Two Major Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently In Our Master Bathroom Remodel
It seems like no matter how much planning goes into a room, there are always changes that I’d make in hindsight. Our master bathroom is no different.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how the room looks and functions, and when talking about a room that is and will be used regularly by a person in a wheelchair, function is very important. But there are two main things that I wish I could go back and change. One of them is really an inexcusable oversight. But the other one was something that I couldn’t really have known because all of this is new to us.
Outlet(s) Behind The Middle Cabinet
This is the “How could I have overlooked that?” mistake that I wish I could go back and change. Why in the world did I not think to put an outlet behind the center cabinet on the vanity wall so that we could keep rechargeable items hidden away in the drawers?
I have several things that I’d love to keep plugged in — a face cleaner thing, a red light therapy thing for the face, a teeth whitener thing. I don’t think I realized how many rechargeable items I have until I actually started moving things into the bathroom.
I would say that my oversight of an outlet behind the cabinet is THE biggest and most irritating mistake that I made in this bathroom, and since the cabinet is under a window, there’s no easy way to fix it. I don’t think there’s any way at all to fix it at all without messing up a wall under one of the vanities, and that’s not going to happen. I’ll live with the inconvenience before I’ll go backwards on this bathroom and have to repair a wall.
The good news is that I don’t use these things every day, and I think I can find a way to keep these items in the glass-front cabinet in the water closet. Since that cabinet has an outlet right by it, and already has an extension cord running into it for the LED lights, I think I can plug things in and keep them charging in that cabinet, and maybe put them in a basket so that they’re not too visible. There’s always a solution. 🙂
And the second thing I’d change in hindsight…
I’m not quite as hard on myself with this as I am on the outlet oversight since the whole wheelchair-accessible shower was brand new to us, and we didn’t really know what to expect.
At one point, I had considered having two showerheads on the same wall since the shower is so big.
I ended up changing my mind because the whole point of having such a big shower is so that Matt can freely move around in his wheelchair in the shower. Having two shower heads on the same wall would mean that he would be shoved over to one side or the other, and that seemed to defeat the purpose of having such a large shower for him. And it seemed to me that having a main showerhead plus a handheld would be plenty.
But now that we’ve been using the shower, I wish I had gone not with two showerheads, but with three. And I wouldn’t put them all on the same wall, but I would put one on each of the three walls in the curtained off shower area.
It’s only an issue when I’m helping Matt with his shower. Obviously, when I’m showering, one showerhead is plenty. But when I’m helping Matt with his shower, having three showerheads (one on each of the three walls) would allow me to help him, freely move around him, while always being able to keep warm under a stream of water. As it is now, Matt gets all the warm water (yes, he wants the showerhead and the handheld both pointing at him to keep warm 😀 ) while I’m over to the side freezing.
It’s fine. 😀 It really is. I’m willing to be a little cold while he has a nice shower. And the shower is very nice. Actually, it’s been more than nice. It’s been life-changing for Matt. But I do wish I would have known then what I know now.
Those are really the only two things that I’ve wished I could change. But overall, I absolutely love our new bathroom. I do look forward to the day that it doesn’t have an exterior door, though. I can’t wait until that door leads to our new bedroom instead of to Cooper’s fenced in yard. It’s a bit frustrating for now having my big dog track dirt and mud through our new bathroom. 😀 But that’s a temporary inconvenience that WILL be changed eventually.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I don’t know exactly how the space works for your needs, but in winter I plug in a space heater and run it for a few minutes before hopping in the shower. Since you have the dry shower space, maybe when its super chilly you can put up a curtain to keep the area more insulated and run a space heater?
Can you switch out the main showerhead and get one that has a removable portion. It would give you an extra one. I included a generic option for you but I’s sure you could find a prettier one and one that is in your finish.
Your visions never cease to amaze me ! ‘Wondering if you stay awake at night rethinking how you would do things differently and/or thinking about the next projects ?!?
I really appreciate this update. We are planning a bathroom remodel and we already have plans to make everything wheelchair accessible (we’re in our fifties and neither of us have any mobility issues at this time but we would like to be able to stay independent in our own home as long as possible – so we’re planning ahead). We’ve been using your project to get some ideas and it really helps to know what’s working and what can be improved. It’s a beautiful bathroom and the work you’ve done is amazing and impressive – but there’s nothing like living in it and using it daily to know what could have been improved on. It’s a shame you can’t jump in a time machine but updates like this help ME tremendously!
We are doing some renovations in our home to plan for future accessibility issues. We are 72 and 74 and I had a life altering surgery 2 years ago that changed my perspective on our home. We will be working with a contractor that specializes in how to renovate a home so it needs ADA standards. He is providing us with many ideas on how to stay in our home for many years. One suggestion was a large shower wheelchair accessible with two shower heads. If anyone is remodeling for ADA issues I advise you locate a contractor such as we have now.
Maybe you could install two rain shower heads in the ceiling on each side, no need to redo the tile, but you’d have plumbing in the attic.
I had the same thought.
Is the central vanity moveable? Can you run an electrical wire to have an outlet behind the central vanity; then drill a hole through the back of the vanity to admit an extension cord(s)?
Yes. Go through the floor into the back of the vanity. We did that with a computer desk for the printer. We actually hung a strip cord on the back of the cabinet. Also my kitchen island is huge has a round hole in it (in the middle) with a way to run the cord down to the lower plug-in. The ‘strip cord’ is square and looks modern so I like having the access in the middle Of my huge island. I have seen ‘pop up’ plugs too that would work.
And I totally agree on the rain head.
How about a solar charger for your bathroom. Since the center dresser is beneath the window it might work well. They have really advanced, my husband uses one to keep our truck battery charged up.
Maybe you could outsource the outlet to a pro? Surely they could put one in behind a drawer so that you don’t see any damage? Might be worth a consult to see what they can do.
A nice hanging basket can hang from the towel rack to hold all your appliances and plug in to the outlet. Or as talented as you are at building thing, build a box with a hinged lid using the same walnut veneer to set on the center cabinet. I love everything you do!!!
I thought you would have said something about heat in the floor. Are the rugs working out ok?
I thought that the cold floors would have bothered me more than they actually do. In fact, the floor hasn’t been an issue at all for me. I mean, if I had all of my wishes and wants in this bathroom, heated floors would have definitely been on that list. But I bought some really comfy and warm memory foam slippers, and I find that those are all I need. I never really go barefoot, especially during this time of the year. If I’m home, I’m wearing my slippers about 99% of the time. So I get out of the shower and put them on immediately, and never give the cold floor a thought.
That’s my one regret in our bathroom- not putting in heated floors. We’re barefoot most of the time. I recently broke a bone in my foot and had to wash sitting on the built in marble shower bench. Putting my bare rear end directly on that made me wish I had a seat heater as well!
I solved the problem of my cold marble shower bench. As soon as I get in the shower I use the hand held to spay very HOT water on the bench. It warms up and retains the heat while showering.
Makes a big difference
How about putting a heat lamp in the ceiling above the shower? You have attic access and could probably easily do that and you’d stay warm while helping Matt.
This is an excellent idea. We had one that came with our first house, and for as much as we made fun of that thing we LOVED it!
Definitely keep your eyes on the big prize (the addition) and in the meantime would it be possible to have an electrician put a plug behind the vanity? Farm out the stuff you don’t want to do.
Hire a plumber for rainshower heads & an electrician for the plug. Done!
Where will Cooper’s door be in your new addition? Are you planning a fantastic mud room with a dog wash?
I don’t know anything about electrical but is there a way to pull electricity from the sconce and run it over to the window molding and then run it down to the cabinet? I have watched my electrician do miracles with minimal/no wall damage. Good luck!
I thought 3 shower heads in the ceiling as I’m in a handicapped time of my life and the overhead would be so much better.
When we had our previous dog, she was always in and out and got muddy paws mostly because she was a big dog. I would put a bucket of water by the door she came in through, and one by one dip her paws in and wash them and dry them. It was a pain, but an even bigger one to clean up the footprints all over! She got used to it quick, and would lift her next paw when I would put one down! She was smart too!!!
I like the comment someone made about adding a heat lamp in the ceiling of the shower area. Love a hotel when they have these!
I see several people recommending the rain type showerheads. I’d definitely recommend trying that style out before installing them, if you haven’t before. I tried one at an Airbnb once, and it was awful. The distance the water fell meant it cooled substantially before it got to me and I had to really crank it hot to not feel cold, and then the direct overhead spray made it very hard to wash my hair without getting soap washed right down in my eyes. I didn’t expect such a big difference from a regular, wall-mounted showerhead.
Does your water tank have super capacity or do you have a tankless system? With 3 showerheads on simultaneously, you’d very quickly run out of hot water.
Don’t beat yourself up over it, because 3 showerheads + handheld would likely not have worked with the existing plumbing.
You’d have had to upgrade the hot water line all the way to the tank, and likely the size of the tank as well.
When you see those fancy high end showers with all the jets, they are either super low flow jets, or if they’re not, invariable require upgraded plumbing, and sometimes even a dedicated second hot water line for the shower.
With where your hot water tank is, it likely wouldn’t have worked out anyway.
A similar idea to the heat lamp, but more visually appealing, is a ceiling-mounted infrared panel heater (or radiant heat panel, like these https://www.herschel-infrared.com/radiant-heat-panels/ ) – they’re just a slim white rectangle and supposed to be very energy efficient.
Hey Kristi, As a fix you could add a small shelf (think picture ledge) on the wall next to your vanity -pictured with the tissue box and use a basket/box to hide it. For a shower fix you might be able to change the single pipe fitting to a two way enabling you to add another hand held unit. Then a wall bracket for the hand held unit could be installed on each side. You would have to switch hand held units with Matt as you moved from one side to the other but it should work. Note if you don’t have any extra tile get some they come in handy if a tile cracks installing the bracket(s). Alternatively when the new Master goes in you may be able to gain access to the plumbing from the outside wall for at least one new shower head and hand held unit once again that extra tile and matching plumbing fixtures should be purchased now to get the best match. Good luck and let your subscribers know how it goes…Thank you for your post! We are looking for information for adding a shower for my Mom and your insight was helpful.
I didn’t read all of the comments, but we have a large shower about the same size as yours with two shower heads. We don’t have a tankless hot water heater, and even though our water heater is HUGE, we run out of hot water so fast if both are on. I never considered that. I know you’re considering tankless, we were too but were quoted 8k to install (mostly because we currently have two water heaters, one for each floor, and it would require a lot of plumbing work)