Also wanting a curbless shower
We are remodeling our two bathrooms into a combination of something... The smaller bath is 5x8 now and we will be changing it to 6x7'. Quite small to have have a vanity, toilet and shower. We think we want tiled walls and floor (waterproof right?) and the shower to be a 3x4' area with no stall - only gently sloping floor to the drain with a shower curtain ring from the ceiling. (Something like a locker room shower.) Gently sloping so no one will lose balance etc. This bathroom is for guests but also the daily morning shower for my husband and I since "our" bath will have a large Sanijet tub we don't want to dirty with daily showers.
Our contractor has said "sure" "good idea" for the space etc, but I wonder... what should we watch out for? :o
Curbless Shower (No-Curb, No-Dam, No-Hob Showers)
There are many things to watch for if your contractor is offering up a curbless showers (No-Dam Shower). Many curbless designs fail for different reasons. Here are a few key points I have found in building successful curbless showers....
- Find a contractor expeirenced in this type of installation
- Make sure the floor's framing is designed to support larger format tile - L/720 deflection etc.
- Fit the right drain to the design. Many times a linear drain is better, many more times a regular drain works fine.
A grading example of a current Shower Build here in Vancouver (November 2013).
Using a linear shower drain for your curbless shower project
There are some great options out there right now in the way of Linear Shower Drains, Slot Drains, Line Drains, Channel Drains or trench. These will look great in a new curbless shower.
ACO makes the best drains in my opinion. Easiest to clean. Easiest to install.
I have decided to only sell the ACO linear drains going forward. (Feb 2012 Update).
What I love about the ACO drain is that it installs over any type of waterproofing system (ANSI 118.10) and a clamping drain.
I build my showers most times like a divot style. This is not covered in any online install page.
Send me a note or post on this thread if you would like help with these new channel drains as I have worked with and touched all four. Here in Vancouver I can bring the ones I inventory by your office or home.
Every home is unique and the skill set of your trades and local city rules will dictate which drain you purchase and plan for.
I would recommend a second drain with a curbless installation. This has become my opinion over the past few months and the more Australian and European examples I see of this the more good sense it makes. I had not done this at my rough in phase but now will re visit my work. A second back up drain needs to stay wet so how can you keep it that way? What would you pro plumbers suggest for a typical bathroom layout. In my home I plan to use my vanity sinks waste line to keep the second back up drain full of water. I have never heard any good things about auto primers. Have my guys not run across a good product or are they troublesome? I can conceal the p Trap in the floor cavity and have ease access from the vanities cabinet.
Recessing the showers framing - Planning a curbless shower
I was up in Whistler last week measuring up for a few linear shower drains. These where in some pretty fancy homes and the building team had prepared for me a drop in each bathroom.
I have uploaded all my installs to my Photobucket and Houzz account.
How to flood test a curbless shower.
I'm building another curbless shower feature out in Burnaby here in Vancouver BC. I was called out when the first attempt (not mine) to build this curbless shower failed flood testing. When the inspector arrived the client had a temporary dam installed and the the shower's wet zone partially filled with water. The inspector told the client to fill up more of the shower pan and they did. The next morning when the inspector came back the shower pan was leaking.
This is exactly why you need to flood test these barrier free showers. Depending on the design you may or may not need to build a temporary dam to do so.
I have been getting a few requests lately as to how I build my dams. The simple answer is very simply and with what ever is on site most times.
I've change my temporary dam build after my last Mapei Aqua defence dam blistered in the summer!