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Unread 07-26-2022, 09:26 AM   #1
Rui
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Linear drain shower with step instead of curb?

Hi,

We’re doing a bathroom reno and are going with a Kerdi Linear Drain and tray as well as full Kerdi waterproofing in the alcove (Kerdi board).

Because we didn’t want to mess with the floor joists we didn’t recess the shower area floor.

Ideally I’d like to avoid a curb and was wondering if we could just have a step from the regular bathroom floor into the shower area where the shower tray would slop to the linear drain. I would prefer this over a curb but I’m wondering if I’m playing with fire in this scenario.

The only issue i can think of if if the drain was ever clogged then the water could fill the shower tray and spill out to the rest of the bathroom, but assuming this doesn’t happen i should be fine right?

The shower tray area dimension is 48” wide by 39” deep. The 48” dimension is the entrance threshold with the linear drain against the facing wall, the slope would run the 39” (minus teh line drain).

I’d apecriate any feedback and advice while we’re still able to change things (meaning today )
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Unread 07-26-2022, 10:26 AM   #2
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Hopefully someone else will understand the Step vs Curb..Or do you mean "stepping" up the thickness of the base (approx 1/1/2") onto the base? That seems like a bad idea for several reasons! I would do a low curb before that , but then you have code issues.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 10:39 AM   #3
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Welcome, Rui.

I'm concerned about the step. Seems to defeat any advantage of having a curbless shower. If you don't want to recess the shower floor to make it curbless, I would certainly recommend a curb high enough to be at least 2" above the drain. I think that would address any of Eric's code compliance issues, but maybe he has something else in mind.

A major consideration would also be how you intend to close in the shower, 'specially the entry opening. Can you address that for us?

Curbless showers in wood framed floors require some serious consideration of the waterproofing methods and extent.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 10:44 AM   #4
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Because we had to move the drain we had to raise the floor in the shower area by 1/2” over the rest of the bathroom floor. The Kerdi shower tray will sit on top of that, so that raises the shower area another 1 1/2” (at it’s highest point of the tray, 2” total).

So the bathroom floor would be lower than the shower area, then about a 2” “step” to the the shower tray which then slopes to the line drain against the wall.

Does that make sense?
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Unread 07-26-2022, 10:46 AM   #5
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We’d have a sliding shower door at the threshold into the shower area.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 01:54 PM   #6
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Here’s a cross section that may explain what we’re thinking better than my post :
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Unread 07-26-2022, 03:58 PM   #7
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Don’t think you could design a more dangerous trip step unless you put it at the top of a flight of stairs. Pretty sure that will never fly with inspection authority.

Why not flip it around and put a small speed bump on the dry side of the linear drain? The backside does not need to be 2” high, 3/4”-1” should do based on the 39” distance from the back wall to the drain.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 04:10 PM   #8
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If you’re going with a sliding door anyhow why not just put the curb in there to keep the water where it’s supposed to be. Also like mentioned you won’t trip and break your neck.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 04:31 PM   #9
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how is a 2” step (with a sliding door) a bigger trip hazard than a higher curb (also with a sliding door)?

Sorry, I’m new to this and just trying to figure out the trade offs. IMO a small step would be more aesthetically pleasing than a curb, however I do realize a curb offers a bit more protection against flooding if the drain was somehow clogged.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 05:06 PM   #10
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It’s the relative change in elevation/plane in a unexpected location that is troubling. A 2” or higher curb as Eric described is expected in that location, you step over it and your in. An abrupt 2” elevation change to a 1/2” per foot sloped floor would be unexpected and odd looking.

Why not flip the orientation as I described in the earlier post?
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Unread 07-26-2022, 05:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
It’s the relative change in elevation/plane in a unexpected location that is troubling. A 2” or higher curb as Eric described is expected in that location, you step over it and your in. An abrupt 2” elevation change to a 1/2” per foot sloped floor would be unexpected and odd looking.
I guess my feeling is that because of the sliding shower door the 2” step would would not be unexpected. It would also have some sort of Schulter tile edge to call attention to the step (Quadec profile or perhaps a Rondec step). A senior will be using the shower so my feeling is that a 2” step would be easier to navigate than a full curb (as well as looking better IMO)…but I certainly might be wrong on this since i have no experience with shower design.

Quote:
Why not flip the orientation as I described in the earlier post?
Quote:
Why not flip it around and put a small speed bump on the dry side of the linear drain? The backside does not need to be 2” high, 3/4”-1” should do based on the 39” distance from the back wall to the drain.
The drain has already been relocated from it’s original position so we’re not going to revisit that ordeal (older house and the joists were a pain to work around). Also because we had to move the drain the shower area was raised 1/2” relative to the rest of the bathroom floor to give the shower drain a slope back to where it needed to drain, plus there is added height because of the Kerdi shower tray.

At this point the only question is if it has the small step or a full curb.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 06:19 PM   #12
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A full curb is noticeable, you'll see it and know to step over it. A very small step is harder to see and unexpected.
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Unread 07-26-2022, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
A very small step is harder to see and unexpected.
Even with a shower door there?

Obviously I’m in the minority on this since that seems to be the consensus but I’m having trouble grasping the advantage since I would think the door and tile edge should call attention to the step.

However I’ve been trying to find examples of my concept online and haven’t been able to find any so there’s probably good reason it isn’t used often…

Thanks for chiming in everyone, I appreciate the feedback
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Unread 09-08-2022, 11:51 AM   #14
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Almost forgot about this thread but I just wanted to post a couple of pics with the “step” instead of a curb. (Not sure why the 2nd pic is rotated…the original upload isn’t…).

Everyone involved is happy with the final result.
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Unread 09-10-2022, 07:12 AM   #15
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Glad it worked out for you, nice job!
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