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Ditching the Whirlpool Tub for a Curbless Shower

One of the most popular remodels we see with the Level Entry Shower System is to remove a large whirlpool tub and  increase the footprint of the shower. This homeowner removed a linen closet, tub, and a fiberglass shower alcove, but gained a large level entry shower and a new laundry area.  Many homeowners find that they do not use their garden tubs and whirlpool tubs enough to warrant the space they take or the maintenance and cleaning required. In this case it makes sense to remove the tub and replace it with a large, curbless shower.

Peter S. did the majority of the work on this remodel himself with the guidance of our Installation Video. When he was researching curbless shower systems, the VIM Level Entry Shower System was the only code-approved level entry flooring system he could find.  He appreciated the quality of the materials supplied in the VIM Level Entry Shower 60 x 48 Kit as well as our design and installation resources. Peter and his wife are both extremely happy with their new level entry shower!

This remodel is a good example of how you can transform a traditional shower alcove into an open-concept, curbless shower. We like how they utilized half walls and glass to manage water without needing a curtain or door. The wall niches and shelves are another nice touch to add functionality and organization to the shower.

Are you interested in remodeling your bath to include a level entry shower, but not sure how to design your space? Get in touch and we would be happy to give you some guidance on the layout of your new bathroom!

The tile for this project was installed by Garrett Tile of Crossville, TN.

Products used in this Project

The Strainer Grate seen above is the Grid Design in Brushed Stainless.

Want us to feature your projects created with the VIM Level Entry Shower System? Submit your project 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! www.vimproducts.com
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.

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High Tech Level Entry Shower with a Modern Design

VIM Products Inc - Level Entry Shower System | Featured Shower - High Tech Level Entry Shower with Modern Design featuring the Kohler DTV Prompt. Photo courtesy of Roy Simpson

For our very first Featured Shower, we wanted to share this incredible shower designed and built by a homeowner using the Level Entry Shower System™. All the work with the exception of the glass doors was conducted by the homeowner. The glass doors were supplied and installed by Kenny Berry Shower Doors. We asked the homeowner to share a little about his shower and his experience working with the Level Entry Shower System.

Tell us about your project!

“We replaced a very standard shower pan, Corian wall and sliding door home-builder installation. The project required the removal of all materials including removal of the floor to allow the new VIM floor pan and new tile floor and walls. We also opted for new Kohler electric shower and wand controls to modernize the installation and create added interest.  The demolition and installation work was accomplished by the homeowner with the sole exception of the new glass doors.”

Why did you choose the VIM Level Entry Shower System for your project?

“Much research was conducted in discovering the available shower pans that would allow us to modify our shower to attain a level entry shower with proper sloped drainage. We found 6 sloped floor pans in the marketplace.  Since our home was built on a concrete slab, 3 of the choices were discarded as they where in excess of 1.5″ thick at the edge requiring unacceptable demolition and remaining slab strength to accomplish our goal.  Of the 3 remaining products that had a 7/8″ edge thickness, the VIM Products Level Entry Shower System offered what we felt was the best product with excellent demonstrations of installation for both wood sub-floors and our concrete slab installation. The drain assembly offered by VIM was considered superior to most of the other offerings. Pricing was also competitive. “

Our Favorite Details

The Kohler DTV Prompt Shower Control System is a fantastic feature, adding safety, accessibility and luxury to your showering experience. The digital thermostatic valve accurately control water temperature and includes water-saving features such as a pause button, warm-up mode, and a countdown feature to limit overall water consumption. 

Small details like the placement of the shampoo niche, a corner foot rest, and the fold up shower seat make great use of the space without cutting too far into the overall footprint of the shower. The french style glass shower doors allow easy access if a resident requires wheelchair access.

Finally, we love the placement of their handheld shower wand. By placing this fixture close to the seat, but at mid-height, it is easily reached when sitting or standing. This is a great feature to include if you are trying to improve the accessibility of your shower.


Want us to feature your Level Entry Shower System™ projects? Homeowners, Builders, Designers, or Suppliers are welcome to submit photos and details on the Project Submissions page!

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Our blog is launching soon- Here’s how to be featured!

The VIM Products Blog will be launching soon and we want to share your projects and articles! If you are interested in writing an article or guest post, please send your pitch to erica@vimproducts.com.

We are looking for projects constructed using the Level Entry Shower System to feature on our website, blog, and social media. If you are interested in sharing your projects please fill out this form. We request that photos are of finished projects, a minimum of 1000 pixels wide, not blurry,  free of personal items or construction debris.  If you need further assistance, please email erica@vimproducts.com. Please only submit photos that you have the publishing rights for. If a professional photographer shot the images, please provide their contact information below as well.

We will be featuring your Level Entry Showers on our blog, so make sure to tell us any interesting details about the project or any challenges that the Level Entry Shower System helped you to overcome! When we publish your project on the blog, we will link back to your own business, and any other designers or contractors you include in the form. We will also share the projects on our social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Houzz.

We look forward to seeing all of your beautiful work!

Submit a Project →

 

VIM Products Inc Level Entry Shower System Gallery Curbless Universal Design, Photo Courtesy of Peden Family. www.vimproducts.com 919-277-0267
Photo Courtesy of Peden Family, who recently redesigned their master bath using the VIM Level Entry Shower System to accommodate a family member with a disability.