Affordable Safe Step question

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Jack Matthews, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    Hello I am an able bodied retiree however my wife has a bad hip and getting in and out of the shower in the center of the tub has become quite a problem. Yesterday I found a website that sells a conversion to turn a tub / shower into a walk in shower. We do not use the tub and this company offers this both as a do-it yourself install or they come to you to do it. I have had this guy out to my house and he seems really honest but this conversion means that I will have to cut a section of my tub out. I am glad that I found this website as maybe some one here can aid me in some insight if they have ever seen this before. The website for this company is www.affordablerefinishing.com. Any advise would be helpful as I am not rich, the price is right and this would be a great stess releaf for me.

    Jack
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    That is certainly an interesting and affordable alteration if its permanence is not an issue.

    The first question I would have would be about both how and how well the cap would actually fit your specific tub since I cannot imagine a company making individual caps for each and every tub shape ever sold. I would want the cap to actually cover at least an inch or so of the tub wall all around the cap rather than for it to merely fit inside the cutout. The issues there would be water-tightness and overall appearance after installation.

    Second, and related, I would want to know how solid and stable that cap actually is as far as holding the full body weight of someone standing directly on it with both feet for a moment or two while on his or her way either into or out of the tub. Keeping in mind that the tub floor is usually higher than the bathroom floor, a large notch in the tub wall would make step-through possible in place of step-over, yet the effort and agility required to make the actual rise and step/stride from bathroom floor to tub floor do not change if one cannot step from floor to cap before then stepping on down into the tub.

    If the answers to those questions were satisfactory, I would finally and again consider and evaluate the relationships between the heighths of the bathroom floor, the proposed cap/step surface and the actual tub floor. If the tub floor is relatively high above the bathroom floor, it might actually be possible and even better to simply add a riser/step to the bathroom floor (at the tub floor level) on the outside of the tub to effectively reduce the relative height of the tub wall and make step-over much easier without ever shortening the tub wall.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  3. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    I actually know the answers to some of these questions as yesterday I bought the installation DVD. In the DVD it says that there is 3 different sizes of the step small / med / large, it says that medium is the most popular. My tub has a 4" lip/rim so I would need a medium. Next to the question of stability and once again going off of what I see on the DVD, once you have cut the opening which actually looks pretty simple as it comes with a template to make a perfect mark. The kit comes with 2 supports which fit into the opening and replaces the open void. There is more to it then that but in all reality it looks stable. The step itself has to be cut using a template that you make once the opening is cut and that is what makes this fit to the tub. Once I saw the DVD I felt a little more comfortable about it. Today he is going to stop by and give me an address where I can go to actually see the step up close.
    I will say that the DVD helped me visualize the process and that made me feel very good about it. A couple of my friends were here yesterday and they said that they would like to have it to. Maybe I'll come out of retirement:rolleyes:

    Here I took this picture off of the website
    [​IMG]
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Let's hope your tub is not cast iron!
  5. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    Yep, tub is cast iron and as I post Rob is here finishing up the install. It only took him about 2.5 hours to install at a total cost of $700. I could not do the cast iron as you need a pretty stedy hand but this guy really knows his stuff. I am very happy with the results and it is low enough for my wife to get it.
  6. cbl

    cbl New Member

    Messages:
    31
  7. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Check back in and give us a report on the qualiity and if you like it after a week or so...
    Interesting idea
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Great!

    I am curious about the heighths of your bathroom floor, cutout and tub floor, and whether your wife first steps up onto the cutout or is able to step right over it and directly into the tub. My mother-in-law also has hip trouble as well as a badly twisted leg, she and my also-feeble father-in-law might soon be coming to live with us here -- my wife is with them to discuss options at this moment -- and I may soon have to deal with the same kind of situation you have.
  9. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    Well all is done and both he and I are very happy. My wife loves it! The aproximate measurement from floor to the top of the step is 8" which is much better than the whopping 16.5" that it was. Prior to the step it was me putting her over it but now she is able to put her foot over it and get in. Rob is coming out next week to put in an antislip bottom on the tub and to take out some tile from the back of the shower area to put in a 3/4" piece of plywood and then he is going to replace the tile and put in a grab bar. I really like the seat that he put in today as that thing just simply folds up and away when we wont be using it.
    Over all the experience was an A+!

    CBL - You should call this guy as he sells the install kits but will also be able to give you some advise on keeping debris down as he came with a dust free vac and a angle grinder with a thing called a dust muzzle and I will tell you what he cleaned up with was a simple dust broom and pan.

    I cannot believe how happy my wife is. Two of my friends are calling him tonight.:D
  10. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    By the way here is his website:

    www.affordablerefinishing.com

    He has a store right there to buy it, trust me if you ask him a question he will answer it so that you understand.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    If the tub is also used for a shower, plywood isn't a great idea. To anchor a safety bar, if you are going to tear out the wall anyway, put in some 2x blocking and allow you to anchor a bar well to it, then use cbu (cement board) over it and retile. A good alternative is also anchors made by www.wingits.com. These are designed for ADA mandated 300 pound minimum strength, and DON"T NEED BLOCKING! to meet the specs. Really neat system, quick and easy to install, and you might not need to tear anything out to install any safety equipment.
  12. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    Those are good alternatives however I like his as some of the 4x4 tile need to be replaced anyway and he is not only adding the bar but also soap dishes and some other items.
    He said that he is using pressure treated lumber and then putting concrete board over the top of it. He really seems to take great precuation to all that he does and really watches out to make sure that we were happy all along. I am kinda a nosey person and he actually broght in ear muffs and eye protection so I could sit and watch without hurting my ears. He took my wife down to coffee with her friends while all this was going on. What he told me about his process seems to be the best for my situation but yours may work as well.

    I will say that he did not like it when I mentioned anchors today, I dont think that he wanted to be rude but my wife weighs a little more than she should and that may have been his issue.:eek:
  13. Refinisher

    Refinisher New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Great product, I install them myself!
  14. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    If I end up needing the same done to a tub for my mother-in-law, this will be the one ... and I am wondering how that cap will fit in conjuction with the curve on the inside edge at the top of the tub wall and the depressed area in the skirt.

    Attached Files:

  15. Jack

    where is pressure treated lumber and cement board going?

    There may be a serious problem with pressure treated lumber. It has a lot of moisture in it and will warp.

    David
  16. Refinisher

    Refinisher New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Ok I will answer what I can for you as I install them. As for the pressure treated lumber and the backerboard, I think you should re-read that discussion as it had to do with installing a grab bar.
    As for as the curve in the tub after you make your cut out you make a paper template of the and when you cut the edge of the step the curve will be cut out as well. I have done tons of these and they are easy to install and if you buy from the place that Jack mentioned you will get a DVD with it. The first one of these that I did took 4 hours to do as I was a little nervous but now I fly at a total from start to finish about 2 hours. If you have simple power tool understanding this is not at all hard. The DVD is so easy to understand.

    Good luck
  17. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Brandon Florida
    Thats right, my tub had almost the same curve. Each step is designed to be retrofitted to the tub by using a template.

    UPDATE: It is now over the weekend and I will say I have never been happier, my wife used it yesterday and was able to get in an out, I helped a little but that was only because we are not getting the slip proof bottom until to today along with the grab bar install.
    My friends love it and I think that this guy is going to be busy as so far 2 friends have signed up for one. It is a great inexpensive way to customize what you have. No expensive remodel, and it is done in 1 day. He said that he sells these to installers all over the US and Canada so he may be a great place to start.

    Good Luck!
    Jack
  18. Refinisher

    Refinisher New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Hey Jack how is the tub holding up??? It has been about 1 week since you last posted just wondering...
  19. Refinisher

    Refinisher New Member

    Messages:
    20
    I have one of these for sale - $225

    Hello all, last month I bought out about 6 of these for installation jobs. I paid $275 ea for them but one of my jobs cancelled and I need to sell this one as I cannot store them as I do not have space.

    I am willing to toss in an installation DVD and the complete kit for $225. You cannot beat the deal as the general public has to pay $299-350 for these. I will charge $10 shipping and it can go out asap.

    I accept Credit and Debit cards through secure Google Checkout. Call me if you want it at 863-868-7639, act fast as I only have one and I am sure that it will not last!

    :D :D :D :D
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