When we underpinned our basement, we knew that we would build a bathroom and we had all the rough-in plumbing done then. But when we started figuring out our bathroom design and how we’d actually construct it, we realized we had a bit of a problem. The plumbing was installed assuming there would be a subfloor and tile installed on top, but we wanted to keep the finished concrete in the bathroom. My ideal design would have included a curb-less shower, but with our current situation it wasn’t possible.
I managed to find a very low-profile shower basin from a Montreal company. Unfortunately that company didn’t have the size that we needed, so we ended up choosing a Spanish competitor (Fiora). We luckily found one in stock so we wouldn’t have to wait the 3 to 4 months to order one.
The shower base is a mix of polyurethane resins, silica and other minerals. It’s extremely strong and scratch resistant and can be cut with a grinder to fit custom spaces.
Even with this low-profile shower base, we still had a major problem. The shower drain needed to sit about an inch and a half below the bottom of the shower base to receive the female drain part.
I double checked our underpinning renovation photos to make sure there weren’t an infloor heat pipes close to the drain (and there weren’t) and started hacking away at the concrete. I drilled small holes in a circle shape slightly larger than the drain piece. I then used a chisel and hammer and got to work. It took me about 4 days – and an insane amount of patience and relentlessness – to get the depth I needed, but it worked.
Once the shower drain was done, we were finally ready to install the shower base.
Getting it in the house was the hardest part because it’s insanely heavy. We had to recruit a friend to help since I wasn’t able to carry it. Plus, we didn’t want to break it.
Because our shower drain wasn’t in the middle of the shower space, I had to cut a couple of inches off one edge of the base. Using my trusty grinder, I made the cut, being super careful to follow my straight line. Even the off-cut piece was heavy.
Once the cut was made, we prepped the area and placed the base over the drain, using regular construction adhesive to hold it in place. We then attached the drain, glued it in, and had a shower base! We carefully covered it with its original packaging so it didn’t get damaged during the rest of the renovation.
With the shower base in place, we could complete the rest of the framing.