Dam shower!
September 10, 2013 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I am in the process of a bathroom remodel and am ready to get a door put on my new tub/shower. Please help me figure out whether any modifications should be made to the tile first. I will get my contractor's opinion tomorrow, but seeing as he did the framing/tiling in a way that the shower door guy considers problematic, I wanted to ask the internet for a third opinion.

The tub is 72" long and there is about another 12" ledge of tile at the foot of it. The door could be a slide or swinging, but either way would need a fixed panel at the foot of the tub given the length. The issue is that the tub is 3/16" higher than the tile and this is making the shower door guy very nervous that water will puddle and leak, particularly if we go with a frameless design (which has no track on the bottom). I would really like as clean/contemporary design as possible so I was planning on frameless but the shower door guy is telling me that the tub was framed too low and the tile needs to be higher than the tub for that to work. What would be a good solution that does NOT involve ripping out all the new tile work? Semi-frameless, and place the track right up against the tub? Somehow build up the tile immediately next to the tub so it's higher? In retrospect I really don't think this tub (HydroSystems Lacey with micromount edge) was designed for the application I'm using it for, as it is clearly made to sit on top of the tile rather than flush with or lower than the tile.
posted by karbonokapi to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
the shower door guy is telling me that the tub was framed too low and the tile needs to be higher than the tub for that to work.

Your shower door guy is right. Any water that hits the door (the reason for a door in the first place) will drain down and have no where to go but on the floor with a frameless and into a 3/16" deep puddle with a framed door.

Also yes this isn't the best application for your tub; ideally you'd want an undermount tub with the style of tile you had installed.

Did the tile installer know you planned on add a shower door? He really should have advised for a different install (at a minimum building the tile subsurface up so that the tile would be above and sloped towards the tub) if he knew of your plans.

It t'was me I'd rip out at a minimum the top front strip of tile and then build up the subsurface so water dripping off the shower door drains to the tub. Ideally though you'd take up the whole top so that the 12" shelf also drained into the tub. We had a setup like you have now and it was a pain in the butt having to mop up water off the non draining shelf after every shower.

PS: you might want to consider a bull nose edge at the corner to soften that edge 'cause right now that looks like a serious shin injury waiting to happen. You could just cut the front 3/4 of an inch off the front, install a bull nose, and then deal with the water pooling off your shower door.
posted by Mitheral at 3:31 PM on September 10, 2013

I agree; just pull out the tile around the edge and on the rear shelf and build it up so that it slightly slopes into the tub. It doesn't have to have much pitch at all, just enough so that it is definitely pitched into the tub. And when measuring the height, make sure the grout lines will be flush with the tub, not just the top of the tile. Otherwise, you'll have standing water in the grout lines and that will be trouble.

And yes, do something with that outer edge. Something like a raised bullnose or raised 3/4 round to make it look nice and contain the water.

Once that's done, you should be golden. Just make sure to keep up on caulking the edges. Fill the tub with water before caulking so its weight doesn't stretch out your new caulk.
posted by gjc at 4:19 PM on September 10, 2013

...I just went to comment on what both previous posters mentioned on that edge there. That wants fixing, somehow, and perhaps the solution to that can be synonymous with the solution to the doors and track/no track parallel there?
posted by kmennie at 5:36 PM on September 10, 2013

Best answer: I don't know how thick the tiles are but why not instead of ripping stuff out which is going to be messy, just build up another layer of tile on top of what you gave, all around the tub, if possible canted ever so slightly toward the tub. Then the doors.
posted by beagle at 5:50 PM on September 10, 2013

I think your shower guy's right and the contractor borked it. The water's going to be really problematic. Looks like there's a little lip over the side pebbling, but you still don't want water running over that repeatedly, even if it's just a little bit at a time. Your contractor installed the shower--he should have known better.

Fill the tub with water before caulking so its weight doesn't stretch out your new caulk.

No one's ever told me that, gjc, what a brilliant idea!
posted by BlueHorse at 6:29 PM on September 10, 2013

Is your tile contractor "done"? I'm concerned about that edge, but there also doesn't seem to be any grout on any of that tile. Regardless of what you do to correct what the shower person needs, that tile should be grouted before you go installing a door.
posted by Big_B at 12:16 PM on September 11, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you all for your input. The contractor was actually very nice about re-doing the work. I am surprised by the near-universal concern for the edge, which was a conscious design decision that I am happy with! And yes, the photo was pre-grouting.
posted by karbonokapi at 3:12 PM on September 11, 2013

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