Q: Can you explain more about the coefficient of friction that was mentioned in the webinar?
A: The coefficient of friction (COF) is a rating system used to document the slip-resistance of tile. The higher the COF, the more slip resistant the tile is. Many tile manufacturers label their tiles with this and other information such as scratch resistance, breakage, etc. Ask your tile supplier for this information. There are also a number of sealants available to reduce the slipperiness of a tile; your tile supplier should have information about these sealants.
Q: Can I install a steam room in my home? Do I need a specially trained contractor?
A: Two companies I have worked with are Mr. Steam and Thermasol. When making your choice, an important comparison is energy use. A licensed contractor will be able to advise you on installation.
Q: How do I decide whether to install a higher toilet?
A: Most people find that the raised toilet height makes it easier to sit and stand. But for shorter people, a raised toilet may seem a bit high. Try sitting in a desk or dining chair to see how it feels to you. A powder room is probably the best place for a comfort height fixture.
Q: How do I eliminate thresholds into the bathroom itself, i.e., to make the bathroom entrance wheelchair accessible?
A: In most cases, it is not difficult to remove the raised threshold and design a flush transition. This can generally be accomplished with what is called an overlap floor transition reducer, which can be used with various types of flooring.
Q: Is it really possible to have a no-threshold shower that contains the water? What if I want a door on the shower?
A: No-threshold showers are very successful when done right, and are often done with doors. Proper design and installation is imperative. You should extend the water barrier in the subfloor beyond the traditional application and examine the direction and distance from the water source.
Q: How is a wall-hung toilet installed? How does maintenance differ from a traditionally installed toilet?
A: The main differences involve the waste pipe location and the depth of the wall. Each wall-hung toilet is different, so the installation instructions would be the best source for a more detailed answer. The access to the system for maintenance or repairs is typically through the wall mounted flush plate, but an access panel can also be created. Use the wall-mounted flush plate as an access point to maintain the toilet system. You may also create an access panel for installation.
Q: Real estate agents often say it is hard to sell a home that has no tub, only a shower. Is that true? Also, California law requires a tub in one bathroom. Are there other states with similar laws?
A: If your house has more than one bathroom, then you can convert the master bath to a shower, leaving another bathroom with a tub. Please check with local real estate agents for any state codes or requirements that mandate tubs in bathrooms.