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Thread: I want a very low profile shower "curb".

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jdsoreacres's Avatar
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    Red face I want a very low profile shower "curb".

    We are three weeks into a bathroom remodel - completely gutted and rebuilt - almost. Our plan called for a 42x30ish shower area in one corner of a 7.5x7.5 bathroom. We wanted it to be as barrier free as possible. Now that the plumbing is set for all the fixtures - I am told it is impossible to get the incline necessary to keep water splash flowing to the drain. Originally it was to be a custom tile floor for the whole bathroom area. I can find 42x36 shower pans with 1/2" curb but it has 6" base on 3 sides. This is an irregular shower area - one side has a pony wall of 18". I have looked at corner shower pans but the drain hole does not match where our drain has already been installed. Do you have any creative ideas a contractor and plumber would consider?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The floor needs to slope 1/4" per foot to the drain from the furthest wall, so if the drain isn't centered, you need the slope dictated by the longest run for all of the other slopes making them potentially all different to achieve a level line all the way around the shower.

    You need a hump of sorts at least so a shower door won't scrape on the floor, but a wheelchair could go in (although not an issue - yours is too small for a wheelchair except for maybe a small child size). Waterproofing it properly is a problem, too. I'd suggest you discuss this over at www.johnbridge.com. They help people build these fairly regularly. I suggest you look on www.schluter.com and read up on their Kerdi shower system.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member jdsoreacres's Avatar
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    Thank you Jim.
    We are considering a collapsible water dam to contain water off the shower curtain. We aren't having a door - only a extra long shower curtain. I have looked at the John Bridge site. Is the kerdi system available locally? We have a sunfloor system to put in under the porcelain tile (but not in the shower niche). Will there be a waterproofing problem? Our contractor plans to put hardiboard under the sun floor then mud then the tile.
    JD

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    HD can get the kerdi material. You can often find it at some better tile stores, and on www.johnbridge.com, you can order it at one of the least expensive places with good service, too. Kerdi is a system, if you go that route, you need their drain, you cannot use it part way.

    You need to determine what the floor structure is prior to making the determination what will work. Hardibacker is one brand of cbu...the choice is up to the installer and what is available locally. On a floor, you only need 1/4" thickness, but walls typically call for the thicker stuff. Your joists must be strong enough and the plywood between them as well, to properly support tile, and stone tile must be twice as stiff as that for ceramic. Using 1/2" cbu vs 1/4" on a floor is not a substitute for more plywood. You need to know those numbers, or anything else is just a guess. You must also install the cbu properly in a layer of thinset, properly anchored at the prescribed intervals. Follow all instructions, meet all minimum specs, and you should get an install that should last until you tire of it, not because it fails.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member jdsoreacres's Avatar
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    On the Johnbridge.com I followed Musky Mike's photo saga of his handicapped shower remodel - very helpful - also John's article on "accessible, barrier free showers built with ceramic tile". Musky Mike used Ditra with the Kerdi system. I think we are past the point of no return for using the kerdi system but I will do more research on Ditra to see if that can be used. I am worried about waterproofing - especially since the sunfloor will be fairly close to the shower area. John suggests lowering the wood subfloor. That sounds complicated. The subfloor is diagonal 1x8s over joists. Even if the 1x8s were cut out and replaced by plywood and cbu I don't see how that would lower the shower floor enough. I am not opposed to building in a hump.
    Thank you for your help!
    JD

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default all good. You are getting there.

    jd,

    Everything Jim deB said is correct. I will add one more piece of information about what he said: that 1/4" Hardiboard is OK for walls too, and the James Hardi company has always said so. It is on their web site. They used to sell only 1/4" Hardibacker board. The newer "500" series costs a lot more, and isn't 1/2" thick so it serves no purpose in terms of getting a wall flush with the adjacent 1/2" gypsum board. People used to use strips of 1/4" Hardi as furring under 1/4" hardi borad to build out the wall to meet the adjacent wall. Some still do. Hope this info helps, and does not cause any confusion. To summarize, the conclusion to draw is that 1/4" Hardi is sufficient everywhere, and no thicker Hardi is required for any reason. Some people do 'spec' it, and that is their choice.

    Now, on to the next topic. Kerdi is your only option in a shower or wet area. Ditra is not an option, and nothing that Schluter says will contradict this. A Kerdi drain is big and needs space below it. If you order your Kerdi products from the "highly recommended" supplier you will get real high level advice about anything you need, all the time. He uses modern courrier delivery services, and is always available on the phone. So I do recommend you use him.

    Before anyone recommends that you have plywood installed sunken down low between the joists, can you tell us first what the facts are about your floor levels?

    I don't recall reading whether you have any plywood installed or planned to be installed ABOVE the diagonal 1"'x8"s that you mentioned above. This worries me.

    Your initial description of what your contractor was intending to do also worries me a bit, as it seemed that he might be planning to "mud" (i.e. thickness = 1" or so) ABOVE the Hardi CBU. That is a no-no.

    Hope this helps.

    David

  7. #7
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Building a low curb shower

    post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 03-17-2014 at 05:06 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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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Mustee makes a curbless shower floor, with accessory ramp and drive-over rubber dam. http://elmustee.com/product-lines/ea...loors/360.html

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