Instructables
Picture of Make your Shower Handicapped Accessible
This is my first Instructable, thus I might left some details out, if so, please let me know and I will clear any doubts you might have.

I recently remodeled a shower for a family whom needed a walk in shower with a ramp for easy access for a quadriplegic member of their family.

Once there, I noticed some broken tiles that needed to be replaced as well.

Safety notice:
This type of work involves the use of blades and sharp tools. There is going to be flying debris, slivers and shards, always use the adequate protective gear.

Tools Needed:
Wet tile saw
rubber mallet
Tile trowel
Grout float
Sledgehammer and chisels
Putty knife
Blade
Floor scraper
Grout sponge
Grinder with a diamond blade
Blue masking tape
Measuring tape
Special waterproof pencil to mark the tile
Screwdriver
Level

Materials Needed:
Tile
Hardibacker (in case there's damage to the walls)
Grout (unsanded for walls, sanded for the floor)
Thinset mortar 
Spacers







 
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Step 1: Demolition and Preparing the Surface

Picture of Demolition and Preparing the Surface
WP_20131007_001.jpg
Due to the deadline to finish this project, I wasn't able to take pictures of the demolition phase, but I will be happy to respond any questions you might have.

This shower had double sliding aluminum and glass doors, they were removed just by removing seven screws and getting rid of the sealing silicone. 

Cover the drain with masking tape to avoid debris falling into it.

In order to make space for the ramp, the marble on top of the step had to be cut, this was made with the grinder with a diamond blade, this phase involves a lot of dust, protect your lungs by covering your nose.

The rest of the step was removed by removing the tiles with the sledgehammer and the chisel. The cinder blocks were easy to remove, because this shower was poorly built and it had a water filtration, thus the step was just being held by the tiles and the marble on top.

To make the slope for the ramp, you need to chisel away. Find the appropriate angle and chisel away until you have reached the desired angle. Watch out for flying debris.

The broken tiles on the back were removed and they revealed a water damaged hardibacker board, it was removed and the area cleaned and prepared to receive the new hardibacker.

Clean the old mortar and grout from the adjacent tiles with a little chisel or putty knife, make sure it is completely free of old adhesives.



wimsycat2 months ago

Very well done, both the workmanship and the Instructable!

It
appears from the photos that the shower was originally recessed in the
concrete house slab about an inch or so below the bathroom floor level.
If that's right, was it the front shower-pan edge of the slab that you
needed to chisel to form the ramp, or just the mortar under the curb?

Also,
I imagine you had to replace the sliding shower door with a fixed panel
and a wide hinged door to accommodate the difference in height after
removing part of the curb. Or a curtain might suffice if the hem is
weighted.

I have an almost-accessible tiled shower that
appears to be the same size as yours, but the floor of my shower is not
recessed (instead it slopes gently toward the drain from all directions)
and mine has a 1" high curb around 2 open sides. The little curb could
be removed easily if needed and replaced with a few shower floor tiles
to make a smooth continuum with the bathroom floor, and it still won't
flood because of the slope to the drain. With or without the curb it's
small for a walk-in shower, and it needs something to keep the shower
spray inside. An enclosure made to fit would be costly and a lot of
glass to wipe dry after every shower, so I'll probably bend some conduit
for a curtain rod around the outside corner, then 2 extra-long shower
curtains with weighted hems.

Thank you for sharing the method and result of your informative and useful project! You made it seem quite do-able. I hope you'll post some of your others, too.