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Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Posted by divotdiva (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 3:45

In desperate need of advice. I have planned a walk-in shower for ease of maintenance (no curb, no glass, no squeegee, no curtain). Part of the plan is to age-in-place, although we are both perfectly physical OK now, the curbless design will allow ease of entry if it is ever needed. We've bought/selected the tub, sinks, granite and vanity. along with gorgeous fixtures to include a rain head and hand held shower. The folks here on the forum have provided me with invaluable advice directly or indirectly with good design solutions.

So now we are ordering porcelain tile.....
I purposely ordered a linear drain so that I could use large-format tile and have ease of cleaning less grout. I have 3 inch tile now and hate it and the grout lines. I love all the large format look showers on Houzz. Every time we discuss tile, my contractor has argued for 2x2 mosaic tile in the floor of the shower. Then today the tile distributor practically insisted that we order the 2x2, almost stating it was a safety requirement. Then she backed off a little and said well it's really up to you - I had planned on about an 8 x 24 size but very willing to step it down to 4 x 12 or 8 x 12 on the floor (with 8 x 24 on the shower walls) if my hubby will feel more secure with more "grip" (closer grout lines).

So any advice/opinions/sympathy :-)? Opinions on scale of smaller tile in the shower floor to the walls? The tile we have picked out is Daltile Fabrique which has a little texture to it. We will have the unpolished on the bathroom floor also (12 x 24) and the unpolished seems to have a pretty good slip rating. I think after making all the other decisions up to now I'm too exhausted to think clearly on tile dimensions. Appreciate your help!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

The best way to find out for yourself is to get some of the tile and wet it and stand on it with bare feet and wiggle around. ;-)

IF later on you find that it is a little slick, you can always just get one of those little shower mats that you pull up and hang on a little hook when you're done. It would certainly beat scrubbing grout lines anyday.

I love the look of linear drains. When you look at the photos closely you can see the texture on the floors.

-Babka

Here is a link that might be useful: linear drains and large tile


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

thanks Babka, I'm in Hawaii so very few places actually keep a bunch of stock around, you have to order it just using the sample card and wait for the barge to bring it in. We may be able to get some of the flooring tile today (100 sq feet in stock) to take home (and wet down! thanks!!) but wait 2 weeks for the rest (that is not a problem for installation). But at this order point I will already OWN it whether it will work or not. I think we're just going to buy the large format 24x24 and 12x24s and have the tile guy cut on site - I'm praying HE at least gets my concept.

It appears the current trend is to tile up to the ceiling in the shower area so that's about the amount of tile we have calculated to cover.

here is a link to the tile if anyone cares to see it. Brun and Creme colors. Brun color in floor of shower and trim around tub, creme for floor and walls of shower. Otherwise it might be too dark in the shower I think. I really like the Gris color but not sure it will match the vanity/granite as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Daltile Fabrique


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

well set up the order for the tile, no 2x2s. Then hubby found a different granite and bought that, so went back to the store and changed the order to Gris because the Brun won't match. The granite is lovely, however. Once I have actual tile to play with I can figure out if we need it cut a little smaller.

Tile won't arrive for 2-3 weeks. One of the downsides of living in Hawaii, if you screw up your order there is no overnight fix unless you want to fly material in $$$

Babka, I saw the photos of your shower/linear drain and love it. The colors look great and the tiling looks fabulous.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I've gotten samples of Fabrique and I saw it installed as an allover tile in a random bathroom I looked at at a Real Estate Open House.

If I understand the data correctly this tile has Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction >.42, which makes it suitable for commercial use where there are wet and slippery conditions.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Divotdiva- Sometimes these things just work out. We waited 4 months (backorders and other excuses) for our lights. Then got defective ones. Selected a 2nd choice and was informed there would be a 90 days wait. NO!
Went local found a light (not in stock) and ordered it from their website, but when it came it wouldn't fit in the electrical cutouts on the wall (too high). Luckily they could be mounted upsidedown.

We like them better than the original ones "we couldn't live without".

OT- We first saw our bamboo glass on some front doors in Kauaii last Spring, and I knew I had to have it. Until then I had only seen 4" squares of it, so I understand your dilemma regarding ordering from little samples. Aloha.

-Babka


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Everyone loves to set 2-by-2s because they are easy so set.

To set large format, the base needs to be dead flat (in plane) so the larger tiles don't "rock" or result in lippage.

I didn't see a specific DCOF rating for the tile just that is was
"> 0.42", but knowing if it was .43 or .67 would help a bit.

DALTile does rate it as suitable for exterior patios, so water exposure is not an issue. But they don't rate it as suitable for pool decks, so that raises a traction concern despite whatever the DCOF may be. Now there may be a standard DALTile legal issue that prohibits them from officially recommending certain types of their tile from being installed on pool patios, I'm not sure.

But with no additional information provided, I'd call their tech department to get more information on the large format tile size versus the specific DCOF for your proposed application.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Thanks Mongo and Palimpsest, I did look at the DCOF specs but will call them as suggested. Daltile probably has another series of tile specific for pools to reduce lawsuits.

Thanks for the info on the base, I will speak to mason and hopefully tile person in advance. I had already reminded the GC that I'm expecting to have the shower sloped for the linear drain and large tile. GC wanted the 2x2s and now I see why, easier and cheaper, then they can move to the next job. We've tiled floors before ourselves but I'm afraid the slope of the shower would be past our skill level, plus I really don't have time to do it myself right now.

I planned the drain to go right at the edge, by the wall in the shower.. The two short sides of the drain sides will have about 8" of tile on either side as I did not order a custom size to run the entire length of the wall. It's not built yet and GC was fearful I would get one too long I suppose. He mentioned "kicking up the sides" of the tile toward the drain and I was frowning during this discussion because I knew I was buying the large format and not 2x2 mosaic.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I look forward to hearing how this works out for you-- and seeing the results, of course! We are planning something similar. What IS the appropriate coefficient of friction for use around pools, anyway? surely that would be good enough for a shower. I don't buy the idea that you "must" have a lot of grout for grippiness, either--maybe a holdover from the days when all or most tile was glazed to be slippery?


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

What size is the shower floor?


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

off the drawings, the floor is 71" by 42". We can have one wall moved back one inch to make it 72" if that makes the tiling easier.

There are no doors or glass panels. If I can scan and figure how to upload drawing I will try.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

The linear drain is planned for the 42" wall? So 71" from the shower entrance?


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Divotdiva, if you go to the kitchen forum there is a thread called New to Kitchens...that explains how to post pictures. And much more.

Here is a link that might be useful: New to Kitchens...


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

The new DCOF standard uses a robotic device and a mixture of water and sodium lauryl sulfate to test slipperiness.

I wonder if the suitability for showers and baths vs. pool decks has something to do with relative behaviors and "velocity". You can't really run inside a residential shower.

They recently completed a new subway station here and while I am sure they used a tile that technically met the standards of DCOF, it is actually a very slippery floor when wet, maybe because it is an oily, dirty kind of wet. I think the floor is dangerously slippery, and seems to be much more so than the old large slabs of concrete. Part of it though probably has to do with walking fast on it and weaving in and out. (Which I don't do if it is at all wet).


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I still give tile the my very own and highly technical "lick test" when checking for traction. And no, not like that. lol

The most I'll do is lick my finger and run it across the tile. I'll sometimes take a sponge and run it across. If it grabs, that's good.

I have an outdoor balcony I'll be doing sometime in September. I already have the porcelain tile on hand, it has an almost sandpaper-like texture.

For pool patios, I really do prefer a natural stone. For my own pool patio, I used slate.

But slippery tile? I agree, it can be so very uncomfortable under foot.

Edit to add: In a shower, you do want traction. But you also want to be careful, as some of the truly textured tiles, while having great traction underfoot, can also hold soap and shampoo residue and actually build-up a somewhat slippery film on them over time.

An example is the tile I'm using on the previously mentioned balcony. I'd be hesitant to use it in a shower for just those concerns.

But that's the catch with large format tile. With fewer grout lines on the sloped floor, the tile itself has to provide security under foot.

It's not that there is a scientific or trade standard "right" or "wrong". It's just my opinion.

This post was edited by mongoct on Thu, Aug 29, 13 at 10:39


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Dekoeboe, the drain will be on the longer dimension 71" so 42" from the entrance to shower.

Thanks enduring. I will attempt this weekend, too busy today.

The tile is on order, so if it doesn't meet Mongo's lick test (hmmmmmm) I guess I can have it cut smaller for the floor. I use a lot of sunscreen and clean my current tub/shower combo frequently, and have not been falling down inside it even though the tub's anti-slip texture has been gone for years.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

42" does not sound like it is going to meet code. My understanding is that the drain needs to be 2" lower than the entrance to the shower and the slope needs to be between 1/4"(min) and 1/2"(max) per foot. At 1/2" per foot, you need 48" from the shower entrance to the drain.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

thanks dekeoboe, I will check with architect/GC. Permit still held up so maybe this is the reason.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I recommend you buy some of this Goop anti-skid epoxy spray. I've bought some but haven't used it yet. I want to use it on my front porch - I'm a procrastinator, what else can I say. I'm also worried it may cause discoloration to the extent I don't like it. Guess it isn't enough of an emergency yet.
I also may use it in my shower but my shower floor is a medium to dark gray/taupe so I'm not worried about discoloration. Read the reviews - it is cheap enough you can buy and try on a "sample board". My contractor suggested it when I said I was a little worried about slipping because of the 5 inch wide porcelain plank in my shower.
here on Amazon
Don't know how unsteady you are on your feet. My balance is very poor and even though the wet COF for our tile is 63, still doesn't feel too safe for me. (but not too bad yet for me to do something). Your mileage may vary.
(even if you are steady on your feet, hope you are planning on grab bars somewhere in your layout).

Here is a link that might be useful: Epoxy anti-skid goop


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

You can always cut down your large format tiles if you feel they're not going to be safe enough when wet.

We had 12x24 tiles on our bathroom floor and they were cut down to 4x6 for the shower area. I loved the look of the linear drain but our budget didn't allow it.

This is the shower in our master bath before the glass went in.

From MasterBath


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I will look into the Goop, Elphaba. Amazon vendors sometimes won't ship here due to 'hazmat' but I might find it locally. We are planning placement of a grab bar but have not found one yet to buy - any new online sources that don't look industrial? Balance is not yet an issue, but this plan is for 'aging in place'.

Annkathyrn, like your tile. That would be my plan if we decide to cut down the tiles - 4 x 6 or 6 x 8, something like that.

Here is a link to the current floor plan. Dekeoboe, have yet to discuss with GC but they could feasibly start the slope just outside the shower to gain the 6' required. Otherwise, hubby and I laid out the shower on the floor today with tape, we can slope it toward the right hand wall and get a shorter linear drain. We would take out the 45 degree corner if we do that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floor Plan


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I have a couple of grab bars in my downstairs bath. The toilet paper holder (from Moen) looks a bit clunky, but the shower grab bar is fairly sleek.

From Downstairs Bath

From Downstairs Bath

Here is a link that might be useful: Angled grab bar from Signature Hardware


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I like the Koher Purist grab bars though they are not cheap. However I've learned from this forum as well as my contractor (who recommended I send back the Gatco grab bars I had purchased very inexpensively because they had steel/metal that might rust.) He said once rust happens on the tile wall, there is absolutely no way of cleaning except to remove tiles (and grout).
Here's the best picture I have showing the bars - I think they look fairly inobtrusive (especially since we have a Moen digital shower so no extra hardware handles for controlling water and temperature -just a push button.)


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I love the Purist grab bar style. Your shower is always a favorite of mine.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Got hubby on line to look at the Kohler and similar grab bars. I think he likes the Purist also. Thanks elphaba! Annkathryn, what brand tile did you use?

Anyone any comments on the floor plan?


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

divotdiva which tile were you interested in? I used different tile for my master and for the smaller bath, which is the one with the grab bars. In that bath the floor tile is Natif Ambra, tile behind the toilet is Tokyo Wenge, wall tile in the shower is Yakarta Wenge, all from Porcelanosa.

The master bath has floor tile in Sintesi Glamour Brown and wall tile is Palais Beige from TileShop. The glass tile waterfall is Gigis Groovy Stiix in "Love Shack".

Here is a link that might be useful: Small bath details


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I like the master bath wall tile. Just curious as I've already ordered tile, but the pattern is similar to ours. Love that Toyko Wenge too, but too dark for our powder room.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Update, tile arrived on island but vendor forgot to call for pickup. Didn't matter because the project just got underway this morning. Dekeoboe, we had a meeting with plumber, tile guy and architect and they will be backing up the slope just outside the shower door to meet the 48". The tile guy, I would marry if I wasn't already - he's the one who "got" my curbless plan. The masons are also on board. You know that commercial with the lady who tells the architect to design the house around a faucet? That's me with my linear drain. I had to take it out of the box for everyone to look at (oohs and aahs).


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

just an update in case anyone is still interested. The tile guy worked with the masons and the entire bathroom floor gently slopes into the shower. So no worries about code. There is the required 2" drop. Once the slab was poured, it rained, and it filled with water (because the rough out for the drain was covered), so we could see everything indeed slopes in that direction.

The framing and drywall are done, now installing exterior doors and painting next week. Tiling late Jan !


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Thanks for updating. Glad you're making progress. I'd love to see pictures when the tiling is underway!


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Great to hear the update. Looking forward to pix. You're still ahead of us, although we did get the inspector to sign off on the plan, much to the architect's suprise. The permit plans he submitted had a slight drop at the shower entry in order to get the 2 inches. Our GC must have convinced the inspector that just starting the slope at the entry was actually safer-- which is absolutely true in my opinion-- you know how you are more likely to trip on a sidewalk with a 1" change in elevation than with either no change or an actual step? And it would be hard to fall down in the shower and cover the entire drain with your body and flood your house (that is the logic I've seen used for the 2" requirement, but not sure if it's the real story.)


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

I will try to post a before the tiling shot too. Right now the doors are being installed for the lanai, and the painters are coming next week. Hope my paint choices work out!


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Ok here is an attempt to upload tiling photos.
Waterproofing Hydroban photo Feb222014005.jpg
This shows the shower walls already waterproofed with tile and hydroban being applied to floor

 photo bea9fe85-743a-4efd-951e-483cc36d0fe5.jpg
This shows tiling in progress. Large format cut down to approx. 4 x 6


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

It is really looking nice. I bet you are very happy with it. So sleek.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Elphaba, could you share your tile selections? I love your bathroom and my layout is almost identical!


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Birchpoint -

Larger tile was from;
http://www.flooranddecoroutlets.com/calacatta-porcelain-tile-12in-x-24in.html

This web picture looks a lot more beige than my tiles which are more white. You can order a sample.

The Floor tile is from Arizona tile:
http://www.arizonatile.com/Assets/ProductImages/M/Misingi_Suber_464x464.jpg

I think the combination of the taupe floor tile and the porcelain marble tile is the most stunning part of the bathroom. Though some might argue that we should have used mosaic in the bottom of the shower floor but I chose "form over function" for this. With the grab bars which I definitely use because I don't have good balance, I haven't fallen. There is a spray you can purchase on Amazon for tile or other possibly slippery surfaces that can be used if you want to be sure it is less slippery. My tile guy recommended it if i needed more traction. Maybe when I get a bit older, I will apply it for more safety.

The size of the shower is one of the best parts of the remodel. 5ft X 5ft is the official size that allows one to say their shower fits the ADA standard. We didn't size ours for that reason but it turns out, it really is the perfect size for us. I love how when you are showering, all sides can be reached without moving too far yet there is still a nice feeling of spaciousness.

Some of the pictures I posted in another thread may give you a better idea of the bathroom.

Here

Also, as I have mentioned in several other threads on GW, not having a shower door has turned out to be so wonderful and enhances the shower experience greatly. We had our contractor build the walls so we could add a shower door if we decided we wanted one but as it turns out, that is the VERY LAST THING we would ever want. To anyone who is in doubt, I say "try it, you will probably like it".

Here is a link that might be useful: Hall bath


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Divotdiva- Do I see two drains in that shower? So glad you were able to have the larger tiles cut to give you more grip in the shower. Do you have some more pics after grouting?

-Babka


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Yes Babka, you are not seeing double. This was a huge argument of sorts because apparently the plumbers weren't experienced with this type of drain. Originally I bought one long drain, about 56". The shower is 73" wide. So everyone said that won't work, I would have to tilt tiles and do this or that, not what I wanted to do. Finally they said if I had shorter ones, that might work. I went over it with them for days, what length, 30 or 36" and they said they wanted two 36"s. Well after all the backerboard and mortar and whatnot went in, they JUST fit, and I mean JUST. And only because our tile guy is awesome and knew what look I wanted. Two 30's would have looked better, or even my original 56". The tile guy has worked with the linear drains and he thought one would have been sufficient, as we don't have body sprays putting out extra water to worry about draining. However, here I have two drains, so if I pass out and cover one of the grates with my body, presumably the house won't flood because the water should still be able to escape around me.

It is not grouted yet, probably this week, as they still have to do the tub surround. The grout is going to very closely match the tile. Once that's done I'll post another pic. Getting close!


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

Look forward to seeing it. I think our floor tile is going in this week as well. We bought our linear drain in October! Contractor wanted it in hand so there would not be any surprises. But it is all a bit suspenseful til you see the final result, isn't it?


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

LOL Lori, you have no idea yet of the suspense. :-) We had several meetings over just this drain and there were still "surprises". I bought the original in August and then exchanged for the others around Oct. too. All the contractors looked at it, touched it, oohed over it, looked at all the drawings and installation instructions I provided, and in the end there were still adjustments. So make sure your contractor not only looks at it but thoroughly understands how you want it to look.


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

What? You mean just because 3 guys have been fondling it since October, it might or might not go in smoothly? Don't tell me that! I'm 90 miles away from the project and only get to see it every other week, so I'm just hoping for the best. Our contractor is super-meticulous and he and the tile guy and the plumber have done these before, but my fingers are still crossed. We are using a 60" drain and it covers virtually the whole length of the shower. But I'll be seeing your pix before my own, I'm sure!


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RE: Need Help - Large Format Tile in Shower Floor

If they have done them before - especially the plumber - you should be fine. Our plumber had done another brand and not the one I bought, so maybe he thought it was very different. One surprise was the plumber apparently did not measure the drain hole placement exactly precisely - the rough in did not allow for much "wiggle room" even though I asked them the day the rough in went in, had they accounted for this or that. We could have also moved the tub over an inch or two to give the tile setters more breathing room.


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