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Enlarging a shower stall?

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Joined: Oct 29 2005

We're undertaking a big remodel of our Eichler master bathroom, and this is probably the first of many posts to make sure we're not repeating anyone else's mistakes.

You can read more about the house and our design at

Today's question is about creating a larger shower without introducing a high threshold or curb around the perimeter that you have to step over. The original 3x3 square shower stall was sunk down an inch or two into the concrete slab when they poured it, and we're thinking about expanding that "footprint" for another 3-4 feet to form a rectangle with the required slope for water back to the original drain.

Obviously that would require digging out some concrete. So my question is how to determine if there is radiant heating pipes in that part of the slab?

Funny related story: previous owners had put a down-draft Jenn-air range in the kitchen island and routed the air vent down through the slab and back up the nearest wall to the roof. The story I heard was that they were digging out the required channel using spoons to avoid hitting the radiant pipes. Don't know how true that is, but we obviously need to take a slightly different approach since we need to create a gradual slope, not a channel.

Joined: Sep 7 2009

You may want to contact a radiant heating company to find radiant pipe lines? al,so could turn heat on high on colder day and wait a few hours and do a temp. check . are you expending into the front hall closet space ( there are radiant pipe valves in our LA 81 type flat roof 4 bedroom model , where we would also like to expand our master shower, so we are considering taking some footage off the master walk in closet closet). what about just raising entire shower pan up to a flat level, not digging out a space for shower pan, using glass surrounds to keep splashes in?

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