View Full Version : Small Bathroom Shower woes!

08-20-2008, 10:41 AM
I am redoing my bathroom and would really like to install a swanstone (or similar) base and the tile myself. My problem is that my maximum available floor space for a show is 36 x 32. The threshold/entrance is on the 32 side and the shower head is on the 36 side. Because 32 x 36 is not a stock pan size I'd have to pay for a custom pan which costs a lot more.

So my 2 choices are:

1 Get a 32" x 32" base and deal with a smaller shower but have piece of mind knowing it will fit.

2 Get a 32" x 32" base and when framing the shower at about waste level adding a 4 inch deep shelf across the back then continuing straight up (in essence pushing the depth of the shower to 36". This way my arms would have a little more room and would be about the same size I have now.

The questions are :
1 Is a 32 x 32" shower big enough for daily showering?

2 Is the build out idea a good one (found it in another forum) or is it asking for trouble ? (This will be my first shower tiling project, but I take things slowly and carefully...)

Thank you for any ideas. I've spent hours and hours in the past week trying to find a solution.

08-20-2008, 12:23 PM
Building a custom shower pan isn't really all that tough if you have some good guidance. Lots of ways to mess up, though. Check out www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com) and while you're at it, look at Kerdi at www.schluter.com (http://www.schluter.com). With the Kerdi system, if you can put up wallpaper, you can make a good totally waterproof shower.

08-22-2008, 06:57 AM
Not sure if this will help, but I have lived with a small shower and it isn't much fun. There is a type of shower curtain rod that curves outward in the middle and in at the ends, providing more space while preventing leaks. It exists for tubs, ~$50, not sure whether they make one for showers or not. Have you looked at showers that cut off one corner but have a curved side rather than a straight one? Those seem more spacious too if you can find one with your dimensions; you want to make sure the shower has a nice high bottom wall to keep the curtain inside. Or maybe you can enlarge your bathroom slightly? In mine, which is being put in a 9x5 closet space, they are popping out most of one wall ~18" into a bedroom to accommodate a tub/shower. There's room for a linen closet, too. With no electrical outlets to deal with it was far easier than I'd imagined. I'm no builder but I'm sure I could have removed and rebuilt the wall with a friend's help.

08-22-2008, 07:20 AM
In the interest of science, I got in my shower with a tape measure. I have a tub, so it is only 27" from wall to the glass door. But I drew a line at 32" the long way, pretended that was the other wall. Quite cramped...I would not want to have to use that .

I think the bump out would not really help, and I think it is a very bad idea from a construction standpoint.

Building a liner and tile floor is very doable for a DIY project.....please do a lot of homework, both here and at the tile forum www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com)
Doing it right will last for 30 years. Do it wrong and become a frequent flyer at the forums on why you have water/mold/odor problems!

08-22-2008, 01:49 PM
I think the bump out would not really help, and I think it is a very bad idea from a construction standpoint.

:eek: Yikes! Why is that??

08-22-2008, 03:28 PM
What amounts to a shelf in a shower is hard to waterproof properly. It can be done, but isn't that easy to get right and with a proper slope to help keep water from pooling.

08-25-2008, 05:32 PM
Thank you all for the comments. I ended up ordering a 36 x 36 shower base from Swanstone. I think it will fit comfortably (after dozens of re-measures) when combined with a pedestal sink and pivot shower door.