Wheelchair Accessible at #molehill: The Master Bathroom


Planning a bathroom with wheelchair accessibility in mind is anything but easy, normal, or standard. Everything, and I mean everything, is up for re-negotiations along the entire design and construction process proving that you don't know what you don't know. In the case of this Master Bathroom at our Mole Hill project everything that could have been, wasn't going to be. Dealing a with a condominium, the first thing that every homeowner needs to understand is that 98% of the time it is near impossible to relocate the drain for the tub/shower. For 1% of homeowners it's because they are lucky and have a wood-frame that can be re-engineered with ease. The other 1% of the time is it because there is a substantial budget in place to X-Ray the slab, re-engineer the concrete slab, re-pour the slab and adjust the re-bar... need I go on? Managing client's expectations on these matters can be a challenge because television shows do a terrible job of explaining these finer things. As a result, the suitable location for the new roll-in shower was, well, where the soaker alcove tub was.


The grooming centre is always an area of contention, but with small space living and limitations to the three walls that form the space it proves to be a lot of borrowed space from every single planning centre. There are some height adjustments here and there, for example the lighting fixtures are lowered so that the user can view themselves in the mirror. Other additions include more storage for medications and toileting supplies - think 4 times the amount of space than what is typically needed.


The Shower Centre was quite the pain to plan - and the City Inspector certainly did not make this any easier with insisting that all the blocking for the grab bars be WOOD and then concrete board and water proofing and a five-stage inspection process and seriously are you kidding me? I don't know what the world's most handsome mayor is thinking hiring these sub-educated inspectors.

So after replacing the swing door with a pocket door, adding a rain shower head, shower niche, grab bars, elongated toilet, knee space under the lavatory sink - I think that this design is actually pretty smashingly good, if you ask me. There are a lot of details to address along the way and with this particular project I threw out everything I thought I knew about bathroom planning.



The whole point of planning a space like this bathroom is to change the life of the client. There are a lot of people and problems along the way that will seem like the designer is being prevented from doing such a job - but then they have never met the likes of me before.

Ah, lovely deflection membrane. Check out the 1/3 offset!

The floor looks like THIS! Not bad for a 2 month wait.

A shot from the other bathroom, and yes, this is the correct height for a vessel-mount lavatory sink. Always think of the top edge of the bowl at the countertop height - NOT HIGHER.