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Old 10-23-2021, 10:53 AM   #1
Almost There
 
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Shower wall material

Hi all,


I'm on the hunt for a budget-friendly yet aesthetically acceptable shower wall material. I was originally going to do cultured marble but all the local stores say that no one carries it anymore. This seemed odd because the contractors who redid my brother's apartment shower two years ago used cultured marble, which I like the look of, and it seemed pretty easy to install. I'm considering fiberglass and acrylic at this point but wondering what other materials are out there?


Thanks!

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Old 10-23-2021, 12:04 PM   #2
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Cultured marble has been replaced by real marble. Both are too heavy for a bus and that’s coming from someone with a tile bathroom.

The budget friendly option is Reinforced Fiberglass Paneling (RFP). You can get it at the big box hardware store. You can also get custom printed with whatever you want, though I’m sure that’s expensive.

I haven’t done this for a shower, but could also use a product called Stone Coat epoxy to make faux marble plywood. If you go this route, the panels need to be carefully dry fit and disassembled so the epoxy can be applied flat. It needs to be done in a dust-free place and your panels need to be perfectly level.
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Old 10-23-2021, 12:20 PM   #3
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We've been struggling to come up with a bathroom wall solution too. Here's one idea that we're kicking around, mostly because it's fun: aluminum sheet, painted National School Bus Glossy Yellow, with big dish shower taps that resemble headlights and various decals and maybe a painted rub rail or two. Maybe a stop sign as well? And a route number plaque on the outside that you can change between route #1 and #2 (our shower and toilet share the same space). It sounds like you're looking for a classier option, but I figured I'd throw this out there anyway
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Old 10-23-2021, 12:22 PM   #4
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Friend of mine made his shower out of plywood.
Then he had Line-X come out and they sprayed in bedliner.
No joints or seams to seal with goopy silicone, ever.
Smooth on walls and ceiling, textured on floor.
Normal thickness for bedliners.
Remains flexible.
Any color you want.
Cheaper if yo drive the bus to their location.
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:17 PM   #5
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The two plywood side walls and the rear wall of the shower are covered by FRP that's glued on with Roberts 6700 floor adhesive, then I used Armstrong self-stick vinyl floor tiles to make it look nice: they're stuck on with Weldwood contact adhesive. I also used the same tiles on the stainless shower pan. Because the FRP is inside the shower pan's sides, there's no possibility of any leaks anywhere. So far, so good.

John
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Old 10-24-2021, 03:58 AM   #6
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I framed my shower with Unistrut and used plywood with FRP glued to it for the sides. I used a 32" x 32" off the shelf shower pan. I used silicone caulk to seal it all up. The plumbing is mounted to steel pieces and Unistrut. See the pictures attached:
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:15 AM   #7
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I like the shower head placement!
Way up high! , there must be a lot of short plumbers out there and they specialize in motels and hotels.

Also, good idea not in center and aimed away from the door or curtain.
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejon7 View Post
We've been struggling to come up with a bathroom wall solution too. Here's one idea that we're kicking around, mostly because it's fun: aluminum sheet, painted National School Bus Glossy Yellow, with big dish shower taps that resemble headlights and various decals and maybe a painted rub rail or two. Maybe a stop sign as well? And a route number plaque on the outside that you can change between route #1 and #2 (our shower and toilet share the same space). It sounds like you're looking for a classier option, but I figured I'd throw this out there anyway
I can't wait to see your finished shower!


I feel that I've had relatively few design constraints in my bus or have been able to reasonably work around most of them but this shower is driving me nuts. Try finding a 36 x 30 shower pan (in the first place) with an offset drain ('cause a center drain runs into a cross member).


Looks like I'll be going reinforced fiberglass for the walls. I don't remember the cultured marble they put in my brother's bathroom being that heavy. I think it was pretty thin. Oh well, if I can't even source the stuff.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddywagon View Post


I feel that I've had relatively few design constraints in my bus or have been able to reasonably work around most of them but this shower is driving me nuts. Try finding a 36 x 30 shower pan (in the first place) with an offset drain ('cause a center drain runs into a cross member).

Don't waste your time and effort trying to find a ready-made shower pan that probably won't be the exact size you need anyway! Just have a shower pan made by a sheet-metal or HVAC fabricator, then you can put the drain exactly where it's best for you. Besides, a stainless steel pan with welded corners and a welded drain spigot will be more durable and reliable than any flimsy plastic pan. Before I installed mine I ground about an inch off the wooden floor at the drain end so the pan would sit at a slight angle, then the water would still drain even if the bus were parked up to one foot lower at the back.

John
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddywagon View Post
I can't wait to see your finished shower!


I feel that I've had relatively few design constraints in my bus or have been able to reasonably work around most of them but this shower is driving me nuts. Try finding a 36 x 30 shower pan (in the first place) with an offset drain ('cause a center drain runs into a cross member).


Looks like I'll be going reinforced fiberglass for the walls. I don't remember the cultured marble they put in my brother's bathroom being that heavy. I think it was pretty thin. Oh well, if I can't even source the stuff.
There is shower pan material made of plastic cement coated XPS foam. Itís sold by Schluter and HydroBlock and some others. It can be cut to size. Thereís drain kits for it too. I like the idea of using two linear drains so that no mater which way the bus leans it will drain
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:56 PM   #11
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I did a plywood shower pan (so I could give it good slopes). Redguard on the bottom, and fiberglass over the top. Then I poured resin in three coats.

A huge amount of work but got the exact shape and form I needed for the spot.
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Don't waste your time and effort trying to find a ready-made shower pan that probably won't be the exact size you need anyway! Just have a shower pan made by a sheet-metal or HVAC fabricator, then you can put the drain exactly where it's best for you. Besides, a stainless steel pan with welded corners and a welded drain spigot will be more durable and reliable than any flimsy plastic pan. Before I installed mine I ground about an inch off the wooden floor at the drain end so the pan would sit at a slight angle, then the water would still drain even if the bus were parked up to one foot lower at the back.

John
That sounds like a great option but could get pricey. I talked to a local fabricator a while ago about a stainless countertop and he said it would be cost-prohibitive. I may look into it again.


One thing is for sure: tile in a bus seems like a horrible idea. I hope it's worked well for those who have used it but there's no way it's finding it's way into my rig.
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Old 10-27-2021, 04:43 PM   #13
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Someone just did this on his bus in the shuttle bus forum or short bus forum on Facebook. It looks great.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddywagon View Post
I can't wait to see your finished shower!


I feel that I've had relatively few design constraints in my bus or have been able to reasonably work around most of them but this shower is driving me nuts. Try finding a 36 x 30 shower pan (in the first place) with an offset drain ('cause a center drain runs into a cross member).


Looks like I'll be going reinforced fiberglass for the walls. I don't remember the cultured marble they put in my brother's bathroom being that heavy. I think it was pretty thin. Oh well, if I can't even source the stuff.
I got super lucky with my build. I was able to buy an off the shelf 32x32 shower pan with a center drain that does not hit anything important underneath.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:17 PM   #15
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shower material

I used plywood for walls a fiberglass shower pan then floor lino in tile look alike. Used floor lino glue still looks like new 8 years later. I used the same concept in my house bath tub to convert for shower I took it apart 15 years later and there was no rot on the drywall at all. It works well in the bus because it can tweak if needed.
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddywagon View Post
That sounds like a great option but could get pricey. I talked to a local fabricator a while ago about a stainless countertop and he said it would be cost-prohibitive. I may look into it again.


One thing is for sure: tile in a bus seems like a horrible idea. I hope it's worked well for those who have used it but there's no way it's finding it's way into my rig.

Stainless sink/kitchen fabricators are high priced because the sell mostly commercial kitchen stuff that has to meet health inspectors codes, blah, blah, blah. Try a HVAC or plumbing contractor like the man said. They have to have drain pans built all the time. They can do it or tell you who can.
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddywagon View Post
...a center drain runs into a cross member...
.
Could you set the pan on a raised floor so the plumbing heads away from a cross-member?
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:19 AM   #18
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1993 or so, we converted a 30' retired military-office semi-trailer into a RecreationVehicle.
.
For our shower, we acquired a mop-basin, the type used in restaurants to empty mop-buckets.
About two-foot on each side, the sides are probably twelve inches tall.
I built a frame for the surrounds, then enclosed the shower with galvanized wavy roofing.
.
It was the talk of the town.
.
I realize two feet on a side sounds constrictive.
Testing the contraption as I stood in it prior to finalizing the framing, I thought so, too.
So... I angled my walls -- coned them in an inverted pyramid -- so the elbow-height was about three feet to a side.
.
.
Years go by.
After dragging our THOW all over tarnation, we sold the trailer to a concrete company to use as an office.
They had no use for a shower, so I dismantled it for them.
.
Still have my mop-basin.
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Old 10-28-2021, 09:29 AM   #19
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I’m probably a little late to the thread and I’ll admit this is only my 2nd ever post, but I wanted to share what I came up with for my shower. I repurposed the steel ceiling panels as the shower walls and I think it has turned out quite well!

By the time I got to this stage of my build, I had switched over to budget mode. The plumbing, electrical, and structural components of the build were done and I was trying like some of y’all to figure out a cheap and aesthetically pleasing way to do the shower. I kept a few of the original bus interior parts such as the cable trays that run the length of the interior as throwbacks to what once was. So I decided to use the ceiling panels as the shower walls since it would match parts of the interior anyway.

1/2” plywood backing and liquid nails to hold up the steel sheets. I used silicone caulk under each seam and then i covered the corners with pvc molding. I’ve been living full time in the bus for 10 months and have had no issues with water leaks and the original paint has held up extremely well. I’ve had no issues with cleaning it either. Hope this might inspire some creativity in the community!
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:28 PM   #20
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I bought a premade 32" shower stall. To keep the claustrophobic effect to a minimum I had a wrap made of a tropical beach scene to cover the 3 walls.


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