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I need a professional opinion on these layout options

Posted by alina_1 (My Page) on
Mon, May 19, 14 at 16:55

Hello everyone,

I am really overwhelmed with all factors to consider.. Please help me with this decision.

We have an alcove formed by two external walls and one internal wall in our master bath. We plan to install a whirlpool tub and a frameless glass enclosed shower into this alcove space.

The length of the alcove is 10'. We chose this whirlpool tub by Kohler.

The layout is similar to this one:

Bath layout sample

Here is the problem. The installation instruction shows the recessed panel for this whirlpool on the short side. In our case, the short side is going to be either against the wall, or inside the glass shower. I called Kohler customer service and they said that they do not recommend to install a recessed panel inside the shower (makes sense), but it is possible to make it on the front long side of the tub frame.

We would like to achieve a contemporary look and we will use large scale porcelain tile. I do not think that the recessed panel will look good on the most prominent surface..

Here are two options I have. Please help me choose one!

Option #1. The tub is on the left; the motor is accessible from the adjacent room through the interior wall.
The drawback: I will have to install the shower against two exterior walls then. I will have to make a raised column to hide all the pipes and valves and to not compromise the insulation.

Bath layout 1 photo Bath_scheme_1-2.jpg

Option #2.
The whirlpool on the right side; the shower is on the left.
All shower plumbing is accessible through the internal wall.
The drawback: the access panel for the whirlpool has to be on the front side of the frame because it is not recommended to install it inside the shower.

Bath layout 2 photo Bath_scheme_2.jpg

Please help me with this! I might miss some important points...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

Option 3:

Abandon the horizontal tile on the tub. I don't like the edge detail at all as pictured. Install a solid surface tub deck that overhangs the tile. Cover the short wall inside the shower with solid surface (the tub deck overhangs it) complete with a waterproof access panel, which is now an easy detail.


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

If you use a large enough format tile, you may be able to use a single tile for the access panel and use Schluter Magnets to hold it in place, and the joint could be caulked with matching caulk. If you use a rectified tile with very small groutlines it could be almost unnoticeable.

I agree, though, I don't particularly like the tile layout or edge finish on that tub deck as shown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter Rema


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

Another option is access from underneath. What is below?

Some inspectors require access from both ends. Check with your local inspector first. That may be the overriding factor to the front access panel


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

The photo above was to illustrate the tub/shower configuration only, not for the tile job...
Solid surface is not an option for us for the price reasons. Even if we would afford it, I do not understand how to make a panel inside the shower if the shower glass enclosure is more narrow than the deck?

palimpsest, that is exactly what I was going to do as we will use Kerdi system anyway..
The problem is that it can't be done with our 1'x2' tile. Here is the spec:

Minimum access panel pump/control:
20′′(50.8 cm) W x 15′′(38.1 cm) H required

Not sure how to make it nice looking and not very noticeable...


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

Could you make it with two full tiles, or with a full tile width and whatever you end up with as the full height of the surround? If it was the full width of the tile 24" and the bottom of the panel was the floor and the top of the panel was the underside of the deck, it would match the surrounding.

20x15 is the minimum, there is nothing that says it can't be 24 x something.


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

Here is an old thread with a few options. I really love the white shaker looking access panel but there's one further down that uses tile.

Here is a link that might be useful: old thread


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

What about fronting the tub with removable cabinetry panel that matches your vanity like this one?


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

I remember this picture and I like the look. However, it will also require a solid top that we can't afford..

So basically, everyone thinks that we should make an access to the shower plumbing and make a panel for whirlpool on its frame?


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

"I remember this picture and I like the look. However, it will also require a solid top that we can't afford."

I must be missing something. What kind of surface will you have surrounding the tub? Even if it's tile versus solid surface, you can still have a cabinetry apron. Why do you think you can't?


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

We are going to tile the deck. How do you think I can combine tiled top with cabinetry apron? Just can't figure this out...


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RE: I need a professional opinion on these layout options

The tile will be laid on a piece of base -- probably cement board. If you contractor will create a small "boxed" edge, the tiler can lay tile on the face of the boxed edge and on the return on the underside. The cabinetry apron should be measured after the tile is in place.


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