Shower room / shower tray refurb

HI Folks
Our downstairs shower room is a disaster! The guy who installed it was trying for a sort-of wet-room approach - so there's an area (6ft x 2'6"ft) across the width of the room - tiled, with a 6" high tiled 'barrier' along the 6' width - all sloping to a drain.
Trouble is, the slope's wrong, the grouting is recessed between the tiles & it don't drain ! <g> There are more problems - but I don;t want to bore you <g>
So - plan is to plant a slimline (45mm deep - 800mm sq) tray on top of the tiled barrier - suitably supported - and raise the level of the other half of the area to provide somewhere to step out onto - probably covering it with vinyl. A pivoting shower door & side panel will enclose the cubicle...
This is going to require an additional hole through the wall for the new tray drain (not a big problem).
What I can't decide is how best to arrange the supporting for the tray and the raised area. Don't really want to get involved with tonnes of concrete ...
..so I was thinking about a timber structure, topped with 'green' flooring grade chipboard - well siliconed around the edges and maybe varnised...?
How much support do these slimline trays want ? - http://www.flairshowers.com/tray1.php - they're plastic rather than anything more fancy...
Thanks Adrian
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Adrian coughed up some electrons that declared:

I might consider marine ply (or any water resistant variant) topped off with some tile backer board, eg aquapanel, which will give a totally waterproof layer. Grout joints *always* spring minute leaks given time, and I think green chip isn't the best option.
Or at least just use marine ply as your not expecting to flood the area any more.
In either case, can you arrange some small amount of ventilation from under the structure to outside the shower room? That will help the timber in teh long term.
Cheers
Tim
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HI Tim
Tim S wrote:

Hmm - I was trying to avoid things that come in 8' x 4' sheets <g> - as it's only a 6 x 2.5 that I need (got a shed full of 'left-over' bits... (haven't we all ?)

I'll ask the the local Builders Providers..

Well - there's the (soon-to-be-redundant) drain from the existing shower - I was going to seal that off - but I could just leave it open..
Thanks Adrian
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Adrian coughed up some electrons that declared:

B&Q do sell ready cut ply in more convenient sizes - not sure what their stock of WBP ply in smaller pieces is like though.

Might not be a bad idea - stick a bit of mesh over the end to keep the bugs out (ali car repair mesh from Halfords would do). Just in case water vapour does build up in the void, at least it's got a way to breath out rather than condensing everywhere.
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HI Tim
Tim S wrote:

I was going to say that we don't have B&Q over here in Ireland - but it appears that we actually do have a few.... (but they're not close to here!)
I'll ask around....

Good plan! Thanks Adrian
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

Your local farmers' co-op will cut you ply to suit and charge pro-rata.
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HI Grim
Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Never thought of that - now there's an idea
(Just bought the shower tray & screen off them at 50% off list - so they know me!)
I knew they'd do odd bits of iron etc cut-to-length - never thought of seeing if they'd do the same with sheet wood...
Thanks Adrian
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

Mine do, and will happily sell half and quarter sheets; they won't get into doing odd sizes, but it's still a saving.
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Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Hmm - hadn't thought of that...... Mind - I'm looking for 6ft x 2ft 6inches - which is a bit over the half-sheet - maybe I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy an 8x4 - can always make some more shelves <g>
I've got an 8x4 of 18mm MDF in the shed - but I think that's probably tempting providence! <g>
I'm guessing that these slimline shower trays want supporting across the whole area..? (less the bit where the waste fits!)
Thanks Adrian
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

Is it a cast resin/stone one or plastic?
Plastic trays are rubbish altogether - I haven't seen one yet that's lasted anything like a cast one and even if they don't get cracked or holed they just never feel solid enough.
Skinny cast ones also need proper support, but the end result is definitely worth the extra effort. That's the difference, imo - you go to a lot of trouble to make a plastic one feel ok, but it's still shit in the long run.
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HI
Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

Think its a form of plastic.... looked reasonably strong in the shop - I'll just make sure that it's sitting on someting fairly firm...
Regards Adrian
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Adrian wrote:

Fill any hollows with expanding foam, and bed the whole thing down on a plywood plinth with car body filler.

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We had to have a plastic tray, Showerlux, for the bathrom because of problems with the age of the floor, clearance for drainage and the weird slope due to the age of the building. I was reall unsure about using it, because all previous trays have been good quality ceramic, but we didn't have much choice.
I've actually been pleased with it. It is as solid as a cast tray, it was a doddle to install and level. It doesn't move or creak, it feels absolutely solid.
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