Probably one of the coolest/most technically challenging rooms in the whole house is my roll-in shower. I honestly can’t say I understand why anyone would want to have a shower in their house any other way. Forget about the wheelchair/accessibility challenges and it just seems to me to be a far more elegant solution to getting squeaky clean than tripping over the knee height rail of a bathtub you never use. But I digress, I’ve never been much of one for bubblebathes!
Jerry started the shower just over a week ago by laying down the Schulter Ditra underflooring and waterproofing membrane. This was applied in much the same way as in the other rooms although extra care was taken to overlap the seams of the floor and corners.
The multiple, variable angles of the center orientated drain made it necessary to cut the large 1 x 2’ tiles into different shapes/sizes so that they would follow the concave of the floor. Jerry came up with this very cool/functional design. The many grout lines sloping directly towards the drain should definitely help the water find its way to the right place.
To help make the shower really stand out we used some multicolored black, white, dark and light marble decorative tile. It’s almost like it sparkles with light embedded in the multicolored pieces when the overhead lights are turned on.
Now we’re just waiting for the cabinets that go underneath the countertop before we head towards the next steps of installing the concrete countertop and finishing up the wall tile. I’m extremely excited to see how everything looks once it’s all grouted because judging from all the other rooms this final step is what really brings everything together.
I also want to mention something I would have done differently had I known about it before I poured the concrete. A fellow engineer in a wheelchair who has been following sent me an e-mail and installation/spec sheet detailing “trench drains” in curbless showers just a few weeks after the concrete was poured. Too bad I hadn’t thought of this myself, but either way I’m more than happy with how my floor/drain panned out, and wanted to pass this information along to the other readers in case it might be useful.
So what is a trench drain anyways? A horizontal trench that goes across the floor with a thin, recessed metal grate that covers it. Instead of placing a hole/drain in the middle of the shower floor, you’d place a shallow trench at one end of the shower and then slope all of the floor tile directly towards the covered trench. This eliminates all the multiple angles caused by sloping the floor towards a middle drain and would have eliminated the need, and all the work associated with cutting my floor tile so that it would work with my drain. With a trench drain we could have just sloped the floor an inch over the 5 feet and tiled directly onto the floor without any cutting. Probably would be something that would work pretty sweet for a garage drain as well.
I’d post the information I have, but fear in might be copyrighted, so if you’re interested don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll fill you in on all the additional information I might have.
Look forward to the very cool concrete countertops tomorrow!