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Get Naked And Think About What You Could Do With Your Shower

Do you ever stand in your shower, let the water cascade down your naked body, and think about how you’d change it (your shower that is) if you could?

Here are a few interesting shower ideas I’ve run across recently in my speccing adventures. Porcelanosa has a bunch of elegant looking shower pans if you want to go the prefabricated route. They start at around $1200, more than twice the cost of something more generic, but so much nicer.

RAS shower pan from Porcelanosa

If you’re going the mortar & tile rout, there’s nothing cooler than a linear drain. Not only because the drain itself is so attractive; it allows for a much cleaner tile installation. It doesn’t have to be cut up into 4 triangles like with a common round drain. Just a clean, unbroken tile floor slanting toward one wall.

A linear drain from Quick Drain:

There are some other good options out there as well, like the “invisible” slot drain. I really like some of these solutions, because they can really add some interest, and make for a very clean installation. Sure these products are a little more expensive on their own, but in many cases are cheaper to install than a conventional round drain tile & mortar shower pan, and they look a helluva lot cooler.

So the next time you find yourself “standing in the shower thinkin'” about all the things you’d change in life, just think about how you could change your shower instead. And if you’re someone that prefers a nice hot bath and a cup o’ tea, lemme know and I’ll give you some options for that too.

Sven Lavine, San Francisco architect.



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10 thoughts on “Get Naked And Think About What You Could Do With Your Shower”

  • Sophie

    October 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    there is only one shower that would do for me. And we don’t have the space nor the drive to fight SFDBI for it.

  • sparky-b

    October 13, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    What would the fight be about?

  • noearch

    October 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    what? you already know for a fact that you would not get this approved?

  • Sophie

    October 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    noearch.. it would probably be approved … when I go in person, ask for the sup, supply 3 tons of paperwork and documentation etc…

    true, working on a SFH is MUCH EASIER than on a condo, but still, anything not “normal” is a problem. we don’t do fancy, but starting with no tiles in the bathroom/shower/anywhere, the inspectors already raise their eyebrows.

    while we are on the subject, anybody got approval to install this drain? to my best try, it’s not accepted. (no overflow visible) altho it’s sold in SF.

    • Sven

      October 14, 2009 at 6:05 am

      I don’t know, I don’t see any huge problems with Sophie’s shower. The only thing the plan checkers are going to be looking for is tempered glass and a few things about the valves and head. In the field the inspectors are usually more flexible on some things than the plan checkers. And regarding the ones I posted, the porcelanosa is just a receptor, just like the ones sold at Home Depot, only fancier. They are actually easier to install and get signed off because you don’t have the waterproofing issues you have with a built up pan. As far as the linear drain goes, I don’t see any issues there. I’ve seen a bunch of them in SF, and I’m doing one in San Jose (no problems yet)

  • insidesfre

    October 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Just make sure your new wacked-out shower meets the mandated SF water conservation guidelines.

  • anna

    October 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    i am crazy or do i see a jane’s addiction lyric referred to in here?

    • thefrontsteps

      October 14, 2009 at 9:20 am


      You are not crazy, but you are clearly ahead of the pack in terms of your taste for music. 😉

  • sometech

    October 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I’m going to have to agree with Sophie on SFDBI not approving her shower. The inspector is going to say you can’t reach the valve from outside the shower and he is going to do some crazy measurement to show that the standing space is not a big enough radius. Don’t know if those are based on real rules but that’s based on my experience with trying to get some very normal shower installs passed. On my showers the inspector was taking his radius measurement from a spot off center! I had to get different inspector in to pass it.

  • Sophie

    October 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    sometech. I never got those, but I got the measuring the height of the pan on the edges that are then COVERED with waterproof stuff – like the edge of the pan along the walls! (which was very standard anyway).
    In 2003-04, all you’d get from your shower inspection was “can you prove to me that it won’t create a mold problem to your downstairs neighbor?”

    BTW the same shower which was finally approved leaked in a freak incident… outside the shower pan (think problem with the valve) – it puddled in the bathroom and leaked thru the toilet gap – between the flooring and the toilet drain.

    Our neighbor was eternally grateful that we didn’t silicon around the toilet … the water would have puddled even more and come out maybe days later far far away, soaking everything in the way.

    And our most recent shower – most conventional ever – has been leaking for 3 years solid. Plumber has come and changed all the pieces he could from underneath, still leaking at the drain. Drives me crazy. (but who cares, I have a bucket hanging from the shower drain U – at least that’s something that works).

    I HATE showers.. (hate to install, hate to clean, hate to use). the only one nice is the one above: at least it’s eye-pleasing, if nothing else.


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