Curbless showers are gaining in popularity for good reason. Many baby boomers are converting their showers so that they can “age in place.” A curbless shower means it’s easy to get in and out of, and that it’s wheelchair accessible. However, another big perk is how it looks. Curbless showers look clean and open because they’re usually enclosed with glass. This offers a modern appearance to the master bathroom that homeowners of every age can appreciate.
But, like serving a delicious meal, you have to find the best recipe to follow in order to get the best results. So what’s the best recipe for heating a curbless shower floor? WarmlyYours has you covered.
TempZone™ heating cable
Prodeso Installation Membrane
ProBand waterproofing system
Tile or Stone flooring
Custom Installation Plan
Request a custom installation plan from WarmlyYours Radiant Heating. You can reach an expert by calling 800-875-5285, or you can upload your floorplan online here. Be ready to have the dimensions of your bathroom on hand as well as the locations of permanent fixtures (such as cabinetry and toilet), doors, vents, the thermostat, and the shower drain. As a result, WarmlyYours will send you a “SmartPlan," which is a custom installation plan showing exactly where and how the heating cable should be laid out. The plan will also tell you which heating products you’ll need and how much they cost.
Test your system. Use a digital ohmmeter and Circuit Check before, during and after installation to ensure that your system continues to be in good working order.
Cut the Prodeso Membrane according to your installation plan. As the golden rule goes, measure twice, cut once. Because we’re dealing with a shower floor, the best guideline to follow is to start by cutting out the drain area before making the rest of your cuts. When all of your cuts are made, you can “dry fit” the membrane into place. This will ensure that the drain is centered, the entire floor space is covered, and that the “studs” of the membrane all align. You’ll need to install the heating cable around these square-shaped “studs,” so proper alignment is vital. Once you know your Prodeso design is correct, you can move ahead to adhering it in the next step.
Spread the thinset over the subfloor. If your subfloor is made of plywood or cement, use a latex-modified thinset. The vapor management properties of the Prodeso Membrane will allow it to dry and cure properly while keeping any moisture coming up from the subfloor in check. Push the Prodeso Membrane into the thinset.
Install the heating cable. Push the cable between the rounded square-shaped reliefs in the serpentine pattern specified in your custom installation plan. When you’re finished, place the floor sensor in parallel with a section of heating cable, making sure not to overlap any cables.
Apply ProBand waterproofing system. By waterproofing your curbless shower, you won’t have to worry about angling tile for drainage or possible water leakage to the floor below. The water will only have one place to escape — through the drain. To waterproof the area, use the ProBand system to seal the seams between each cut of your Prodeso Membrane. You’ll also seal the edges and corners of the shower. For a brief demonstration, check out the video below.
Spread unmodified thinset over the membrane and waterproofing system. With the Prodeso Membrane, you’ll always use unmodified thinset between the membrane and the flooring above because of its built-in vapor management system. Unmodified thinset will ensure that the adhesive dries properly and quickly.
Install the tile or stone flooring. If you’re installing tile, you should consider using mechanical levelers to prevent uneven tiles (aka tile lippage).
Install the thermostat. Depending on your local electrical code, you may need to hire a licensed electrician to do this for you. No matter who connects the control, you’re finished with your project as soon as it’s functional!
If you don’t feel waterproofing is necessary, an alternate “recipe” is to use a WarmlyYours shower and bench mat. The shower mat features a pre-made hole for the shower drain, which is great for standard shower sizes.
For more information about installing floor heating in a curbless shower, check out our on-demand webinar about this topic.