The VIM Level Entry Shower System™ provides a consistent ¼” per foot pitch to drain at all points assuring that water will flow properly to the drain. Water that hits the floor does not flow out into the bathroom, it flows to the drain. Overspray or water that bounces from the bather’s body could exit the shower but the shower curb has no effect upon controlling overspray. Like in any shower, overspray in a level entry shower is controlled by glass, curtains, knee walls, tiled walls, etc.
Not at all! In the past, if you wanted to construct a curbless shower it meant either having to cut, shave, or lower wooden floor supports or, in the case of concrete, puncturing the entire floor with a jack-hammer in order to get a sufficient depth to use conventional shower pitching and water-proofing methods. The VIM Level Entry Shower System™ features an engineered, pre-pitched shower tray that is only 7/8” in thickness. This tray replaces the subfloor in a wooden floor system without the need to structurally alter the joists. It will work with TGI (wooden I-Beam) joists and engineered trusses…any wood floor system. With concrete, the VIM system requires a shallow cut out of the concrete (usually 1 to 1.5” depth) or that the tray be placed on top of the existing concrete, which normally requires an elevation of the bathroom floor by approximately 7/8”-1”. Typically the system can be installed in about a day and a half (prior to tile) by your contractor. Our experienced contractors are “on call” to provide installation guidance to your contractor.
Yes! The Level Entry Shower System was the first system to be tested and approved to the new ICC standard LC-1030-2011 PMG listing for “Prefabricated, Tilable, Shower Receptor Kits.” You can find further information on our Warranty & Code Approvals page.
No. This is a key difference between our system and others on the market. Our system is designed to sit on top of your existing floor structure (i.e. joists, TGI’s, Engineered Trusses) but is also thin enough at 7/8″ to not require any ramping up into the shower area.. Our Installation page & video demonstrates the process to properly install our system without cutting or compromising the structure of your floor.
The VIM Level Entry Shower System™ provides up to 100 square feet of water-proofing coverage, typically enough to cover both the floor and walls of a standard 3 wall shower alcove. Additional water-proofing may be purchased, for larger showers or to extend the water-proofing to larger areas of the bathroom (optional). We recommend that the waterproofing be extended 18”- 24” beyond the pitched threshold into the flat bathroom floor area, as a precaution. The liquid waterproofing is an ASTM primary rated waterproofing material. It is a liquid butyl rubber with no VOC’s or off-gassing. It is easy to apply, not time sensitive, and easily repairable (if damaged during installation). When ordering your kit you can choose between Laticrete or Mapei waterproofing, two of the largest manufacturers of tile setting materials. VIM worked with both manufacturers to assure that our installation methodology complies with their installation instructions. Their warranties reinforce the VIM warranty for waterproofing. In addition, anti-fracture, crack suppression fabric (two sizes) is included in the kits. This fabric is embedded inside the liquid as the liquid is applied. The result is an extremely reliable, durable, seamless envelope of waterproofing for the entire shower alcove. The anti-fracture membrane can respond to thermal shock (hot water hitting the tile on a cold winter morning) without compromising the tile or water-proofing protection.
No. Most showers incorporating linear drains require that the entire wet floor area be tilted in one direction, toward the drain. This one-way pitch makes it difficult to achieve a level entry at the threshold, especially if the drain is to the left or right hand side of the shower area. In the case of linear drains, if the drain is placed at the front threshold the drain is being counted upon to catch all of the shower water otherwise there will be water into the bathroom. If the linear drain is placed on the back wall of the shower the contractor, in most cases, will be required to cut or notch the structural floor supports and/or elevate the entire bathroom floor. There are also stability and safety issues to be considered with a one-way pitched shower floor. We strongly feel that an even pitch to a center drain is better structurally and for safety reasons.
The center drain shower design, when done properly, provides better balance in a wet bathing space than a one-way, continuously pitched shower floor. A shower chair will naturally orient itself in the center of the shower if there are four shorter pitched plans sloped to the middle. For my clients and patients, I specify and recommend level entry, center drain showers.
Cindi Petito, OTR/L, ATP,CAPS, Founder of CHAS Group
We currently offer two pan sizes, 60″ x 48″ and 14″ x 14″. One of the exciting features of our system is that our pan can be cut to accommodate almost any size shower. Our system can also be used to create larger showers with the use of a proper patch material such as North American Adhesives NA-500 Patch or Laticrete NXT Patch.
The VIM Level Entry Shower System comes with either a 59.5” x 47.5” pre-pitched shower tray. This tray is designed so that it may be cut down much like a piece of plywood, with a skill saw and plywood cutting blade, to any smaller size. The tray will maintain its ¼” per foot pitch regardless of the direction or dimension of the cut. If the shower is larger than the VIM tray, specific patch compounds can be used to efficiently, quickly, and inexpensively extend the pitch of the tray in any direction. Patch compounds are high performance mortars that cure quickly and can be applied from 1.5” thickness down to a feather edge without shrinking or crumbling in high traffic areas. Waterproofing is then applied over both the patch area and the shower tray. With the use of the patch compound, virtually any size or shape Level Entry Shower can be accomplished. Our experienced installers are available to provide guidance to your contractor regarding either cutting down or extending the shower tray. The patch compound is not included in the basic kit; however, it is available for order in our store or from your VIM Products dealer.
For small showers, we offer a 14” x 14” shower tray that can be used with the patch compounds in constructing smaller Level Entry Showers (10 sq. ft. or less) or anywhere that a drain is needed in your home such as a laundry room, mudroom, kitchen, or wet bar area.
Over time, water can penetrate tile and grout as the structure settles and materials expand and contract seasonally. Traditional shower construction places the waterproofing liner beneath the “mud bed”. Typically the shower drain is provided by the plumber. The pitching of the shower is done manually by the tile contractor. One or the other will provide the waterproofing…the two trades (and processes) are not integrated. Water, seeking the lowest point, ultimately gets into the mud-bed which then remains wet…resulting in mold (not visible) and mildew (what you see). The VIM Level Entry Shower System was developed by plumbing and tile professionals working together. The result is a fully integrated system. The seamless, anti-fracture waterproofing is placed on top of the engineered, pre-pitched VIM tray. No mud bed is required. Tile is applied with thin-set directly to the pre-pitched membrane that is, in turn, connected to the VIM drain assembly in such a way that moisture cannot be trapped and your shower will dry out beneath the tile, preventing the development of mold and mildew in your shower!
Additionally, we recommend the use of epoxy grout, combined with the VIM system, to yield the best results.
Currently we offer 8 Styles of Strainer in 5 finishes: Brushed Stainless, Polished Stainless, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Polished Brass, and Brushed Brass. Our styles and finishes can be seen on the Strainer Grate product page. The Strainer Grate is not included with the LES Kit. Standard shower strainers will not work with the Level Entry Shower System drain assembly, so make sure to order your Strainer Grate when you order your Kit!
From time to time, we offer certification seminars at our facility in Raleigh, NC. You can also schedule a live Video Conference Training seminar for yourself or your company. An online, independent learning course is coming soon. During these classes, we not only explain the features and benefits of our system but we also discuss marketing strategies, design ideas and the complete in-depth installation process. If you are interested in becoming a Certified VIM Installer, contact us for details on upcoming training seminars or setting up a Video Conference. If you have not already registered as a contractor, you may do so here and you will receive information on future training events, product updates, and opportunities.
No, Thin-set is not to be used to extend the pitch of your shower. An approved patch material should be used when extending the slope of your shower. We recommend Laticrete or Mapei North American patch materials which are available in our shop and through our distributors.
Absolutely. Our system can be used to create a Level Entry steam shower, however additional materials and a steam unit will be required. Consult with your tile contractor and plumber to learn more about what your specific project will require.
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