For the elderly persons or little children of the house crossing the curbs of a shower seems like a hurdle. They often trip over the curb. The solution is a curbless shower. You can have it on your concrete bathroom floor too. If you know how to build a curbless shower on concrete.
A shower without any obstacles for entry or exit is called a curbless shower. The trick is in the difference of levels of the shower and the floor area surrounding the shower. By making the level of the shower area a bit lower than other parts of the bathroom, we can get rid of the curbs.
Bathrooms are those places in the whole world where you get to be only yourself. It is therefore important to try to make your bathroom as comfortable as possible. In this article, I will show you how to build a curbless shower on concrete. You will get some relevant tips from me at the latter part of the article including answers to some frequently asked questions.
A curbless shower also called a walk-in shower, gives your bathroom a modern look. It brings a sense of openness to the bathroom. There are two available options for building curbless showers on concrete.
One involves using a membrane panel, which is installed on the top of the concrete floor. But we will learn about the best option for building a curbless shower on concrete. Which is affordable and easy to install at the same time.
The method is described in the following 5 simple steps:
Step 1: Put A Moisture Barrier
In this method, you have to paint the concrete floor with latex paints to make the floor waterproof. You should carefully paint the floor with a paintbrush or a paint roller.
The paint also works as an anti-fracture membrane and saves the concrete floor from sudden cracks.
Step 2: Lay Wire Mesh
When the paint is completely dried up, you have to lay a layer of wire mesh, also known as chicken wire over the concrete floor. You need to staple down the layer of wire into the concrete floor.
The layer of wire mesh will work as a bonding agent for the floor. Using the wire, the floor will be able to hold onto the layer of mud.
Step 3: Put A Layer Of Mud
Now, you need to put a layer of mud on the concrete floor. This layer of mud will create a gentle slope from the corner of the shower area to the shower pan drain.
Around the drain area, the thickness of the mud layer should be ⅛ inch. It should gradually increase to ½ inch at the corners of the shower area.
Step 4: Install A Shower Pan Liner
When the first layer of mud is almost dried up, install a shower pan liner on top of the sloping bed. You need to flatten and stretch the shower pan liner over the mud layer and staple it around 6 inches up in the wall studs.
Step 5: Put Another Layer Of Mud
On top of the newly installed shower pan, put another layer of deck mud. At the corners of the shower area, the thickness of the new mud layer should be 1½ inches. The thickness of the new layer should reduce down to ¼ inch at the drainage point.
After the final layer of the mud is dried up, your curbless shower is ready to be used.
Now let us discuss some benefits of curbless showers and see whether the extra effort of building one is worthy or not.
1. It’s Trendy
Curbless showers are happening right now. You will find them in all the modern commercial and residential buildings. In a short period, they might become a standard of modernization too. So, making some extra efforts to build a curbless shower will heighten your standard in society.
2. Brings Openness
When you have installed a curbless shower in the bathroom, you will no longer need to have a separate door or glass wall for the shower area. This means your bathroom will now seem more open and wide. This will help you find more calm in the bathroom.
3. Better Aesthetics
Curbless showers surely make your bathroom more beautiful. That is why they are so popular with modern interior designers and architects. It beautifies the overall look of your bathroom, making the moments you spend in the bathroom more colorful.
4. Easier Access
Access to the area becomes easier when you do not have any additional door or curb in the shower area. This is much helpful to people with disabilities of movement.
Children like a curbless shower because they do not trip over while running towards the shower.
5. Easy To Clean
Curbless showers are much easier to clean than a shower with curbs. Their seamless design ensures less growth of mildew and grime. Besides, the showers do not need glass walls or doors when they are curbless. It means less cleaning in the bathroom.
For a curbless shower, you have to make some extra effort in the floor area. That means, compared to regular showers, It is harder to install a curbless shower.
But the process of installing a curbless shower in concrete is not rocket science. Any healthy person with common sense can do it with proper guidance.
For a standard-sized shower area, you might need approximately $2,500 to $5,000 in the USA. The cost may vary with the quality of the materials used in building the curbless shower.
Depending on the quality of the tile and area of the shower, you may need to add another $500 for building a curbless shower on concrete.
Shower beds are needed to build a curbless shower on concrete. They are the foundation of curbless showers. It protects the concrete floor underneath from moisture and works as a base for the tile.
There are many plastic-made pans available in the market. They are claimed to be an alternative to concrete shower beds. But a shower bed made from concrete is the best possible choice. It can last a lifetime and save you a lot of money.
According to experts, the minimum depth of any curbless shower should be 36 inches. It is appreciated if you decide to make your curbless shower even deeper. You can make the curbless shower up to 48 inches deep.
The flush transition from the bathroom and the shower floor demands a lowered subfloor in the shower area.
According to the International Plumbing Code (IPC), the slope of a curbless shower should be ¼ inch for each foot. That much slope ensures a seamless installation of curbless showers.
If the slope is sharper than ¼ inch for each foot, it will be difficult to walk on them. On the other hand, if the slope is less than the mentioned measurement, the flow of water will not be directed to the shower drain as intended.
You can keep the water in a curbless shower by installing shower corner splash guards. They work as water stoppers at the corners and the space between the walls and the floor.
The main task for the splash guards is to restrain the water from leaking out in all the corners.
To make a curbless shower waterproof, which is built on concrete, you have to paint latex waterproofing of the concrete floor.
Using a paintbrush or a paint roller, you have to carefully paint the whole concrete floor with point-on latex waterproofing. You can find them in any hardware store. The latex paint also prevents fractures in the concrete floor.
Building a curbless shower on concrete requires some extra expense and hard work. But it pays off quite well. When you enter the bathroom and walk straight to the curbless shower without any obstacle, you will thank yourself for the extra effort.
I am James Martin, An professional plumber with more than 16 years of experience. The main purpose of my writing is to share my experiences of helping others. Be with me and explore bathroom plumbing, installation, cleanness ideas, and many more.