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What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Posted by caligirl_cottage (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 9, 08 at 22:54

All I see these days are fully tiled floors, but they are so cold, hard to clean because of grout lines and the waterproofing is more prone to failure. I'm considering a Kohler shower pan and then just tiling the walls, but will this lower the value of my remodel somehow or look "cheap"? Is there a way to make sure it doesn't look cheap?

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

If it flexes underfoot, it's cheap, and I dare say prone to eventual failure.

If you're referring to Kohler's coated cast iron pans, or "shower receptors" as they so lovingly call them? They're gorgeous.

For their plastic bases, as long as they are sturdy, why not? Some people love them, some are tepid, some despise them. It's really about you and your lifestyle and how detailed you want your bathroom to be.

As for tile being "cold", if your referring to cold temperature, it's simply the ambient room temperature. Same as any other shower floor will be, regardless of the material it is made from. Turn on the water and the water warms up the base.

Mongo


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

We used a shower pan for the reasons you mentioned above. We didn't go with a cheap acrylic one, we bought a solid surface pan from Onyx and tiled the rest. I think they look fine and don't detract from the look, if done right. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you've got to make the call for yourself.

FWIW, the realtor that helped us buy our house a year ago stopped by today to see what we had done with it so far, and she raved (unprompted) about the shower. Here's what ours looks like:


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Tile shower pans are only more prone to failure if they're not installed properly. The same can be said for solid bases and plexiglass bases.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Thanks for the help. I really want a kohler cast product that's sturdy. Since our tiles are going to be mostly white, I think it will look fine. It should be slightly cheaper to install than tile and easier to maintain and since we plan on living there forever, I don't worry too much about re-sale.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Something like this?

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

I am considering the same, possibly something like weedyacres has. Our current shower is completely tiled, and we have issues with constantly fighting back mold around the edges. Maybe it's just us, but I'm hoping it's the tile installation and grout lines :-) So I'm definitely planning some sort of solid surface base. Haven't figured out yet whether we'll then tile the rest like weedyacres or do some sort of solid for the entire thing.

Would it look strange if we had solid surface counter top on the vanity, complete solid surface shower, but then tiled around the bath enclosure? I don't have as much of an issue with tile and grout around the bath, but I can't decide whether the change would add interest or look weird.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

After many months of lurking, this is my first post.

We'll be making this same decision in the near future because of an issue with our tiled shower. We live in a ranch home with a crawl space. Our tile shower developed some sort of crack/leak/something that caused water to leak into our subfloor and crawlspace. Because that portion of our crawlspace is very inconvenient to get to (though we've done it 3 times now and I feel like I'm completing the portion of a military obstacle course where you slither on your belly) we had no idea that our shower was leaking.

It wasn't until we moved a piece of furniture in our dining room (which shares a common wall with our master shower) and discovered some warping and discoloration on our hardwood floors along that wall.

We've discovered major damage from a long term leak (which excludes it from insurance coverage) beneath the shower.

So I imagine I'll be posting more as we tear out our shower, subfloors, and some framing (and doing the same in two adjacent rooms), but I wanted to caution people that have ANY concern about grout that could be compromised.

If we'd had a 2nd floor shower, we would have been more likely to discover it quickly due to ceiling stains.

I would be more excited about getting rid of our 1978 bathroom (which actually was mostly fine due to plain white tile) if we hadn't JUST completed painting and re-roofing our house. The wallet is very sad.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

weedyacres

I love your shower!!! Could you tell me what size the Onyz solid surface pan is? Also I see you have two shower heads - does this work well and is there enough room for two to shower at the same time?

Thanks!


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

snowyshasta: We did that in our last bathroom. The tub already had tile, and we enlarged the shower, using swanstone pan and walls. Here's the finished product:

k&k: The pan is 60"x60" neoangle. We get plenty of water pressure running both shower heads (and sprays) at once. We do bump elbows a bit when we're both showering at the same time, but my DH likes excuses to "bump". :-)


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

We just had the white Kohler cast iron "Kathryn" shower pan installed - and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at how nice it looks and feels, and how well it integrates with the warm beige tile we have on the shower walls and the main bathroom floor (I originally thought I wanted a tile shower floor, but was persuaded otherwise by my contractor and DH). All our other plumbing fixtures will be white (toilet and sinks), so I think that will also help tie it in with the rest of the bathroom. We're still waiting for the shower door to be installed, so we haven't actually used it yet - but from an aesthetic perspective, it's a winner. I personally don't think it looks or feels at all "cheap," especially with the way our tile guy was able to frame it so seamlessly. And we have a lot of other details in the bathroom that I think (hope!) will help pull off a rich feel. I'll post pictures once we're a little closer to completion!


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

surpriseremodel,

the grout doesn't protect from leaks, the pan liner does.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Thanks for the picture weedyacres! That does look like it works fine together, so maybe we can go with that plan. I just know I want some sort of solid base for the shower - no grout lines!


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

I hope I am not too late to chime in. After seeing the shower pans by kohler and the colors that are available, it would be easy to match the pan color-wise.

Secondly, my thought about it looking "cheap" is this: If this pan is gonna sit next to a cast iron or some other tub, then in fact it would be a very good pattern match. After all, a tub has that same molded look. If your tub was custom, sunken, hand-tiled etc. then sure, a prefabricated shower pan would look odd.

Just my 2c; and I am falling in love with this idea.

PS: I have a bias against tiled shower pans. We toured a new house development in Pacific NW couple of years back, and the builder, in an attempt to impress us with the craftsmanship, told us how difficult it was to lay the tiles in the shower pan, must be hand-laid, and must maintain a certain grade etc. If something is so difficult to do, then I know the chances of someone messing up are huge; unless someone like Bill V is helping the job. The last I checked, he was in Central Maine, and my remodel is in SF Bay Area!!


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

I put in a corian base that is as close a match in a dark blue-grey color to the tiles on the rest of the floor. I like it very much indeed. Quite unobstrusive and very easy to maintain. Soft-scrub and done. It is also thick and quite heavy - this is not your flimsy fiberglass stuff! - and it was installed in a mortar bed of some sort (I forget the details now as it has been a few years since we put it in) and there is no movement, no flex, no nothing whatsoever. I don't think this is going to budge.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

We have a fiberglass shower tray under our tiled wall shower. It's 4 years old now and is very sturdy with no flexibility - I don't regret the choice a bit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Bathroom Remodel


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Has anybody found a shower pan that is 42X60 with the curb end on the short side, entering on the short side?


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

kandkwi.
That is my problem, also. Because of my history with "Murphy's Law", my conservative side would prefer a shower pan of some sort without the possibility of accompanying grout issues, but my shower is an non-standard size, (similar to yours) and I don't think I have any choice other than to go with the tiled floor. I have heard that there are places that will custom-make pans, but of what material? And then it would be just my luck that it would be off 1/2" in one corner, and wouldn't go in! :)

caligirl,
The Kohler shower pan that acomom describes in her post sounds wonderful. Usually Kohler products are designed with great looks in mind, and the bath acomom describes seems gorgeous and classy looking, as though all of the fixtures are working in concert. I'll bet yours could be, too.

Oh weedy, ... weedy!

That tub and shower are incredible! So spacious. A bunch of questions for you, so I hope you see this post. Incidentally, I enjoyed your "bump" comment. :)

In your shower, do you have a 'channel' to secure the glass to the wall where the glass meets the tile (an upright wall channel)? Or is the glass secured to the walls just with silicone? It appears that there is no channel at the bottom where the glass sits on the ledge, just silicone, correct?

I read once that 'neo' angles do not work well with heavy shower glass, because of leakage. How heavy is your glass, it appears at least 3/8"? Have you experienced any problems with leakage? A glass guy told me that it is difficult to 'miter' heavy glass in a neo angle, and that the mitering takes away from the beauty of seeing the thick cut edge of the glass. He also said that the only way to accomplish holding neo glass together is with a header, (clip hardware only works at 90 degree angles) and I notice that you have a header, which looks great, BTW. Still undecided, i think that I am leaning toward the 'totally frameless' look, as a header would distract from the top of my border tile accent, which must be located at the same height at the shower glass. Please address.

And about that georgeous tub. What is the 'beaded effect' in the surround just under the bullnose? Is that some type of tile trim, or did that come with the solid surfacing material? Your surround appears to be about 12 - 14". Is it difficult to enter or exit the tub, being that wide? Everything is fabulous.

Thanks in advance,
Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

There are channels on the top, bottom and sides of the glass. The only place without them is over the transom and under the door.

Our glass is 3/8" and we've not had any leakage problems (6 months of use so far). The hinges are 135 degree ones, so I don't know why your guy things they only come in 90 degree varieties.

I originally wanted frameless, but was very pleased with how unobtrusive the sem-frameless turned out to be. That's a matter of personal taste, though, so only you can decide what you'll be happy with.

I think I answered the question about the tub in another thread: that's a decorative chair rail made of resin but with the appearance of natural stone.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Anne: Just realized I didn't answer the part about getting into/out of the tub. I don't step from a standing position, I sit on the tub deck and swing my legs into the tub. The deck is about 9" wide plus the depth of the chair rail (maybe another inch or 1.5)


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Weedy,

So glad you saw the posts and could answer the questions. For the last couple of days, I've been chasing down a second choice in decorative granite trim for my shower, since my first choice has been discontinued. (My typical luck!) :) So I have not been on the Forum and this is my first opportunity to reply.

This forum is amazing...because I have had at least 2 glass guys tell me that 'clip' hardware only came in 90 degree angles, and now you tell me that yours is 135 degrees. I was told the only choice that I had with a 'neo' angle shower was to use the channels to secure the glass to surfaces (wall and floor) because the clips would only function at 90 degrees. So I opted not to 'angle' one of the walls of my shower, which would have made it a little more interesting in design than the true rectangle I now have.

Another poster said that she wanted to avoid the channel on her shower floor, (she has a curbless, as I will have...unless I change my mind within the next couple of days) and she had had 'gunk' build-up in her previous shower with a channel. Your glass (and channel) sits on a ledge, however, above the water level that a curbless shower might encounter. Have you noticed any type of build-up, calcium or otherwise, in the 6 months since you have had it?

Hindsight is amazing, but I think if I could do it over again, I would have purchased a Kohler or some other quality product shower pan first, and designed my shower to fit it. I have disliked cleaning grout since a small girl, but decided to take the giant step with this remodel. I'm trusting the new grouts and new products will make things easier to clean (in my old age). :))

And again, that chairrail is fabulous. In the first picture you posted, it looked like your surround was a solid surface material, I didn't even know it was tile. My surround is already done, but I could possibly use that chairrail (or one similar) in another area. Have you shared or do you remember the brand and how you purchased it?

And lastly, I noticed you seemed to use the same tub faucets in both your bath remodels. Lovely. If it "ain't broke, don't fix it!" Right?

Thanks for sharing all the info.

Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

I'm going to open up my kimono here and give you close-ups of my shower frame. I have not washed it in 6 months; rather I squeegee and spray shower cleaner after each use. We have hard water (water softener is on DH's to do list).

The chair rail came from Lowe's. The faucets (both times, eagle eye) came from ebay. Hey, when it matches and it's only $100....


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Wow!

No evidence of gunk or calcium deposits there! These pics really help.

And I have been accused of having an 'eagle eye'. About the tub filler, $100 is an amazing value... and it really looks good on that million dollar tub!

I haven't frequented Lowe's regularly in a while, except the other day when I asked if they had radiant heating mats, and of course no one had heard of them. The guy today told me he was working on how to special order for me, and that he "would get back to me." It kind of felt like one of those "Check's in the mail!" statements. Anyway, I've never seen any chair rail that looked like yours there, and inventory varies in different parts of the country. In which department was this resin, and does it have a name? Thanks for opening the kimona. :)


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RE: What about a 'shower pan'...another product question?

Weedy,

One more thing. Since you seem to be great at scouring the net for good values, where did you get the heated towel racks and how much?

Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

We must have a better Lowe's here than you do, which is unexpected because we only live in a mid-sized city. Our Lowe's also carried some RH mats (Suntouch, I think). The chair rail was in the tile dept, and the mats were in the flooring dept. Google "radiant floor heat" and you'll get lots of links to different brands that you can buy directly online.

The towel warmer is Warmrails, and I got it on Amazon.com for $150.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

I am certain that you have a better Lowe's than we have, but a part of the problem is that it is typically so hot/warm in Houston, no one ever thinks about the convenience and delight of warm tile floors in the cooler months. Everyone here is usually trying to find a way to keep cool! So certainly no one has mats in stock, and very few salespeople even know of their existence. Mine will be the first my tile guys put in, If I can ever ORDER THEM!

I am also certain that you have found the best values on the internet with some of the product choices you have shared. I truly appreciate it.

Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan'? one more question?

Weedy, if you see this...

I keep running into you here and there, we follow many of the same threads. You give really good advice and are a natural at this design thing. I went into Lowe's this weekend and REALLY looked. I had not really shopped there for 'a few of my favorite things' in quite some time and I was absolutely amazed at the Tile Department selection. I found several things that I really may be able to use so thanks for the steer in the right direction. Still no heated mats, tho. :)

If you get a spare moment, I would like to ask one more favor. You mentioned earlier in this thread (I think it was this thread) that your shower clip hardware was designed for a 135 degree angle. Do you know what other angles other than 90 and 135 are available or from whom? (Probably will depend on each person's Glass Guy's resources). If you have a moment could you photograph a close-up of your clip hardware, so I can show my guy (or whomever) that it exists? I would also like to see how the 3/8" glass is mitered for that 135 degree hardware. I know that it is also held together by the header channel at the top.

This favor, only if you get a chance. :)

Thanks so much,
Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Thanks for the responses. I think we'll definitely check out the Kohler pans more closely. I just prefer them and this is going to be our forever home - I HOPE! So re-sale is very secondary.


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Here are 4 views of the hinge, the first two of it closed (center position), the next one with it opened in, and the last one with it opened out (last one as viewed from inside the shower). The fixed panels are mitered, the shower door is square. The miters look fine.




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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

Thanks, Cali and Weedy,

The guy I talked to at the glass place said that where two pieces of glass came together in the fixed position, the mitered angle looked weird. But the way he described it to me did not make sense; something about not being able to see the 'beauty of the full 3/8" edge of the glass because it had been mitered.'

People tell you the strangest things, but he had no examples to show me of the mitered edges of two pieces of 3/8" glass.

Anne


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RE: What about a 'shower pan'? - one more thing

Weedy,

I looked at your shower again after I posted the above. I don't think we have the same application, because you don't seem to have any place where 2 pieces of glass come together in a fixed position and are adherered by silicone (neo angle). Where your glass meets at an angle appears to be on either side of your shower door. I don't think there would be a need to miter on either side of your door, or is there?


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RE: What about a 'shower pan' instead of tiled floors?

We are planning a neo-angled custom tiled shower but need help in figuring out how to build the pony walls on either side of the door. We have been told the pony walls have to be at a 45 degree angle to the curb. Does anyone have suggestions on how to frame this?


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