About ten years ago my wife and I purchased, a seven bedroom Victorian home which sleeps about fifteen people. During the summer we rent out our residence weekly to cover the expenses on this behemoth. Our guests usually consist of large families with elderly family members. We relish in the fact that others can enjoy our home, so at the end of every summer we make improvements on our summer rental. Our upgrades are focused on creating a more comfortable environment for our guests. My wife and I are also very earth friendly so we only use green products. A few years ago we decided to modernize the kitchen with energy and water saving products. Needless to say, our guests were very thankful.
Last year we found out through feedback from our visitors that the bathroom situation was difficult on their elderly family members. Our home’s first floor includes a kitchen, laundry room, living room and dining room areas. Unfortunately the restrooms were located on the second and third floor. Obviously we needed to fix this problem by at least installing a toilet somewhere on the first floor. I was really not sure how to add a bathroom to the first floor. Therefore I brought over a few general contractors to receive estimates and ideas on the placement of the lavatory. After careful consideration we decided that there was just enough unused space to partition off the laundry room and install a small vanity and wall mounted toilet. We installed the small vanity in to the wall opposite the toilet. We chose a wall mount toilet with the tank installed into wall. This alleviates the space a regular toilet tank would take up. To my surprise the installation of the fixtures took less than a week. The following are a few tips I gathered through the process.
1. Before starting the process measure and mark out with the size of the fixtures. It will give you a good sense of how much space you will have in the bathroom for mobility.
2. Keep it simple as possible. We knew we needed a toilet and a sink and that’s basically all we installed. When you are dealing with a limited amount space try to avoid unnecessary clutter like cabinets, shelves, or drawers.
3. Use a low flow faucet and a dual flush toilet not only are they green but they save a noticeable amount of money on the water bill.
4. Register the bathroom with the local ordinance board especially if the home is historic.
5. Use a large mirror to create the illusion that the small space is larger than it is.
6. Make sure the wall mounted toilet has studs to fasten the tank and toilet. If the wall mount toilet is adjustable make sure it is adjusted to 17-18 inches in height. It makes the toilet easier to get and up and down. Grand mom and Grand pop will thank you.
My wife and I plan to retire to this home. Therefore I tend to go the extra mile when making upgrades.