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Unread 12-14-2019, 06:43 PM   #1
TipsyMcStagger
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How to handle transition from flat to pitched in shower

I am planning a master bath renovation and plan to increase the depth of the shower. The shower will likely end up being about 4’ 6” wide and about 5’ 6” deep. The concept is to run 12x24 porcelain on the entire bathroom floor in a stacked pattern, continuing into the curbless shower and up the back shower wall.

The back wall of the shower will also have a wall to wall niche (the entire width of the wall). And the same tile will carry through the niche up to the ceiling. The ceiling height is about 8’.

There will likely be a swinging frameless glass door and a fixed glass pane. The shower floor will pitch to the back wall and a linear drain near the back wall will be utilized.

Nothing is yet finalized but my contractor is expressing some concern about how to address the transition into the curbless shower, where the pitch begins. In other words, given that the tile is 24” long, he is suggesting that there must be a joint between two tiles where the floor transitions from flat to pitched. I don’t disagree as I don’t see how a 24” long tile could span a flat and pitched portion of the floor.

Given that the shower will likely be less than 6’ deep, and the goal is to create a continuation of the floor tile up the back wall of the shower, how would you handle this?

Would it ruin the desired visual effect to have a tile less than 24" long on the floor closest to the back wall? Again, the desired effect is to make it look like the floor simply extends up the back wall of the shower, through the niche, up to the ceiling.

If the pitch was designed to be 6' (the length of three tiles), the shower door would not be able to swing out, if the glass was positioned 5' 6" from the back wall.

The attached picture obviously isn’t 12x24 tile, but it's similar to what we’re trying to accomplish from a design standpoint (without the pictured curb).

Thanks.

Name:  Shower 4.jpg
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Unread 12-14-2019, 07:10 PM   #2
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Maybe I'm not understanding your question but I don't see the problem. With a linear drain, the floor is flat (I didn't say level) but with pitch toward the drain. If you want full 24 inch tiles between the drain and the back wall then it's just a matter of setting the drain in the correct spot.

If the linear drain is against the back wall then the floor will be on one pitched plane toward the drain. If the drain is away from the back wall, then the floor will be on two independent planes, both planes pitched toward the drain.
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Unread 12-14-2019, 07:23 PM   #3
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If one row of the tile spans the area from the flat outside, to the pitched inside, if you can't get that to fall on a grout line, cut the tile. YOu can use the cutoff piece on the other side of the transition. You want to avoid thin slivers, so that might mean cutting the first row as well, or adjusting the grout width.

WHen you go from the floor to the wall, you need a flexible joint, and if you were to use Schluter's EKE profile, it will hide the cut line and provide a nice clean line for the eye. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Schluter...10PG/202606583 This comes in various colors and for various thickness tile.
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Unread 12-14-2019, 07:27 PM   #4
TipsyMcStagger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
Maybe I'm not understanding your question but I don't see the problem. With a linear drain, the floor is flat (I didn't say level) but with pitch toward the drain. If you want full 24 inch tiles between the drain and the back wall then it's just a matter of setting the drain in the correct spot.

If the linear drain is against the back wall then the floor will be on one pitched plane toward the drain. If the drain is away from the back wall, then the floor will be on two independent planes, both planes pitched toward the drain.!
It's not the linear drain that's really a concern. It's the overall depth of the shower. If the pitched depth of the shower is 5 1/2', there will have to be a tile joint where the pitch begins, near the shower glass.

Honestly, I'm having a little difficultly picturing it all myself, but my contractor keeps bringing up the fact that it will be difficult to achieve the desired effect with 12x24' tile running the length of the room, into the pitched shower.
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Unread 12-14-2019, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashua
If one row of the tile spans the area from the flat outside, to the pitched inside, if you can't get that to fall on a grout line, cut the tile. YOu can use the cutoff piece on the other side of the transition. You want to avoid thin slivers, so that might mean cutting the first row as well, or adjusting the grout width.

WHen you go from the floor to the wall, you need a flexible joint, and if you were to use Schluter's EKE profile, it will hide the cut line and provide a nice clean line for the eye. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Schluter...10PG/202606583 This comes in various colors and for various thickness tile.
Thanks for the feedback. I think I can envision what you're describing. A full length (but cut) tile spanning the transition.

Thanks for the Schluter link. The planned tile is Happy Floors Citrus Ocean Natural. It's a wood grain style but in a blue/grey combination.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 12:55 AM   #6
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Running the tile that way, you'd be cutting it along the length. Most people install them with an offset, so some of the pieces at that 'crease' line would be longer than the other, but you'd use both pieces of the cut tile.

The EKE profile comes in numerous colors that show, so you should find one that looks decent with your tile. They also make this one that can help keep water from getting outside of your shower https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...PROFILE_WS-WSK again, it comes in more than one style.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 02:09 AM   #7
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Layout should have equal sized tile at pan and lid. I have never had one that was full at both. Cut tiles at both termination points are common, avoid less than half tiles and your project will be beautiful.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 07:50 AM   #8
TipsyMcStagger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashua
Running the tile that way, you'd be cutting it along the length. Most people install them with an offset, so some of the pieces at that 'crease' line would be longer than the other, but you'd use both pieces of the cut tile.

The EKE profile comes in numerous colors that show, so you should find one that looks decent with your tile. They also make this one that can help keep water from getting outside of your shower https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...PROFILE_WS-WSK again, it comes in more than one style.
Yes, so far the plan is to run the tile stacked throughout the bathroom. The side walls will be Daltile Fabric Art Modern.

I hope it's not a mistake to run it all stacked, but I'm trying to achive a contemporary look. Obvisouly, the back wall of the shower will have the long side of the tile running vertically, as it continues up the wall from the floor. But the side walls will have the 24" side of the tile horizontal, and stacked.

At least that's the plan. The floor and the back wall will have to have partial tiles along the edges because the finished room will probably be around 4 1/2" wide. It's a narrow, deep bathroom (about 17' deep by 4 1/2' wide).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ded dux
Layout should have equal sized tile at pan and lid. I have never had one that was full at both. Cut tiles at both termination points are common, avoid less than half tiles and your project will be beautiful.
I'm sorry...I Googled but couldn't figure it out. What is the "lid?"

Thanks.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 10:26 AM   #9
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Don is talking about the ceiling.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 10:29 AM   #10
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Okay. Thanks Davy.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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There's no rules on the layout. These tiles are 36 inches tall, shower is 10 ft tall.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #12
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Thanks Davy. I think I'll end up with something very similar on the floor and the back shower wall, given the width of the room and the 12" width of the tile. There will likely be three whole tiles with flanking cuts, just as your picture depicts.

The only difference is that we're planning the 12x24 on the side walls to run with the long side parallel to the floor, but it's a different tile than the floor/back shower wall.

It's difficult to visualize the potential end result. The pictures on this site and everywhere else have been helpful.
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Unread 12-15-2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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I understand what you are asking and you'll need to spend some time on the layout to get everything the way that you want it.

What you'll want to have is the floor tiles in the back of the shower look like the "fold" up the wall.

There will be sacrifices. In general, like Don mentioned, even cuts at top and bottom of the shower are nice. Even cuts at front and back of shower floor are nice. Even cuts on top and bottom of the niche are nice. How the tile looks in the entryway to the room matters.

The odds that you will get everything that you want aren't good. So plan ahead.

Remember that the niche can be moved up or down to accommodate. If the sides of the shower are a different tile then that frees up some options for the layout on the back wall, as well.

Here's one that I did that is similar but still not exactly what you are describing. For this, we put the linear drain at the front by the curb and built the back wall out for the niche as it's an exterior wall.

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This is an example of a "folded" corner

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Unread 12-15-2019, 11:34 AM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback, Jim. Yes, "folding" is a good way to describe the desired effect.

A lot of forethought will definitely be required and compromises will have to be made. That's why I posted and so far, all of the replies have been helpful and have given me additional things to consider.

If we were running the tile horizontally across the back wall, it would be a no brainier to position the niche. I think 24" tall niche would look awkward, so it's really going to take some planning and forethought to "fold" the 24" tall tile up through a niche that will likely be 12" to 18" tall.

I really appreciate all of the thoughtful input. It's very helpful. And to that point, I never would have thought to position a linear drain at the front of a shower, as you did above. That's why this discussion is so helpful. There's no substitute for experience and as Kenneth H. Blanchard wrote, "None of us is as smart as all of us."
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Unread 12-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #15
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One very important thing to check is the ACTUAL size of the tile. It isn't always the NOMINAL size, similar to the fact that a 2x4 stud is neither 2" thick, nor 4" wide. Sometimes, the tile makes the assumption that you will have a certain width grout joint, and that the EFFECTIVE size upon installation is that nominal size.

Then, the manufacturer sometimes suggests a grout joint width. Industry says that the grout joint should be 3x the min/max of the tile used. So, say over the length, there was a difference of 1/16", your minimum grout joint would be 3/16". That can be very important on a critical layout.

Last, neither your corners nor walls may be square or plumb. You need to measure not only say at the floor, but probably at least 1/2-way up the wall, and again at the ceiling (more is better to detect bowing). Then, using a square, check the corners. Or, better yet, the 3:4:5 triangle, which produces a right-angle if you measure each side correctly. It could be off a lot, or could be right on (unusual). The ceiling often isn't level, either. In my small bathroom, there's a difference of nearly 3/4" from one side to the other in the level of the ceiling. When I did m mother's shower, the walls were off about 3/4" in plumb from top to bottom with no easy way to correct that with the adjacent walls that would look good.
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