Posts Tagged ‘Bath Reconstruction’

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story (last part for the time being)

Sunday, April 29th, 2012


The Stumbling Rock


The reconstruction of my narrow pedestrian bathroom to a

Wheelchair Spa

in the autumn of 2008 with the moving of a wall and the installation of an on grade shower was rather nerve-wracking.

Read the older blogposts “Bath Reconstruction Part 1-4″, and decide yourself if the tears come from laughing or crying ;-)

I was already home from hospital for a couple of days when finally the washing basin was mounted.
The reconstruction was virtually finalized after a few weeks already.

There was just one little thing. The new drain of washing basin and bath tub was ailing a little. The water drained off rather reasonably, but after 25 seconds the drain started to communicate in an unknown language with me.

Just like that:
Gurgle, gurgle, rattle, rattle, bubble, bubble and once again.
Sometimes it seemed to call names.

I had a creepy feeling, everybody knows the pipe ghost, the “Moaning Myrtle” from Harry Potter.

After various unsuccessful attempts to “muzzle” the drain pipe professionally by cleaning it with a spiral I decided to visit the pipe ghost with the help of a camera.

Such a film is quite special if you climb through your own drain pipe.
During the reconstruction work a hardly worth mentionable ca. 4 cm x 4 cm small accident happened to the guys, to say a stone got stuck in the drain pipe.

When the gas-water-heating-bath construction-video expert ;-)

told me that the stone can only be removed from my neighbours underneath I was a bit more relaxed.

Then at least they don’t pry open my brand-new bathroom because of the stupid stone.

I felt so sorry for my neighbours that I didn’t arrange the removal of the stone immediately.

Now, 3,5 years later my neighbours have moved out, and the stumbling rock was finally removed.

Currently I don’t miss the “gurgle conversations” in the morning yet. Should I miss them I have filmed a video with the last words of the stone just in case.

Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 4

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011


You should take your time with the selection of the adapted washing basin.

In my opinion, a height adjustable luxury basin is not necessary if the wheelchair user is not a child.

Basically you should be able to agree with your partner on the mounting height, as long as the partner is not Dirk Nowitzki!

The wheelchair has to fit even with passenger underneath the washing basin.

Better remind your plumber!

Stupidly most of the washing basins are not large enough so that you are standing with the feet against the wall, and you still have to bend forward over the very expensive special washing basin.

I consider it as advantage if the washing basin has little “wings” on the right and left side, so that the storage space is substantially larger and better to reach.

Lots of bits and pieces fit in here.

A downward foldable wall mirror is not needed by anybody.
(see older blogpost).

The mounting height of the disabled toilet is according to my information at approx. 40 cm. This really has a reasonable cause.

Above 40 cm it is not possible to drive with a shower commode chair without reconstruction over the toilet. I would like to meet the plumber who knows that.

Even in designated wheelchair hotels the toilet height can be different in each room. Everybody does what he wants.

What is interesting is that some health insurances cover either the costs for a shower commode chair, or for holding bars next to the toilet.
Thus relatively fit wheelers use the shower chair for the shower and are then obliged to use it for the daily “sitting” even though they could swing onto the toilet lid if they had the money for holding bars. The bars are shockingly expensive, I have some low priced producers in my data base.

If you need a rubber ring for the toilet seat, of course you have free choice for the mounting height.

By coincidence I got two holding bars out of stainless steel for 21 € in Ebay. The value of the material is already significantly higher. The bars don’t only look good, they are also doing well as towel rail.

An acquaintance of mine doesn’t care at all.
He is taking a shower with his “normal” wheelchair. His cushion never gets wet. He probably has one, but doesn’t sit on it even during the day.

To be continued.

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.

Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 3

Monday, January 10th, 2011


As already reported, plumbers were not particularly interested to competently reconstruct my accessible bathroom for realistic prices.

In the end I found a company in which the son of the boss is sitting in a wheelchair as well so they knew what a fresh wheelchair driver needs in his bathroom.

I am regularly on rehabilitation fairs and know quite some technical aids for the bathroom, but my ergonomically formed

Designer toilet lid

is quite special and actually belongs into the museum of modern art.

The company Hewi builds undoubtedly high quality bathroom equipment.

A price of 46 € for a bath tub handhold is quite heavy while it is in the meantime even mounted to my balcony wall as fly-net holder.

A price of 441,00 € excl. VAT for a

shower holder with hand rail,

for which you need a mounting kit of 25 € I consider a little bit exaggerated because it is not even working automatically. I just mean the white bar!

With my 1,38 m size in the wheelchair I can use the 2 m high shower holder now as gym bar.

To be continued!

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.


Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 2

Saturday, December 4th, 2010


The new bathroom was planned so that an accessible, on grade shower basin should be embedded on the window side.
A size of 120 cm x 120 cm is standard (top left).

Due to the wall breakthrough a new bathtub could be set on the right side, virtually in the home office. Then a little bit washing basin, connection for the washing machine, disabled toilet, and the bathroom was actually almost done.

OK, a new wall had to be built on the right, plaster, some tiles, colour and a sliding door were necessary due to the broadening of the door case.

Sounds rather simple, so let’s take a start!

In TV shows accessible bathrooms are built in 45 minutes broadcasting time…

It’s not “going” that fast!

Usually bathrooms suitable for disabled are on the ground floor, which basically makes sense because stairs are natural obstacles for us wheelchair users.

Additionally the siphon of the accessible shower can be banished with a breakthrough to the basement ceiling, where nobody would bother except for a couple of rats.

In the first floor the shower drain thing is a bit more difficult.

I don’t have any more problems, but there it was, the challenge!

Because I have neighbours living underneath, a colourful siphon on their bathroom ceiling was out of question.

Even with the most even drain you need at least

12 cm casing depth for the on grade shower basin.

The concrete underlay was removed until the bottom plate. My bathroom floor didn’t give more than 8 cm depth for the installation of the shower basin.

The floor had to be lifted, but then it wouldn’t be on the same level as the corridor any more.

What now:

A stair at the door to enter the “accessible bathroom” was a serious suggestion, but not for me.

To pump the waste water upwards because of the missing 4 cm I thought would be too complex.

In the end my new bathroom floor is sloping!

The floor slightly ascends by 4 cm from door to shower which has the funny effect that I am rolling away with my wheelchair in my own bathroom.

A pedestrian doesn’t note the difference.

As long as I don’t splatter too much with the water while showering it won’t run into the corridor!

I should have explicitly mention that to my friend who stayed overnight before he went into the bathroom.

To be continued!

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.

Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 1

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


After more than 2 years I have calmed down a little bit and I am writing about my legendary

Bath Reconstruction!

People with high blood pressure should save themselves to rebuild a small bathroom into a wash plant suitable for wheelchair drivers and build a new house instead.
This is “going” faster.

Already at the time when I was still in hospital I was taken home by the transport service, then heaved to the first floor to surprisingly find out at a living space inspection that my bathroom was not suitable for someone in a wheelchair.

This fact didn’t remain concealed even to me, in spite of considerable medication abuse upfront.

Now it was official, my bathroom was too small!

My wife took pictures and filled various questionnaires about the number of stairs in front of the house, the width of doors in the flat, etc. etc. etc….

This information was filed somewhere unregarded. Oh well…

Because addresses of construction companies and suitable plumbers in Germany apparently are subject to the highest level of secrecy obligation everything was left with me again.

An acquaintance who is architect had the idea to “push” the wall on the right 1,20 meter to the side, then everything should fit in…

Therefore the inflatable guest bed in the home office had to give way.

Thanks again from this side.

After more than 2 years I am still waiting for promised offers from plumbers. They don’t want to make money, others therefore more.

I like quotations like that:

Reconstruction bathroom mere 17.000 € with the details:

Demounting of bathroom furniture 60 €.
This was a 50 cm wall cupboard.

All extra work will be invoiced separately.
A picture was hanging on the wall.

When I tried to call our property management regarding the move of the wall on extension 59 I heard the voice mail text that due to absence I should call the colleague on extension 67 for the next two and a half weeks. There I heard the voice mail text that I should consult his substitute under extension 59 for the next two weeks.

If it was a load-bearing wall or not which we intended to move probably would have to be eventually clarified by the Federal Constitutional Court.

The non-working employee in charge of the property management (extension 59) insisted that no wall might be torn down without his assessment.

He didn’t make in within 3 months to walk the 250 meters from his office to my bathroom, not to mention an on-site inspection of the property within a year.

Because I wanted to leave the hospital one time I decided by agreement with the advisory board, wall down, H-beam in, regardless of costs.

To be continued!

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.

Translator BL