tiling shower floor in seperate sections

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by dedalus, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. dedalus

    dedalus New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NSW
    I'm starting my shower install next week (14 April), and since I couldn't get any quotes from installers, I'm going to try this myself.

    As an alternative to a linear drain, I was considering using the existing drain position and putting in a 100 mm square tile-insert drain grate, and using large format tiles to tile the floor up from it to the shower walls. That would save me several hundred dollars in drain hardware and plumbing costs.

    Then it occurred to me that with large-format tiles the mud-bed sloping would be really difficult. So I thought, why not do it in 4 sections (planes for the slope), working out from the corners of the drain. If you go from corner of drain grate to corner of shower you have 4 quadrants, one quadrant from each corner. That way, all tiles in any quadrant are layed flat on the one plane.

    Getting the four planes to join seamlessly seemed the trick.

    Anyway, I've come up with a really devious and some will say ridiculously naive scheme:

    My idea is to do the four sections seperately going clockwise north, east, south and west from the drain, and pitching to a common level line around the shower perimeter.

    First I lay the entire floor flat about 15 mm deep over the slip sheet, and place the wire lath on top and press down a bit to embed the lath. Then I continue laying the east and west quadrants, and let them cure for a day. That leaves me with 2 planes finished at opposite side of the floor leading from drain to perimeter, plus a sort of lath-embedded sub-bed.

    Wait, it gets weirder.

    Next day I lay the north and south quadrants using east and west as forms to work to. Simply start from the drain level and fill in the 2 empty quadrants out to the marked line at the perimeter. That should leave correct joined slopes which I tile with the large tiles (cut to suit the diagonal slopes).

    My concern is, I'm using Laticrete 3701 and will there be a problem at the joins where the different pours join up?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
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    Location:
    New England
    Manufactured pans are often four perfectly flat planes, so what you are talking about is functionally possible and has been done. Keep in mind that if you use large format tile, their wet COF is very important. With smaller tile, it's important, but not as much since the numerous grout lines can provide a significant amount of grip. Depending on the tile, you might find that installing them on the diagonal works with less waste.

    I think you may have issues with doing it over many days, cold joints could be a problem. You'd be better off doing it in one pour. There are ways to bond the mudbeds, but it's still better to make it monolithic.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Katwyk Style Trench Drains

    Why not make your own tiled trench drain?

    Then you can skip buying an ACO linear drain and just use tiles and a couple nice pieces of tile profile.

    This trench drain install I made with a 3" point drain from California Faucets. The rest of the shower floor is one way sloped.

    [​IMG]

    I call this style of shower building "Katwyk Style" named after one of the best tile installers I know. He works now I think for a new company called 3D Stone & Tile in Salt Lake City Utah.


    Here are some more Katwyk Style Installations to give you ideas....

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Location:
    IL
    huge5.png Are you talking about a pattern similar to this, where the dark gray in the middle is the square grate? Actually I did not know quite what you were describing, so I just made one with 5 colors instead of 4 for illustration. Maybe you could use that as a basis to clarify your vision.

    The different color sloped plane sections would not actually be squares, so you will not be able to build them with square tiles if the grout spacing stays constant.

    A way that you might consider would be something like this, which could be built with square tiles and equal grout spacing: huge6.png
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Tiling a Shower in separate sections

    This shower we used a single point drain and then tiled the floor in four separate sections.

    I added triangular cuts to use the large 1'x2' tile for this project.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,019
    Location:
    New England
    If you make your four pie shaped (in a square pan) sections each perfectly flat, you can put any sized tile on it up to a half tile on each segment if you abide by the wet COF I mentioned. As mentioned, many of the preformed pans are already that way, so it does work. The drawing is kind of crude, but that makes the most out of the larger format tiles verses a square layout, but enough for you to get the idea. You can run the tile square, but then you'd be cutting them to conform to the changes in plane, which sort of defeats the purpose of the larger tile to a degree, and cutting a large tile on the diagonal in the middle of the field will show any cutting errors verses hiding them at the edge.

    Making a trench with big tile gives you a challenge to keep the sides of the tile looking good, since they will otherwise be exposed, and won't work in a barrier free shower, depending on where the drain is - it can work at the wall, but not if you want it at the entrance.

    Attached Files:

    • Flat.jpg
      Flat.jpg
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  7. dedalus

    dedalus New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NSW
    Thanks for some great ideas here. Information on 4-plane tile installing is hard to come by.

    Jadnashua, I'm taking heed of your advice re doing the mud bed in sections. I'll do a single pour. By the way, your drawing is what I had in mind.

    Reach4, your second drawing is something like what John suggests, with that centre section leading to the drain being at a lower level than the other two. The problem is having that section also sloping to the drain.

    John, I think your idea seems to solve all issues and is the simplest to install and more practical and pleasing as a design. Judging by your first picture, the maximum drop down from the tile surface to the top of the drain grate is only a few millimetres (maybe a quarter of an inch?). Even in a case where the channel is somewhere in the centre of the shower floor, that would still feel okay to the feet, as the tiled channel is only 3" wide in your example. You probably don't need a big slope along this channel anyway (maybe 1:100?), since it's only purpose really is to drain the water that's left over after the main floor has drained.

    With all this in mind I'll look around for a suitable trim -I'm thinking a stainless steel L angle 10 x 10 mm embedded in the mud bed with the tiles on the main slope set just above the lip as in your picture. I could cut pieces from a single 600 mm tile to make narrow single tiles to put in the channel, therefore no grout joints inside the channel.
  8. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    Montreal

    John , to make that design you need a minimum of a 18'' x 18'' tile -- shower floor in the picture can't be smaller than 36'' x 36'' -- or bigger , depending of the size of shower . A 1' x 2' doesn't work for it .


    Dedalus ,

    The size of the tiles is very important to accommodate your shower floor if 4 pieces are to be used . Here is an example of 4 slabs of marble -- tiles also work -- wrapped around the drain for a no curb shower done 15 years ago .

    No curb marble shower.jpg
  9. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Roberto the shower above I did was with 8 tiles.

    1'x2' re cut a hair smaller for the 4'x4' shower size.

    Jim's picture does not leave a level perimeter in the shower floor.
  10. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    Montreal
    Yeah John , so it needed tiles of 24'' x 24'' -- 2'x2' -- . Can't do it with tiles 12'' x 24 '' -- 1'x2' --.

    8 triangles with 2 sides of 24'' , right ?
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Roberto.

    That shower has 8 tiles. I set them all myself. How can you say it can't be done when I all ready did it?

    I'll look for a better picture for you so you can see the tiles.

    [​IMG]

    You can see I messed up the tile in the drain grate. I was out a good 1/8"

    ***ing hack..... lol
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,019
    Location:
    New England
    It will if the shower is square. And even if it weren't, with four flat planes, you can still lay it out that way. All of the Schluter trays are flat planes with the same height on the perimeter (except those for linear drains). You'd want to select tile that would avoid narrow slivers, but that's all part of the design decision you stress, and everyone, should consider.
  13. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    Montreal

    John , I can see the 8 triangles -- no joints inside them -- and it doesn't work with tiles of 1'x2' .

    4' = 2' + 2' , then 4 sides ....4' x 4 sides = 8 triangles .

    Maybe you intended to say the tile had 2'x2' :)

    .
    .
    .

    And then you added the pic and now I can see the lines -- almost invisible once grouted -- in the triangles themselves from 1' x 2'...... Nice looking job:)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,168
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    If you pull this off all credit has to go to Rod. It is now know and for ever more as a "Katwyk Style" shower design.

    The profile I used in the top picture is by Butech a Porcelosnesa company. No better tile transitions I have ever seen.

    About Butech

    [​IMG]

    Dry fitting the trench tiles and cutting the Butech Profile to size shown above. Hydro Ban (green stuff) is backup waterproofing over a Noble Seal TS shower pan. Drain is by California Faucets (5"). The drain is set into the shower pan via a "Divot Style" Install.

    Jim's not going to like it..... And for him I have two words...... ha ha


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course we flood tested this shower. I think this one the owner left for two plus weeks. His son used it as a pond for a spell.... The boat is not mine!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  15. dedalus

    dedalus New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NSW
    I think John's katwyk-style drain is a brilliant idea if it's placed right near one of the walls so you don't have to stand over it. So I'm going to move my p-trap about 300 mm back towards the back wall, and then install a 100mm square grate over it. After waterproofing, I'll tile the floor in one plane using 450 x 450 mm tiles back to the drain, and use a tiled channel about 100 mm wide like in John's picture at beginning of this thread.

    Like so:

    katwyk.jpg
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    I have no qualms about anyone's product use, as long as you use them properly. That you think I'd care, shows how little you know about me.
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Some more shots before grouting

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,168
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Roberto did you see this photo? This is how I used 1'x2' tile with a level perimeter for this North Vancouver barrier free shower.

    This shower was build with a NobleSeal TS shower pan. Divot style install. And For this project Aqua Defence was used on the walls and again over the liner. Because the large white wall tile was 2'x2' we wanted the 1'x2' tile's for the floor to line up with the grout joints. The wall tile was about 1" under 2' so we had to rip down every floor tile first. Took forever.

    Turned out great....

    [​IMG]

    If I had to do this one over I would have used a better tile insert drain. The Style Drain from California Faucets is bar none the best point drain on the market today. I wish ACO made one of these. ACO makes the best tile insert linear drain and it looks like this



    [​IMG]


    California Faucets Style Drain - shown below

    [​IMG]

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,019
    Location:
    New England
    Humm, I know I've read rants from John Whipple chastising people for using the divot method of setting tile, but then here, he reports using it...guess he has two sets of standards and do as I say, not as I do...But, you'll also find where John Whipple has deleted huge amounts of posts, primarily because (IMHO) a good portion was either derogatory, slanderous, or just plain incorrect...you can see for yourself if you look...he's edited out his entries all over this forum.

    FWIW, Schluter has some SS trims specifically designed for covering a sloped edge like in a barrier free shower - they're tapered at the correct nominal 1/4"/foot. There's more than one, so this example may or may not suit your needs.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  20. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Member

    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Divot method

    . Jim you are wrong and showing off your lack of hands on tile experience. The divot method is in regards to a weep hole drain ! You simply are a schluter salesman with too much time on your hands. Reciting booksmarts is no excuse for lack of real world shower building skills that one can only learn over the span of many years worth of actual building. Simply post pictures of your work and show us your skillset? Your repeat sales tactics are tiring
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