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Old 03-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Hi, I have been a residential general contractor for 40+ years, but this has me scratching my head.

I need to expand a half bath that is currently 5' x 5' to 5' x 8' to construct a barrier free wheelchair accessible shower. The room is on a concrete slab.

I don't want to cut a 3' x 5' section out of the slab as I am concerned with reducing the slabs integrity (don't want cracks down the road). I will have to cut a small section to install the drain and trap, and connect to the existing plumbing, but that can be done near the foundation wall and should not affect the slab strength a great deal. I am going to build-up the shower receptor. And, that brings me to the issue. What can I use to build up the floor elevation in the original part of the bath?

I suppose I could simply place and finish another layer of concrete over the existing slab. I need to raise the elevation by 2.5". That would require just over 5 cu. ft. of concrete.

Any other ideas?

Don't worry about the elevation of the finished floor in the adjacent bedroom, that will be taken care of with the installation of a new hardwood floor.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


For one thing the room may be two small to have it be a legal ADA bathroom.
http://www.ehow.com/how_8169149_desi...-bathroom.html

Why not taper the whole floor toward the drain as your raising the floor?


Last edited by joecaption; 03-22-2012 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Thanks for the reply, joe. According to ADA, the minimum space is a 36" x 60", with a 42" entry. I will meet those requirements. Ideally, it should be 60" x 60" for a full turn radius, and so you have a point.

I thought about making the entire area a wet area and doing exactly as you mention, but that would require cutting a channel for a linear drain. In addition, I built a mock-up using a 6" ramp (6" run with a 1.5" rise). The wheelchair occupant could not navigate that, so I want to keep the entire floor level and use the area below the shower for drainage. I had considered making the entire floor a shower-type deck, using Ipe. That way, I would only have to build a level area under the toilet.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


mark E Industries makes shower pan and curb systems. If you google them you will find a products called prep itch, quickpitch, and curb perfect.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #5
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


They have barrier free curbs too. Once in you can cut sleepers and install 3/4 tongue and groove on the rest
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Hi Donnig,

Thanks for the post. I am going to use the pre-pitch system for the dry mud bed under the shower deck. I have used pre-pitch, the curb (I think they spell it with a 'K'), and their weep hole protector a few times. As they say, it is "goof proof".

In your second post, are you referring to using furring strips (sleepers) covered with a 3/4 t&g sub floor? The finished floor is going to be ceramic tile. That is not a bad idea. Let's see...oh, no, that won't work. Since the finished floor is to be ceramic, it is not advised. Because a floating floor, which is what this suggestion essentially is, can expand and contract over time and may wind up causing more headaches with the tile/mortar than it is worth.

Thanks, though, it seemed like a good idea, at first.

The biggest problem I have with my original idea is that 2" is pretty thin for a concrete slab over an existing concrete slab.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


actually with the new membrane systems available you can tile on the 3/4 ply the most common system is from schluter and is their ditra system. It decouples the tile from the subfloor allowing the application of tile without the problems of expansion and contraction and assists in the bridging of the joists (in your case furring)
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


I think you should reconsider cutting open the slab.

What you are proposing will be a lot more work and give you a shower that is less attractive.

Look at Hydroban by Latacrete--that would give you the proper waterproofing.

Remove the shower floor area---add the Schluter or Latacrete drain---vapor barrier over the gravel--
pack the new pitched pan---rock the walls --mesh and fill all voids---paint on the Hydro ban.

Why are you afraid of cutting open the slab?

Look at the bath section at Contractor Talk---link at bottom of the page.---Mike--
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #9
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnig View Post
actually with the new membrane systems available you can tile on the 3/4 ply the most common system is from schluter and is their ditra system. It decouples the tile from the subfloor allowing the application of tile without the problems of expansion and contraction and assists in the bridging of the joists (in your case furring)
I came across the Schluter system during my research. It is interesting. I guess, in my case, it is an "old dog/new tricks" issue. I will have to take a look at the Ditra system.

The fact that they decouple the tile from the subfloor was one of my main concerns. I don't want to have to repair this when I am even older.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Hi Oh'Mike,

Thanks for the post.

There are two reasons I am concerned with cutting the concrete. First, is weakening the integrity of the slab. I'll get to the second shortly. I am the second owner of this home, so I don't know exactly how this slab was constructed. If it is of the same poor quality as the rest of the house, I have concerns over whether it was done right. The addition, that contains this room, was built on a monolithic foundation/slab. Second, considering the space restrictions I have, I would also be removing a portion of the foundation wall.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Contractor Forum. I did not join over there as I am no longer a contractor. I will take a look, though.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #11
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Another possible solution would be a trench drain at the door way to the shower and a floor pitched up from the drain.

I have never had a customer to try that on ---the drains are expensive---but that is a simple way to build a barrier free shower.

Contractor Talk has a lot of talk about those and photos.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Join over at Contractor talk, they allow former contractors who are retired.

The person to address these questions to over there would be angus and john whipple.

I haven't built one as of yet but I am looking forward to the day when that happens.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:42 AM   #13
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Psydoc,
Your going to have to do some more research on ADA bathrooms like joecaption said...
Depending on the drain, you do not need to cut open the whole floor. If your on concrete, you can install a linear drain and shave out the concrete so the drain sits down close to the floor level. You will have to do a mud job across the whole floor but with scarification and a slurry coat, you can go as low as 1/8" at the drain which will keep your mud height lower at doorways etc... and you can mud in your grading at the doorway as well. A clamp drain most likely won't work if you stay with a standardized drain. Look at the Schluter flange drains which will accommodate the thin bed application.
Pictures help!

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Old 03-25-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh'Mike
Another possible solution would be a trench drain at the door way to the shower and a floor pitched up from the drain.

I have never had a customer to try that on ---the drains are expensive---but that is a simple way to build a barrier free shower.

Contractor Talk has a lot of talk about those and photos.
That is what I have decided to do. I discovered that the closet, in which this shower is going to be installed, was roughed-in with a floor drain, capped and skimmed over during construction. Even though the linear drain I selected is $667.00, it seems to be the best solution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Dawg
Psydoc,
Your going to have to do some more research on ADA bathrooms like joecaption said...
Depending on the drain, you do not need to cut open the whole floor. If your on concrete, you can install a linear drain and shave out the concrete so the drain sits down close to the floor level. You will have to do a mud job across the whole floor but with scarification and a slurry coat, you can go as low as 1/8" at the drain which will keep your mud height lower at doorways etc... and you can mud in your grading at the doorway as well. A clamp drain most likely won't work if you stay with a standardized drain. Look at the Schluter flange drains which will accommodate the thin bed application.
Pictures help!

Todd
www.aloneeagle.com
That is exactly how I have decided to proceed. I can't totally comply with ADA requirements due to the dimensional limitations I have with the current room. There is no way to make it larger. I can meet the minimum shower requirements, and relocate the door; however, that is as much as I can do.

I am not as concerned as I was about cutting the slab. I talked with a local rehab contractor who is familiar with the construction of the slabs in this area. He said he has been cutting large sections and long runs for plumbing for the last 22 years. He has never had a problem with the slab. He does place some post tension cables, or stitching dogs, when he thinks it is necessary.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #15
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Ideas for installing a barrier free (roll-in) shower


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Originally Posted by framer52 View Post
Join over at Contractor talk, they allow former contractors who are retired.

The person to address these questions to over there would be angus and john whipple.

I haven't built one as of yet but I am looking forward to the day when that happens.
Hi framer52,

Thanks for the post.

I have been following angus and john whipple at Contractor talk. They do seem to know their stuff. I think I will continue to lurk over there for a while.

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