Questions about walk in shower

Old 11-30-03, 04:18 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Questions about walk in shower

We are planning a new home. The person that drew up our plans (from my wife's design) has a 4" step down into the walk in shower. The foundation is concrete slab. The shower is going to be 6ft X 8ft with two shower heads and controls. Our question is this:
Is it really necessary to have a 4" step down into the shower area? If the shower heads are on the 6ft wall and the walk through opening on the opposite end of the 8.5ft wall is it really necessary to have the step down? Or can we just have it the same level as the bathroom floor but with a gradual slope towards the drain?

Old 11-30-03, 05:12 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
In that size shower, I can't imagine why you'd need that kind of toe stubber.....uh, I mean step............a drain in the center with a slope into it of about 1/2-3/4" slope would be plenty....You "might" wanna consider a 2" drain pipe though if you plan to run both heads at the same time.
Old 11-30-03, 05:14 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,455
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts

The question is what do you want? What is the placement of other fixtures within the bathroom?

If you desire to have a "roll in" shower unit application, this is feasible and is usually workable depending on several factors.

This would be the proximity of other items close to shower entry, i.e. cabinets, water closet, closet, etc. Second thing is the type of shower enclosure that will be used, glass door or shower curtain. Last but not least is the size of the floor tile that will be used. You can't have a gradual slope with large tile and expect it to slope at the right place which requires either different tile pcs (border or accent tiles). All these factors play a part in what can be done to the floor.

Recently just got done with an addition that is equipped for handicap access. What you are wanting is similar application. A good ceramic man/woman can do allot with a floor but there will be a need to have a recess, as in your case, to provide a pan liner and this can be beveled towards the floor drain. This can be a beveled slope towards drain but a recess must be done to avoid a very thin finish edge at drain which could crack. A 4 inch recess would be similar to most showers where the "curb" is higher and then the pan liner and ceramic can be installed. The curb provides a "guarantee that water stays within shower space and doesn't extend into the bath area.

A step down is a method that can be used for a shower as it does an excellent job of preventing water from escaping into the main bath area. It is more cost effective to have the step down with a concretet slab than is going to be done but this may be a better option versus the "raised curb" which you probably didn't want. The 4" recess can be beveled and start at the door opening and slope towards the drain, maybe this is what the designer is suggesting and the recess is there strictly to let the concrete guys know that it is needed. The tiler can prepare this so you main floor will meet this threshold area and then it will be sloped towards the drain. Without a recess of some type to allow for a good tile base, liner, if there are placements in close proximity to the shower and you are wanting a sloped floor, it becomes almost impossible to do both. Also depending on the tile size that is to be installed. It may be an issue of compromising and your designer should address this issue with you, if they haven't already and you disliked what was mentioned. It happens.

Hope this helps!
Old 12-01-03, 05:46 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the replies.
Tn...Andy, we agree that with the size and the location of the walk in opening, a step down was really unnecessary. And yes, we were planning a 2"drain - hopefully both showers will be used at the same time -- sometimes.

Doug, thanks for your input. We are definitely planning on using 4" tiles (maybe even 2" mosaics) on the floor of the shower to help prevent slipping. Seems that the larger tiles are a factor resulting in falls in the shower - the smaller tiles have more of a "grip". And you wrote - "It may be an issue of compromising and your designer should address this issue with you, if they haven't already and you disliked what was mentioned" My wife designed the house and she just wanted a gradual slope to the drain. The draftsman that did the drawings is saying that you have to have a 4" step down in the entire shower area. We don't agree and since he is not an "expert" in this area, we wanted to ask others opinions. Thank you for your info.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: