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Old 01-21-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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Custom Shower Pan

I completely revamped the bathroom in our 71 Safari. When I took everything out to fix the frame and the floor I decided to shuffle the back quarter so that the bathroom and closet space all shared the same space.

This gives us a spacious area for the bathroom while not really impacting any storage space.

The problem is that the old shower pan, which was a mess and falling apart, won't work anymore in the new bathroom so I need a new one. We originally thought that we could just skip the pan because we probably wouldn't really use it ... that lasted until last month when I made a mistake while pumping antifreeze into the system and flooded the floor, which promptly got under the flooring and generally made a mess.

I found an ADA shower base that is 37" by 42" which is almost but not quite perfect ... by the time I get it shipped here I am looking at over $700 ($800 if I ship it to the house) and I think that is a bit much plus it requires some fairly major adjustments of the plumbing to make it fit.

I have looked at two examples of how people have created beautiful shower floors using metal but I am concerned that that is going to be too cold for general use as a bathroom floor.

Are there places that could custom make a fiberglass floor that would cost less, or maybe even the same amount but do it so that it fits exactly?

What would it take to make a pan? I have never done fiberglass personally but I have watched the process (40 years ago) related to making a canoe.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
Tom Bray
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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ready made

Tom,
There are many designs for sale a lot less expensive on numerous sites. Look around a bit...tank makers usually have some.

http://www.icontechltd.com/ProductCa...er-Pans-c7.htm
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
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You could do the metal pan, but place a nice, teak wood floor into it for warmth. Like you'll see here:

Teak Wooden Bath Products: Mats, Benches, Accessories and more - TeakWorks4U
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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I probably have 4 or 5 hours into looking for premade shower pans. I haven't found one that is 34" X 46" which is what I really need, or one that is a tad smaller in the two dimmensions. All the ones that are inexpensive, like the link above, don't get over about 28" in the small dimmension, it is very frustrating.

The ADA compliant one is 37" x 42", as I mentioned above. It has no lip running down one side so that a wheel chair or walker can enter it without problems (I don't need this feature but it does eliminate a step into the bathroom). I can make the pan fit but it requires moving where the sink drain goes through the floor, essentially scrapping all the new plumbing I put underneath. The other problem is that all the vendors that have this shower pan only ship it on a pallet which means it has to come by truck ... residential delivery is about $200 which I feel is a bit steep. Plus the shower pan itself is expensive, almost $600 from the least expensive Web Vendor and that doesn't include shipping.

I was thinking about the idea of doing a metal pan and then having the teak "floor mat". I have to decide if I am up to making an aluminum floor pan. It has some advantages, especially if I extend it over the top of the blackwater tank.

I have fairly large sheets of both 2024T3 and the 5052H32 aluminum. Unfortunately, I don't believe that either are good candidates for welding though so I need to come up with another waterproof and watertight assembly method if I want to use these.

Tom Bray
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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The 2024-T3 is not a weldable alloy but the 5052-H32 is a very good alloy for welding.
The 3xxx, 5xxx, and the 6xxx are all weldable alloys.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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I had the same question and I met an individual from the Manufactured Homes Show. They will make the pan as desired, I do not have pricing but he did say that custom did not mean more. I will get his name and number for you tomorrow.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Have you been to Home Depot? They carry quite a few sizes of shower pans. I think you'll find most ADA pans are larger than what you want.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
The 2024-T3 is not a weldable alloy but the 5052-H32 is a very good alloy for welding.
The 3xxx, 5xxx, and the 6xxx are all weldable alloys.

5052-H32 is a good alloy choice (Non-Heat Treatable) that's classified as ASTM B 209 in the sheet and plate form. It is readily weldable and can be heat straightened after welding to correct distortion...INSERT WORD OF CAUTION...Be very careful applying any heat to aluminum however. Unlike steel which glows red as heat input is increased, aluminum will simply melt away before you know what happened. 5052-H32 can be safely heated up to 800 degrees F. for up to 50 hours, however the best distortion control is achieved by sequencing the welds.

Another great feature is that you could get the finished product anodized to a desired color. This not only looks good, but increases wear too. If you do pursue anodizing make sure you use an ER5356 electrode and not ER4043. ER4043 and anodizing don't mix well, unless you want your weld seams to be black, or some other funky color.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:05 PM   #10
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Have you thought about the possibility of either making your own out of fiberglass or seeing if a commercial fiberglass shop would do it? Fiberglass is not that difficult to work with. You could buy a cheap one that is already close and adapt it for that matter using fiberglass.

My intent is to do my own out of fg when I get around to it. Won't be this year but it makes sense for me as I can do it at home, shape it exactly to fit, and the price fits my budget (I'm cheap).

Barry
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57 View Post
Have you thought about the possibility of either making your own out of fiberglass or seeing if a commercial fiberglass shop would do it? Fiberglass is not that difficult to work with. You could buy a cheap one that is already close and adapt it for that matter using fiberglass.

My intent is to do my own out of fg when I get around to it. Won't be this year but it makes sense for me as I can do it at home, shape it exactly to fit, and the price fits my budget (I'm cheap).

Barry
Do high schools still have fibreglass shops? Maybe they could make one for you?
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:56 PM   #12
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I am thinking that since I have some aluminum that would be appropriate and I have a friend who just happens to have an 8' break, it may well be made of aluminum. He thinks he may be able to weld the seems too.

I also have to see how much that teak floor mat is going to cost.

I need to draw it up and see how hard it is going to be to make the thing.

I am still exploring the fiberglass option. I just haven't found a place that can do the work.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:29 AM   #13
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Those teak floor mats are available at other places too. I just posted the site for illustration only. My local Home Depot even carries them. It wouldn't be hard to make your own to fit your pan. Teak isn't too hard to work with.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:20 AM   #14
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Tom & Barry;

I've been working with glass and carbon for decades. It's easy to make custom parts once you have a mold, plug, form something to layup onto. The prep work will determine how sweet the finished part.
A shower pan is pretty strait forward, just a rectangle. I would use a chunk of sandable foam and shape it to what I wanted the inside of the shower pan to be.
Then cover the foam with saran wrap to keep the cloth and resin or epoxy from seeping into the foam.Lay the cloth and resin onto the foam and let it kick. You may want to add a few stringers on the bottom for structural support.Whats nice about this is that you are working with the part upside down not overhead.
After it kicks "pop" it out of the mold. remove the stuck on saran wrap. sand the part to your liking.You probably will need to do a little touch up in the corners with microballoons to smooth out the radius. You will also be able to lay another piece of cloth on the bottom inside of the pan to give your feet a non skid area. Lay this piece in place and resin it down using a sgueege, you want the cloth to be impregnated but still show the weave. If the weave it to deep you can use a roller to roll on more resin to fill in the weave.Then after you have the part to your liking you can paint it with 2 part epoxy marine enamel.
The nice part about doing it yourself is that you can make it so it drains, you can make it with the recess for the drain part to fit exactly where you need it to be located.
So have a wack at it, just protect your lungs while sanding with some sort of mask. I always try to sand outside when the wind is blowing!!
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