Saturday, July 17, 2010

Powerwash that Bathroom?

Salt, sodium chloride, NaCl. You know the stuff. It's in shakers, and for northerners it's on the street in the winter. According to Hemo the Magnificent, it's in seawater in the same proportion that it's in our blood.

It also manages to get sprayed in bathrooms. That and other human "residues" make bathroom cleaning lowest on even June Cleaver's chore list.

I've had requests to design a bathroom that could be powerwashed. Completely. Like with hide-the-toilet-paper and Q-Tips, here-comes-the-Fire-Department thoroughness.

And it CAN be done. I've actually put a lot of thought into it. You'll need a sprayer, a floor drain, and someone to design the fixtures and cabinetry as though built for the outdoors.

That's where I come in. Whatever doesn't go down the drain or out the exhaust fan, evaporates. Drip dry. Water in/water out.

We will:

+ Install a frothing flexing showerhead instead of a ferocious powerwasher. Think washing your car versus removing peeling paint. ROOM-Washing.

+ Floor, walls and ceiling must be waterproof. Some combination of tile, synthetic stone, acrylic sheets, or stainless steel.
- Nothing that can grow mold.
- Consider also COPPER, or copper alloys such as brass. Nasty germs, like the ones that infect hospital surgery patients, have been shown to die within a couple hours of exposure to copper, WITHOUT the use of chemical cleaning products against which the germs seem to acquire immunity.

+ The bathroom door:
- OUTswing exterior fiberglass with gaskets and threshold, that will swing INto the bathroom. Seal the edges.
- Protect door frame and casings and provide drip flashing at head.
- Stainless hardware.

+ The bathroom window:
- Solid vinyl frames with waterproof trim. Marble or other sill.

+ The shower will be a walk-in design. No threshold. The entire floor of the bathroom will be gently sloped to a floor drain by the shower hardware. This plus other factors enables it to be a handicap bathroom.

+ Shower curtain on shower end of room.

+ Medicine, vanity and linen cabinetry must be:
- Flashed to the wall so water runs down wall, onto and over the cabinet, and drips onto the floor.
- Made of waterproof materials like stainless, chromed steel, acrylic, or glass.
- Cabinet doors must have gaskets. Yes, like a refrigerator.

+ Waterproof GFI electrical outlets and lights and fan.

I just outlined the TECHNICAL requirements of an "outdoor bathroom" that came indoors.

But what about the AESTHETICS? Are we confined to airline bathroom or commercial kitchen themes? No. Materials and colors can be mixed and matched as with any bathroom. With proper design, we can mix and match tile/glass/synthetics/stainless and stone for your wainscoting/walls/cabinets/floor and ceiling. You can even have wood.

Depending on the mineral content of your water, and if you are using wood, you may want to wipe surfaces with a dry cloth after rinsing. And of course if you NEVER want sodium on the podium, you WILL have to Swiffer-swipe the insidious chloridious beTWEEN Room-Washings.

Might be a good job to do in a bathing suit or less, followed by a personal latherrinsing. ShamWOWser !

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