‘wetroom’ shower by grinding down slab?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by sdcb1, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. sdcb1

    sdcb1 New Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    San Diego
    Hey folks,

    I plan on doing a complete remodel on my small master bathroom.

    I have this vision of having a completely curbless shower with frameless doors that come almost to the floor. The idea would be to have minimalist, room-opening affect of a true wet room in the shower area. I would accomplish this by having a contractor grind the required slope into my slab.

    The current shower is an old fiberglass plan with a cheap set of framed sliding shower doors on the curb. The shower dimensions are approx about 4.5 feet wide by 3 feet deep. I intend on using kerdi material with a kerdi drain to waterproof everything.

    After doing quite a few google searches (that took me to this site), it seems that there is no information anywhere on doing a shower this way. It this idea crazy? I think not having to step over a curb every morning would be certainly worth the trouble. I think that as long as the slope of the shower was extended to 5 inches (almost up to the toilet) past where the doors come down, any water going down the doors would hit the sloped surface and drain.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  2. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    A slab on grade?

    Wet rooms have been built before. It's the same principle as a shower floor. I would consider a channel drain. Then you have a flat floor sloped one way as a unit, and you don't have to slope it four different directions as an inverted cone.
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Rather then grinding, you may want to cut out the area and pour it back with slope. You need to replace the drain anyway and find a way to collect to water into the drain. Concrete is porous. You will need a waterproof membrane.
    There are plenty of curb-less showers being done, it's not a new idea, but you will need the membrane and a new drain.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Grinding the slab to a consistent slope that looked and worked well, then chopping out a section so you could put in a new trap and drain (likely but maybe you'd be lucky) would probably take as long as chopping it out and recessing the slab. I'd check out www.johnbridge.com for some comments and ideas if you haven't already. Kerdi would be a good means of providing the waterproofing. Schluter has some new products that I haven't kept up with, so maybe they now also have a trench drain. I know various people have concocted their own and used Kerdi. Schluter is pretty good about technical advice as well. Most curbless showers have at least a small hump or ramp to help define the outer edge.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2010
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your slab is probably 4", OR LESS, thick and if you were to grind enough slope to prevent overflow into the room, you might end up with a fairly thin floor. Cutting it out, the pouring a new floor with the proper slope and thickness will be much cheaper, faster, and cleaner than grinding. In fact, most would do the above, but recess the floor about an inch below the room's floor to give added splash and overflow protection.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I like the idea of a wet room, and if I ever remodel my master bath , I may do that. One of the +++ of such a room....you don't need no steenkin' shower door!
    Besides slope, I think code will want some sort of minimal curb at the entry way, to prevent any possible overspill. I would consider channel drains, large drains, and multiple drains.

    If you can find a contractor who does a lot of rehab facilities, ADA remodel, health care places, etc. they may have experience and other ideas
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2010
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    Curbless Shower on Concrete Floor

    How did the shower turn out? Did anyone hear back from the poster?

    Going without a curb is easy enough to do and easy enough to get passed inspections. You need a plan and proper drainage.


    This bathroom has no shower door and no curb either in the entry of the shower or entry of the bathroom

    We have been advising our clients lately to incorporate a second drain outside the wet zoone as a back up. Installed near the door or vanities and a fraction below the entry level height of the bathroom will make for a good back up.

    There are some great tile top drains that are very unnoticablle when installed properly.

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
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