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Thread: curbless shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member tucker2's Avatar
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    Default curbless shower

    My folks are wanting to make their home more accessible for my eleven year old niece who is confined to a wheelchair. We're beginning an expansion of their masterbath that will help significantly. Part of the new bath will be a large walk-in shower. They would like to incorporate a curbless design so the floor of the shower will be flush with the floor of the bathroom. The main question is whether this will be possible to do. I know in new construction they make the slab lower than the slab in the rest of the house in order to accomodate the shower pan. Any resources on how this can be accomplished with existing construction would be greatly appreciated. Water and drain lines are beinging moved so some cutting of the foundation is already being planned. Let me know ya'll's thoughts on this.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Showers with a driveable ramp instead of a curb are available. You can find it on the net or from a good supplier. You will need to work with your local inspectors as far as requirements on the drain, and what they want for the floor outside the shower, due to the potential overflow.

  3. #3
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
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    Default ADA bathrooms

    I just love remodeling homes into ADA bathrooms. Sometimes taking part of a bedroom. This can be so nice for her. Think about hands free lavatory faucet and look in the assisted living magazines.
    On the subject I agree with Jim on the curbs. I use vinyl flooring without problems but every jurisdiction is different. Jim is in California where they are more protective of their citizens than other parts of the country. My plumbers that work there and in Kansas say one of our $100,000. homes would be worth $800,000. out there. Probably won't want to hurt one of them babies.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member jdsoreacres's Avatar
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    Red face 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?

  5. #5
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    I once stayed in a hotel room set up for wheelchair access. The shower had a rubber strip dam about 1/8" thick and 1.5" high that the wheel chair could simply roll over.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You need to build this properly, and there are a lot of people that don't have a clue. Suggest you visit www.johnbridge.com where they can help you out using the nationally approved methods that work. People tend to think that tile and grout is waterproof - it is not, nor is cement board (cbu). Waterproofing something like this is critical. There are several methods. Check out that website and you'll be guided to them.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default 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).
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 11-30-2013 at 07:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I once stayed at a hotel where the entire large bathroom was a wet room. No shower curtains, tile from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. Very nice room. This was in Pattya Beach, and as for the rest of the details about what went on, I am sworn to secrecy!

  9. #9
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Grading the dry and wet zones is important in a no curb shower
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-02-2013 at 08:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default shower

    Since a curbless shower CANNOT fill with water, a pan is redundant. But the floor does have to be cut so the tile can slope to the drain.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Since a curbless shower CANNOT fill with water, a pan is redundant. But the floor does have to be cut so the tile can slope to the drain.
    I wouldn't put it quite that way...depending on use and rest time, there will always be some moisture that makes its way underneath the tile and grout. WIthout a sloped liner to the drain, that moisture can accumulate and so can some nasty stuff. The pH of concrete ends up getting modified over the years if moisture and contaminants are introduced, so it may not support growths for a number of years. And, if it can dry out in between (climate makes a difference - say AZ verses FL) you may never experience problems. But wood in the walls is subject to degradation if there's no liner or other protection.

    The TCNA guidelines always require a liner, regardless of the location. This could be a surface or subsurface, depending on the contruction technique used.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default

    A great source for online pictures is at www.houzz.com

    Lots of examples of curbless design.
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-03-2011 at 08:34 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  13. #13
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default 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.

    Suggestions???
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-08-2013 at 07:33 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  14. #14
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default 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.
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-02-2013 at 08:23 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  15. #15
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default 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!
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-02-2013 at 08:24 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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