How to Install a Shower Threshold for the Handicapped How to Install a Shower Threshold for the Handicapped

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
2x4 Wooden Boards
Metal Lath
Pre-mixed Mortar
Trowel
Grout
Tile
Saw
Hammer
Nails

A shower threshold is essential to keeping water from spilling away from the shower. However, there should be modifications to the threshold when it has to be used by anyone with disabilities. There are various modifications to provide ease of use to the handicapped; and the threshold described below is about low shower thresholds.

Step 1 – Plan the Threshold

A low shower threshold is designed to be about 4 to 6 inches high and not any higher than 6 inches. Those that are built more than 6 inches can be very difficult for people who have back problems, arthritis and other types of ailment that cripples mobility. With at least a 4-inch high threshold, anyone can use the shower without having to worry about back or muscle pain.

For people who really have severe mobility or muscle pain issues, the height can be lowered to 3 inches. However, the shower can also be designed to have no thresholds. This can be done by building the shower inside a wide bathroom. This design is only applicable if the leaking water does not cause issues to its surrounding flooring areas.

Step 2 – Define the Length of the Threshold

To determine the length of the shower threshold, measure the width of the shower opening from one side of the shower wall to the other. This should also be the length of the two 2x4s.

Step 3 – Secure the 2x4s

At the foot of the shower opening, position the two 2x4 wooden boards. Be sure to cut them correctly to fit the entire width spanning from both sides of the shower walls. Place the two boards on top of the other and nail them down. If the design requires a 3-inch high threshold, use one 2x4 only. Be sure to secure the board to the wall and to the subfloor properly.

Step 4 – Cover the Boards Metal Lath and Mortar

Cover the surfaces of the two boards with a metal lath and mix the mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The consistency of the mix should be the same as that of thick mud. Apply the mortar onto the metal lath 1-inch thick on all surfaces to completely cover the threshold. Use the trowel or a flat straight edge to shape the mortar straight. Allow the mortar to dry for about 1 hour.

Step 5 – Install the Tiles

The tiles should be the same as the ones installed in the shower for a uniform look. Determine how many tiles are required for the entire surface area of the shower threshold. Buy extra pieces just in case some tiles break during installation. Dry fit the tiles to determine where the tiles need to be cut. Mix thinset mortar to the correct consistency and begin tiling the entire threshold. Position the tiles correctly using spacers. Wait for the mortar to cure for about an hour or so. Grout the joints and seal the grout after it dries. 

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