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Thread: The ART of laying it out

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    Default The ART of laying it out

    My buddy is a architect.
    I remember when I helped him tile his bathroom, and when I got there, he knew where every stone would sit as he plugged it all into his ~CAD~ drawing.

    For the pro's out there, oftentimes you don't get the luxury of determining the layout, so you make things ~work~ based on where the plumbing RO's land, etc.


    In the midst of planning the bathroom layout. I've yet to do a final selection on stone, tile, etc but I'm curious how MUCH you guys let the stone guide/determine where you put the final RO for the shower heads, pluming controls, niches, etc. This obviously takes a bit more precise planning on ~scheduling~ how each of these plumbing RO's fall in relation to the aformentioned items, but the end result will be clean visual cuts based on whether they end up on a grout line, in the stone, tile, etc..

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; how MUCH you guys let the stone guide/determine where you put the final RO for the shower heads,

    None at all, because we are usually done long before the tile installers even show up on the job. The fixture determines where the item goes horizontally to center on the drain, and we use OUR standards as far as the up and down location is concerned. Then they cut their material to fit us.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    Drain , yes.

    What are the standards for handle heights. I would think it's just within *comfortable specs* AFF even from the center line...

    The only plumbing standard I do plan to look into is grab bar heights.
    I plan to just put a tonnage of 2x10 blocking in aforementioned areas...should the day I need it.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A lot of the placement is based on asthetics. Take a home with pro basketball players and a different one with dwarfs and the location of the showerhead and handles would best be in different locations. A shower used only by adults might have things in different places than one likely to be used by pre-teens. If you aren't worried about resale, stand in the shower area and reach out, note where you find a comfortable location and have the valve installed there. I like to not have to bend over to stand underneath the showerhead to rinse my hair, so the height of the head would have to be much higher than for others. But, the further it falls through the air, the colder the water gets so an adjustable height device is nice. You can do this with a handheld on a shower bar or Grohe makes a neat thing they call the Freehander http://www.groheamerica.com/p/25_71735.html you might consider. For a tub, you don't want it too high or itcould splash or cool off, but code requires a gap from the height of the flood rim. Then, some valves have a min/max height separation between them that you have to consider. Some of this is for trim and fit, but some is for function. Plumbers have a preferred height they'll install things unless asked that's all probably close to the same, but there's no 'standard' that fits all.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefwong View Post
    My buddy is a architect.
    I remember when I helped him tile his bathroom, and when I got there, he knew where every stone would sit as he plugged it all into his ~CAD~ drawing.

    For the pro's out there, oftentimes you don't get the luxury of determining the layout, so you make things ~work~ based on where the plumbing RO's land, etc.


    In the midst of planning the bathroom layout. I've yet to do a final selection on stone, tile, etc but I'm curious how MUCH you guys let the stone guide/determine where you put the final RO for the shower heads, pluming controls, niches, etc. This obviously takes a bit more precise planning on ~scheduling~ how each of these plumbing RO's fall in relation to the aformentioned items, but the end result will be clean visual cuts based on whether they end up on a grout line, in the stone, tile, etc..

    Layout is Key Chef Wong.

    Over the years we have developed a goto approach for this and it involves measuring all tile layouts based off the finished ceiling elevation.

    So many people are upset when a tile job is finished because the setter set the shower surround the way he wanted. This can be night and day different from what the client wanted.

    Plumbing fixtures, shower lights, steam outlets and such should not be roughed in until a tile layout is done. This step often needs to be decided even before the framing.

    The biggest mistake I see people make is laying out the tile pattern in Imperial Measurements when most tile is in Metric these days.

    Laying out for a 1'x2' tile your in for a big surprise when you find out the tile with a 3/16" grout joint is only 11 5/8" on center.

    Rolled corners.

    Even edges.

    No sliver cuts.

    Fixtures in the center of a tile.

    All make a shower look polished.


    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.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member chefwong's Avatar
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    Great minds think alike. I guess it also depends on what level of install we're talking about ;-)

    I'm the same person who got laughed at by the Runtal rep when I ordered my custom baseboards with RO in the rear *knowing it would be a PITA* to plumb and hang at the same time, but the finished results are worth it.

    Having one RO in the the center tile is great, but then to have another fixture end in one corner of the tile and another at a grout joint, etc - while not eyesore, a little or alot of planning that goes into the PREP makes it oh so much worthwhile. It's not like I'm going to to be ripping and replace fixtures and stone out every 5 years.

    Sadly, I do believe the majority is the latter, and plumbing just gets RO in, and then setter needs to accommodate and adjust the layout to best make fit of what RO's he has in front of him.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; So many people are upset when a tile job is finished because the setter set the shower surround the way he wanted. This can be night and day different from what the client wanted.

    Plumbing fixtures, shower lights, steam outlets and such should not be roughed in until a tile layout is done

    IF the client wants things at a specific location, then he/she MUST give me the dimensions before I rough it in. I have done thousands of buildings but cannot remember ANY where the tile layout was done ahead of time. THe client usually does not pick out his tile, or installer, until after the drywalling is done, and WAY too late for me to rough the valves at a specific location, unless they want to pay to open the wall and relocate it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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