shower and a glass shower screen. We also installed a handrail for Mrs Taylor to hold onto when showering,” said Rachel.
Space in the bathroom was compromised by the door, which opened inwards, so Rachel suggested the creation of a wall cavity and the installation of a new sliding door. This immediately created more useable floor space in the bathroom, which means that Mrs Taylor now has room in the bathroom for her walking frame or stick. Likewise, the inward opening door to the toilet was reconfigured to open outwards and improve access.
Everything went smoothly, it was easy
Carrying out the bathroom renovation
“Small changes like the installation of an extra power point in the vanity for charging the electric toothbrush and the creation of a niche in the shower area for soaps and shampoo all contributed to the overall functionality and tidiness of the bathroom,” added Rachel.
An existing window near the shower created a privacy issue. The window had been covered with plastic in the past but the installation of a simple inexpensive blind proved to be more in keeping with the updated style of the newly refurbished bathroom.
“Sharon was keen to keep the existing terracotta floor tiles in the bathroom and toilet but it was clear that the waterproofing would be compromised in the bathroom and that the bathroom floor tiles would in fact need to be totally replaced,” explained Rachel. Fortunately, Rachel was able to rework the already tight schedule to include the installation of the new bathroom floor tiles.
A delay with the delivery of the shower screen did extend the project into the New Year however the remainder of the bathroom was useable prior to Christmas and the shower screen was installed in January.
The new bathroom
“Everything went smoothly, it was easy. Little problems were sorted out quickly, all the trades were very good, the builder in particular. We had a few ideas that couldn’t be implemented and he was very good at coming up with another solution. They definitely worked as a team,” said Sharon.
“Whilst there were some challenges along the way, a successful outcome could not have been achieved without Sharon and Ben’s assistance. Their ability to be flexible when it mattered made it an enjoyable experience for the whole team”, added Rachel.
You may also be interested in How Much Does A Basic Bathroom Renovation Cost?
This case study by Carol Watson featured on page 096 in Issue 025 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.
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