How do you Make a Walk-in Shower?
A curbless shower pan is a pre-formed shower pan that is designed to be used in the place of a traditional mortar bed. It can be purchased from a wide variety of retailers both online and in current store locations such as Home Depot, Lowe's and additional hardware stores in your area.
Curbless shower pans come in different materials and in several different sizes. What exactly is it? This is a question that we hear all the time and we provide customers with the following information. It is a pre-formed pan that goes into the base of your shower in place of a traditional mortar bed. The pre-formed tray is perfectly sloped at 1/4 inch per foot to ensure proper drainage of your shower water every time the shower is in use. By providing a pre-sloped, pre-formed tray it eliminates having to do a traditional mud bed that can take days to finish and install and it's sometimes very difficult for you to get the proper slope when doing a traditional mud bed. These trays are used for curbless wet areas. These are showers that are barrier-free, they have no zero entry. It can also be used in showering areas that are just going to be very low-profile wet-room, that may have a curb that is only an inch or so in height. That would happen if a client was unable to alter or make changes to their existing subfloor in order to achieve a full barrier-free wet area. So the one-slope/pre-sloped trays can be used in barrier-free installations as well as installations with very low profile curbs.
- Where Can You Buy It?
You can buy it from I guess at a variety of online retailers such as TruGard Direct, Schluter, Wedi and various other systems. You can buy them at Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardwares, Power Brothers - places like that which typically sell these trays. They are very popular on the internet to be purchased. You can purchase them directly at trugarddirect.com or on places like eBay, Amazon, Houzz and a variety of other online retailers.
- What Is It Made Of?
The TruGard One-Slope/Pre-sloped Tray - is made of a high-quality, lightweight expanded polystyrene foam. The tray begins at an inch and a half thick and at it's thinnest point it is only 1/4 of an inch thick, thus allowing for a very low-profile and curbless installation.We also have a new Trugard One-slope Tray specifically designed for center drain placement that is made of high-density lightweight
extruded polystyrene with a strong cement and fiber mesh layer on the top and bottom surfaces for quick and easy installation. Many other companies offer the high-quality, lightweight expanded polystyrene foam trays, but Trugard is one of very few companies that currently offer the trays that are made of the high-density lightweight extruded polystyrene with a strong cement and fiber mesh layer on the top and bottom surfaces and that are used with the more traditional center drain placement.
- How Do You Use It?
The trays can be used in methods where you are installing a linear drain either in the threshold of your doorway or an interior wall and you're just wanting to achieve a very low-profile bathroom or even a wet area that is 100% curbless. The center drain trays are used for just that center drain placement.
These trayss make installation of trench drains and center drains very easy. They make installation of barrier-free showering areas very easy. It eliminates the time consuming method of the original mortar bed as we mentioned earlier in this article.
By using the TruSlope One Slope Low Profile Pan for linear drains or center drains you will save yourself a lot of time and worry in the future. By using one of these trays in place of the traditional mud bed it cuts hours (sometimes even days) off of an installation and when you're on a job site, time is money and the longer that you spend on one project is less time that you can spend on another one. So with these walk-in trays, you are actually able to install them directly and waterproof them and tile in the exact same day, thus cutting down on multiple days needed for a traditional mortar bed to dry and to come back and waterproof that or put a rubber liner in, things of that nature. The other traditional methods are very time consuming whereas the new way of doing things with the Trugard One-slope Trays such as the TruSlope One Slope Tray has become more time efficient and also very cost effective. These trays are designed to be used in conjunction with a waterproofing membrane much like the (vapor shield link this) from Trugard.
- What Size Does It Come In?
Since there are two different types of barrier-free trays on the market we will break this section down into two parts.
Let's first start with the high-quality, lightweight extrayded polystyrene foam:
This tray design comes in a variety of sizes to fit almost any design. Since they range is sizes this also means they range in price. The most common size is about 50"x60". The slope being on the 60' side of the tray. The trays can range in a variety of sizes. From that you could get a 75x60 or a 96x60. Depending on your area, the possibilities are almost limitless. You can stack as many pieces beside each other as you want, so long as you are continuously sloping in one direction. These are some standard sizes but there are more. That is another thing that is really wonderful about this type of tray. It makes it easier for you to install a linear drain in the center of your showering area with this type of tray. By doing, by taking the front two pieces of the Trugard One-slope Tray (because it comes in four pieces, two back pieces that are thicker than the front two pieces)... by taking the two front pieces, putting two on one side of a drain and two on the other side of a drain, you have achieved a showering area that is roughly 50x60, but you have a center drain instead of a doorway placement drain or instead of a drain that is a long interior wall. You can also make sizes like, 74"x60", 24"x60", 75"x78 and many more.
It also gives you the opportunity to add onto the back sides of those front pieces, the A-pieces as we like to call them at TruGard. You can add the B-pieces onto the back of those showering areas, essentially giving you a showering area that is like 50"x120" or 75"x120" So as you can see, the possibilities with a Trugard One-slope Tray are almost endless. You can design and lay them in your wet area; put your drain where you want to put your drain. The slope is continual, so you're not having to worry about sloping water from this corner, making sure that the slope is proper and every aspect of your wet area is a one slope tray, so all the water flows in one direction. One slope is a preferred method for a lot of installers simply because it cuts down on having to make sure that everything is 100% level and perfect and sloping the correct way. It makes installation for linear drains much easier when you're using a tray that is a continual one slope all the way to the end versus trying to piece together multiple pieces that slope from all different angles, and making sure that they actually all slope to the drain at exactly the same ratio as they're supposed to.
Next let's talk about the sizes for center drain placement. While there aren't as many sizes because it is a new product there are still two basic sizes. You can have a 48"x48" or a 32"x60". Since the trays are so low-profile it would be very easy to fill in on the sides with modified thin-set mortar if you needed the tray to be a little larger.
- Why Go Curbless?
It has become more and more of a popular trend over the last couple of years in the United States and surrounding countries. It's growing more and more popular every day as is the trend of installing them with the linear drains. They are a thing of the future. At TruGard Direct, all of our products including our trays are backed by a lifetime warranty. When ithey are used in conjunction with our TruGard Vapor-Barrier our TruLine Linear Drains or our center drain installation kits. Both of those products are actually mentioned in additional articles. So for more information on those products, please see the articles linked below.
When you're trying to decide what type of tray is best for you is best to do your research what type of bathroom you're wanting to achieve, what type of drain you're wanting to use in your showering area. These are not for everyone. You can achieve a barrier-free wet-room and have a center drain as well. Here at TruGard Direct we have a new line of ultra low-profile center drain trays that are used for a barrier-free installation of a center drain. Those trays are made out of a high-density extrayded polystyrene in the middle and then they have a cement mortar-based wrap on the outside of them, such as like a resin wrap on the outside of them, making them very durable. These trays are used for center drain installations in a wet area where an individual may or may not want to have a linear drain, they would like to just stick with their standard 4x4 inch thinner drain. They do have the option of choosing a barrier-free tray that fits that drain size and style.
With the Trugard One-slope/Pre-sloped Trays, you can install the the Vapor-Shield barrier right on top of them as well any tile size that you desire. We do ask that when you're installing the tiles that are smaller than a 4x4 such as a mosaic or a penny tile as some people like to call them, when you're installing smaller tiles you want to make sure that you have an extra layer of protection on top of that tray. For an extra layer of protection, you could put a quarter inch piece of cement board right directly on top of the tray. It will slope perfectly with the tray, or you have the option of adding an additional layer of thinset mortar and sloping it along the top of the vapor barrier, letting it cure completely and then beginning to add your tile. By doing this you prevent what we like to call the "shing-a-ling effect" at TruGard, meaning that if you're in the bathroom and you were to bear down with your heel or a sharp object or something of that nature, in one specific area - maybe a cane or something like that - with a pinning tile if you didn't have extra protection you run the risk of cracking your grout, cracking your tile, thus maybe resulting in cracking your tray that you've worked so hard to install. So it's very important to determine what size tile you're going to be using with these trays and make sure that you have the added layer of protection if needed.
As mentioned above, Trugard One-slope/Pre-sloped Trays are a thing of the future. They are becoming more and more popular every day. They can be purchased at many online retailers as well as in-store locations. For more information on barrier-free wet-room installations, linear drain installations and standard drain installations, please see the links referenced in this article.