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Thread: Shower stalls: Maxx, Sterling, Lasco, etc.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bostonian's Avatar
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    Default Shower stalls: Maxx, Sterling, Lasco, etc.

    I'm adding a 3/4 bathroom to our basement and haven't a clue where to start with picking out a shower. From my research, it seems like Maxx is a very popular brand but is pricy. I like the fact that it's a one piece (if it will fit!). I've also seen that Sterling Vikrell is good as well...seems like it's good quality for the price, but it has multiple pieces. How is the quality of Vikrell? Durability? I saw a thread below about some staining issues with the surround walls.

    Any feedback would be great. Any other suggestions would be even better. Any suggestions on brands to stay away from would just make my day.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Had you considered building a tiled shower? There are ways to do this that are not all that hard and you can make it just the right size and compensate for any unlevel/flat/plumb issues that might make a stall installation tricky. Cost wise, if you do the labor, it can be less expensive. There are lots of tile that aren't very expensive, but you can go overboard and spend big bucks. Wedi, Kerdi, Hydroban, etc. are all systems that can build a shower well and quickly. My preference is Kerdi, but there is plenty of room for others. Check out www.schluter.com to see how a Kerdi shower is built - the videos are interesting and enlightening. If you go a tiled route, check out www.johnbridge.com. It's unlikely, unless you have an oversized doorway into the basement that you could use a one-piece shower stall. Those are usually brought into the house during construction and the walls built around them.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member bostonian's Avatar
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    We considered tiling, but haven't the time to tile it ourselves (have a 15 month old toddler trying to "help" with everything!). We got a quote from our contractor to tile instead, and he said it'll cost $4000+ easily (labor-intensive). that being said, it's still an option if we can't figure out what to do with this shower stall.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I installed a small (32") Lasco stall in a small bathroom I built in my basement. I use mortar under it to keep the floor firm. I finished it with a Sterling door. I works great. Yes, it is very small, but this is just used occasionally by my wife and me if we have overnight guests or if the two of us are in a rush to get ready to go somewhere and need to shower etc. at the same time. I do not recall the price, but other than the Toto Drake, I built this room on the cheap. Actually, getting the Drake from Terry made it not cheap, but less costly than anywhere else. I don't know that Lasco is better or worse than the other brands you listed, likely they are comparable. Just install it correctly per the installation directions, paying close attention to the base support.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Get the biggest one you can fit (within reason). Course, this somewhat depends on how tall you are and how big around! On the smaller ones, don't drop the soap and try to pick it up unless you are really flexible or short! To meet code, it must be at least 900 sq inches (really small!) and have a door opening (I think) at least 24" across. Don't necessarily believe if they sell it, it is legal to actually install!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Jadnashua makes some good points that I only alluded to in my original answer. The 32" square is darn small, so go as large as you have room for. He's sure right about dropping the soap! My door is just 24", and a larger one would be nice, space permitting.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I've installed the Vikrell model many times, no complaints of its quality. Also installed AKER, AquaGlass, Lasco units as well. Maxx has the smoothest lines of any unit I've seen if I'm mentioning the right unit.

    Always remember though that these units all get old, they'll yellow over time and you have to seal up any pock marks that show up in the finish immediately.

    Follow the strict guideline of a mortar base under those units, otherwise very small spider cracks will show up in the floor of the unit and not only will it have issues cosmetically, but could lead to leaking down the road.

    Crazy as it sounds, keep direct light off these units. UV rays wreak havoc and can put fade marks on the unit.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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