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Unread 02-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #1
grymes56
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Critique my Curbless Shower/Bathroom Layout

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*Image edited to reflect CabotandRowe suggestion regardng shower door.

I am planning a total gut renovation of an existing 5x8 bathroom. The project includes gaining the extra space from a small linen closet, a stubby hallway, and the back of a poorly designed master closet. I am an engineer so I've got the minor structural changes under control.


My biggest concern is the curbless shower - and the ambiguity surrounding the codes. I'll be honest - I am not pulling a permit for this - but I like to do things right and in case my parents ever try to sell the home I dont want to cause any issues for them.

The ambiguity comes in around the 2" curb above the drain top rule, in conjunction with the max slope of 1/2" per ft. At that rate your drain can be no closer than 4' from the edge of the curbless shower opening. With a drain that is centered - that would be an 8 foot wide shower! From my research here it seems that this is one of those codes not usually enforced, and for good reason. It seems that many successful showers have been built without the 2" requirement satisfied. PLEASE SET ME STRAIGHT NOW IF I AM WRONG ABOUT THIS ASSUMPTION!

As it lays out now the shower FLOOR will be 60x34, and including the tub will be 60x67. The entire room will be mudded (floor) and covered in Kerdi (both of which I have experience with). Fortunately my structure lays out so I will have no problem notching the joists 2" or so for the shower floor. I'll sister them for stiffness to be safe though.

The shower door will be a custom frameless unit, with a fixed panel and a pivoting door(as shown).

The tub will not be separated from the shower in any way, and any overspray that gets in the tub will obviously just go down the tub drain instead of the shower drain. This is actually not a unique layout. Kohler has this as a suggested layout on their bath designer site, and the new ARIA Hotel at Project CityCenter Las Vegas has this in many of their rooms. I figure if it works in a multibillion dollar hotel it works for me. The tub will be Kohler K-878 - which is the only tub I could ind to fit my criteria of Cast iron, drop in (no apron), AND has a built in tile flange for alcove use.

http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal...=2&category=10



The shower will have its own controls with a 6 way, 3 port diverter for the main showerhead, the body sprays, and the hand shower. The hand shower will be located on the opposite wall above the shower bench, and close to the back end of the tub for convenience (giving a baby a bath, for example).

The built in cabinetry will be raised on a waterproofed pedestal to baseboard height, due to its proximity to the shower door opening.




That is all I can think of for now. I am open to any suggestions or comments - especially with regard to the curbless shower since this will be a first for me. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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we did all the showers at the Aria.
(and all the other Towers ,about 12000 showers)
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Unread 02-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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Kyle,

The next time I need to fit 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack, I know who to ask ! My bathroom is 6x10 and I tried and tried to do the same sort of thing. Everyone talked me out of it. Oh well

1- The easy one - the shower door swing hitting the front of the cabinet - A bit tight for my tastes. Make sure to show this plan to the glass guys to be assured the door will not be broken in a week when someone slams it open.

2- I would worry about flooding the shower area when the tub is drained when full of water. You'll need to do some fancy plumbing drainage to make sure the water doesn't have the chance to back up into the shower and flood the floor.

3- I do see a few issues surrounding the ability to waterproof the shower / tub area particularly at the edge where it meets the shower. You can treat the tub as a large bench I guess.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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e3 - So you guys used Kerdi on all of those Aria rooms right?

But seriously - did you use NobleSeal TS for everything? Would you happen to have any pictures you could send me? I only saw a floor plan of the Aria bathrooms, no actual pics of the showers with tubs in them. I can give you my email if you can't post them for copyright reasons or whatever.


Cabot - Yea the shower door is a concern for me. 3/8" tempered glass can take alot of abuse. I am actually more concerned with the handle hitting the built in cabinet and dinging it. My two options I think are to add a small third panel about 4" wide on the right side and have it hinge off of that panel instead of the wall - or to simply reverse the layout and have it swing toward the toilet. The CRL hinges stop at 90 degrees exactly, so either of these configurations would stop the glass before hitting anything. The PROBLEM with those to configurations is that they are both glass-to-glass hinging, and therefore probably require a header across the top which I don't really want (ruins the frameless look). I'll hash that one out with my glass guy.


The drainage is not a problem - the joist bays run in the long dimension (i.e. vertically in this plan view), and there is an existing soffit basically under the entire tub footprint. The left wall in the plan is the home's main wet wall. I have plenty of leeway with drainage.


The waterproofing at the tub shower interface I plan to accomplish as follows: I'll build the tub apron knee wall and drywall and Kerdi it (and only it) BEFORE dropping the tub in. The top plate of the knee wall will be pitched outwards into the shower. I'll then drop in the tub and drywall over the flange as usual, and then Kerdi the walls. I will use Kerdi-fix to seal between the front tub flange and the top of the sloped Kerdi'd knee wall. My only concern is the fron CORNERS of the tub, where the side tiling flanges end a bit shy of the front as shown. I am thinking I will Kerdi-band with Kerdi-fix a 3/8" overlap on to the tub as recommended by John Bridge in other threads. Any other ideas welcome.

The corners I am concerned about are circled. The arrow points to where the knee wall will go obviously. The Kerdi will go UNDER the fron lip since I will Kerdi the knee wall before putting the tub in.



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I have also updated the plan to reflect the changed shower door with a third panel added (4" wide, and hinges mounted to it instead of wall) - I may need a header with this. I'll ask my glass guy.

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Unread 02-16-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Right, that sounds good to me. Those areas of concern were the same areas I tried to express and as I was writing, it wasn't going well. On one such installation I used some kerdi band and kerdi-fixed it to the tub from the back side as to get more surface area to fix to. Then dropped the tub in. The kerdi was bent forward as to flap in front of the drywall. Added kerdi fix could then be applied in that 1/4" gap where the drywall falls short of hitting the tub surface.

I'd like to see pics of your project all along the way.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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Change your glass plans a little

The big weakness in your proposed layout is the Frameless glass portion.

As drawn the door will be a weak link and may compromise your waterproofing efforts if the glazers install some U channel through your tile and waterproofing.

A safer idea is to build out the wall like I show in your revised drawing and then the short section of glass isn't needed and the floor need not be drilled.

If it's for your parents consider adding horizontal grab bars along the glass wall and door for safety. If you install them on the door back to back they could act as a towel bar.

Good luck.

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Unread 02-17-2010, 10:59 AM   #7
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thats a valid point about drilling the floor for clips or U-channel - but there really is no way to avoid it for the left solid panel. I am pretty sure my glazier usually wants to put U-Channel on the bottom of a fixed panel that size. There would be 1 clip at the top of the side, and U-Channel along the bottom.

I'll provide blocking between the joists under the whole glass area. I make sure they fill any holes they drill through the Kerdi are filled full with silicone before they drive the screws in.

This is a common issue and I have never heard of a better way around it. This problem of drilling the waterproof membrane exists whether the shower is curbed or curbless - and whether Kerdi/Nobleseal or a traditional pvc/lead/hotmop is used. Penetrating the waterproofing is penetrating the waterproofing no matter how you slice it. The problem is that there is no elegant solution to hanging frameless glass without bottom fastening (short of using a full header). If anyone has an elegant solution please let me know.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
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So to get to the tub, you either go through the shower or a window

Maybe I'm seeing things but if this is true it sounds so crazy it just may work.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 11:34 AM   #9
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About the layout:

Although the idea of the siamese shower/tub isn't bad, you are trying to cram too much in that space. There is so little room around the vanity it is going to feel real cramped it there. I would sacrifice either the shower or the tub for some more room.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
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Muddman - The space around the vanity is equal to what is currently in the bathroom in its standard 5x8 layout. This area has never felt cramped - and the shower addition is not what defines the side to side dimension of 5' anyway - that is limited by the kitchen and master suite on either side.

The reason for this layout is that we need both a tub and a shower - but hate the tub/shower combo we have now. So, dropping either is not an option.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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Frameless Glass Install Solution

I think I may have a solution for holding the fixed panel/panels along the bottom WITHOUT the use of clips or aluminum channel.

I fugure since I am still in the design phase - I can easily set my tile so as to leave a 'channel', with the bottom of said channel simply being the Kerdi surface. I found one company online that seems to do their installs this way - although they are ambigous about how they create the tile channel. They imply that they make the channel after installation - but that would obviously destroy the Kerdi if I tried that.

I am going to talk to my glazier today I will being it up to him.


http://www.trulyframelessva.com/index.html
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Unread 02-17-2010, 12:24 PM   #12
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Instal the U Channel while you lay the floor tile.

If you install the U Channel while you set the floor you will hide the mortar view and plastic bumper pads used when installing the glass to the floor. This could just be siliconed in place but wouldn't have the locked in affect of being pinned by tile. It wouldn't hurt to drill a few small 1/8" holes on the shower side of the channel to allow any moisture a path to migrate through the thinset.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 03:31 PM   #13
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How about a trench drain against the tub. (I'm surprised John Whipple didn't suggest this after supplying us with all those great pictures.) Allows you to slope the floor toward the tub in one plane only and allows for tile continuity in the entire space. Larger tiles can be used in the shower.

If the shower controls are slender, could the door open into the shower? This would be less cumbersome for the vanity. Is this going to be used by someone in a wheelchair? If so, in-swing would be easier for access.

I don't know what's out there for nice sliding door hardware, but a slider hung from track could make the space more efficient as well. This idea combined with slope toward the tub might work well?

Overall, it is a neat concept. I don't see a problem with going through a shower area to get to the tub. Also, it is nice to rinse off after being in the bath and this allows the user to do that without bringing water into the rest of the bathroom.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 06:28 PM   #14
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Talked to my Glazier

I thought about a trench drain along the tub wall - but after hours of research a few weeks ago I determined that as of yet there is no trench drain that is designed to work with a membrane like Kerdi. A trench along that direction would also be going across the joists (which would aready be notched for the curbless) so the plumbing could be tough.


The shower door cannot swing inwards - it is against code (and that is a code that DOES make sense - so I follow it). The reason is in case someone were to pass out in the shower in front of the door - an inswing door could not be opened to get them out.

The sliding options are either the cheapo 5/16" ones you can get at Home Depot - or the uber expensive barn-door roller kind (which ARE really cool). http://www.irawoods.com/MTI-Whirlpoo...4Pa38Ta38Pc3f0

One reason I dont want to use a slider like that (beside price) is that they require the clips be screwed to the floor, which again raises my issue with penetrating the Kerdi.



So I went to talk to my glass guy - and got a little sticker shock. I had budgeted $1500-1600 for the frameless door - but the three panel headerless design (which I found out WILL work - CR Laurence certifies certain clips and hinges for this exact purpose) will cost $2350. I really like this glass guy and have used him in the past - but I think I might have to get a few more quotes on this one.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grymes56
The shower door cannot swing inwards - it is against code (and that is a code that DOES make sense - so I follow it). The reason is in case someone were to pass out in the shower in front of the door - an inswing door could not be opened to get them out.
I see, good point. Can you get an 180 degree hinge? That way you meet code, but could use in-swing when you are not passed out in the shower.

http://www.dhgate.com/180-degree-gla...da9eb0040.html

Yeah, I was thinking about the Uber cool kind. I figured they were spendy. Thanks for the link. That hardware can be had without the glass. another option:

http://www.mwe.de/content/view/219/2...g,english.gif/

http://www.mwe.de/content/view/14/63/lang,english.gif/

Some trench drains may work without notching.

http://www.quickdrainusa.com/install...d_new_door.pdf

To incorporate the membrane into a trench drain see this link from John Whipple:

http://www.quickdrainusa.com/install...te_remodel.pdf

Also, there must be a bulletproof way to screw through the floor if needed?

I wonder what the mark-up is on a $2350 glass panel set?

One more thing, you wrote that your cabinets will be on a raised pad. Depending on the cabinet, floating it off the floor makes the room feel bigger and the cabinet would not need the "curb".
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