Construction questions on steam shower and bath reno
After listening to both John and Jim on this forum, I am going to be posting questions I may run into while construction is begun on my bathroom reno which includes a Thermasol steam shower as well as an air tub, heated floor, and 6' vanity with double sinks.
1. Is it necessary to do a tile "test board"? I am told this is apparently not a common practice.
2. The slope on the steam shower ceiling will be about 6". Is that ok?
3. There will be a 24 hr. flood test. Is that adequate as opposed to 72 hr which was mentioned by John?
Thank you for all of your help.
Steam Shower Construction - Check List (Design Stage)
A test board is not necessary. You can skip it. You can also let the tile guy pick all the tile and decide the layout as well for you. Let him pick the colour and if in the end you don't like it you can discuss what can be done to fix it. OR - you can make him build the shower exactly the way you want. You can tell him to build it to TTMAC or TCNA guidelines. You can discuss outside corners, inside corners, where the tile meets the wall, curb details and such all before installation. Do not skip this step it is the simpliest thing you can do to safe guard your instal.
Originally Posted by jla
Slope needs to be 2" per foot. If your slope runs over a 3' span that is OK. This is a requirement but few residential showers include them. Check out this Idea Book of mine on choosing tile for a steam room. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/35234...a-Steam-Shower
A 24 hour test is great!!! 15 minutes is all that is required by the UPC in most states and here in Vancouver it's 24 hours. 72 hours is ideal. We have had leaks show up on day two of a three day test. If your shower is build over a slab or concrete surface a 24 hour test should be long enough. Over a wooden structure I would advice a full three days.
You only get one chance to waterproof your shower. When it's perfect. It's good enough.
Steam Shower Construction - Check List (Pre-Slope Stage)
Jim I think he is referring to the ceiling not the pre-slope.
Originally Posted by jadnashua
Steam Shower Construction - Check List (Framing Stage)
I understand that either the TCNA or ASTM are investigating different backer boards in steam showers. I have not heard back any findings but am currently shying away from my favourite backer board Green EBoard and Hardi BAcker until these tests are completed. Going forward and until I hear the results of this current testing I'm going to use nothing but cement board in my steam shower builds.
I have enrolled in a tile course and waiting for a new industry article to get published by Donata Pompo - I asked Donata on a Link'd In group about steam showers and he likes the poly and mortar wall system best I think. Me I like Noble Seal TS.
If you are demo'd and have your exposed studs ready for inspection it's time to
Criss Cross Apple Sauce....
A saying of mine at work. This means you check your walls for plumb and trueness. No bows. No twists.
You need to add blocking for grab bars on day. Backing for mounting fixtures. Backing for recessed niches and such.
You need to slope the ceiling or not. TCNA and TTMAC say it needs to be two inches per foot but most private steamers we build are flat as per request of the client or desinger.
Before building anything you should know what type of tile your using and what that tile manufacture wants you to use for thin-set.
Both the TCNA and TTMAC suggest modified thin-set. Both however say non-modified is fine if the manufacture of the system says it's OK. This is Greek Talk for "If you use Kerdi follow their instructions" if you use most every other product use modified thins set.
Tile choice and setting material choice will dictate many things so get this picked.
Have you seen my Idea Book on choosing tile for a steam shower?
The ThermaSol steam generators are outstanding. Make sure you place the control pad away from the stem head. Make sure the steam head is away from your bench. Did the plumber wrap the steam line with insulation? Do you need a Check Valve for the water supply line?
What is the framing on the ceiling like? 16" or 12" centers. 12" is best.
HAve you done an electrical layout and tile layout? These are key steps before the electrician and plumber start running pipe and wire.
I have more information on tile layout here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/29033...oom-Tile-Right
What type of drain have you picked?
Originally Posted by jla
Steam Shower Questions and Answers
I would like to get information on a frameless,clear glass shower door choice and installation for the steam shower.
JLA your response in dark red....
Is it best to have a transom at the top or no--pros and cons?
I like transoms and recommend them always. That said they ad to the cost of the installation and can be problematic to manage escaping steam.
In a perfect world the bathroom's fan is just outside the shower door (pictured above) and the transom so close to this location does an excellent job of increasing airflow in the shower after the shower has been used. Often steam showers suffer from a bad smell and part of this reason is poor ventalation in the bathroom.
Look closely at this picture and you will see a little gasket the client had installed to slow the rate of escaping steam from the steam shower. Steam rises of course so more will exit the steam shower at the ceiling elevation than the floor.
It would seem that a transom would be preferable especially when the steam is not in use.There is one vent fan in the bathroom (outside the shower).The standard glass thickness is 3/8" and I will assume that is fine.
So true. Leaving the transom open and fan running will improve the health of the shower and speed the dry out times between uses. You might want to splurge on 1/2" glass. I'm noticing more and more clients are bucking up for the extra thickness. It does look better but adds 15-20% to the cost.
Fyi-shower height is 94", shower dimensions are 57" x 40". The shower placement is on a bit of an angle between the entrance door and the tub (the tub deck forms the seat of the shower). This would make the glass door hinged on the left side, opening towards the bathroom entrance door. As far as making sure hinges are sealed properly, I have read your comment about not using silicone to fill the drill holes but I thought silicone was used properly to fill in plumbing fixtures (shower controls,head, etc.)at some point.
Many glass installers use silicone as a waterproofing agent. I do not like installers drilling into my membrane and then filling it with silicone at all. That said it is better than no effort. I prefer the use of Kerdi Fix here in lue of silicone. Kerdi Fix is an amazing product and I'm sure your new steam shower is worth the $26.00 investment.
Also, any opinion about the "protection" baked into the glass for easy cleaning,reduction of bacterial growth, etc.?
Not sure I buy into this "Protection" I have had clients pay for the upgrade but see no improvement in ease of cleaning. The best is a Squee Gee and regular wipe downs paired with proper ventalation.
Would love info of the metal accent detail of the vanity.
I took pictures for you of the transom in the very same bathroom and then blanked on the metal strips. Truth is I was very hung over yesterday and it was lucky I even remebered my phone.... lol
I'm back on Monday
Your help has been invaluable and is much appreciated.
My pleasure. The more people I help - the busier I get! Have you seen my Idea Book on Houzz.com with tile recommendations?
Steam Showers and Air Tubs - Luxury at it's best!
How is the air tub install coming along?
A little more testing of this new MTI Air Tub once we set it into it's final home.
You need to be careful to not plug the air holes. This tub has a self cleaning mode and we run it a couple times of time to ensure no debris enters the lines. Much more care is needed with protection from a tun like this.
Get yourself some Ram Board and protect that tub!