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Unread 01-01-2022, 08:51 PM   #1
mmoogie
Steve Zerby Design/Build
 
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Confused about barrier-free shower requirements

I'm starting a bathroom project where I am going for a minimalist effect and would like to do a barrier-free shower where the the shower floor transitions to, and is flush with the wood floor in the rest of the bathroom.

The room is about 8' x 10'. Along one of the eight-foot walls will be a 42"x54" shower, and a toilet. I would like to run the shower pan tile beyond the shower, the rest of the way along the ten-foot wall, under the toilet. I have plenty of joist depth to excavate the framing for the shower pan. I was thinking of extending the tile the full eight-foot width some amount past the door opening...maybe 8-12 inches before transitioning to wood flooring. So maybe a 10' by 54" tiled area with the 42x54 shower pan in the back corner.

I'm confused about what is allowed for a flood rim in this kind of situation. I always thought that there had to be a dam that contained water to a 2" depth, inside of which it had to be waterproof. But I seem to be seeing situations in magazines and such where that is not the case.

This is a second-floor bathroom, and the floor cavity is filled with cellulose insulation, so if it ever floods it'll be a real mess. The subfloor is new T & G 3/4" ply. In the area not occupied by the toilet and shower there is hydronic radiant-heat tubing on top of the subfloor nested in 3/4" sleepers. On top of that will be 1/4" underlayment, and on top of that will be 200-year-old wide pine flooring, apporximately 1" thick.

Finish flooring will wind up about 2" above the plywood subfloor. So it'll be relatively easy to get the shower pan low enough to have the tile match the height of the finish flooring.

I want to tile two walls of the shower that are the room walls and use glass for the remaining two walls and the shower entry door. How extensively do I need to waterproof beyond the tiled area? Does there need to be a 2" height differential between the drain-grate and the flood rim of the shower?

Let's start with these questions and see where it goes...

Thanks-in-advance
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Last edited by mmoogie; 01-03-2022 at 08:07 AM. Reason: changed length of wall from 10' to 8'
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Unread 01-01-2022, 09:18 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Steve.

You speak of a "shower pan," but I see no indication of how you plan to construct and waterproof said receptor, nor what you intend for a drain.

I will tell you what we (TYW) and at least two national tile technical committees have found to be the gospel about shower curbs, or dams. If your shower has a curb, the finished top of that curb must be a minimum of two inches above the top of the shower drain. Everyone in the building code and plumbing code industry seems to agree with that and has for generations. But if your shower does not have a curb, there is absolutely no requirement at all. If that sounds a little crazy to you, all I can say is, "Welcome aboard." You would still require the waterproof membrane to slope a minimum of 1/4" per foot to whatever drain you have.

As to your decision on how far outside the shower enclosure your waterproofing should extend, I'd hafta say an absolute minimum of two feet in your described application and I'm not at all sure that's enough, given your wood flooring in the rest of the room. But that's not something about which there is any code or industry standard requirement that I'm aware of.

Speaking of your wood flooring, I'm very curious to know the rationale for the 1/4" "underlayment" over the sleepers and hydronic tubing.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-02-2022, 02:12 AM   #3
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Hydronic works best if you have the tubing running through plate diffusers, usually made out of aluminum with a formed channel for the tubing so it has maximum contact. Otherwise, you tend to end up with lining, of hotter spots as the wood isn't a great conductor. It tends to work better embedded in say cement or directly beneath the tile rather than insulated from it.

Not clear how far out of the shower you'd run the tile or if you're planning a door or anything to help contain any overspray. Sounds like maybe the end of the room with the shower on one side, and the toilet on the other with tile all across that end? That should be enough, but to help with water containment, you might want to consider a wall-mount toilet so you don't have a hole in the floor where it could leak out. With the sizes involved, if you wanted to allow enough clearance to maybe get a wheelchair into the shower, it might be a bit tight. There's code on how much room beside and in front of a toilet to any obstructions. If you used a wall-hung toilet, you could have your slope run all the way across that end of the room, and with a wooden floor, you may have enough thickness to chamfer the edge to make the transition.
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Unread 01-02-2022, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
I want to tile two walls of the shower that are the room walls and use glass for the remaining two walls and the shower entry door.
I took that to mean a fully enclosed shower, Jim, rather than a wet-room concept.
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Unread 01-02-2022, 11:42 AM   #5
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You have an interesting situation here because the pan should be waterproofed at the subfloor level and the tile you would want flush with the finished wood.

So your shower pan waterproofing should flush out with the top of the 1/4 inch underlayment. You might have a little bit of a challenge getting the finished tile height high enough to meet the wood.

Along those lines, I'm not sure how much cutting of the joists would need to be done since you have an extra 3/4 inch to play with. I think you could do a mortar bed shower pan if I'm thinking about it correctly.

I'm assuming the water tubes don't go into the shower area?
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Unread 01-02-2022, 01:19 PM   #6
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Attached are some photos to clarify.

The rendering shows what I'm aiming for visually. I'm talking enclosed shower, not a wet room. One hesitation I have about going barrier-free is that the door will be unable to have a rug in front of it if the door is low enough to keep most water in. How is that handled normally? Does the door need a sweep on the bottom? That would be problematic with the wood floor over time, I would think.

There is a photo of the flooring being installed in the adjacent room. As you can see I did use fins on radiant tubing. The 1/4" layer is because the wide-pine flooring is 200 years old and not tongue-and-groove. I lay it tight to start with, but it will eventually gap out a bit and I don't want the fins and tubing exposed when it does that. In the bath the tubing runs close to but not under the toilet. Not into the shower area at all.

That 200-year-old pine flooring finishes up beautifully with Waterlox, and it's a pretty bulletproof finish. I attached a photo of another bathroom in the house that has the same flooring, and it's held up beautifully for 20 years.

The underlayment is luan in the adjacent room, but no reason it couldn't be 1/4" hardiboard under the tile.

I'm partial to Laticrete Hydroban system for waterproofing, and was thinking of using one of their preformed pans, but I could go with anything really. I've done mud pans, but prefer the simplicity of preformed.
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Unread 01-03-2022, 04:46 PM   #7
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How about making the movable glass section a slider versus a swinging door?

Yes, they generally have a sweep on the bottom.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 02:16 PM   #8
mmoogie
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on to soundproofing...

I've decided not to go barrier-free. Next issue is soundproofing.

The wall the shower and toilet are on back up to the guest bathroom, and the wall to the left is adjecent to the guest bedroom.

After much research on soundproofing, I've determined that the best results are when you can use sound-isolation clips with hat channel plus a couple layers of 5/8" drywall bonded together with Green Glue, and insulation in the cavity. I plan to do the wall to the left that way, but the wall with the shower tile is problematic...clips and channel make for a very springy wall, so not compatible with tile. Also there are a lot of innards in that wall.

I hunted around here for any discussion on the matter but the only relevant thing I saw was from a 2009 post, and not much came of the thread.

Any thoughts on what to do behind the tiled area that will provide the best soundproofing?

Attached are a photo of the shower/toilet wall framing, a rendering of the finished product, and what was my first pass at the channel-and-clip layout for that wall before I realized that it was was going to be too springy for the tiled area. The extra channels at the bottom are to provide anchoring for the horizontal wide board wainscot in the areas without tile.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 07:42 PM   #9
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Not familiar with your "clip and channel" system, Steve, and can't address that.

I've always insulated all my bathroom walls that were shared with other living area, but usually only by adding R-11 batt insulation and sealing all electric boxes and other open air penetrations.

On the occasion where a bathroom wall was shared with a living room or similar, and the customer expressed a concern, I have built a second 2x4 wall against that wall, with the studs staggered, and doubled the insulation.

On your common plumbing wall, I think the most important thing you can do is seal all those electric box penetrations. Air gaps will transmit sound exceeding well. That and filling the rest of the cavities with insulation should do a reasonable job. If you want more than that, I think the double wall is your best option.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 09:47 AM   #10
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Green Glue! You're the first I've heard mention the product, Steve, in this forum anyway.

I did the same research when I was finishing my basement. Sound proofing is a bit of a misnomer; more accurate to call it sound transmission reduction I think, just to help set expectations.

One of the most effective ways to achieve a noticeable reduction is, as cx said, is to build two walls. Decoupled from each other - even at the top and bottom plates. Each filled with sound absorbing batts, two thicknesses and types of drywall, with GG or other decoupler between, all installed on channels. No penetrations at all. Same goes with the ceiling. Even the exhaust fan would have to be isolated from the framing. There are other materials and methods.

Without going to extraordinary effort the best you can hope to achieve is a reduction in common sounds; voices, muting a hair dryer, etc. The in-wall plumbing mostly, and associated penetrations to a lesser degree, will thwart your efforts.

Been there, done that.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 10:23 AM   #11
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Unfortunately I don't have the room for a double-wall or staggered-stud setup. The toilet is roughed in at 12 1/2" from framing and the drain piping is not going to get moved.

Sound-isolation clips with hat-channel snapped into them are the next best thing for isolating the wall surface from the framing, and work pretty well, I've read. If I use an offset toilet flange I can fit the channel-and-clip system with two layers of 5/8 drywall on top and still have a 10" rough-in for the toilet. Which will work with a Toto variable rough-in setup.

But the very thing that makes the channel and clips effective...they make the connection of the wall surface to the framing very flexible...is what will make it unsuitable for tile.

I will use putty pads and acoustical sealant on all the outlets and penetrations. I will wrap the drain piping in mass-loaded vinyl or putty pads as well, and I will insulate.

I guess I will just build up layers of sheetrock with green glue in between or use Quiet Rock to wind up flush with the area outside the tile (which I will still do in clips and channel plus double sheetrock). I will use Laticrete Hydroban for waterproofing, either directly on the top layer of sheetrock, or I can make the top layer backer board rather than sheetrock, and then the Hydroban.

How are people feeling about hydroban on sheetrock these days?
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Unread 01-10-2022, 10:37 AM   #12
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The only person who's opinion you should be considering for the use of Laticrete's direct bonded waterproof membrane is your local code compliance official.

I've heard that Laticrete has code approval via an ICC-ES ER, but I've not seen it and it's not in our Liberry. I'm reasonably sure it applies only to their sheet-type membrane, but I can't verify that, either.

If someone can provide a link to the information, I'd like to see it the TYW Liberry along with similar ERs for Schluter's products.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 11:11 AM   #13
mmoogie
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I’ve never done any shower wall tile directly on sheetrock (at least not since the one I did in 9th grade in 1972, with mastic over non-mr sheetrock and no waterproofing whatsoever which took about 25 years to actually fail!) I’ve learned a few things and since then have always used cement backer board with either Laticrete or KERDI systems.

I’ve seen a lot of videos of guys doing various membrane systems over sheetrock of late though. I don’t think I would try it normally, even if codes said yes, but I can get a higher degree of soundproofing behind the tile if I use two layers of Quiet Rock, so was thinking maybe…

Code compliance for most things around here (wayyy upstate NY) is pretty optional, especially with my own house, though I almost always go through the proper channels. A few years back I got a call from codes wondering why I had renewed the permit for my house 25 times when the max allowed is supposed to be three times. I told them because I was not done yet, but would be thrilled if they saw fit to close it out and give me a C.O. They came for a visit, and said “Hmmm. You aren’t done.” They closed it out anyway. Though the electrical permit from 1993 is still open.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 11:11 AM   #14
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Each different material (GG, 5/8" X drywall, standard 1/2" drywall, clips, MLV, etc) all treat different frequencies/vibrations (with some overlap). Given your constraints I believe the biggest bang for your buck will be sound attenuation batts in the stud bays, and double drywall. GG will help a little, but because the second layer of DW is attached to the same framing, and through the first layer, its effectiveness, while perhaps measurable, is minimal. MLV sheets installed on the framing will help with minimal thickness. Sealing penetrations, like electrical wall boxes, from the rear is challenging. Wrapping the in-wall pipes will help, but of course you won't be able to wrap them below the floor. The 3 or 4 inch probably plastic drain line below the floor will still easily transmit sound through the floor. If any of your plumbing, supply or drain, is mechanically attached to the framing it will transmit. Soooo many details.

Is there an opportunity to hang a 2nd layer of drywall on the opposite side of the wall?
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Unread 01-10-2022, 11:29 AM   #15
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Is there an opportunity to hang a 2nd layer of drywall on the opposite side of the wall?
Unfortunately, no. Both rooms are finished on the other side. Attached is a picture of the bathroom behind this bathroom wall.

The wall shared with the guest bedroom is pretty clear in the cavity and I think there I will laminate a layer of 5/8 to the backside of the existing sheetrock with green glue between the studs, spaced away from the framing a smidge and seal the edges with acoustical sealant. They don’t give that green glue away though…
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