Custom shower design questions/problems??? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-18-2001, 01:43 PM
I am designing a 47 inch neo angle design in my remodel. The two walls measuring 25" (shower door in the center) I do not want going all the way to the ceiling. I was thinking of going about 6.5 feet and ending the wall there leaving an opening at the top to provide better light and drying ability. Which means the wall size will be 25" x 78". On paper I like the design, but is it do able? My main concern is, will these walls be sturdy enough to have minimal movement? I would frame them from the wall studs (beefed up) and tie them into the floor joists. BTW these walls will be tiled on front and back sides. Thanks in advance for any help/tips you can provide.


Can this be done?

Should I use heavier studs say 2x6s?

Is the height I'm thinking about reasonable (6.5')? Could I come lower?

Finally, should I angle the jambs (45 degrees) to face each other for the shower door (frameless glass)?

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John Bridge
09-18-2001, 03:40 PM
Hi AJ, Welcome aboard.

The problem with walls that don't go to the ceiling (as you've suspected) is that they are not sturdy. When faced with this situation in the past, I've either run the end (jamb) studs up to the ceiling, or I've run a header above the door opening to tie the two walls together.

I would not consider trying to do it otherwise, unless the walls were to be built of masonry or masonry units (blocks).

I think I would go just a little higher than 6 foot 6 in. because I like to rough in the shower head at about 6 ft. 4 in.

Arranging the studs in the opening so they oppose each other at parallel angles is essential for any type of enclosure. Also, the framless glass is heavy-duty. The jambs must be beefy.

09-18-2001, 05:04 PM
Thanks John,

I am now thinking of going with the header above the door. Lets say I brought the total height of the walls up to 7'. Rather than tiling all the way up the walls I could use glass block to help with the light issue . I was figuring four rows of 6x6 block (or two rows of 8x8) and I could probably work a few into or above the header for an added touch. Also, I was planing on having dual shower heads do you see a problem mounting them on the long walls (the corner walls) with the streams directed at the shower door. I am figuring that it is a big enough space so that the streams wont be hitting directly on the door. God, can you smell the smoke coming from my head lol.

John Bridge
09-18-2001, 05:26 PM
Hey, not only can I smell the smoke coming from those head gears, I can SEE it!

I've got three shower heads in my own shower: a high-low with a diverter for the main shower, and then another valve with a hand shower over by the seat. Great arrangement. There's not enough light in there right now to take a pic, but if I remember, I'll do it tomorrow and post it here. Of course, my shower is rectangular.

On the neo-angle jobbie I would go out of my way to get the main shower head on one of the other walls, even though it will still spray some water toward the door. You mention a frameless (Euro) enclosure, which is not as water-tight as some of the others.

Glass blocks? Why not?

09-18-2001, 05:40 PM
I've got a question...why is it shower heads always come out of the walls? Is there a reason they don't put them in the ceiling, so the water falls straight down?


09-18-2001, 06:23 PM
Bri,there has to be a smart ass answer here, give me a minute.

Rob Z
09-18-2001, 06:48 PM

The house I am working in right now has a large (about 12" in diameter) shower head hanging from the ceiling.

Looks pretty cool.


09-18-2001, 06:52 PM

I suspect from the question that you've never used that kind of shower.

Only problem with that arrangement is that it's very difficult to rinse all the places on a vertical human body, which is kinda what I want in a shower.

John mentioned a hand-held in his shower, which is the best arrangement to my mind, and one with a thumb operated on/off valve in the head can save untold gallons of water, if that's also a consideration.

Although as far north as you live, maybe the gravity direction is different and it would work better. :D

09-18-2001, 07:09 PM
Hi guys,

Hope all is well on your homefront(s)

Regarding the frameless door design I definitely would not place the door opposite a shower head in a shower this size. The frameless doors seem to allow more water to escape the shower that a conventional door. If there is tile outside the shower this may not be as big of a problem. BUT, if there is carpet on the floor or non-tiled adjacent walls, the moisture may be an issue.

I have a friend with a large frameless shower door and he leaves towels outside the shower to absorb the moisture

I have seen, and like, the overhead shower faucet head design. If I recall, they refer to these as waterfall heads. I believe it works well when you have a doorless shower or a frameless door since the water is not directed toward the opening

If I had the option I would try to design a doorless shower. In most of these designs the shower spray is diverted away from the door altogether.

Just my opinion,

09-18-2001, 07:16 PM
Ha! Good one!...the reason I asked is because I'm 6'2" and shower heads are sometimes so low you have trouble washing your hair(what's left of it).

Those sunflower shower heads are great...too bad they cost more than the shower..but I guess we should't be talking about here.


Rob Z
09-18-2001, 08:17 PM

I'll meet you over in the Mud Box so we can complain about the problems of being tall.


John Bridge
09-19-2001, 05:45 AM
I used to be 6'2" before I started ungrowing.

09-19-2001, 03:18 PM
Thanks to all for the input. I scraped the idea and decided to run the walls up to the ceiling and do a few cutouts near the top. I also decided to install a header (also with cutout) for the stability. With this degign I also will save my self some moving of plumbing and get the shower head on the right walls. BTW the whole room will be tiled and I am using a water proof membrane under the floor as well so I am not that worried about a lil stray water getting out (good thought though). Well the brains still smokin I need to start drinking more lol.

John Bridge
09-19-2001, 03:47 PM
Here's some pics of my shower for what it's worth.

09-19-2001, 04:31 PM
Really nice John, I like the idea of having one shower head for hot the other for cold.

09-19-2001, 04:45 PM
Beauty! Sure you're not Italian John?


John Bridge
09-19-2001, 05:01 PM

I've just finished a "castle" in which the master shower contains six shower "outlets." You can get a jet to hit your body at any height you choose. And of course the temp is controlled electronically.


Italian is one of the few things I'm not. I love that country, though.

Mike F
09-19-2001, 05:15 PM

Nice picts! That's the kinda stuff I was hoping to generate more of under the "Tile Layout Ideas" thread. Guess I didn't phrase the question very well.

Why'd you place the niche so low?

Just trying to glean from the Masters...
-Mike Fossum

09-20-2001, 10:18 AM
Very nice Job John. I tell you this shower thing has been driving me crazy (details). I often think about just buying a base and keeping it simple not to mention that the tile is a lot more trouble to maintain the grout etc... However, there is nothing that can compare to a tiled shower for apperance and the look of quality construction. The funny thing is I've been wanting to do this project since I bought this house ten years ago and now I am getting ready to sell it (relocating). I feel like a contractor since I really won't be using it for long. Good thing is though the next one I do will be even better. Still smoke coming out of my ears grrrrrrrroooooaaannnnn

John Bridge
09-20-2001, 04:13 PM
Hi Mike,

Around here if you say "niche," you'll get looked at in a funny way. :) Generally in Texan it's called a shampoo recess. It's at the back end of the shower adjacent to the seat. It stays out of the spray from the main shower(s) and is very convenient while sitting. There is also a window in the shower, and the sill, of course, can be considered a storage area for God knows what. All I have in there is the soap and a little scrub brush. All that other stuff. . . . well. Better quit while I'm ahead.


In our high-tech world there is still nothing that functions as well as a well-built ceramic tile shower. It's just that simple. Elegance is gravy.