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Unread 09-15-2021, 11:29 AM   #1
msajeep
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Wood plank for a shower floor

Hello everyone,

I'm doing a full master bath renovation and I'm in the process of choosing the tile I'd like to use. I'm a cabinet/furniture builder but have done a few bathrooms in the past and I'm comfortable doing most of the work.

The new bathroom will have a 38x60 shower using the Schluter system. It will have an offset drain. My wife would like me to do a curb less shower and likes the look of wood plank tiles for the floor. She also doesn't want a linear drain or the drain in the center.

I have two questions. My first question is how difficult would it be to use a wood plank on the floor and would it be too slippery to use as a shower floor? I've seen tons of pictures where its used but I was concerned with getting the correct pitch toward the drain with a large plank tile. Does the shower base basically take care of that for me?

My second question is looking for suggestions on what's the best way to buy the shower valves/diverters/heads. We want a rain head in the middle of the shower coming out of the ceiling and a regular shower head coming out of the wall. I wouldn't be opposed to having a hand held as well but it's not needed. Am I better off trying to piece together a system or is there a good source for just getting something already put together with everything I would need already?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Unread 09-15-2021, 05:27 PM   #2
Davy
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They do make an off set drain but I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about. Explain if you don't mind.

To use planks, the floor will need to be flat, yet pitched toward the drain. Usually a linear drain.

I don't have an answer on your plumbing question.
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Unread 09-15-2021, 05:45 PM   #3
jadnashua
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Note that Schluter does make a tiled cover drain...I suppose you could use something like teak there, or, if you're using wood-look tile, then, it'd be easy to just tile it like it was intended.

Are you using one of the preformed pans, or a mudbed? The preformed pans are more of a set of four triangular panels, folded from the corner to the drain. Their pan for a linear drain is a single flat plane and if you make the mudbed, you can make it any shape you want as long as it has an appropriate slope so it drains.

If you're wanting a wooden pallet like covering over tile, mounting it on appropriately shaped feet, your floor could be much of any version as long as it had spaces to allow the water to drain off, but a slight rounded curve might work best rather than flats.

Ventilation will be critical, so crud could accumulate underneath, and if it stays damp, a big mold farm. You'd have to remove and clean periodically...wood-look tile may be a better choice!
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Unread 09-15-2021, 07:02 PM   #4
cx
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Welcome, Mike.

I think you need to clarify whether you plan to use a ceramic tile that looks like wood, or are planning to build the shower with wood as Jim is apparently thinking.

If you actually plan to use the wood-look ceramic tiles, you're gonna need to use a linear drain and have a single, flat slope to the drain. If you try to use those tiles with a traditional, single point drain, you'll need to cut them up to an extent that will have them no longer looking like they did when you bought them.

I, too, can't be of any help on the plumbing fixtures. We've got folks here who know plumbing pretty well, or you might wanna ask that question on our friend Terry Love's plumbing forum.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-15-2021, 07:34 PM   #5
MTy
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From a DIYer perspective, as far as where to buy fixtures... (I am not affiliated in any way) but I had great success with build.com. They have a nice feature where if you make an account you can add stuff you are interested to a project so you can see it all together and the cost. They also make suggestions as to what will be needed when you purchase certain parts like the shower trim (you need a shower valve). They have a very large selection.

I basically went and purchased each part individually. Most of mine are from the same"collections" i.e. delta trinsic. You can also find towel bars and toilet paper holders that match the color and style.

I have been very pleased with there customer service. Twice I had issues with an order arriving damaged and they replaced them immediately.

I have a setup similar to what you are considering. Rain head in the ceiling and a standard head on the wall. I considered a handheld as well but to save money I purchased a showerhead that doubled as a handheld.

Also, as CX said TerryLove Forums is a great place for your plumbing questions. They have helped me a lot.
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Unread 09-16-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
ss3964spd
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Welcome, Mike,

As for the shower valve you might consider Grohe, They have a particular 2 or 3 outlet unit that combines temp, volume, and outlet selection all in one. No separate valves and diverters.

This is what I'm installing: https://www.build.com/product/summar...57?uid=3311737

Also need one of their rough in boxes to go with it. The combination is a little pricy, but there's a bit less rough in work involved and only one hole in the tile.
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Unread 09-16-2021, 12:55 PM   #7
jadnashua
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FWIW, what sold me on Grohe was a stay in London at a hotel where they had them installed...thermostatically controlled, so the temperature stayed the same regardless. With the older building, and the probably less than ideal supply piping distribution system, as people were flushing toilets and turning showers on/off, while the volume varied, the temperature stayed stable.

Mine is just over 20-years old...I did replace the volume/diverter control (one piece in this design, not all), I probably should replace the thermostatically controlled cartridge as it's becoming sticky...I might try to take it out and lube it up with some silicone plumber's grease to see if that helps, but that's not bad. STill looks new after 21-years, though.
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Unread 09-16-2021, 08:27 PM   #8
msajeep
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Thanks for the replies. I’m using wood plank tile on the floor, not actual wood.

I’m using a Schluter pan 38x72 for the shower. I was hoping to use the off center drain but it Sounds like I’ll need to look into a linear drain or just use a mosaic tile for the floor.
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Unread 09-16-2021, 10:03 PM   #9
PhilWA
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The schluter linear drains can be placed at the walls (I think it looks better that way), so they dont have to be in the center of the floor. The drain within the tray can also be offset from the center to the end of the tray. With the tileable grate, its actually hard to tell that there is a drain inside teh shower at first glance. The tileable grates and linear drains require more frequent maintenance/cleaning than your typical drain. Also have to be careful with tileable grate to not chip the corners when handling.

I went with thermostatic valves in my showers (grohe and kohler) and they were completely worth the exorbitant cost!

For large format tiles, slipperiness should be a concern, but some people may prefer the tile to look a certain way, or have other priorities. Some tiles' specifications will list DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction) for comparative slipperiness of the tiles or may have recommendations for use in shower floors. Lowes website seems to have tried to list this information in a semi helpful way that can be filtered. DCOF rating I think is a measurement on flat, dry surfaces when people are wearing shoes, so its probably not altogether meaningful in a wet shower. Lowes listed the tile I bought at ">0.42 DCOF" and the manufacture's website listed it as ">0.68 DCOF Accutest Wet". I bought a box of the tile and put it in my existing sloped shower to test with my foot and soapy water. Even at ">.68" I'd say it's borderline acceptable for my own preferences. For any tile, I'd recommend looking at it (surface texture will make it less slippery), and buying a few sample pieces to physically test with soapy water for you to determine your own comfort level. They also make adhesive strips if you end up buying slippery tile and realize that you're willing to put up with somewhat ugly removable stickers for safety reasons..
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Unread 09-17-2021, 11:17 AM   #10
msajeep
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For those that have used the linear drains from Schluter, where did you find it best to place the drain?

I'm leaning towards removing the subfloor in the shower area to recess the shower pan and having it drain towards the long back wall. Since I'd like it to be curbless, I would then have to slightly raise the floor for the rest of the bathroom(which I was planning to cover the entire old tongue and groove subfloor with OSB anyway) and then have a slight transition into my bedroom floor. I don't like the idea of having the drain right where I step in.

Also it looks like they don't sell a 38x60 pan for the linear drain. Is there any reason I can't buy a 72" pan and just cut it down to the size I'd like? It looks like they sell a drain right around 59".
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Unread 09-17-2021, 06:37 PM   #11
jadnashua
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It appears that the 72" length preformed pans for the linear drain does not have the option for the drain on the long side...so, your choice then would be to make your pan out of deck mud, and apply Kerdi...then, you can make it any size you want. Note, deck mud over a wooden subfloor, per industry specs calls for a minimum thickness...most mud suppliers call for 1.25", so you'd have 2" higher at the entry point, which may be more than you wanted. Now, lots of people get by with it being thinner, but probably around 3/4" is about the thinnest you should consider.

I've never done it, but in theory, you could use one of the thixotropic SLC products...those, unlike 'normal' slc products, flow when you agitate it, but stop when you stop, allowing you to create a ramp. Those are designed to be applied thinner on a wooden subfloor. I think some sloped screed strips and a long screed, and you'd be able to get a nice flat, sloped pan shape for a linear shower.

FWIW, Latticrete will mill a custom foam pan...you could put Kerdi on it if you wished.

Another option to allow you to minimize the height buildup would be to remove the planks underneath the shower and replace it with plywood, blocking any unsupported seams. That might buy you anywhere from 3/4 - 1.25", depending on the thickness of the planks.
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Unread 09-21-2021, 06:12 AM   #12
msajeep
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Thanks for the response. I believe I'm going to use KSLT1930/965S . It comes in 76x38. I will then cut it down to size once I decide on which linear drain I'm going to use.

Couple questions I did have.

#1) Is there a typical way you guys like to run your tile in terms of the drain? Ideally since my room is longer in one direction, I was planning to run the tile parallel to the direction of the linear drain. I would then just be notching out two wooden plank tiles to fit around the linear drain.

#2) I'm in the process of starting to frame out the shower and my wife mentioned she wants some small type of ledge/bench inside the shower to help with while shaving. I don't think I have enough room in a 60 inch shower for a full bench, so is there standard size you like to use for a ledge? The ledge would be going up against a half wall, where the top half is glass and the other side of the wall is where the vanity is going.

#3) Where do you typically like to put the shower controls? The shower will be 60x38. The shower will have a rain head and a standard shower head coming out of the wall on the 38" side. I've only done shower/tub combos before and always put the shower valve under the shower head. My plans have a solid glass panel where the shower head will be. My concern is that since it's a walk in shower, you wouldn't be able to turn on the shower without walking into it and getting wet. Have you ever just put the shower controls on the long wall instead? Any reason not to do this?
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Unread 09-21-2021, 08:12 AM   #13
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1. Run the tiles in whatever direction you and Mrs. Mike want them.

2. If you don't want something protruding into the shower, make a small recessed niche for her foot instead.

3. Put the shower control wherever it is most convenient for use before and after entering the shower. Can't see your layout and can't tell where that might be.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-25-2021, 06:55 AM   #14
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I think a small corner bench would work well in that shower, Mike. I used a "Better Bench" in my master shower, which is about the same width as what you're planning.
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Unread 09-25-2021, 11:31 AM   #15
jadnashua
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A couple of things you may not have considered...
- a single handle shower valve is either all on, or all off, there is no adjustable volume control
- depending on your piping layout and the distances involved, it can take many seconds to get hot water to your shower so it's comfortable to wander under the spray.

There are tub/shower valves with a volume control in both mixer and thermostatic control (my preference is a thermostatically controlled one).

If you're not going with the thermostatically controlled one which allows you to set the dial/lever to your desired temperature, and then, probably never have to change it again and then just turn the volume on/off, you might find it useful to put in a tub spout in your shower and call it a toe-tester...this allows you to run the water without it spraying everywhere, until it's your desired temperature, then divert it to the showerhead. You'll still get that initial cooler bit of water as the hot water warms up the pipes, but it's not going to be anywhere near the shock it could be turning it on, and waiting many seconds to get hot water coming out.

With a mixer type, whether single handle or one with a volume control, as the cold water inlet changes between seasons - mine can vary from nearly freezing to nearly room temperature between winter/summer (or the hot water starts to get used up in your tank), you'll need to adjust the mixer to keep the temperature the same. A thermostatically controlled one will maintain your desired temperature until the tank temperature drops below that point without you needing to play with it.
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