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stepless shower base

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  1. #1
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    Default stepless shower base

    Hi there, i am trying to find out the best way to go about creating a stepless shower. The bathroom is on a timber floor which has been tiled over.
    I propose to strip out the floor tiles and sheet flooring and start fresh.
    Lay down new waterproof sheet flooring and cover with ceramic tile underlay and waterproof accordingly.
    The question is how do i get the slight fall to the floor drain?
    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Hi there,

    I am currently in the process of finishing off our ensuite rebuild and I am going the same way, I didn't want a hob and wanted a "continuous" floor level.

    There is a big write up of what I did and the product I used Lanko 136 for the thin slope 2mm - 20mm. Do a search for my username of "lanko 136" and you should hit the jackpot..

    If you have a look at the "waterproofing" thread a few items down, there's pics of what mine ended up looking like too

    Goodluck

    Andy

  3. #3
    Golden Member autogenous's Avatar
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    Check the plumbing regulations

    It used to be that you had a hob in case you had a poo backflow up the drain flowing back into the house.

    The one thing, the one thing, the one thing is, I will stress this.

    The water must go down the hole.
    Like pretty much all of it. No pooling.

    Have step down sheeting in the shower and screed from the main floor to the drain?
    Understand?
    Currently obsessed with non-hydraulic mortars

    http://brickandstoneart.blogspot.com.au/

  4. #4
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    Hi auto - is it possible to buy preformed "step down sheeting"?
    That would make life a lot easier! Where could i get that?
    I have read about people shaving joists and using mortar to build up a slope but i have reservations about its "strength" on a timber floor.

  5. #5
    Golden Member autogenous's Avatar
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    If you are stepping down from the main floor you don't have much choice about the joists

    You could if you are concerned place a bearer under the area that you shave down the joists.
    Yes you maybe able to get a fibreglass base/tray but I think you will still have to have some form of sheet under that for strength.
    Currently obsessed with non-hydraulic mortars

    http://brickandstoneart.blogspot.com.au/

  6. #6
    Golden Member autogenous's Avatar
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    Hi auto - is it possible to buy preformed "step down sheeting"?
    That would make life a lot easier! Where could i get that?

    You could make one? 4 triangles and bond them together?

    Or, put a spoon drain down the back and have one slope to the mizu waste. They have a name and are relatively new.

    The biggest issue is anything over 200x200s and even then sometimes 200s have to be split to form the fall properly. I dont think anything over 200s should go in a shower unless they are on one plane or big enough to cut 4 triangles to the waste in the centre.
    Mizu Shower Channel

    Shower Grate Waste

    http://www.reece.com.au/bathrooms/products/2262103

    There would be more than just this product around.

    Currently obsessed with non-hydraulic mortars

    http://brickandstoneart.blogspot.com.au/

  7. #7
    1K Club Member arms's Avatar
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    you can buy preformed floor bases that can be cut to size
    kind regards
    tom armstrong
    www.kitcheninabox.com.au
    Flat Packed kitchens to the world

  8. #8
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    you sure can... DO a gogle for "profinish wedge" prices I got were

    5mm - 21mm $165 for 1sqm
    21mm - 37mm $185 for 1 sqm
    37mm - 53mm $263 for 1 sqm

    Quite expensive.. particularly if it was a largeish shower like mine.

    There's info about hobless construction in the various wet area guides and how you need aluminium angle protruding 5mm above the tiled / waterproofed area up to a certain radius etc blah blah.. have a re-read of those, (james hardie.. page 13)

    Andy

  9. #9
    Golden Member autogenous's Avatar
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    At $263 you could probably get a tiler to do it for you
    Currently obsessed with non-hydraulic mortars

    http://brickandstoneart.blogspot.com.au/

  10. #10
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    Is it acceptable to lay 2 lots of ceramic tile underlay?
    1st lot over the entire bathroom floor over the 19mm sheet flooring and then a second lot that stops at the outer perimeter of the shower area to create a 5mm or so "drop" at the boundary?
    Lay down fabric around the perimeter and waterproof over the lot and then "screed" a fine tapered layer of mortar or other substrate to the drain in the centre of that space since its 5 mm lower than the rest of the room? Does anyone know what the "pros" do when they build a stepless shower with a shallow fall on tile underlay?
    Thanks for all your advice!

  11. #11
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    The reason i am suggesting the above is because i have seen a few examples of shower floor areas with very little fall to waste and i am wondering how they did it! Any ideas? I really appreciate the input.

  12. #12
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    "Very little slope" is not particularly descriptive... 1:100? 0.5:100? I know for a fact that the slope in our old shower was insane (unknown actual slope but it felt like we would slip over).. the new slope has a 18mm fall per 1m linear and I achieved it with the Lanko136 which is a mortar designed for sloping and is capable of being used in thin applications.. I thought about the "stepped" compressed cement fibre idea, but the Lanko was the way to go in my opinion. It worked out really well in the end.

    As a side note, there is a minimum required slope, 18mm per 1m is substantially steeper than the minimum and does not "feel" bad.. something to think about.

    Have a good one..

    Andy

  13. #13
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    Hi Andy, yes not particularly descriptive
    the example of a stepless shower area i saw seemed to have very little fall, probably 10mm (if that!!) over 500mm to the drain all round.
    Looked very nice actually, and wondering how they managed to get that on a timber floor. They did it on an upstairs bathroom too ( i dont fancy having to carry everything up a flight of stairs and wouldnt want THAT to leak
    - must have cost a pretty penny too).

    I am wondering if they sistered the joists 19mm below the existing joists and laid some sheet floor "between the existing joists ( i saw that method when i was googling) and then laid tile underlay over that? maybe 2 lots of underlay? and then did their falls over that.
    Or maybe they shaved a taper on
    the joists? but im not sure how that works if it means you have to cut a number of bits of floorsheeting to "make" the fall (seems like a fair bit of geometry and joins and potential entry points for leaks to worry about.

    I saw pics on the net of one mob that cut a good 1/3 out of some joists and laid a sheet flat in the recess but i wonder about the structural integrity. Thanks to auto for the idea of a bearer though!

    There doesnt seem to be much info on method and best practice on the net.
    I was hoping to do it in a way were the area is literally "framed" and sheeted to the fall without having to make up the 4 sided slope (again geometry and joins) but i guess the way to go is to recess the area, and just waterproof it (like a little swimming pool)
    Then use the lanko (thanks andy) to make up the slopes and tile over that (saves trying to build it up tiling as you go as one net reference suggested.

    I havent addressed how the drain fits in all of this yet. I hope the plumber will know what hes doing cos i sure dont. I have read about flanges and weep holes etc but havent got my head around it yet as part of the install
    ie what fits up to where and when and how etc

    Thanks to all who have replied, you have been great!
    If anyone has any more tips or hints on best practice, keep em coming!
    Cheers

  14. #14
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    we have a shower of about 1.7m long, fall on that is about an inch into a rectangular drain grate.

    there is a small step-up (about that one inch) into the shower at the open end - if we had the time to do it we would have recessed in by that amount into the subfloor (hardwood timber covered by cement sheet + fibreglass).

  15. #15
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    We were in the same situation - wanted to turn a kitchen into a ensuite and bathroom. It was an old timber strip floor, over timber floor framing. Two thirds of the existing floor was to be turned into the bathroom/s, and I wanted to maintain the same floor level throughout.

    After reading this forum long and hard (thanks everyone), I decided the best option was to drop the joists by 50mm in the bathroom area and then lay down compressed sheet (ended up going with JH's Sycon). Dropping the joists made sense in my joint because the bearers act as the bottom plate as well - had cut in floors - so I could move the joists easily (yes, the place is really really old). I put in a LVL at the intersection of the old and new (with a couple of new posts), hung the joists back on it at, but 50 mm lower on the side for the new new bathroom. A new bearer in the middle, and a bit of creative design at the external end.
    It took about two days work, and about $650 in materials, but I then had a nice stable cement sheet floor, and 50mm fall to play with.

    In the picture, you can see at bottom left the lvl at the joint between old and new.

    Cheers,
    jim

  16. #16
    Golden Member autogenous's Avatar
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    They did it on an upstairs bathroom too ( i dont fancy having to carry everything up a flight of stairs and wouldnt want THAT to leak
    - must have cost a pretty penny too).
    Ive done an upstairs floor as part of multitude of other tasks on a reno in Western Australia. I say that because it could vary in other states.

    19mm CFC glued together with epoxy screwed down with screws. The screw holes and any others were then filled with 2 part epoxy. The waste fitting siliconed and screwed.

    Then 50x50mm galv angle was siliconed to the blueboard sheets where they met the floor.
    The angles were also clouted to the stud wall plate. The angles were also lapped. Silicon both on the floor and to the walls on the back of the angle so that the apex where the two met was totally sealed at every point. The hole thing was then damp proofed. The tiler then came in and screeded over the floor to create falls. Then more damp proof over the screed then the tiles were laid.

    Multiple layers of damp prevention.

    Did that make sense?
    Currently obsessed with non-hydraulic mortars

    http://brickandstoneart.blogspot.com.au/

  17. #17
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    Have a look at using a Marmox shower tray.


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