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Old 04-15-2006, 10:45 AM   #1
tlp
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How Do I Build Ledge Style Shower Seat?

We're remodeling and have torn out old shower to the studs and concrete slab. We want to include a corner shower seat with rounded front. Viewed how to construct block and masonry seat - it was GREAT - on this site. However, we do not want support base to be as large as seat top. We'd prefer ledge or suspended seat (much like a shelf). Planning to use marble slab top, 24" long on each edge. Seat top will resemble 1/4 slice of pie. We've been told that creating notched edge on slab (looks like tongue and groove flooring) is correct, but fear that seat will be too heavy without additional support. What do you recommend to provide adequate support?
Thank you in advance for your suggestions, ideas, help.
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Old 04-15-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
Davestone
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Believe it or not, i've installed, and seen many others install these shelf type marble and granite seats, with no extra support,as long as it rests on a row of tile the length of the stone,i don't notch mine, i install as i set the walls,I've seen them installed on top of 6x6 set with mastic ,and any other installs you can think of, and have never seen one fail.As long as the stone is thick enough.I am scared of them myself, and have used a vertical piece of the same type of stone,shaped like a lazy S, under the seat to help people who are leary.
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:48 PM   #3
Mountain Tile
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Smile mountain tile

i install my seats by installing cement board then draw lines for a groove. then i cut the groove out using a grinder and a vacum 'i pack wire lathe (mesh) and thinset into groove slip seat into groove. you might need to do some slight shimming let dry over night. i also caulk around seat using siliconized acrylic caulk before i set tile around seat with modified thinset. make sure you caulk around seat after you grout.

Last edited by Mountain Tile; 04-15-2006 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:04 PM   #4
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Welcome, tip.

I think, like Davestone said, your biggest concern would be the strength of the piece of stone you use for the seat. Setting such a piece on ledges in the wall tile is gonna be very strong, mechanically. Do be sure you add a little pitch toward the front to keep water from pooling on the seat.

Welcome also Mountain Tile. If you're a pro, how 'bout stopping by the Professionals' Hangout and introduce yourownself to the rest of the crew. In any case, put a first name in your signature line for us, wouldja?

To me, your method sounds like it would make a prime place for a water leak, having cut through the CBU and any moisture barrier you once had in that seat area, no?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thank you for your replies. I'll take your advice and use the thicker 3cm material. Davestone, if you don't notch the edge, how do you prevent a thick -- 1 1/2 to 2 inch -- grout line between the adjacent courses of tile? Do you cut the tile above the seat to shorten it? I plan to use either 10 X 13 set vertically or 12 X 12 on the walls.

Re: pitch, should I have the slab fabricator cut angled edges -- maybe 15 degree angle? -- so when slab butts agains duroc flush fit will create pitch?

Thank you again.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:20 AM   #6
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Hi tip. How about a first name call you around here? Most convenient way to do that is to edit the profile you set up during registration, adding a name to the Signature Line.

Back to your notching question, I believe Dave's reference was not having to notch the marble slab itself as you suggested in post #1. Cut the wall tiles (tiles only, not the CBU) to create a notched support at the ends of the slab as shown below.



No need to have the fabricator create an slope to the top. The supporting tiles themselves are cut to the angle necessary to provide a 1/4"+ slope/ft.

That make sense?

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Old 04-16-2006, 09:05 AM   #7
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Smile

Mike, thanks very much for the reply and illustration. Picture is worth more than 1000 words. Makes perfect sense.

Are you also of the opinion that no additional support -- bracket, base, etc. -- is necessary?

Fabricator has both 2cm and 3cm material available for seat. Do you agree that 3cm is better choice?

Will 3cm thickness of 24" X 24" (corner edges) with curved front be strong enough?

Many thanks again. Plumber arrives in the morning to rough plumb and I need to be ready to identify exact valve locations. Hand shower is to be near seat. So, I need to know if seat concept is viable before I plumb.

Yes, I'm a girl living in location where quality contractors are over-booked and those available are sometimes unskilled or unscrupulous. Knowledge from folks like you helps prevent mulligans.

Shouldn't have said I'm a girl. Now no one will reply. Ha!
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:43 AM   #8
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We have lotsa girls doin' lotsa very fine tile work hereabouts, tip. We'll make fun of you, of course, but you'll still get answers.

Quote:
Fabricator has both 2cm and 3cm material available for seat. Do you agree that 3cm is better choice?
You'll have almost three feet of span across the front of that seat, which is a pretty long stretch for 1 1/8? stone, seems to moi, but I'm not a stone guy. Maybe for some kinds of stone that would be OK, maybe not. Did you axe the stone fabricator what he thought about his stone in that application?

As for locating the plumbing, you can certainly have the corner bench there, open below. The only question to my mind is the material or method of constructing said bench in that size.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Shouldn't have said I'm a girl. Now no one will reply. Ha!
Back to you tip with another Ha! Truth be known, I'm actually partial to gurls.

Now then, if you don't cough up a name I'm going to assign you a nickname. Your choice, pick "t" or "p"
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:05 AM   #10
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Wass wrong with Tip?

You tryin' to usurp my curmudgeon privileges on accounta you think I'm fixin' to be gone for a while?
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:27 AM   #11
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Tip, just the opposite will happen, guys will be waiting in line to answer your questions since we know you're a girl.

I would think 3CM would be strong enough but like CX said ask the fabricator for his opinion, he does these more than we do.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:37 AM   #12
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Nuthin's wrong with tip......when you're a cx!

Last chance tip.....or I'll be callin you girlie.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:16 PM   #13
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Girlie Thanks You

Gentlemen, Thank you all for making my day. Rarely am I able to obtain such thoughtful and obviously expert advice. Even more rare in the remodel experience is a genuine belly laugh. You've delivered both. THANK YOU!

Okay, back to work...I have 11 hours before the plumber arrives.

Shower will be 42" X 60". Handy home design program suggests 24" X 24" seat is too large. I believe 24" X 18", arc front, is decent compromise dimension. Smaller may not accommodate a fanny.

Distant memory of high school geometry suggests that yields longest span of 30" at the front. Essentially we have a 24 X 18 X 30 triangle, supported on the 24 and 18 sides. Furthest point on the seat from wall intersection/support is 15". Remembering kitchen snack bar limitations, I think 15" is pushing the maximum. Right?

Thickest material I've found available is 3cm. As clever as stone providers are, I can't find one willing to estimate support strength. Willing to buy thicker, but can't find it. Would 2 layers laminated together be stronger?

I found a pre-fab seat skeleton on the Internet: http://aquafit-usa.com/stock_mats.htm but they do not offer curved front. Having read this forum, I'm leary of a frame constructed of wood.

Extensive searching has not revealed source of waterproof/rustproof bracket supports.

Lazy S idea posted earlier has possibilities. But, my physics recall isn't good enough to judge its support strength when fabricated out of 2cm or 3cm goods.

Back to where I began the post: How do I build this ledge/bench seat?

I'm grateful for all suggestions, recommendations. The last thing I want is a fanny breaking the seat.

Now, about the name...

Earlier I emailed directly to one of the respondents. He did not reply. My apologies if the direct email was unwelcome. So, that and watching Dateline made me leery of posting a name. (By the way, the ID is TLP rather than tip.)

Best regards,
Terri the Girl
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:39 PM   #14
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Don't pay no nevermind to some of these bowdark skulls hereabouts, Terri. They're mostly harmless. 'Specially Mikey on accounta he's old, too.

The direct email we discourage because it keeps others from seeing the exchange here on the forums and we know that statistically we have at least ten lurkers for every member who ever makes a post.

Posting all questions and answers here also allows anyone who wants to help to keep up with the history of the project.

And the direct email may not get you a response from the most useful source in any particular instance. Put'em all right here and you'll have much better results.

We're quite familiar with the Better Bench and know it to be a good and useful product. It does not, as you noted, come in a curved form. The largest size is, indeed, a 30" front. I've installed those and it's not overly large. If you're concerned with the size of the hiney that will fit on there, you might wanna go back to your larger plan. And I'd still recommend you talk to your stone fabricator. If she doesn't think the 3cm stone is enough, perhaps they can get you a thicker piece for your application.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:14 PM   #15
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Terri, now that's a mighty fine name. Welcome.

I don't have any direct experience with marble slab seats so can't be of much direct help with the strength question. But I know someone who does and will ask him to drop by here tomorrow. In the meantime, get a hold of the fabricator tomorrow and ask about rodding the underside of the marble seat, i.e., cutting grooves into the bottom of the slab into which steel rods are epoxied into place for additional strength.
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