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Create a Barrier Free Shower WITHOUT Notching the Joists

For years, if you wanted a barrier free shower the only options were to either ramp up into the shower or significantly recess the floor by notching or cutting into the joists 2″ to 3”. The latter method is controversial and frowned upon by structural engineers. Cutting floor supports can cause excessive floor deflection, tile cracking and costly structural damage to your home. Is it worth the gamble?

The Better Barrier Free Shower Solution

The VIM Level Entry Shower System was developed as a solution to this problem. Now you can create a true barrier free shower without having to cut floor supports or ramp the tile into the shower. We achieved this by designing a thinner, stronger, pre-sloped shower pan that’s easy to install and doesn’t affect the structural stability of your home.

Our pan is created from a rigid, ABS plastic that resists deflection and compression unlike other pans created with expanded polystyrene (EPS). At only 7/8″ thick, we’ve eliminated the practice of cutting the floor supports. These images demonstrate how our system is installed.

Once the recessed area framing is complete, the VIM pan is installed in the recessed area. You can see in the cutaway drawing that the VIM pan will sit a mere 1/8″ above the top of the ¾” subfloor. The transition slope between the pan and the ¼” backer board is then filled with a quick drying, non-shrinking patch material.

VIM Products Inc Level Entry Shower System Gallery Curbless Universal Design, Cut Away Installation Detail. 919-277-0267

This method allows you to maintain the proper slope of 1/4″ per foot towards the drain. Your framing supports are kept intact and are even strengthened by the blocking process. The rigid, compression resistant design of the pan also increases the load-bearing capacity of the floor system.

The VIM Level Entry Shower System™ not only removes the potential for structural failure caused by cutting and notching, it also provides a superior waterproofing process. We’re so confident that our system is the best choice for creating your curbless, barrier free shower, that we back it with a full 10 year system warranty.

Want to create a Curbless, Barrier Free Shower? Check out the Level Entry Shower System™ today!

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Preventing Mold and Mildew in your Shower

Mold and Mildew thrive in warm, wet spaces like bathrooms with the most common place being in the shower. Mildew is a surface fungus that is easily identified as a patch of gray or even white fungus. It forms on the surface of moist areas and is easily cleaned using everyday cleaning solutions. Mold on the other hand, is usually black or green and is often the result of a much larger problem.

Preventing Mold and Mildew in your Shower | The VIM Products Blog & the Level Entry Shower System™ | Learn how the Level Entry Shower System can protect your shower against mold and mildew!
Mold damage as seen in the shower and below where the mold permeated through the shower and was rotting the wood beams.

Shower Construction Failures

Traditional tile showers, when installed properly, are constructed by first pre-sloping the sub floor area towards the shower drain. A waterproofing membrane is installed and clamped into a drain assembly to seal the two parts together. A “mud-bed” made of finely graded sand and cement is installed on top of the waterproofing membrane to form a sloped base for the tile is be installed on. Tile is then installed using thin set to adhere it to the top of the mud bed.Once the tile has time to set up, the shower is finally ready to be grouted.

Mud beds are created using a porous material that is designed to allow water to seep through it. If working correctly, any water that penetrates through the tile should pass through the mud bed and eventually make it back to the drain where it can evacuate through a series of weep holes in the drain’s clamping flange.

Here’s the problem. Many showers are constructed without pre-sloping under the waterproofing membrane, so water sits rather than being diverted to the drain. Even if water makes it to the drain, improper installation techniques and clogged weep holes often render this method useless causing the mud bed to act like a big sponge that never dries out.

Mold in the Mud-Bed

When the mud-bed in your shower is not able to drain, mold can develop behind your tile & grout. No amount of surface cleaning can get rid of mold once it has taken hold within the mud-bed. You will have to consistently clean your tile and grout to keep the surface mold at bay.

The VIM Level Entry Shower System™

The VIM Level Entry Shower System utilizes a pre-sloped pan and topical waterproofing membrane that replaces the traditional mud-bed method in a shower. Tile is applied directly to the waterproofing membrane so any water that penetrates the tile is immediately directed towards the drain. The unique design of our clamping flange ensures that the weep holes will remain open allowing the water to seep back into the drainage system. This insures that the shower will dry completely so mold has no place to thrive.

If you are tired of fighting a never-ending battle against mold and mildew, it might be time to consider a more effective and long-term solution. The VIM Level Entry Shower System, gives you a beautiful, durable, easy-to-clean, curbless shower that is resistant to mold and mildew.