Curbless showers are great and look even cooler with linear drains.
But proper installation begins with planning and choosing the right configuration.
Therefore we’ll discuss a curbless shower pan with linear drain setup and explore some common problems.
The last thing you need is to spend tons of money on the wrong materials!
Let’s dive in.
Curbless Shower Kits
Is there such a thing as curbless shower kits?
Yes and no – which is very frustrating.
Installers have lots of choices, which is good.
But that also brings up lots of questions, which is time consuming.
Here are different curbless shower options:
- Concrete curbless showers with any backer board
- Schluter’s Thin Shower Trays with KERDI-BOARD
- VIM’s Curbless Pan with any backer board
- Wedi’s Fundo Ligno with Wedi backer board
Concrete curbless shower pans require liquid waterproofing membrane. The upside is any backer board can be used, including cement board. This type of shower is built over concrete slabs or in basement bathrooms.
Schluter’s new Thin Shower Trays are fantastic but they only have standard circular drains. KERDI-BOARD is ideal for this type of application because it maintains the Schluter warranty.
VIM’s curbless shower pan is made from recycled ABS and is different than Schluter and Wedi’s pans. It does require back buttering with thin-set, which adds a lot of weight to the pan. However, the upside with VIM is the ability to use any backer board and not have to worry about warranty.
Finally, Wedi’s Fundo Ligno is probably the easiest curbless pan to install. Plus, Wedi backer board is very simple and can be added to wood or metal studs. In addition, Wedi Joint Sealant cures very quickly and this allows flood testing in as little as two hours after installation.
Here’s the deal,
None of the above systems use a linear drain.
But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.
Curbless Shower Pan with Linear Drain
Linear drains add an additional level of complexity to curbless showers.
Unfortunately there are tons of pictures on Pinterest and Instagram that show linear drains in many different configurations…along the plumbing wall, back wall, under benches, etc.
If the shower pan is a wedge and has a linear drain then positioning the shower pan the right way is critical.
Otherwise, when it comes time to tile the shower pan and main bathroom floor, you might be in for a rude surprise.
Watch our video for all the details on how to properly plan a curbless shower pan with linear drain
The first step after recessing the shower floor was KERDI-BOARD installation.
KERDI-BOARD is lightweight and very easy to cut. Plus it doesn’t create a lot of dust like cement board.
In addition, using KERDI-BOARD will uphold the Schluter warranty. That is important for installers and homeowners.
Here’s the deal, in this shower we built a full length shower niche. This can be easily done if the stud wall is not a load bearing wall.
Otherwise, you’ll have to add additional structural support or consult a structural engineer.
Watch this video to see how we installed KERDI-BOARD in this curbless shower.
Curbless Shower Pan Installation
The first step was to assemble Schluter’s KERDI-LINE Channel Body. It comes with a rubber Fernco that attaches to a riser pipe. The riser can either be glued into the P-Trap via a coupling or attached to the Fernco and then glued to the P-Trap.
Schluter ALL-SET (50 lb bag) was mixed with 8.5 quarts of water to produce a thinner consistency. This was burned into the recessed shower floor after dampening the wood with a sponge. Then more thin-set was directionally troweled into the wood using a 1/4″ x 3/8″ square notch trowel.
The Channel Support was bonded to the recessed subfloor then the Schluter shower tray was next. Once the tray was set, we extended it’s square footage by using Mapei’s 4-to-1 mud bed mix.
Watch our full video to see how to prep the linear drain and install the curbless pan.
DITRA-HEAT Over Curbless Pan
Two things make this curbless shower unique.
First, the linear drain at the entrance is very cool. It’s also highly complex with regard to planning…Steve makes the installation and planning look very easy.
But there was a lot of work that went into this shower.
Second, this curbless shower is heated and that requires extra diligence.
DITRA-HEAT mat was used inside and outside the shower.
Plus, mat was applied on the Channel Support so the Channel Body would sit level.
Our video walks you through DITRA-HEAT mat installation and why we installed it the way we did.
Should the curbless pan be installed first or after backer board?
Well, it truly doesn’t matter but if you’re using a foam shower pan then we highly recommend waterproofing the walls first then the shower pan.
That way, the curbless shower pan won’t get too dinged up during installation.
If you are doing a similar project our Curbless Shower Master Course is fantastic.
We show how to plan and build curbless showers over wood or concrete, set tile, use tools and more.
The extra guidance is invaluable
This post first appeared on https://www.homerepairtutor.com