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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Upstairs Bathroom Remodel | Shower

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Replacing an original raised tub with a walk-in shower was the most important part of the 2021 update of our upstairs bathroom. Indeed, installing an American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant shower was what started the update. 

The after photo of the upstairs bathroom remodel is the walk-in shower with handheld shower head and grab bars inside and outside the shower. 

Begun in July 2021, the project was completed in November 2021. A professional contractor did 95% of the project. We only did a little demolition work at the beginning of the work. Like most construction projects, we had a series of issues that caused set backs from the very beginning through the end of the project.

There was so much work done, there is too much to include in a single article. Individual posts will focus on different parts of the remodel. 

Upstairs Bathroom Remodel 


Our remodeled bathroom includes American Disability Act (ADA) features, new plumbing, new flooring, new lighting, new shower, and new French Country charm. Basically the bathroom was almost completely redone. The major part that was not replaced was the double wooden sink vanity. 

But, before seeing all the work related to the shower, take a look at a before photo of the raised tub the shower replaced.  

The original tub was one step above floor level to allow room for the plumbing needed for the tub. Remember the house is post and beam construction that does not have a subfloor between floors. The ceiling of the floor below is the flooring of this room. Tub drains require a P-trap shaped pipe to drain the water from the tub.  The tub was placed on a wooden frame elevating it so there was room for the P-trap pipe below the tub. A future post is devoted to the extensive plumbing changes in the bathroom. 

The design worked well when we were younger, but family members were no longer able to navigate stepping up and over into the tub. We needed a walk-in shower with safety bars and handheld shower heads.  

The new walk-in shower is in the same space as the original tub. The original posts, beams, and wood ceiling are still visible. This photo was before all of the work was finished. A temporary shower rod and old overhead track lighting were still in use. A future post will feature all the lighting in the remodeled bathroom and show the new lighting that replaced the track lighting. 

New white cultured marble solid walls cover the same wall spaces as the original tile surrounding the tub. The shower ceiling still has exposed wood beams, joists, and planks. 

We used cultured marble because 
  1. It is not as expensive as marble, quartz, etc... 
  2. It does not weigh as much as marble or quartz which is important since this bathroom is on the second floor of the post and beam house. 
  3. Solid sheet walls without grout lines are easy to keep clean.
  4. Cultured marble was custom cut on site to fit the differing wall heights in the shower.  

The new shower is larger than the original tub since the shower floor goes out to the edge of the 8"x8" post and previous step-up. But the new shower is shorter than the tub to allow room for the plumbing. 

The floor in the new shower is 1" hexagonal ceramic tile that matches the new flooring throughout the bathroom. 

The new shower faucet system controls are on the same wall as the previous controls. The shower system includes an overhead shower, a separate hand-held shower on a vertical bar, and separate levers for the overhead shower and hand-held shower. 

Safety grab bars were installed on the inside and outside of the shower. A horizontal bar runs along the long back wall. Another horizontal bar is under the built in shelf. A vertical bar on the outside aids in getting into and out of the shower when stepping over the short wall at the bottom of the shower.  

A second vertical bar is on the opposite end of the shower to aid in stepping into the shower on that end. 

A built in shelf is low enough to reach its contents when seated on a free-standing teak shower bench. The horizontal grab bar helps for getting up from the bench. 

Shower doors make getting into and out of a shower harder for people with some mobility issues. Instead of a door, we use a shower curtain. 

We requested the floor of the shower be at the same level as the bathroom floor without the short wall to step from the bathroom floor into the shower. That is not possible because having no subfloor space did not allow the shower floor to be sloped properly to drain water at the same level as the adjoining bathroom floor. 

We removed the wall with a door between the vanity sink area and the shower/toilet area to provide wider access to the shower. The unpainted wood frame is the location of the old wall between the two sections of the bathroom. This photo was taken before the final painting was completed. The wood frame was painted white to match the baseboards. 

A little more than two years later, we are still very happy with how the remodel turned out. The primary reason for remodeling the bathroom is a success. The new shower is easy to navigate safely and to keep clean. 

Links to sources change frequently since items for sale change, and the links become broken creating a problem in a blog post to provide accurate information. Therefore, I pin the sources used in my house on a Pinterest board. Pinterest is set up to handle broken links and often suggests similar products when an item is no longer available.  

Pinterest Board: Botanic Bleu Design Sources 
The Botanic Bleu Design Sources board has sections for different rooms in the house: bathrooms, laundry room, dining room, etc... Items pinned include products considered as well as products ultimately purchased, inspiration from other sites, related blog posts, design boards, etc... 

Not only is it helpful to readers searching for items spotted on my blog, the board keeps all my ideas in one place for me to locate items I would like to buy again. I don't have to search individual blog posts to find what I previously bought.  

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