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Couch 03-07-2008 10:08 AM

Bathroom 'wet floor' - floor slope options
Hello, I'm looking for advice on a 8x8 bathroom conversion I'm working on for a friend. The bathroom is on the main floor (unfinished basement below) has been gutted down to the studs and subfloor. We're converting it to be barrier free since my friend has been recently confined to a wheelchair. The tub has been removed from the alcove, and we are installing an acrylic roll-in shower unit. Thats the easy part.

We had originally planned to just lay down tile in the rest of the bathroom, but after speaking with a few care workers, they strongly recommended making a full wet floor (tile and barrier, sloped to a drain) in the bathroom since water will inevitably escape the shower area and get to the floor.

The drain plumbing is an easy job, and I plan to beef up the joists to stiffen them up (I can't double them easiliy, but can add more blocking between them), and plan to use the ditra floor product from Schluter to minimize the effect of movement and provide the water barrier. My problem is making up the slope. I can't afford to put in a full mortar bed that is built up to an inch or more, this will create too much of a height transition to the hallway.

Is there a product that I can use to make the sloping bed on the floor that would allow it to be applied in 1/2" to 3/4" thickness at the outside edges of the floor, and tapered down to almost nothing at the center (at the drain)? If so, this would be the easiest option. The only other option is to lower the floor joists, something we really don't want to tackle unless we absolutely have to.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.


KUIPORNG 03-07-2008 11:49 AM

if you don't raise the entry to create a slope... that is way too difficult... if you raise the entry... then you have difficulty to roll the wheel chair in and out....
really base on physics... there isn't much choice I can think of besides triming the joists which is a hell of a job....

may be the better solution is just leave it flat and try to make sure the water won't spill out easily from the bath area...

Bondo 03-07-2008 12:06 PM


8x8 bathroom conversion

For such a small area,... 1/4" from the outside perimeter to the center would be plenty of pitch to drain.....
If the transistion at the door is the Issue,.....
Move the floor drain closer to the door,... It'll need less pitch in that direction....

Couch 03-07-2008 12:50 PM

Thanks for the response guys. Good idea Bondo on putting the drain closer to the door - I like that option since it will minimize the transition from the hallway into the bathroom. The hallway is subfloor as well right now (removed carpeting), so I do have some options to 'ease' the transition by sloping the hallway floor up to the bathroom over a 4 foot span or so.

I'll be looking to find a product that I can use as an underlayment to create the slopes in the floor. Something that could be feathered down to 1/4" or so.


kgphoto 03-07-2008 11:09 PM


Are you trying to do this right and to code or just get by?

Code requires the drain to be two inches below your floor, so that would entail either raising the floor and threshold to the hall or lowering the drain. Then Code calls for a minimum 1/4 inch per foot for all draining surfaces.

I would figure out which approach(es) work best and go from there.

You could enlarge the shower area and have it ramp up and down to the rest of the bathroom and if you use a shower curtain you shouldn't have much problem with water.

A picture and a diagram with measurements would help us to advise.

Couch 03-11-2008 09:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)
thanks for the candid reply kgphoto, appreciated. I'm not the type of guy to build something half assed, and it looks like that was the route I was headed.

Resizing the bathroom is not an option due to the layout of the house, and my friends budget. We can move around fixtures now since we have the walls open and the basement below is unfinished.

The shower would have a collapsible threshold, and a shower curtain installed. The drain was really just planned as a back up measure, to get rid of any splashing or runoff from his chair after exiting the shower. But the drain really does complicate things. I'm wondering if a drain right in front of the shower would be possible, and only slope that immediate area? This would still raise the floor, but not as much if we sloped the entire floor. I attached a drawing if anyone has a comment on it.

Maybe I need to stop worrying about it, and put a flat tiled floor in.


KUIPORNG 03-11-2008 10:41 AM

this may be off-topics.... everyone should appreciate the extensive effort you go for your friend... I wish I had friend like that....

kgphoto 03-11-2008 10:51 AM

The area in front of the toilet/tub needs to be pretty level as this is where he will transfer from the chair to the toilet.

1/4 inch per foot is the minimum drain slope for any part of the floor that will get water falling on it on a regular basis.

If he want to wipe up drips that fall off the bath chair after each use that portion of the floor can be flat.

You had a bath tub and now are going to have a shower. You will need to enlarge the drain from 1 1/2 inches to a 2 inch drain pipe, all the way back to where it ties into the stack.

Can you reverse the door swing so it goes out into the hall to give him more room?

What is the box at the head of the tub? I assume it is a linen closet, but I don't see the door opening.

Rotating the toilet so it comes out from the corner on a diagonal will make transfer easier and give more room to slope the floor.

Couch 03-11-2008 01:10 PM

Kui****g, thanks for the kind words. Yep he's a good buddy of mine, and a lot of our friends are also helping out. I know this guy would do the same for me.

Kgphoto, thanks for the response. Good note on the 2" drain, that will need to be done regardless of the floor drain decision.

Yes the box is a linen closet that opens to another hallway (the right hand wall, not open to the bathroom at all). We decided to keep it since storage in the house is minimal, made worse by replacing the large sink vanity with a wall sink. In the corner beside the sink there will be a small floor to wall storage cabinet.

Good suggestions on the door swing and toilet, will be considering those to gain more room and allow more slope for the floor, if we go ahead with the floor drain.


kgphoto 03-11-2008 04:42 PM

Might even consider shifting the sink to the corner and then you can get back some storage.

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