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Unread 07-30-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
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Schluter tray recessed into subfloor...

Is it possible to using something like a schluter L1000S (39x39) recessed into a 3/4" subfloor (remove subfloor only and use joists with ply "between" joists to make a "flat" surface) with the linear drain NOT against a wall (ie - slopes "out" to the bathroom)? The thickness goes from 1 21/32" to 55/64" on the L1000S. Idea would be to recess into subfloor so the permiter drain would be exactly level with the current subfloor. Would use some sort of kerdi/noble sheet (ditra?) on the floor next to the recess, and I assume the perimeter flange for drain overlap would be sealed to the kerdi/noble?

I see videos where Schulter shows a similar tray with a linear drain not against the wall as well, but they raise the floor around it by adding 3/4" ply. Trying not to raise the floor at all since the floor support is fine for tile (joist size, spacing, etc..)

Also, I can see where the trays show "perimeter" height but I don't see the minimum thickness of the tray for sloped trays that obviously are "shorter" than the specified perimeter. Any idea where these are on the schluter site?

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Unread 07-30-2019, 11:56 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Karl.

I've not heard of a foam tray being installed over joists with recessed subfloor. Actually, the only time a subfloor is recessed level to the joists is when it's in preparation to add another layer of plywood, which would add strength and result in less height then two layers on top of the joists.

I'm afraid what you're proposing might not be stable enough for the tray.

You might have a situation wherein you could cut the joists down in the shower area to accommodate a layer of 3/4" ply and the tray. You would need to run your joist system through the Deflecto and see what kind of deflection rating you have first.

As for the drain at the shower opening, if it's the same level as the floor outside the shower, what's to keep water from going around the ends of the drain and running outside the shower? Even if the drain is the full width of the opening, there's bound to be a little to get past the drain and run out.

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Unread 07-31-2019, 02:57 PM   #3
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Hi Karl,

Schluter trays are figured flush when you use 1/4 in. backer board on the floor outside the shower. Is that something you can do?
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Unread 08-22-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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youtube example...

I was able to find this youtube link:

It is showing the linear drain at the entrance, then they raise the bathroom floor around it by 3/4". So my thought was instead of having the tray on top of the existing floor, cut out the floor (3/4 ply) and put ply between the joists to get the floor right at a 3/4" recess. Then I would not have to raise the bathroom floor which causes other issues (vanity, entrance to bathroom height mismatch, etc..).

Or I will just give up and go with a standard tray with a curb.
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Unread 08-23-2019, 05:38 PM   #5
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I did exactly what you are proposing using a Schluter foam substrate in an old bathtub alcove. I tore out the subfloor and recessed in 3/4" ply to gain the 3/4" worth of space. The rest of the room has ditra heat and in the end it all lined up nice.

The job came out good but some notes. With an entrance drain it is really difficult to keep the water in the shower area. In fact I gave up and put glass in with a "speedbump" at the door which works fine. You won't need to worry about that if you are anal (i mean that) with the pitch in the rest of the room.

I used a full width Kerdi line drain with a tileable grate. Looks awesome but it is a PIA with regards to hair. I need to clean it out at least once a month. The grate has some imperfections in the stainless and is rusting through in a few spots which really can't be seen unless it's pulled out.

I went full on Schulter with the build, Kerdi board, substrate, drain, heat, etc and it gets expensive so know your costs.
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Unread 08-24-2019, 12:42 PM   #6
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While I've never installed a curbless shower with a linear drain at the entrance the feedback that I've heard echoes Howard's in the post above.

Look into the Wedi Fundo Ligno shower system. It will do what you want minus the linear drain. Schluter, and others, may have competing systems but I am just unfamiliar with their foam shower products lines. Maybe others can help in that regard?
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Unread 08-25-2019, 05:47 AM   #7
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You might consider Jim's advice - omitting the linear drain.

I did my curbless shower using Durock's foam tray (I went with a custom size tray) and standard center square drain. I too recessed the 3/4" ply between the joists to reduce height, but you'll still need a sheet of 1/2" ply over the joists and recessed 3/4". Keep in mind that the foam tray will likely add 1" in height, as mine did.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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