Small Bathroom Shower woes!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by adamm, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. adamm

    adamm New Member

    Messages:
    10
    I am redoing my bathroom and would really like to install a swanstone (or similar) base and the tile myself. My problem is that my maximum available floor space for a show is 36 x 32. The threshold/entrance is on the 32 side and the shower head is on the 36 side. Because 32 x 36 is not a stock pan size I'd have to pay for a custom pan which costs a lot more.

    So my 2 choices are:

    1 Get a 32" x 32" base and deal with a smaller shower but have piece of mind knowing it will fit.

    2 Get a 32" x 32" base and when framing the shower at about waste level adding a 4 inch deep shelf across the back then continuing straight up (in essence pushing the depth of the shower to 36". This way my arms would have a little more room and would be about the same size I have now.

    The questions are :
    1 Is a 32 x 32" shower big enough for daily showering?

    2 Is the build out idea a good one (found it in another forum) or is it asking for trouble ? (This will be my first shower tiling project, but I take things slowly and carefully...)

    Thank you for any ideas. I've spent hours and hours in the past week trying to find a solution.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    Building a custom shower pan isn't really all that tough if you have some good guidance. Lots of ways to mess up, though. Check out www.johnbridge.com and while you're at it, look at Kerdi at www.schluter.com. With the Kerdi system, if you can put up wallpaper, you can make a good totally waterproof shower.
  3. Klutzy

    Klutzy New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    New England
    Not sure if this will help, but I have lived with a small shower and it isn't much fun. There is a type of shower curtain rod that curves outward in the middle and in at the ends, providing more space while preventing leaks. It exists for tubs, ~$50, not sure whether they make one for showers or not. Have you looked at showers that cut off one corner but have a curved side rather than a straight one? Those seem more spacious too if you can find one with your dimensions; you want to make sure the shower has a nice high bottom wall to keep the curtain inside. Or maybe you can enlarge your bathroom slightly? In mine, which is being put in a 9x5 closet space, they are popping out most of one wall ~18" into a bedroom to accommodate a tub/shower. There's room for a linen closet, too. With no electrical outlets to deal with it was far easier than I'd imagined. I'm no builder but I'm sure I could have removed and rebuilt the wall with a friend's help.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    In the interest of science, I got in my shower with a tape measure. I have a tub, so it is only 27" from wall to the glass door. But I drew a line at 32" the long way, pretended that was the other wall. Quite cramped...I would not want to have to use that .

    I think the bump out would not really help, and I think it is a very bad idea from a construction standpoint.

    Building a liner and tile floor is very doable for a DIY project.....please do a lot of homework, both here and at the tile forum www.johnbridge.com
    Doing it right will last for 30 years. Do it wrong and become a frequent flyer at the forums on why you have water/mold/odor problems!
  5. Klutzy

    Klutzy New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    New England
    :eek: Yikes! Why is that??
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    What amounts to a shelf in a shower is hard to waterproof properly. It can be done, but isn't that easy to get right and with a proper slope to help keep water from pooling.
  7. adamm

    adamm New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Thank you all for the comments. I ended up ordering a 36 x 36 shower base from Swanstone. I think it will fit comfortably (after dozens of re-measures) when combined with a pedestal sink and pivot shower door.
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