Curbless shower
March 30, 2014
We want a no threshold shower. Our builder says that many people have water problems with them and he does not want to put one in.Any advice, we are building our aging in place house.
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Nicole Hetherington
Are you doing a full reno of the bathroom? If so, the membrane underneath the tile should be past the outside of the shower where the threshold would have been. Since you don't want to have a threshold I'd recommend having another drain on the opposite side of that. (like some hotels do) The stone or tile is going to have to be sealed very often (the upkeep can be high) or you can have water go through and get to your sub floor that can cause rot and mold.
    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Boswell Construction
No threshold showers are not an issue if done properly. Depending on if you are doing a renovation or new construction there are complexities in "setting" the bathroom up for a no threshold shower.

Generally curbs are put into showers to allow for 1. sloping, 2. waterproofing, 3. sloping 4. tile on top. In order to eliminate the elevated height the immediate shower enslosure will need to be dropped approx. 3" lower than the remainder of the bathroom floor to allow for the above components to be installed. If the area inside the shower is not "lowered" in comparison to the general bathroom floor you will definitely have issues.

Once the indent in the shower is achieved ensure that the contractor has his waterproofing sub-contractor waterproof the inside of the shower as he would a normal shower and then take the waterproofing another 4'0 (at minimum) into the bathroom and up any adjacent walls (very important that the adjacent walls are waterproofed up to a height of at least 6"). The more area outside of the immediate area of the shower that is waterproofed and slightly sloped the less chance of water intrusion at a later date. If you look on our profile under "Hillcrest Residence" at the master bathroom we did something very similar to this but installed waterproofing throughout most of the bathroom due to the door directly to the pool and the tub.
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Boswell has all great points. However, I would be extremely concerned about the execution of your curbless shower with your builder that freely admits to not wanting to put one in. Sounds like he is either not familiar with the process or he hasn't successfully installed one. This would be the time to take a step back and re-evaluate the qualifications of your contractor.
3 Likes    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Tileworks Limited
Everyone has given you great advise. Curbless shower or barrier free shower are relatively easy to install. I have installed many curbless showers. There are a few good drain systems out there like Schluter and Quickdrain system. These can be purchase in a kit with very good instructions on how to install them. There are many videos on youtube to show you how to install the drain. For me the Quickdrain system works well. Make sure your contractor follows the kit instructions and you should not have any problems.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:01AM
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Denita has a good point! I would not use a contractor who is not comfortable with the idea of curbless shower to install one.
    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:09AM
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Perhaps the builder doesn't have much experience with curbless showers therefore trying to discourage you from having one.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:16AM
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The question is why are we still putting curbs in shower period. See No need to drop joists to achieve curbless in any situation!
    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 8:04AM
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