Custom Shower Floor


    
We have decided that we are going to live in our current house for the duration, so 'My Big Plan' is to Seniorize the house. I've just completed all the lighting upgrades and I'm now moving on to the one of the big ones. I will be tossing the shower/tub surround unit and building from scratch a fully enclosed, floor to ceiling shower only, with a low or no stepover, in the same space using the existing plumbing layout. There is one hitch (so far). Those stock size, overpriced box store fiberglass floor pans won't work for me. I need a custom dimension floor.
So far its been suggested that I use a cement board underlay then trowel out some kind of mix on top to get the slope to the drain, then tile.
Someone tried to describe a method where a waterproof membrane is put down first... I didn't really catch what he meant.
The framing under the surround was properly built up to support the current unit, so weight shouldn't be an issue
I'd appreciate hearing your ideas
Lenny
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I'm about to undergo a similar bathroom refit and I found a ready-made shower pan (which goes in before the tile goes on) online: check out www.tileredi.com -- and I'm sure there are lots of tile-ready (no trademark) shower pans available. Your local tilemen use them, I bet. Also, I think Swanstone (www.swanstone.com), producers of a cast-"stone" shower stall base (and matching sinks) makes various sizes of solid bases, in many colors. But if your size is unusual, you may have to go the traditional way, of making the pan yourself.
CC
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If you have never done this job, its a pain in the *ss.
Step two is not to use the local Lowes or HomeDepot for the shower base. Any decent plumbing store will have a larger selection of good acylic/fiberglass shower bases.
The one I put in is 5 feet wide (as big as a normal bath) and was around 400.00 for it. Real nice heavy unit that should last for MANY years to come.
Tom
Leonardo wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

installed a tiled, no step shower ~2 years ago. radiant floor, plywood sub floor. built up the rest of the floor by 1 1/2 inches, then the tile guy used a Schluter system. Be aware the drain needs to match the membrane. This system is actually pressed into the mortar, up the walls and across the floor. There is then an orange dimpled product[now sold at the despot] that goes down before the tile. Works well so far.
Just remember, for no step you still need a slope to the drain, so the whole floor must be modified. My bath is 14 ft deep, so it wasn't a problem. I put a small [3/4] step at the door, which you don't notice, then a 4 foot ramp up the other 3/4, 5 ft level[where the sink is] and then the shower starts sloping down to the drain. Tiles are cut for relief.
Ours is wide open, no curtain, no door, just keep a towel on a hook and it takes care of the splash. Looks very cool.
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We had a local marble company do this for us. They come out and measuer the size of the base, go to their shop and mix up and pour out what is needed. This is sort of an epoxy type mix. They then bring out the coustom sized base. We also had them do the walls of the shower for us. Then install a glass door. The stepover is only 2 or 3 inches high. Just enough to keep the water in the shower and off the floor. As we have another full bath, we can take a tub soaking if we want to.
Don't think I have been in the tub in about 25 years due to the shower, but my wife likes to soak about once a month. We really like the walk in shower.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Do you recall the cost?
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Sorry I don't recall the cost. I was having the whole bathroom redone. Think it may have been about $ 2000 for the floor pan and 3 sides of the bath in marble that are about 30 inches each and go to the top of the room.
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Spend $3.50 and download this article from Taunton Press:
http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/pages/h00125.asp
It will tell you everything you need to know about installing a leak-proof shower pan. I used it in my addition, and the results were as advertised.
-Frank
--
Here\'s some of my work:
http://www.franksknives.com /
  Click to see the full signature.
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Just went through the same problem and I used the Schluter Kerdi Waterproof lining and shower system. This was a first time use for me and it has worked well. Check out the various web sites using a Google Search.
http://www.schluter.com/english/articles/showersystem.htm
Hope this helps.
Leonardo wrote:

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BobR wrote:

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.
The winner for me is the Kerdi system. I'll be giving up a little in dimensions by using the 32X60 shower tray but the simplified process, and peace of mind that comes with it, makes it well worth it.......the price is right too. I haven't done full material list but the 32X60 presloped offset shower tray and the drain system comes to about $150.00 The membrane price is also very reasonable. I also checked out the PDF install brochure
http://www.schluter.com/english/products/2002/pdf/showersystems_brochure.pdf
Yes it did help, Bob.
Lenny

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Glad that I could be of help. By the way, if you order the shower kit they include a vidio training CD with the materials. It was very useful in understanding the proper series of steps but like every how-to vidio, they made it look SO EASY. Reality...it really was easy but not as easy as the professional who made the vidio made it look.
PS: I also used the same liner material under my tile floor. A shifting foundation caused several cracks in the concrete floor. The liner will help to not transfer those cracks through the new tile floor even if there is still some movement in the foundation.
Leonardo wrote:

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This type of thing requires much research. I haven't done mine yet, but I've read about a dozen how-to's on the internet from "the mudman" and such. They're all very informative, and they describe the process well...one even showed how to create a "lipped" version for handicapped folks, sounds like what you want to do as well.
Building your own floor doesn't *look* all that simple. You've gotta do all kinds of stuff with mud, such as slope it, and you HAVE to use a membrane and a special drain. Also, you can't put any holes in the membrane, so you've gotta use construction adhesive to hold it to the mud, and you have to reinforce the mud with mesh, but don't leave any mesh poking out or you'll puncture the liner.
There's a huge advantage to this extra effort though, you can make it look however you'd like and it's way cheaper than buying one of those $500 tile redi bases...and you can make it any size you'd like.
common sense tells me that this, like anything else around the home, is not impossible as long as you research it first and actually take a while to think about what you're doing and be patient while you're doing it. It always helps to bounce it off the fellas here, or buddies who may be professionals before you go at it.
Remember, the purpose of the shower stall is to keep water where it's supposed to be. Just as long as you don't lose sight of that and think about all the different ways water COULD find it's way to where it shouldn't be, you won't make a critical mistake....cosmetic mistakes are just part of life.
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Lenny,

I'd recommend you visit the John Bridge tiling forum. You'll find lots of helpful advice there.
You may also want to read the thread I posted a few years back detailing our various tiling projects, including a large 6'x6' curbless shower we built using the Kerdi system. I posted lots of photo's.
Here's the address (all one line, watch the word wrap):
http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t 876 &highlight=anthony%27s+house
Anthony
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