(First published in the Star Advertiser on May 14, 2017)
Worldwide product development is revolutionizing bathroom remodeling.
HPS Construction Services Ltd makes it job one to keep pace with this amazing engineering evolution and advancement.
Showers used to have plain old, non-water resistant drywall behind the tile. Then water resistant “green or blue board” came in, followed by cement fiber type tile backer. These are water resistant but not waterproof.
Now there is even better: HPS Construction uses the new three-layer, pre-sloped composites of two, thin layers of cement board with watertight dense foam in between. This enables HPS to use current drain locations with only minimal adjustment, no matter if converting to a walk-in shower from a tub, or upgrading from an old shower. This advancement also allows HPS Construction to install built in soap and shampoo niches, as well as triangular corner benches for foot washing, or full-width, across-the-shower-floor, sit down benches.
To add to that major evolutionary improvement, today’s tile comes in many sizes, shapes, colors and special purpose use.
For shower floors, porcelain tile comes on mesh — often called netted tile. The mesh allows the floor to have a better coefficient of traction (for safety), and it installs with zero hassle along the slope lines.
But here’s what’s really new: never-stain, urethane-epoxy type grouts. It hardens like the tile itself with the molecules filling the pores of the grout, making it hard and water and dirt resistant.
Bathroom Remodel Panels: Corian vs. Granite vs. Quartzite
For example instead of costly, major branded Corian, and Silestone, there now are available generic shower panels. They are full height, one for each end, and two for the long wall. They have hidden, miter type, special joints we prepare at our granite and quartzite panel shop. Colors are limited, but being added for these shower panels, and they are cost effective.
Gerry Peters is HPS President/General Manager
As you can see in the accompanying picture, we are good at building a walk in shower (roll-in actually). We created this walk in shower for a multi-generation ohana. Grandpa can now easily roll his wheelchair into a shower area which has been set up for the water to all flow back to the original drain.
Benefits of a Walk in Shower
Tub to shower conversions not only help for safety (not slipping on the inward angles of tubs), but effectively add what seems like a 35-45% increase in space and aesthetic comfort. For an upgrade, we run tile all the way to the ceiling, if not already there, and extend the walls to be outside the tubs and showers to help prevent drywall water damage in the long run.
Walk in Shower Cost
We have done several hundred of these cost effective, high quality tub to shower conversions, removing old bathtubs and building a walk in shower. They range in cost from $4500 to $7500, plus we get you special prices on new vanities, counter tops, sinks, faucets, regular and tri-view medicine chest/mirror combinations, modern matching finish over the mirror light fixtures, flooring, and a choice of 20 different new generation toilet packages.
Walk in Shower Design
This is a hall bath in one of the typical “plantation” type single wall houses. We also modified the door to get it out of the way and allow grandpa to also be able to access the vanity basin and the toilet in his wheelchair. This was rather easy to accomplish because we simply removed the closet in the hallways and extended the shower base with a slight drain angle.
The curb type showers shown in the other pictures in our blogs and in our kitchen and bath slide show, have a removable curb for later in life need to remove, but a only four to six inches tall so are easy to step over.
Plus we firmly install and secure necessary safety grab bars, install current building code mandated anti-scald shower valves with single handles placed at the desired height to suit all users. We also install multi option “rain” shower type shower heads and install 6 foot handheld brush nickel or chrome braided shower head extensions.
We also offer triangular and full width built in shower benches, and built in soap and shampoo niches at precise desired heights which also create a wider functional showering area.
Finally, we help you choose a shower door or the new generation double curved shower curtain permanently affixed brush nickel, brass, or chrome rods. These are amazing in how much additional elbow room you get, plus how fast they dry without spotting a plastic or glass door, nor leaving you with a mold direct soap scum build up at the bottom track for the lower end shower doors. Another benefit besides roominess and cleanliness, is that the outer curved curtain rod enables you to hang towels, essentially tripling your amount of towel drying space. This helps dry the towels quickly, prevents that moldy smell, save laundry and dryer time and electric cost and actually look like a new decorative upgrade.
These options are a whole lot better than falling for the seeming simplicity of cutting an opening in your tub. Why spend $3500 on that when you get no benefits mentioned herein–it’s still a closed in, slippery, accident prone set-up and your tub is still your old tub. We would rather install one of the new Big Box available Sterling brand, high end, Vikrell (space age composite) shower kits for only a little more than the dubious cut a door into the tub approach. We can help you design and build for you a walk in shower.