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Albrecht, LLC

Curbless (Zero-Entry) Showers Demystified

Despite all the uncertainties since 2020, there is one thing we believe is certain: curbless showers are here to stay. Tiles, paint colors, and hardware finishes may come and go, but the functionality and beauty of a zero-entry shower pan is far from just a trend. Developments in different products, improving their ease of install over the years, has been a game changer for the bathroom remodeling industry.

So what does it take to install a curbless shower pan and how does it work?

With traditional shower pans, they are built directly on top of the subfloor. As a result, a curb must be installed to keep the water inside.

However, with curbless shower pans, they are actually recessed into the floor, to allow room for positive drainage. Kind of like a tractor trailer ramp at a loading dock, the bottom of the shower pan sits below the rest of the floor in the bathroom.

As a result, we have to open up the floor and make some structural changes to the floor joists. With a slab, we have to cut open the slab and pour a new lower one. Engineered floor trusses make things a little more tricky, but not impossible.

Generally, when we open a floor and find duct work, lots of plumbing, and lots of electrical, it may not be worth the extra cost to move things out of the way. Best case scenario, we remove the subfloor and find regular 2x floor joists (what we call ‘stick framed’) and little to no mechanical, plumbing, or electrical.

For a great instructional video on how one of our favorite products is installed, follow the link below:

The seamless look of a curbless shower is here to stay for a long time, when will you be ready for yours?