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Old 09-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
mikemike
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Roll in shower planning

Hello - I'm looking for some creative ideas to deal with an issue I have. I've committed to converting a large walk in closet into a small roll in shower/bathroom. It needs to be curbless because the primary user is in a wheelchair. Unfortunately it looks like I am stuck with a little over a 2 inch transition from the bedroom to the bathroom if I maintain the recommended minimum thinckness of .5 inch for the deck mud and 1.25 for the layer above the shower pan, along with the recommended slope of 1" per 4'.

I can bring up the level of the bedroom floor a little by installing a laminate floor of some sort but that will add a transition bump to the bedroom doorway. That wouldn't be the end of the world but it will look amateurish.

Thanks,
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:39 PM   #2
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Are you on a concrete slab, or joists and plywood? Most likely, either one can be converted to a curbless shower, if you want to put the time/money into.

On slab, the concrete would have to be cut out to accommodate the slope. On a wood subfloor, the joists can possibly be trimmed down and reinforced if necessary.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:56 AM   #3
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kman
On slab, the concrete would have to be cut out to accommodate the slope.
On a wood subfloor, the joists can possibly be trimmed down


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Old 09-10-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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I was afraid of that. Are there any other possibilities? Anything I can do that will allow me to go thinner on the mortar? There are joists below and most of the bays are filled with HVAC ducts that are basically level with the tops of the joists. The room below is finished.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #5
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Welcome, Mike.

You can (must, actually) change from a traditional mud/liner/mud shower pan to a direct bonded waterproofing method of pan construction. That will save at least 1 1/2 inches of vertical height in the pan.

Building the curbless shower does not relive you of the obligation to meet the code requirement of having your drain a minimum of two inches below the shower threshold unless you'll be able to convince your local code compliance inspector that the shower and bathroom actually meet ADA requirements.

If you do not have the option of lowering the shower floor sufficiently for even an accessible shower, your only real choice is to raise the shower floor or ramp up to the shower threshold.

Raising the floor, of course, means you'll also need to to ramp up to the bathroom entry somehow.

There are plastic shower trays out there that purport to be structural in nature and can be installed directly over your floor joists in the area of the shower. I'm a good bit skeptical, but there has been discussion hereabouts indicating that they can be useful. That would reduce the needed height outside the shower, possibly to nothing more than a "speed bump" at the entry.

All of that would still require code compliance approval and you really wanna talk with the inspector first.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:25 PM   #6
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Direct bonded = kerdi or something like that? Thanks for the suggestion. I see lots of kirdi related threads so I guess I have some reading to do. I'm completely unfamiliar with the product. Is it readily available off the shelf or must it be ordered? I don't recall noticing it anywhere but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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Kirdi is but one such membrane and one of only a few sheet-type waterproofing membranes, including NobleSeal and a couple others. Kerdi is not real easy to find off the shelf unless you frequent real tile stores. I think DalTile, one of the national chains, carries it, but they frequently won't sell to non-professionals. Usually easy enough to just "be" a tile professional when approaching the order desk.

Then there are a gaggle of different liquid-applied membranes out there. Lots of options.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Hi Mike,

There are such things as code variances, and oftentimes a lot of lee way is given to handicapped folks. Might be a good idea to talk to the people in your zoning or building department ahead of time -- if you are going to get a permit, that is.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:30 AM   #9
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Something I've used for a handicapped client with similar situation. We put the ADA compliant Super Shim under the bedroom carpet and just raised the bathroom floor height with ply. I buy my carpet shims at carpetshims.com
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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I decided to go with the kirdi and am finally putting up my first sheets on the walls. I already had hardibacker so I opted to install that instead of exchanging it for sheetrock. I read on another thread here about the perils of thirsty hardibacker so I sponged the wall in advance and had a sprayer handy to lightly mist it as I went. Despite this I did feel like the thinset was setting up and the kirdi wasn't sticking well. Especially on the first sheet. The second sheet I think I subconciously compensated by going heavy with the thinset as well as working faster.

After some drying time the first sheet does feel solid. The second one does too although there are some high spots in the thinset below. The first one is a pale orange and the second one is a deep orange. I remember reading something about some significance to the color but can't find it now.

Does the color signify anything? Any tricks to assessing the quality of the bond short of ripping the kirdi off?

Thanks!
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