FAQs

Bendy Rails

A bendy rail is made of a plastic sleeve that is sandwiched between two identical aluminum channels. The three pieces slide together as the rail is bent to shape.

All bendy rails are white, though you can coat them with metal paint in the color of your choice.

Bendy rails can be shaped into curves by hand, though, if you want to ensure a precise curve, or you need to repeat the same exact curve on many bendy rails, you're best off making a jig. You can make the jig out of plywood or some similar material, cut to the curve you desire. Another way to shape a rail with more accuracy compared to the hand-held approach is to bend it over a strong cylinder, like thick-walled pipe.

Unfortunately there isn't a fitting for this purpose.

This takes a little ingenuity, but it can be done. Bend the rail to the shape you want, hold it in position against the ceiling, and determine where it crosses solid material to which you can fasten the rail. At the points you marked, drill pilot holes into the plastic sleeve that joins the two halves of the rail (insert the drill bit into the gap between the aluminum channels). Now fasten the rail to the ceiling with screws. The screws must have a small diameter head ("trim head" screws work best).

The manufacturer says they can be bent to a radius as small as 3?.

Sure, you can make a whole bunch of bends. Just make sure you don't make it too difficult to move the curtain glides in the track.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

Breathable Curtains

Breathable curtains are made of polyester.

Yes, all models permit air to pass through (they have undergone a Wira test, which measures the resistance of fabrics to water absorption and penetration).

They do have discreet weights in the bottom hem. In addition, once these curtains are wet from shower spray, they hang quite rigidly and do not easily billow out.

Sorry, but these specialized curtains are available only in white.

This is really a matter of preference. ARC recommends that you allow ½" between the bottom of the curtain and the floor. This way the curtain isn't dragging on the floor and getting dirty, but is low enough to contain splash and overspray.

Yes you can. While our Bendy Rails are specially made to work with hooks & glides that flow easily in the tracks, you can choose to mount our curtains on standard curtain rods and use standard rings for holding up the curtains. Do keep in mind that drop rods supporting the rail may interfere with standard curtain rings.

The manufacturer makes additional sizes, however, ARC stocks only those shown here, on the website. There has been no customer interest in other sizes.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

All holes are reinforced with a grommet, and the diameter of the grommet hole is ¼"

Each curtain has 10 holes for hooks. The holes are reinforced with grommets. The hole diameter is 1/4".

Caregiver Doors

All caregiver doors have a "fit range" that allows for adjustments during an installation. To determine which door to order, begin by measuring the width of your alcove shower opening (from wall to wall). Make sure the walls are finished so that the thicknesses of all materials are taken into account (drywall, tile backer, tile, acrylic or fiberglass coverings, etc.).

Next, in the Alcove Caregiver Door section of this website, see the "Available Models" page and select the model with a "fit range" that includes your measurement. If none of the models have a "fit range" that covers your needs you can consider the use of one or two extra-wide compensators. Every door comes with two compensators. Swapping an original compensator for an extra-wide compensator will change a caregiver door's "fit range" by 2". So, for example, if a caregiver door's "fit range" is originally ?59" to 60", replacing one original compensator with an extra-wide compensator changes the "fit range" to between 61" and 62". Switching out both original compensators for extra-wide compensators would make the "fit range" 63" to 64".

There is one exception to this general rule. Caregiver door model CD2960-WG includes extra-wide compensators as original equipment, therefore its "fit range" cannot be adjusted.

If you're still out of luck finding a caregiver door that will work in your shower, there is one more possible solution. You can easily install a strip of material between each wall and compensator to make up a gap of any size. For this purpose we recommend non-porous, solid surface products like Corian, Avonite, Swanstone, Cambria and the like (there are many brands). You could also use acrylic or fiberglass. Cut the material to the dimensions you need and mount the strips to the walls, then fasten the compensators against the strips. Using this method, the "fit range" of any caregiver door can be expanded or fine-tuned to meet most every need.

The manufacturer makes them only in white with gray trim accents.

The manufacturer makes many caregiver door sizes and configurations. ARC stocks only the models designed for alcove installations because they are the models that the US and Canadian markets have consistently required.

Compensators essentially make up the gap between the doors and the walls, giving you space to make fitting adjustments and achieve a finished appearance. Compensators are U-shaped channels, open on one long edge. Each door assembly's end fits into a compensator channel. With the doors removed, you have access into each channel to fasten the compensators to the walls. When you slip a door assembly into a compensator, you can fine-tune its position so that the door's gasket rests on the floor properly, so that it swings properly, so that it engages a mating door properly, and is plumb.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

Comfort Grip Grab Bars

Yes they do. There are a couple of key measurements that ADA requires of the grab bars themselves. One is the diameter of the grab bar, and the other is the distance between the grab bar and the wall to which it is anchored. The diameter of the grab bar must be between 1¼" and 1½". The distance from the wall to the grab bar cannot exceed 1½".

There are many ADA requirements that define the locations and lengths of grab bars for particular situations, though these requirements are for commercial (non-residential) applications. Consulting ADA guidelines before installing grab bars in your home is wise and can be beneficial, though there is no legal obligation to comply with them. Our best recommendation is to visit an online source for details. Here is a link to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design: http://www.ada.gov

This often comes down to preference, though we believe our grab bars offer several key advantages.

Our grab bars are warm to the touch and provide a very "grippable" surface. Users with weakness in their hands or forearms find these grab bars easy to hold, even when wet. Grooves in the UPVC cover collect water so that the ridges remain drier, thereby providing a good foundation for holding. The core of every grab bar is a thick-walled aluminum tube that offers great strength and will not rust or deteriorate.

By contrast, stainless steel grab bars feel cold to the touch and can be slippery when wet, even if textured. The quality of stainless steel in grab bars varies, and the appearance of some inferior products will decline over time. And stainless steel grab bars are so common in public restrooms and commercial settings that people think they look institutional.

Towel bars are simply not stong enough to carry the load or force of someone in need of real support. They may appear to be helpful during "normal" use when a little balance assistance is needed, but as soon as any real weight or force is applied a towel bar just can't support the demands put on it. Plus, towel bars are usually mounted with small screws in plastic drywall anchors, ill-suited for the demands expected of a grab bar.

ADA guidelines call for installation of grab bars near toilets at 33" to 36" above the finished floor.

Usually two or three grab bars are installed in a shower, though the number and location can depend on the size of the shower. Generally, if you stand facing the direction of the shower head, one grab bar is installed vertically on that wall so it can be easily reached with one hand. Another grab bar is often installed horizontally on the adjacent wall to the left or right of the shower head wall. Many showers are equipped with a second, vertical grab bar on the adjacent wall, as well. Instead of two grab bars on the adjacent wall you can choose an 'L' shaped bar or a 135° angled grab bar to accomplish the same coverage.

Another popular option is to install a grab bar-rated support for your shower hand wand. Be sure you specify one that is rated as a grab bar and install it as such.

Deluxe Shower Seats

Like grab bars, shower seats must be installed properly to carry the load. Our Deluxe Shower Seats can support a user up to 560 pounds. To achieve that rating, however, wall blocking and fasteners must be stout and well suited to the application.

We recommend installing 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 wood blocking between studs. Make sure you install the blocking to suit the seat height setting for the intended user. If this isn't clear at the time studs are exposed, gain some flexibility by installing two tiers of blocking, one on top of the other, to give you more vertical range for the seat installation. By installing blocking in adjacent stud bays you gain flexibility on the horizontal axis, too.

You can notch studs for the blocking, or you can screw cleats to the studs and then screw blocking to the cleats. Either of these methods works well. Toe-nailing is not sufficient.

Be sure to use fasteners that fully penetrate the blocking. We suggest using #12 screws or ¼" diameter screws. And we always suggest the use of stainless steel screws in wet locations. The length of the screws will vary depending on the wall materials the screws have to penetrate through. You will have to determine this for each situation. In some cases screws may have to go through thin tile and fiber cement board, and in other cases there might be thicker tile or additional layers of underlayment.

Of course, if you're fastening your seat to a concrete wall or a cement block wall, use appropriate metal anchors.

When mounting a seat, you must be sure that the unit is level from front to back and side to side, and the legs must be perfectly plumb when the seat is in the down position. If legs are out of plumb there may be too much stress on them.

Our seats are usually installed in showers, and shower floors, as you know, are sloped. So it is often the case that one leg must be a bit longer than the other leg to compensate for the sloped floor.

When installing the seat's mounting bracket to the wall, be sure to level the seat with the non-fine-tuning foot resting on the floor. Once the bracket is fastened to the wall you can adjust the other foot so the chair seat is solidly contacting the floor. Be sure to tighten the nut firmly on the treaded rod above the fine-tuning foot (on the adjustable foot assembly). By tightening the nut you will prevent this foot from rotating. It's a good idea to check from time to time that this nut remains tight. If the nut isn't tight, the length of the leg may change over time and put undo stress on the product.

Those are retaining caps for the seat pad. Install the pad by pressing the pad's nipples into the holes in the molded plastic seat. Now take one of those caps and put the tip of the screw into the hole in the end of a nipple and turn it counterclockwise until the cap snugs up against the seat. Do not over tighten. Repeat this for all four nipples.

If you decide you don't want to use the seat pad, press these friction fit pieces into the four seat holes. These are just hole fillers that improve comfort on unpadded seats.

Most of our seats are available in models with or without a back. A back cannot be added to a seat that was originally made without a back. You'll have to order a new seat. Sorry.

A mild, non-abrasive soap and warm water are all it takes to clean a shower seat. We do recommend regular rinsing and cleaning of shower seats because there can be build up of soap, shampoo, and other stuff. Be sure to remove the pads so you can rinse both the back of each pad and the molded plastic seat and back thoroughly. Mildew or mold can grow between the pads and the molded plastic if not properly cleaned. Also, lack of cleaning can lead to lime scale buildup on the stainless steel frame and legs. Lime scale can look like rust, but it most definitely is not. It is superficial and needs to be removed or prevented. The high quality stainless steel used in Deluxe Shower Seats will not rust.

The manufacturer of our seats does not make an adaptor to change a U-shaped seat into a full seat. And trying to use a full seat pad on a U-shaped seat will not work--the retaining nipples are not in the same locations and there is no support for the pad in the cutout area of the seat, making this an awkward and potentially hazardous alteration.

There are two sets of leg extensions included with every Deluxe Shower Seat. The only difference is the length of the extensions. They're included to increase the range of installation heights available to a user.

Each arm will support up to 122 pounds. Bear in mind that weight applied to the outer end of the arm puts more stress on the hinge.

Rubberwood is used to make the top of every wood slatted shower seat. It is a tree grown on plantations in Southeast Asia. The trees produce latex, which is used to make many rubber-based products. After a rubberwood tree ages more than 25 years or so its yield of latex diminishes to a point where it is no longer useful for that purpose. These trees are harvested and replaced with new rubberwood trees. Because it is a dense wood that is easy to kiln dry, shrinks very little and remains stable once dried, and offers great durability, rubberwood is used in a variety of kitchen, bathroom, and furniture goods. Since it serves these dual purposes--latex production followed by useful lumber--with little waste, rubberwood is considered an eco-friendly material.

Every Deluxe Shower Seat, as it folds against the wall, travels past 90°. This allows the weight of the seat to overbalance toward the wall so it stays in the upright position. The wall must be plumb for the seat to function properly in this folded position.

If your wall is out of plumb and leans toward the seat, it is possible that the seat will not be able to overbalance and stay upright. This is not a defect in the seat; rather, it is a problem with the construction of the wall or a situation that has developed over time due to forces being applied to the wall. In a nutshell, the wall is interfering with the over-travel of the seat

If your wall is out of plumb and leans toward the seat, it is possible that the seat will not be able to overbalance and stay upright. This is not a defect in the seat; rather, it is a problem with the construction of the wall or a situation that has developed over time due to forces being applied to the wall. In a nutshell, the wall is interfering with the over-travel of the seat.

The primary differences are size, load capacity, and the metal used.

The seats are smaller in the Economy series compared to the more generously sized Deluxe models. Deluxe seats are made with heavy gauge stainless steel tubing in the legs and frame, whereas aluminum is used in the Economy series. Deluxe seats will support up to 560 lbs. when properly installed, and Economy seats are rated to support 348 lbs. when properly installed. Plastic mounting brackets are used on the Economy seats compared to stainless steel in the Deluxe seats.

All in all, the Deluxe series is stronger, more durable, and more spacious.

Yes, new pads are available. Please see the specification sheet for any seat model you have, and there you will find item codes for the correct replacement pads.

Every shower seat can be swung up to face the wall. During this motion the legs are lifted off the floor, too. The seat swings past vertical a bit to lean toward the wall. It will remain there until it is swung down. The operation takes little effort. If your seat has arms, they can also be swung to the wall.

Economy Shower Seats

The primary differences are size, load capacity, and the metal used.

The seats are smaller in the Economy series compared to the more generously sized Deluxe models. Deluxe seats are made with heavy gauge stainless steel tubing in the legs and frame, whereas aluminum is used in the Economy series. Deluxe seats will support up to 560 lbs. when properly installed, and Economy seats are rated to support 348 lbs. when properly installed. Plastic mounting brackets are used on the Economy seats compared to stainless steel in the Deluxe seats.

All in all, the Deluxe series is stronger, more durable, and more spacious.

It depends. These seats are meant to be mounted to a wall, so that is a must, and the feet need to rest on a flat surface so that they will not slip, which will put sideward pressure on the leg joints and hinges, especially when someone is sitting on the seat. Many tubs have a rounded bottom surface, which may cause this effect to occur.

Sorry, but there is no way to convert a seat from no-back to one with a back.

All Economy seats swing past 90° to lean toward the wall. This is sufficient to keep them in position until a user swings the seat back down. The only reason a seat would fail to stay upright is if the wall is badly out of plumb, leaning toward the shower in a way that prevents the seat from completing the over-travel path.

Yes, new pads are available. Please see the specification sheet for any seat model you have, and there you will find item codes for the correct replacement pads.

Every shower seat can be swung up to face the wall. During this motion the legs are lifted off the floor, too. The seat swings past vertical a bit to lean toward the wall. It will remain there until it is swung down. The operation takes little effort. If your seat has arms, they can also be swung to the wall.

Grab Bars & Supports

Grab bars must be anchored properly to support a significant load and to withstand sudden force, like what can happen when a person falls and grabs onto a grab bar or falls into a grab bar with their body.

There are a number of ways to provide a good foundation for installing grab bars. You can install 2x blocking between studs in the wall (then cover with materials like drywall and tile), or secure 5/8" or ¾" plywood over the studs prior to drywall. Some grab bars can be used with a fastener called a Wing-it, though that is not true for AKW grab bars.

The better you can anchor the blocking, the more force the grab bar will be able to withstand, to a point. So notching the studs for blocking, or installing cleats behind the blocking, provides more foundational strength than simply toe-nailing the blocking to the studs.

Be sure to use fasteners that fully penetrate the blocking or plywood. We suggest using #10 or #12 screws, depending on the mounting plate holes of your grab bars. The length of the screws will vary depending on the wall materials the screws have to penetrate through 1/2" drywall before reaching the blocking material, whereas in other situations there may be thick tile and underlayment layers over the blocking, which would require a much longer screw. Cement block and concrete require specialized anchors and screws. Always use stainless steel fasteners in wet locations.

And always use stainless steel fasteners in wet locations.

Yes they do. There are a couple of key measurements that ADA requires of the grab bars themselves. One is the diameter of the grab bar, and the other is the distance between the grab bar and the wall to which it is anchored. The diameter of the grab bar must be between 1¼" and 1½". The distance from the wall to the grab bar cannot exceed 1½".

There are many ADA requirements that define the locations and lengths of grab bars for particular situations, though these requirements are for commercial (non-residential) applications. Consulting ADA guidelines before installing grab bars in your home is wise and can be beneficial, though there is no legal obligation to comply with them. Our best recommendation is to visit an online source for details. Here is a link to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design: http://www.ada.gov

This often comes down to preference, though we believe our grab bars offer several key advantages.

Our grab bars are warm to the touch and provide a very "grippable" surface. Users with weakness in their hands or forearms find these grab bars easy to hold, even when wet. Grooves in the UPVC cover collect water so that the ridges remain drier, thereby providing a good foundation for holding. The core of every grab bar is a thick-walled aluminum tube that offers great strength and will not rust or deteriorate.

By contrast, stainless steel grab bars feel cold to the touch and can be slippery when wet, even if textured. The quality of stainless steel in grab bars varies, and the appearance of some inferior products will decline over time. And stainless steel grab bars are so common in public restrooms and commercial settings that people think they look institutional.

Towel bars are simply not stong enough to carry the load or force of someone in need of real support. They may appear to be helpful during "normal" use when a little balance assistance is needed, but as soon as any real weight or force is applied a towel bar just can't support the demands put on it. Plus, towel bars are usually mounted with small screws in plastic drywall anchors, ill-suited for the demands expected of a grab bar.

ADA guidelines call for installation of grab bars near toilets at 33" to 36" above the finished floor.

Usually two or three grab bars are installed in a shower, though the number and location can depend on the size of the shower. Generally, if you stand facing the direction of the shower head, one grab bar is installed vertically on that wall so it can be easily reached with one hand. Another grab bar is often installed horizontally on the adjacent wall to the left or right of the shower head wall. Many showers are equipped with a second, vertical grab bar on the adjacent wall, as well. Instead of two grab bars on the adjacent wall you can choose an 'L' shaped bar or a 135° angled grab bar to accomplish the same coverage.

Another popular option is to install a grab bar-rated support for your shower hand wand. Be sure you specify one that is rated as a grab bar and install it as such.

Yes, they can. The bar on these back rests is very stout and the fact that they project from the wall a good distance makes them a natural handhold.

Be sure back rests are fastened to solid blocking either in the wall or on the wall. The blocking must be well secured to the wall framing. This may require an installer to open the wall to fasten 2x wood blocking between studs. Screw cleats to the studs, then screw the blocking to the cleats (toenailing blocking to studs is insufficient for any load bearing device like a grab bar or seat). An installer could also screw through the studs into the ends of the blocking, though this requires a bigger opening into the wall to expose more stud bays. Alternatively, a strong piece of lumber can be fastened to the outside of the wall so long as the fasteners reach deeply into the framing; then the back rest can be secured to the piece of lumber.

The pad is made of closed cell foam. It is quite firm and will not absorb water.

Drywall isn't structural, so there is no way it would support much weight, let alone the momentary impact from someone grabbing the bar during a fall. Never rely on anything but solid 2x wood blocking, concrete, concrete block, or some other substantial material as a mounting platform for a grab bar. Drywall can be covering the substantial material, but fasteners have to penetrate through the drywall and deep into the mounting block material.

Flat end grab bars are made of stainless steel and are appropriate for outdoor use. All other specialty grab bars, being made of carbon steel, will rust eventually when exposed to outside conditions.

Seats

Like grab bars, shower seats must be installed properly to carry the load. Our Deluxe Shower Seats can support a user up to 560 pounds. To achieve that rating, however, wall blocking and fasteners must be stout and well suited to the application.

We recommend installing 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 wood blocking between studs. Make sure you install the blocking to suit the seat height setting for the intended user. If this isn't clear at the time studs are exposed, gain some flexibility by installing two tiers of blocking, one on top of the other, to give you more vertical range for the seat installation. By installing blocking in adjacent stud bays you gain flexibility on the horizontal axis, too.

You can notch studs for the blocking, or you can screw cleats to the studs and then screw blocking to the cleats. Either of these methods works well. Toe-nailing is not sufficient.

Be sure to use fasteners that fully penetrate the blocking. We suggest using #12 screws or ¼" diameter screws. And we always suggest the use of stainless steel screws in wet locations. The length of the screws will vary depending on the wall materials the screws have to penetrate through. You will have to determine this for each situation. In some cases screws may have to go through thin tile and fiber cement board, and in other cases there might be thicker tile or additional layers of underlayment.

Of course, if you're fastening your seat to a concrete wall or a cement block wall, use appropriate metal anchors.

When mounting a seat, you must be sure that the unit is level from front to back and side to side, and the legs must be perfectly plumb when the seat is in the down position. If legs are out of plumb there may be too much stress on them.

Our seats are usually installed in showers, and shower floors, as you know, are sloped. So it is often the case that one leg must be a bit longer than the other leg to compensate for the sloped floor.

When installing the seat's mounting bracket to the wall, be sure to level the seat with the non-fine-tuning foot resting on the floor. Once the bracket is fastened to the wall you can adjust the other foot so the chair seat is solidly contacting the floor. Be sure to tighten the nut firmly on the treaded rod above the fine-tuning foot (on the adjustable foot assembly). By tightening the nut you will prevent this foot from rotating. It's a good idea to check from time to time that this nut remains tight. If the nut isn't tight, the length of the leg may change over time and put undo stress on the product.

Those are retaining caps for the seat pad. Install the pad by pressing the pad's nipples into the holes in the molded plastic seat. Now take one of those caps and put the tip of the screw into the hole in the end of a nipple and turn it counterclockwise until the cap snugs up against the seat. Do not over tighten. Repeat this for all four nipples.

If you decide you don't want to use the seat pad, press these friction fit pieces into the four seat holes. These are just hole fillers that improve comfort on unpadded seats.

Most of our seats are available in models with or without a back. A back cannot be added to a seat that was originally made without a back. You'll have to order a new seat. Sorry.

A mild, non-abrasive soap and warm water are all it takes to clean a shower seat. We do recommend regular rinsing and cleaning of shower seats because there can be build up of soap, shampoo, and other stuff. Be sure to remove the pads so you can rinse both the back of each pad and the molded plastic seat and back thoroughly. Mildew or mold can grow between the pads and the molded plastic if not properly cleaned. Also, lack of cleaning can lead to lime scale buildup on the stainless steel frame and legs. Lime scale can look like rust, but it most definitely is not. It is superficial and needs to be removed or prevented. The high quality stainless steel used in Deluxe Shower Seats will not rust.

The manufacturer of our seats does not make an adaptor to change a U-shaped seat into a full seat. And trying to use a full seat pad on a U-shaped seat will not work--the retaining nipples are not in the same locations and there is no support for the pad in the cutout area of the seat, making this an awkward and potentially hazardous alteration.

There are two sets of leg extensions included with every Deluxe Shower Seat. The only difference is the length of the extensions. They're included to increase the range of installation heights available to a user.

Each arm will support up to 122 pounds. Bear in mind that weight applied to the outer end of the arm puts more stress on the hinge.

Rubberwood is used to make the top of every wood slatted shower seat. It is a tree grown on plantations in Southeast Asia. The trees produce latex, which is used to make many rubber-based products. After a rubberwood tree ages more than 25 years or so its yield of latex diminishes to a point where it is no longer useful for that purpose. These trees are harvested and replaced with new rubberwood trees. Because it is a dense wood that is easy to kiln dry, shrinks very little and remains stable once dried, and offers great durability, rubberwood is used in a variety of kitchen, bathroom, and furniture goods. Since it serves these dual purposes--latex production followed by useful lumber--with little waste, rubberwood is considered an eco-friendly material.

Every Deluxe Shower Seat, as it folds against the wall, travels past 90°. This allows the weight of the seat to overbalance toward the wall so it stays in the upright position. The wall must be plumb for the seat to function properly in this folded position.

If your wall is out of plumb and leans toward the seat, it is possible that the seat will not be able to overbalance and stay upright. This is not a defect in the seat; rather, it is a problem with the construction of the wall or a situation that has developed over time due to forces being applied to the wall. In a nutshell, the wall is interfering with the over-travel of the seat

If your wall is out of plumb and leans toward the seat, it is possible that the seat will not be able to overbalance and stay upright. This is not a defect in the seat; rather, it is a problem with the construction of the wall or a situation that has developed over time due to forces being applied to the wall. In a nutshell, the wall is interfering with the over-travel of the seat.

The primary differences are size, load capacity, and the metal used.

The seats are smaller in the Economy series compared to the more generously sized Deluxe models. Deluxe seats are made with heavy gauge stainless steel tubing in the legs and frame, whereas aluminum is used in the Economy series. Deluxe seats will support up to 560 lbs. when properly installed, and Economy seats are rated to support 348 lbs. when properly installed. Plastic mounting brackets are used on the Economy seats compared to stainless steel in the Deluxe seats.

All in all, the Deluxe series is stronger, more durable, and more spacious.

It depends. These seats are meant to be mounted to a wall, so that is a must, and the feet need to rest on a flat surface so that they will not slip, which will put sideward pressure on the leg joints and hinges, especially when someone is sitting on the seat. Many tubs have a rounded bottom surface, which may cause this effect to occur.

Sorry, but there is no way to convert a seat from no-back to one with a back.

All Economy seats swing past 90° to lean toward the wall. This is sufficient to keep them in position until a user swings the seat back down. The only reason a seat would fail to stay upright is if the wall is badly out of plumb, leaning toward the shower in a way that prevents the seat from completing the over-travel path.

Yes, new pads are available. Please see the specification sheet for any seat model you have, and there you will find item codes for the correct replacement pads.

Every shower seat can be swung up to face the wall. During this motion the legs are lifted off the floor, too. The seat swings past vertical a bit to lean toward the wall. It will remain there until it is swung down. The operation takes little effort. If your seat has arms, they can also be swung to the wall.

Shower Accessories

All caregiver doors have a "fit range" that allows for adjustments during an installation. To determine which door to order, begin by measuring the width of your alcove shower opening (from wall to wall). Make sure the walls are finished so that the thicknesses of all materials are taken into account (drywall, tile backer, tile, acrylic or fiberglass coverings, etc.).

Next, in the Alcove Caregiver Door section of this website, see the "Available Models" page and select the model with a "fit range" that includes your measurement. If none of the models have a "fit range" that covers your needs you can consider the use of one or two extra-wide compensators. Every door comes with two compensators. Swapping an original compensator for an extra-wide compensator will change a caregiver door's "fit range" by 2". So, for example, if a caregiver door's "fit range" is originally ?59" to 60", replacing one original compensator with an extra-wide compensator changes the "fit range" to between 61" and 62". Switching out both original compensators for extra-wide compensators would make the "fit range" 63" to 64".

There is one exception to this general rule. Caregiver door model CD2960-WG includes extra-wide compensators as original equipment, therefore its "fit range" cannot be adjusted.

If you're still out of luck finding a caregiver door that will work in your shower, there is one more possible solution. You can easily install a strip of material between each wall and compensator to make up a gap of any size. For this purpose we recommend non-porous, solid surface products like Corian, Avonite, Swanstone, Cambria and the like (there are many brands). You could also use acrylic or fiberglass. Cut the material to the dimensions you need and mount the strips to the walls, then fasten the compensators against the strips. Using this method, the "fit range" of any caregiver door can be expanded or fine-tuned to meet most every need.

The manufacturer makes them only in white with gray trim accents.

The manufacturer makes many caregiver door sizes and configurations. ARC stocks only the models designed for alcove installations because they are the models that the US and Canadian markets have consistently required.

Compensators essentially make up the gap between the doors and the walls, giving you space to make fitting adjustments and achieve a finished appearance. Compensators are U-shaped channels, open on one long edge. Each door assembly's end fits into a compensator channel. With the doors removed, you have access into each channel to fasten the compensators to the walls. When you slip a door assembly into a compensator, you can fine-tune its position so that the door's gasket rests on the floor properly, so that it swings properly, so that it engages a mating door properly, and is plumb.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

Breathable curtains are made of polyester.

Yes, all models permit air to pass through (they have undergone a Wira test, which measures the resistance of fabrics to water absorption and penetration).

They do have discreet weights in the bottom hem. In addition, once these curtains are wet from shower spray, they hang quite rigidly and do not easily billow out.

Sorry, but these specialized curtains are available only in white.

This is really a matter of preference. ARC recommends that you allow ½" between the bottom of the curtain and the floor. This way the curtain isn't dragging on the floor and getting dirty, but is low enough to contain splash and overspray.

Yes you can. While our Bendy Rails are specially made to work with hooks & glides that flow easily in the tracks, you can choose to mount our curtains on standard curtain rods and use standard rings for holding up the curtains. Do keep in mind that drop rods supporting the rail may interfere with standard curtain rings.

The manufacturer makes additional sizes, however, ARC stocks only those shown here, on the website. There has been no customer interest in other sizes.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

A bendy rail is made of a plastic sleeve that is sandwiched between two identical aluminum channels. The three pieces slide together as the rail is bent to shape.

All bendy rails are white, though you can coat them with metal paint in the color of your choice.

Bendy rails can be shaped into curves by hand, though, if you want to ensure a precise curve, or you need to repeat the same exact curve on many bendy rails, you're best off making a jig. You can make the jig out of plywood or some similar material, cut to the curve you desire. Another way to shape a rail with more accuracy compared to the hand-held approach is to bend it over a strong cylinder, like thick-walled pipe.

Unfortunately there isn't a fitting for this purpose.

This takes a little ingenuity, but it can be done. Bend the rail to the shape you want, hold it in position against the ceiling, and determine where it crosses solid material to which you can fasten the rail. At the points you marked, drill pilot holes into the plastic sleeve that joins the two halves of the rail (insert the drill bit into the gap between the aluminum channels). Now fasten the rail to the ceiling with screws. The screws must have a small diameter head ("trim head" screws work best).

The manufacturer says they can be bent to a radius as small as 3?.

Sure, you can make a whole bunch of bends. Just make sure you don't make it too difficult to move the curtain glides in the track.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

All glass screens are made of tempered safety glass that is 6mm thick (a hair under ¼").

The trim is made of aluminum and it's polished to a high gloss.

If you absolutely do not want to penetrate the waterproofing, then consider securing a strip of solid surface material like Corian or Avonite (there are many brands) to the finished floor with adhesive, then mount the glass screen hardware to it.

There really isn't a problem, however, with mounting glass screens directly to the floor. After drilling pilot holes, squeeze silicone sealant into the holes before driving the fasteners. Also, cover the fasteners with silicone once they're driven. The silicone will fill any gaps around the screws to seal the floor and keep water where is should be, draining from the shower. Take the time to silicone any floor or wall penetrations to prevent leaks--for example, with grab bar fasteners.

We recommend installing glass screens just outside the shower base so that you aren't drilling through the base itself. Make sure the fasteners will go through the subfloor and into blocking or joists below.

Yes, the glass screen rods are made of aluminum and are easy to cut with a hacksaw.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

Sorry, these screens are only available with the polished aluminum trim.

Every glass screen is supplied with a 55" long bar, which can be cut to the length needed for an installation. This bar should be used to secure the end post to a nearby wall to make the screen rigid.

Separate tie bars are available (in 3 lengths) to span from one glass screen to another in situations where two screens are installed.

All holes are reinforced with a grommet, and the diameter of the grommet hole is ¼"

Each curtain has 10 holes for hooks. The holes are reinforced with grommets. The hole diameter is 1/4".

While facing toward the stairs or a passageway where you want to install the grab bar, you will need a left Newel Grab Bar to mount to the left newel post or corner, and a right Newel Grab Bar to mount to the right newel post or corner.

Shower Screens

All glass screens are made of tempered safety glass that is 6mm thick (a hair under ¼").

The trim is made of aluminum and it's polished to a high gloss.

If you absolutely do not want to penetrate the waterproofing, then consider securing a strip of solid surface material like Corian or Avonite (there are many brands) to the finished floor with adhesive, then mount the glass screen hardware to it.

There really isn't a problem, however, with mounting glass screens directly to the floor. After drilling pilot holes, squeeze silicone sealant into the holes before driving the fasteners. Also, cover the fasteners with silicone once they're driven. The silicone will fill any gaps around the screws to seal the floor and keep water where is should be, draining from the shower. Take the time to silicone any floor or wall penetrations to prevent leaks--for example, with grab bar fasteners.

We recommend installing glass screens just outside the shower base so that you aren't drilling through the base itself. Make sure the fasteners will go through the subfloor and into blocking or joists below.

Yes, the glass screen rods are made of aluminum and are easy to cut with a hacksaw.

The manufacturer's limited warranty for defects is extended to the original "end-user" purchaser. When installed in a commercial setting, the warranty period is for 5 years from the original date of purchase. When installed in a residential setting, the warranty period is for 10 years from the original date of purchase. Please see the AKW warranty for details.

Sorry, these screens are only available with the polished aluminum trim.

Every glass screen is supplied with a 55" long bar, which can be cut to the length needed for an installation. This bar should be used to secure the end post to a nearby wall to make the screen rigid.

Separate tie bars are available (in 3 lengths) to span from one glass screen to another in situations where two screens are installed.

Shower Systems

Fiberglass, resin, mild steel tubes to reinforce the edges, and special marine grade plywood.

Each linear foundation is a fully integrated shower base. The drain gulley is part of the mold and is fabricated at the same time as the rest of the base.

By offering three drain connection locations, an installer can pick the one that best suits the installation to avoid obstacles or to run a drain line. Also, you have the ability to install more than one drain connector to handle high flow showers. Multiple drain connectors can share a common drain line, or, to increase drain capacity even more, you can use separate drain lines all the way to the stack.

Sorry, no. TrueDEK linear foundations are made by a special process that requires a mold. Building the mold is time consuming and requires a substantial investment. The manufacturer has tried to offer sizes that meet most requirements. Also, because of the pitch requirements for drainage, there are limitations on the size can be made.

Yes, you do want to drill pilot holes so that you can screw a former to a substrate or joists. Use a twist drill bit meant for drilling in metal (you'll likely drill through the mild steel reinforcement tubes just inside the edges of a TrueDEK linear foundation. Countersink each pilot hole so that the screw heads seat slightly below the surface.

Use #9 or #10 flathead screws that are 2" to 2½" in length. Choose screws appropriate for the substrate: deck screws for wood and Tapcon-style screws for concrete. We do suggest using coated or stainless steel screws as a bit of insurance against corrosion due to the wet environment.

Many waterproofing products will not bond well to a gel coat foundation. The waterproofing products ARC carries have proven to work and we stand behind them. If you use any other products, you're on your own.

Not at this time, though adding oil-rubbed bronze has been considered. Stay tuned.

Absolutely level! TrueDEK foundations offer plenty of pitch to speed water to the drain, but every degree that's lost to an out-of-level installation affects drainage performance.

The perimeter of each base has a flat area for resting a level. Because of the importance of leveling a TrueDEK foundation, consider using several levels to test your installation: a torpedo level for checking the edges, a longer carpenter's level for going edge to edge, and a bulls-eye level for spot checks.

Setting a TrueDEK on joists requires care and is a critical part of the installation. The entire perimeter of a base must be supported. Additionally, you must add support around the drain gulley. Use 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure the base edges and the adjacent subfloor edges are each supported by at least 1½" of material.

It could be a couple of things. The subfloor or joists underneath might not be perfectly aligned and level. You may have to use a belt sander to take down any high spots on the joists, and use thin wood shims to fill low spots. You can drill countersunk pilot holes in the foundation field and drive screws to pull the former snug to the joists, however, you do not want to squeeze out all the adhesive. Snug is good enough; the adhesive will do the rest.

Yes, we do recommend it. Without the plugs, which are supplied with every linear shower base, the drain connector recesses will hold water and gunk from showering, and become an ugly little science experiment. Use silicone caulk to adhere the plugs in place and it will spare you from dealing with a yucky mess later on. Be sure to clean out the recesses with a damp cloth before installing the plugs.

ARC carries Sioux Chief's 825 solvent weld shower drain module for 2" drain line connections. One of these is supplied with each linear drain assembly. You can order additional connectors if you plan to install 2 or 3 drain lines.

You'll need to bore a 3-1/4" hole in the TriForm for each drain connector. A piloted hole saw is the easiest and least expensive tool for accomplishing this task. If you look at any of the supplied plugs for the drain recesses you'll notice they have a dimple centered in the top surface. Position a plug in the drain connector location you intend to use, and drill a 1/8" diameter pilot hole through the plug and the TriForm using the dimple to locate the drill bit. Now set the plug aside and use your 3-1/4" hole saw, outfitted with a mandrel and pilot drill bit, and bore out the large hole for the drain connector (just use the pilot hole you drilled earlier to guide the hole saw).

Sorry, no. We carry the full line of foundations, though we hasten to add that the size of the base does not limit the size of a shower. There are techniques for floating slope beyond a TrueDEK to enlarge the shower--see our Extend the Pitch instructions.

You can do this and it will be fine. Be sure you cut a hole for the drain that is large enough for the reinforcement ring. Failing to do so will cause the ring to catch on the subfloor and prevent the base from seating properly.

You don't have to, though most installers do. There are a lot of holes, and they are there for convenience. Driving screws holds the foundation in position while the adhesive cures. Once the adhesive cures there is little need for the screws.

We recommend #9 or #10 flathead screws that are 2" to 2½" long. We do suggest using coated screws as a bit of insurance against corrosion due to the wet environment. Pick a screw that is appropriate for the substructure beneath the shower foundation--wood screws for fastening to joists and Tapcon-style screws for concrete.

Yes. In fact, if you cut a Classic you will want to drill new countersunk pilot holes for fastening it to the joists or other foundation material. Also, if for some reason you need to secure the base in a spot where there isn't a pre-bored screw hole, simply drill a countersunk pilot hole into the field and drive a screw.

The perimeter of each foundation has a flat area for resting a level. If you have cut away a flat area, use the crest of the edge to set a level. Because of the importance of leveling a TrueDEK, consider using several levels to test your installation: a torpedo level for checking the edges, a longer carpenter's level for going edge to edge, and a bulls-eye level for spot checks, like around the drain hole.

Setting a TrueDEK on joists requires care and is a critical part of the installation. The entire perimeter of a base must be supported. Additionally, the drain area requires support. Use 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure all edges are supported by at least 1½" of material. All adjacent subfloor edges also require support.

Sure, if properly installed and capable of supporting the weight you plan to set on it. A Classic makes a great dog-washing platform, and we've heard of them being installed as a catch basin in a floor under a washing machine. Anywhere you need a drain should be a candidate.

You have a couple of options, though as always, we prefer installations that provide zero-threshold entry into the shower. You can remove concrete to a depth of 1?? in the area where the base will go. We do this with a concrete-cutting saw and blade, first cutting along an outline of the foundation, then making scoring cuts about 1" apart inside the perimeter cuts. We remove the remaining waste with a hammer drill and chisel. Use thinset mortar to bond the base into the recess. Alternatively, you can install the base on top of the concrete and build up the surrounding floor to end up with a level entry into the shower.

Since concrete is so hard it is often believed it is waterproof. Not so. Concrete acts much like a sponge, absorbing and holding onto water over time. In a shower, water can get into concrete by soaking through grout (tile may be impervious to water, but grout isn't), leaking around the edges of the shower base, or seeping into cracks in the concrete that develop as the material ages. Many showers were made using a vinyl liner under a packed mud (concrete) bed, with a custom pitched surface for drainage. Unfortunately, over time water often collects between the concrete and the vinyl liner, creating a filthy, mold-ridden mess. Eventually the concrete crumbles, and these showers became unusable. Thousands of them are being removed from homes, hospitals, and other facilities every year. Installing an ARC shower on concrete provides an impervious surface, covers any cracks that may occur in the concrete, diminishes the potential for mold and mildew growth in the concrete, and delivers consistent, precisely-controlled pitch planes for perfect drainage performance and predictable tiling results.

Chances are, the reinforcement ring around the underside of the drain hole is hung up on a joist or blocking. If you look at the underside of a TrueDEK Classic you'll see that there is a squarish-shaped reinforcement area around the drain hole. This reinforcement area isn't flush with the ribbing or bottom surface on the rest of base. If the reinforcement area rests on blocking or a joist or some other support, it prevents the base from seating properly.

Another possibility is that the joists and blocking are uneven or there are high and low spots in the framing. You want even support, level support throughout the framing below a shower base.

Yes, but we don't recommend it unless you are very neat about it. Nothing bonds to cured silicone, so if any is exposed in places you intend to apply waterproofing, you'll end up with a problem--be sure no silicone is squeezed into areas that need to be waterproofed. If you do use silicone you can clean up squeeze-out (before it cures) with WD-40 or similar products.

This has been a good solution for some situations. You'll have to plan for two drains, and two drainage areas with a slight ridge in the middle.

A wet room is basically an entire bathroom that has been waterproofed. So, in addition to the shower area, the floor throughout the bathroom is waterproofed along with the walls to a height of about 3" to 4". All seams and joints in the floor, as well as the floor to wall joints and wall corners, are covered with embedded reinforcement tape.

A wet room provides several key improvements over an un-waterproofed bathroom. First, no water can penetrate to the subfloor, preventing rot, mold, and mildew from developing. Second, water cannot leak into rooms below. Third, shower spray can splash into the room and bathers can step out of the shower without having to dry off beforehand. Fourth, washing down the entire room for cleaning is easy and you'll never worry about water getting into the framing. Fifth, a wet room can expand the maneuvering area beyond the shower, which can be a real advantage for people with disabilities or physical limitations. Sixth, wet room designs can make a small to medium size bathroom feel much more spacious.

Great question. Any installation will depend on many factors, including the size and complexity of the room, the time and materials it takes to apply the waterproofing materials, and most significantly, the type of tile or other wall covering you choose. Wet room walls must be covered with some type of waterproof material like tile, stone, or sheets of acrylic, fiberglass, quartz or the like, and as you might guess, the cost of these materials varies widely.

Absolutely. One of the great things about aTrueDEK foundation is that you can remove the original tile or stone, then redo the waterproofing and cover with new tile or stone of your choice. Be sure to repair any damage to the fiber cement board underlayment on the floor or walls before reapplying waterproofing materials.

Leaving joints uncovered allows more opportunity for water to penetrate your framing structure. In the long run it pays to embed tape over every joint. You'll never regret it. Remember, most tile and stone are impervious to water, but grout is not.

The off-center drain hole is an advantage because it helps the installer avoid an obstacle by rotating the foundation two or four ways, depending on whether it's a square or rectangular model. For example, when you set the TrueDEK into position the drain hole may sit directly over a joist, but by turning the foundation you may avoid this conflict. All Classic foundations have off-center drain holes.

Yes, you can, within the limitations of a tile product's specs and TCNA guidelines. The point load rating on a Classic base is 4,000 pounds-force/sq. inch, so it can handle even the smallest mosaic tile, pebble, and glass coverings, as well as any typical wheelchair or shower chair use. We recommend mosaic tile (2" or smaller) because they can be installed without cuts within the shower base area and the many grout lines provide good traction in a wet shower. Bigger tile must be cut at the pitch intersections so that it lays down properly on the shower base.

The maximum tile thickness that the drain will accommodate is 1".

Many waterproofing products will not bond well to plastic shower bases. The waterproofing products ARC has developed have proven to work over thousands of installations, and we stand behind them. Using other products may or may not work, but you'll have to experiment to feel confident in the long-term results. Whatever you use has to do the job for the long haul.

The simple answer is, it must be level. The bubble has to be centered on a spirit level, and you want to check for level all around the perimeter and across the base from end-to-end and side-to-side. TrueDEK bases offer plenty of pitch to speed water to the drain, but every degree that's lost to an out-of-level installation hurts drainage performance.

Yes, all edges of a TrueDEK Classic must be supported, as well as the adjacent subfloor edges. Additionally, the drain area requires support. We recommend 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure the blocking underlays all edges by 1" or more.

Chances are, the blocking you installed to support the drain hole is too close to the hole, so that the reinforcement ring on the underside of the foundation is preventing the foundation from sitting on the joists properly. If you look at the underside of the foundation you'll see there is a strengthening ring around the drain hole. If the ring or reinforcement area rests on blocking or a joist or some other support, it can prevent the shower foundation from seating properly. As screws are driven around the perimeter of the base, the area around the drain hole will remain raised, resulting in flex when a person steps on the base. This error must be corrected before tiling the shower; if not corrected, grout is likely to crack, tile may pop loose, and water may run away from the drain.

If joists or blocking are uneven, or there are high or low spots on the top edges of joists or blocking, this can also cause flex. You want to achieve even support along every joist, and from joist to joist, while assuring that the foundation is level.

You will see some flex until the base is fully installed with polyurethane construction adhesive and screws, just as you would see with underlayment materials like plywood subfloor, for example.

A Classic foundation that is seated evenly on joists and blocking may flex a little, but once it's fastened and bonded to the framing structure it becomes very rigid, just like plywood subfloor does when it's installed on joists.

You can trim the edges of any TrueDEK Classic base so that the drain hole ends up in the center, or at least cloer to center. But in their original format, every TrueDEK Classic base except for one has an off-center drain hole. An off-center drain hole allows an installer to rotate the foundation so the drain hole misses a joist or some other obstacle.

Use a quality brand of modified thinset mortar mix.

Before installing tile, TrueDEK foundations must be coated with Tank/10 waterproofing compound, which bonds to the plastic shower base and provides an ideal surface for the modified thinset mortar.

Modified thinset mortar will bond directly to the shower base, but it is an inferior bond. Tank/10 waterproofing, on the other hand, bonds very well to the plastic shower base, and it provides an anti-fracture membrane to protect grout and tile from minor movement in the underlayment that may otherwise cause a crack or fissure in the tile layer.

Tank/10 is a premium latex based liquid paste compound. It is quite thick and has a very high latex content, which results in a product that has the consistency of pudding and spreads out in a thick layer to create an exceptionally protective membrane. Tank/10 can be spread with a paint brush, paint roller, or toothed trowel. Cleanup is best done while the material is wet using warm water and a mild soap.

Tank/10 has a 3 year shelf life. A born-on date is printed on a label that is adhered to every bucket, and that date is also written on a label that is stuck to every waterproofing kit box. This shelf life applies to unopened containers. As soon as a container is unsealed the aging process will accelerate, just as with paint or glue or any other liquid.

The dark gray color of Tank/10 makes it easier to spread over shower foundations and tile backer (you can easily see spots you miss) and the color darkens as the compound dries. When applying the second coat it's easy to see the areas that are wet (lighter gray) and dry (darker gray).

The difference between these kits is in the amount of waterproofing supplies that are included.

The Premium Kit has enough waterproofing materials to do a full alcove shower, including the shower base and three walls. The Pro Kit was created for installers who prefer to waterproof the shower base with Tank/10, then use other waterproofing products on the walls.

It's up to an installer to consider compatibility of different waterproofing products and their appropriate use in a shower system.

These bases have a mild steel frame that is part of their internal structure. Each steel tube that makes up the frame is set back from an edge of the base by about 1". Cutting through these tubes weakens the structure and may reduce the load capacity of the base, depending on how the base is supported underneath.

All covers are 1/2" deep.

It's a snug fit. There are round rubber bumpers that you insert into pre-bored holes in the side walls of the cover. Pressing the cover into the adaptor squeezes the bumpers just a bit, making for a snug fit. The cover will come out only if you want it to.

Fitting grates across manufacturers is tricky because there is no common standard. Out grates are made to metric dimensions that equate to 3/16" thick x 4-7/16" wide x 4-7/16" long.

Sorry, we can't, but there are usually local metal fabricators who can do a great job if you give them a design or tell them what you want. You can also try this online source: www.designerdrains.com.

The drain adaptor is a component in both drain for tile assemblies and the drain for vinyl assembly. The drain for tile model requires only two threaded holes for securing the clamping ring to the adaptor. The clamping ring for a vinyl drain requires four threaded holes, and the holes are larger to accept screws that are bigger in diameter.

Why the difference in screw sizes? The clamping ring in a drain for tile only has to secure the edge of a thin, flexible drain gasket; the clamping ring for a drain for vinyl has to bite down on thick commercial-grade, vinyl safety flooring. The bigger screws provide a stronger grip on the thicker material.

All the screws that come with the drain for tile are stainless steel, and they are metric sizes and thread counts. These are available at many well-stocked hardware stores in their specialty fastener section (often you'll find an aisle with pull-out drawers, and inside the drawers are all kinds of unique fasteners). Here is the screw information:

1. For the four screws that fasten the adaptor to the foundation, you really can use flat head screws that fit, and they don't have to be metric. We recommend #6 or #8 x 3/4" long, flathead, wood threaded style screws in stainless steel or ceramic coated. Always drill pilot holes before driving these screws.

2. To secure the clamping ring, you'll need M4 x 0.7 x 16mm long stainless steel screws. These have to be metric and the proper size and threading to fit the threaded holes in the adaptor.

Specialty Grab Bars

Yes, they can. The bar on these back rests is very stout and the fact that they project from the wall a good distance makes them a natural handhold.

Be sure back rests are fastened to solid blocking either in the wall or on the wall. The blocking must be well secured to the wall framing. This may require an installer to open the wall to fasten 2x wood blocking between studs. Screw cleats to the studs, then screw the blocking to the cleats (toenailing blocking to studs is insufficient for any load bearing device like a grab bar or seat). An installer could also screw through the studs into the ends of the blocking, though this requires a bigger opening into the wall to expose more stud bays. Alternatively, a strong piece of lumber can be fastened to the outside of the wall so long as the fasteners reach deeply into the framing; then the back rest can be secured to the piece of lumber.

The pad is made of closed cell foam. It is quite firm and will not absorb water.

Drywall isn't structural, so there is no way it would support much weight, let alone the momentary impact from someone grabbing the bar during a fall. Never rely on anything but solid 2x wood blocking, concrete, concrete block, or some other substantial material as a mounting platform for a grab bar. Drywall can be covering the substantial material, but fasteners have to penetrate through the drywall and deep into the mounting block material.

Flat end grab bars are made of stainless steel and are appropriate for outdoor use. All other specialty grab bars, being made of carbon steel, will rust eventually when exposed to outside conditions.

While facing toward the stairs or a passageway where you want to install the grab bar, you will need a left Newel Grab Bar to mount to the left newel post or corner, and a right Newel Grab Bar to mount to the right newel post or corner.

TrueDEK® Classic Bases

It could be a couple of things. The subfloor or joists underneath might not be perfectly aligned and level. You may have to use a belt sander to take down any high spots on the joists, and use thin wood shims to fill low spots. You can drill countersunk pilot holes in the foundation field and drive screws to pull the former snug to the joists, however, you do not want to squeeze out all the adhesive. Snug is good enough; the adhesive will do the rest.

Sorry, no. We carry the full line of foundations, though we hasten to add that the size of the base does not limit the size of a shower. There are techniques for floating slope beyond a TrueDEK to enlarge the shower--see our Extend the Pitch instructions.

You can do this and it will be fine. Be sure you cut a hole for the drain that is large enough for the reinforcement ring. Failing to do so will cause the ring to catch on the subfloor and prevent the base from seating properly.

You don't have to, though most installers do. There are a lot of holes, and they are there for convenience. Driving screws holds the foundation in position while the adhesive cures. Once the adhesive cures there is little need for the screws.

We recommend #9 or #10 flathead screws that are 2" to 2½" long. We do suggest using coated screws as a bit of insurance against corrosion due to the wet environment. Pick a screw that is appropriate for the substructure beneath the shower foundation--wood screws for fastening to joists and Tapcon-style screws for concrete.

Yes. In fact, if you cut a Classic you will want to drill new countersunk pilot holes for fastening it to the joists or other foundation material. Also, if for some reason you need to secure the base in a spot where there isn't a pre-bored screw hole, simply drill a countersunk pilot hole into the field and drive a screw.

The perimeter of each foundation has a flat area for resting a level. If you have cut away a flat area, use the crest of the edge to set a level. Because of the importance of leveling a TrueDEK, consider using several levels to test your installation: a torpedo level for checking the edges, a longer carpenter's level for going edge to edge, and a bulls-eye level for spot checks, like around the drain hole.

Setting a TrueDEK on joists requires care and is a critical part of the installation. The entire perimeter of a base must be supported. Additionally, the drain area requires support. Use 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure all edges are supported by at least 1½" of material. All adjacent subfloor edges also require support.

Sure, if properly installed and capable of supporting the weight you plan to set on it. A Classic makes a great dog-washing platform, and we've heard of them being installed as a catch basin in a floor under a washing machine. Anywhere you need a drain should be a candidate.

You have a couple of options, though as always, we prefer installations that provide zero-threshold entry into the shower. You can remove concrete to a depth of 1?? in the area where the base will go. We do this with a concrete-cutting saw and blade, first cutting along an outline of the foundation, then making scoring cuts about 1" apart inside the perimeter cuts. We remove the remaining waste with a hammer drill and chisel. Use thinset mortar to bond the base into the recess. Alternatively, you can install the base on top of the concrete and build up the surrounding floor to end up with a level entry into the shower.

Since concrete is so hard it is often believed it is waterproof. Not so. Concrete acts much like a sponge, absorbing and holding onto water over time. In a shower, water can get into concrete by soaking through grout (tile may be impervious to water, but grout isn't), leaking around the edges of the shower base, or seeping into cracks in the concrete that develop as the material ages. Many showers were made using a vinyl liner under a packed mud (concrete) bed, with a custom pitched surface for drainage. Unfortunately, over time water often collects between the concrete and the vinyl liner, creating a filthy, mold-ridden mess. Eventually the concrete crumbles, and these showers became unusable. Thousands of them are being removed from homes, hospitals, and other facilities every year. Installing an ARC shower on concrete provides an impervious surface, covers any cracks that may occur in the concrete, diminishes the potential for mold and mildew growth in the concrete, and delivers consistent, precisely-controlled pitch planes for perfect drainage performance and predictable tiling results.

Chances are, the reinforcement ring around the underside of the drain hole is hung up on a joist or blocking. If you look at the underside of a TrueDEK Classic you'll see that there is a squarish-shaped reinforcement area around the drain hole. This reinforcement area isn't flush with the ribbing or bottom surface on the rest of base. If the reinforcement area rests on blocking or a joist or some other support, it prevents the base from seating properly.

Another possibility is that the joists and blocking are uneven or there are high and low spots in the framing. You want even support, level support throughout the framing below a shower base.

Yes, but we don't recommend it unless you are very neat about it. Nothing bonds to cured silicone, so if any is exposed in places you intend to apply waterproofing, you'll end up with a problem--be sure no silicone is squeezed into areas that need to be waterproofed. If you do use silicone you can clean up squeeze-out (before it cures) with WD-40 or similar products.

This has been a good solution for some situations. You'll have to plan for two drains, and two drainage areas with a slight ridge in the middle.

A wet room is basically an entire bathroom that has been waterproofed. So, in addition to the shower area, the floor throughout the bathroom is waterproofed along with the walls to a height of about 3" to 4". All seams and joints in the floor, as well as the floor to wall joints and wall corners, are covered with embedded reinforcement tape.

A wet room provides several key improvements over an un-waterproofed bathroom. First, no water can penetrate to the subfloor, preventing rot, mold, and mildew from developing. Second, water cannot leak into rooms below. Third, shower spray can splash into the room and bathers can step out of the shower without having to dry off beforehand. Fourth, washing down the entire room for cleaning is easy and you'll never worry about water getting into the framing. Fifth, a wet room can expand the maneuvering area beyond the shower, which can be a real advantage for people with disabilities or physical limitations. Sixth, wet room designs can make a small to medium size bathroom feel much more spacious.

Great question. Any installation will depend on many factors, including the size and complexity of the room, the time and materials it takes to apply the waterproofing materials, and most significantly, the type of tile or other wall covering you choose. Wet room walls must be covered with some type of waterproof material like tile, stone, or sheets of acrylic, fiberglass, quartz or the like, and as you might guess, the cost of these materials varies widely.

Absolutely. One of the great things about aTrueDEK foundation is that you can remove the original tile or stone, then redo the waterproofing and cover with new tile or stone of your choice. Be sure to repair any damage to the fiber cement board underlayment on the floor or walls before reapplying waterproofing materials.

Leaving joints uncovered allows more opportunity for water to penetrate your framing structure. In the long run it pays to embed tape over every joint. You'll never regret it. Remember, most tile and stone are impervious to water, but grout is not.

The off-center drain hole is an advantage because it helps the installer avoid an obstacle by rotating the foundation two or four ways, depending on whether it's a square or rectangular model. For example, when you set the TrueDEK into position the drain hole may sit directly over a joist, but by turning the foundation you may avoid this conflict. All Classic foundations have off-center drain holes.

Yes, you can, within the limitations of a tile product's specs and TCNA guidelines. The point load rating on a Classic base is 4,000 pounds-force/sq. inch, so it can handle even the smallest mosaic tile, pebble, and glass coverings, as well as any typical wheelchair or shower chair use. We recommend mosaic tile (2" or smaller) because they can be installed without cuts within the shower base area and the many grout lines provide good traction in a wet shower. Bigger tile must be cut at the pitch intersections so that it lays down properly on the shower base.

The maximum tile thickness that the drain will accommodate is 1".

Many waterproofing products will not bond well to plastic shower bases. The waterproofing products ARC has developed have proven to work over thousands of installations, and we stand behind them. Using other products may or may not work, but you'll have to experiment to feel confident in the long-term results. Whatever you use has to do the job for the long haul.

The simple answer is, it must be level. The bubble has to be centered on a spirit level, and you want to check for level all around the perimeter and across the base from end-to-end and side-to-side. TrueDEK bases offer plenty of pitch to speed water to the drain, but every degree that's lost to an out-of-level installation hurts drainage performance.

Yes, all edges of a TrueDEK Classic must be supported, as well as the adjacent subfloor edges. Additionally, the drain area requires support. We recommend 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure the blocking underlays all edges by 1" or more.

Chances are, the blocking you installed to support the drain hole is too close to the hole, so that the reinforcement ring on the underside of the foundation is preventing the foundation from sitting on the joists properly. If you look at the underside of the foundation you'll see there is a strengthening ring around the drain hole. If the ring or reinforcement area rests on blocking or a joist or some other support, it can prevent the shower foundation from seating properly. As screws are driven around the perimeter of the base, the area around the drain hole will remain raised, resulting in flex when a person steps on the base. This error must be corrected before tiling the shower; if not corrected, grout is likely to crack, tile may pop loose, and water may run away from the drain.

If joists or blocking are uneven, or there are high or low spots on the top edges of joists or blocking, this can also cause flex. You want to achieve even support along every joist, and from joist to joist, while assuring that the foundation is level.

You will see some flex until the base is fully installed with polyurethane construction adhesive and screws, just as you would see with underlayment materials like plywood subfloor, for example.

A Classic foundation that is seated evenly on joists and blocking may flex a little, but once it's fastened and bonded to the framing structure it becomes very rigid, just like plywood subfloor does when it's installed on joists.

You can trim the edges of any TrueDEK Classic base so that the drain hole ends up in the center, or at least cloer to center. But in their original format, every TrueDEK Classic base except for one has an off-center drain hole. An off-center drain hole allows an installer to rotate the foundation so the drain hole misses a joist or some other obstacle.

Use a quality brand of modified thinset mortar mix.

Before installing tile, TrueDEK foundations must be coated with Tank/10 waterproofing compound, which bonds to the plastic shower base and provides an ideal surface for the modified thinset mortar.

Modified thinset mortar will bond directly to the shower base, but it is an inferior bond. Tank/10 waterproofing, on the other hand, bonds very well to the plastic shower base, and it provides an anti-fracture membrane to protect grout and tile from minor movement in the underlayment that may otherwise cause a crack or fissure in the tile layer.

Sorry, we can't, but there are usually local metal fabricators who can do a great job if you give them a design or tell them what you want. You can also try this online source: www.designerdrains.com.

All the screws that come with the drain for tile are stainless steel, and they are metric sizes and thread counts. These are available at many well-stocked hardware stores in their specialty fastener section (often you'll find an aisle with pull-out drawers, and inside the drawers are all kinds of unique fasteners). Here is the screw information:

1. For the four screws that fasten the adaptor to the foundation, you really can use flat head screws that fit, and they don't have to be metric. We recommend #6 or #8 x 3/4" long, flathead, wood threaded style screws in stainless steel or ceramic coated. Always drill pilot holes before driving these screws.

2. To secure the clamping ring, you'll need M4 x 0.7 x 16mm long stainless steel screws. These have to be metric and the proper size and threading to fit the threaded holes in the adaptor.

TrueDEK® Classic Drains

Fitting grates across manufacturers is tricky because there is no common standard. Out grates are made to metric dimensions that equate to 3/16" thick x 4-7/16" wide x 4-7/16" long.

The drain adaptor is a component in both drain for tile assemblies and the drain for vinyl assembly. The drain for tile model requires only two threaded holes for securing the clamping ring to the adaptor. The clamping ring for a vinyl drain requires four threaded holes, and the holes are larger to accept screws that are bigger in diameter.

Why the difference in screw sizes? The clamping ring in a drain for tile only has to secure the edge of a thin, flexible drain gasket; the clamping ring for a drain for vinyl has to bite down on thick commercial-grade, vinyl safety flooring. The bigger screws provide a stronger grip on the thicker material.

TrueDEK® Linear Bases

Fiberglass, resin, mild steel tubes to reinforce the edges, and special marine grade plywood.

Each linear foundation is a fully integrated shower base. The drain gulley is part of the mold and is fabricated at the same time as the rest of the base.

By offering three drain connection locations, an installer can pick the one that best suits the installation to avoid obstacles or to run a drain line. Also, you have the ability to install more than one drain connector to handle high flow showers. Multiple drain connectors can share a common drain line, or, to increase drain capacity even more, you can use separate drain lines all the way to the stack.

Sorry, no. TrueDEK linear foundations are made by a special process that requires a mold. Building the mold is time consuming and requires a substantial investment. The manufacturer has tried to offer sizes that meet most requirements. Also, because of the pitch requirements for drainage, there are limitations on the size can be made.

Yes, you do want to drill pilot holes so that you can screw a former to a substrate or joists. Use a twist drill bit meant for drilling in metal (you'll likely drill through the mild steel reinforcement tubes just inside the edges of a TrueDEK linear foundation. Countersink each pilot hole so that the screw heads seat slightly below the surface.

Use #9 or #10 flathead screws that are 2" to 2½" in length. Choose screws appropriate for the substrate: deck screws for wood and Tapcon-style screws for concrete. We do suggest using coated or stainless steel screws as a bit of insurance against corrosion due to the wet environment.

Many waterproofing products will not bond well to a gel coat foundation. The waterproofing products ARC carries have proven to work and we stand behind them. If you use any other products, you're on your own.

Not at this time, though adding oil-rubbed bronze has been considered. Stay tuned.

Absolutely level! TrueDEK foundations offer plenty of pitch to speed water to the drain, but every degree that's lost to an out-of-level installation affects drainage performance.

The perimeter of each base has a flat area for resting a level. Because of the importance of leveling a TrueDEK foundation, consider using several levels to test your installation: a torpedo level for checking the edges, a longer carpenter's level for going edge to edge, and a bulls-eye level for spot checks.

Setting a TrueDEK on joists requires care and is a critical part of the installation. The entire perimeter of a base must be supported. Additionally, you must add support around the drain gulley. Use 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure the base edges and the adjacent subfloor edges are each supported by at least 1½" of material.

Yes, we do recommend it. Without the plugs, which are supplied with every linear shower base, the drain connector recesses will hold water and gunk from showering, and become an ugly little science experiment. Use silicone caulk to adhere the plugs in place and it will spare you from dealing with a yucky mess later on. Be sure to clean out the recesses with a damp cloth before installing the plugs.

ARC carries Sioux Chief's 825 solvent weld shower drain module for 2" drain line connections. One of these is supplied with each linear drain assembly. You can order additional connectors if you plan to install 2 or 3 drain lines.

You'll need to bore a 3-1/4" hole in the TriForm for each drain connector. A piloted hole saw is the easiest and least expensive tool for accomplishing this task. If you look at any of the supplied plugs for the drain recesses you'll notice they have a dimple centered in the top surface. Position a plug in the drain connector location you intend to use, and drill a 1/8" diameter pilot hole through the plug and the TriForm using the dimple to locate the drill bit. Now set the plug aside and use your 3-1/4" hole saw, outfitted with a mandrel and pilot drill bit, and bore out the large hole for the drain connector (just use the pilot hole you drilled earlier to guide the hole saw).

Setting a TrueDEK on joists requires care and is a critical part of the installation. The entire perimeter of a base must be supported. Additionally, the drain area requires support. Use 2x stock for all support blocking, and make sure all edges are supported by at least 1½" of material. All adjacent subfloor edges also require support.

This has been a good solution for some situations. You'll have to plan for two drains, and two drainage areas with a slight ridge in the middle.

A wet room is basically an entire bathroom that has been waterproofed. So, in addition to the shower area, the floor throughout the bathroom is waterproofed along with the walls to a height of about 3" to 4". All seams and joints in the floor, as well as the floor to wall joints and wall corners, are covered with embedded reinforcement tape.

Great question. Any installation will depend on many factors, including the size and complexity of the room, the time and materials it takes to apply the waterproofing materials, and most significantly, the type of tile or other wall covering you choose. Wet room walls must be covered with some type of waterproof material like tile, stone, or sheets of acrylic, fiberglass, quartz or the like, and as you might guess, the cost of these materials varies widely.

Absolutely. One of the great things about aTrueDEK foundation is that you can remove the original tile or stone, then redo the waterproofing and cover with new tile or stone of your choice. Be sure to repair any damage to the fiber cement board underlayment on the floor or walls before reapplying waterproofing materials.

Leaving joints uncovered allows more opportunity for water to penetrate your framing structure. In the long run it pays to embed tape over every joint. You'll never regret it. Remember, most tile and stone are impervious to water, but grout is not.

Many waterproofing products will not bond well to plastic shower bases. The waterproofing products ARC has developed have proven to work over thousands of installations, and we stand behind them. Using other products may or may not work, but you'll have to experiment to feel confident in the long-term results. Whatever you use has to do the job for the long haul.

Use a quality brand of modified thinset mortar mix.

Before installing tile, TrueDEK foundations must be coated with Tank/10 waterproofing compound, which bonds to the plastic shower base and provides an ideal surface for the modified thinset mortar.

Modified thinset mortar will bond directly to the shower base, but it is an inferior bond. Tank/10 waterproofing, on the other hand, bonds very well to the plastic shower base, and it provides an anti-fracture membrane to protect grout and tile from minor movement in the underlayment that may otherwise cause a crack or fissure in the tile layer.

These bases have a mild steel frame that is part of their internal structure. Each steel tube that makes up the frame is set back from an edge of the base by about 1". Cutting through these tubes weakens the structure and may reduce the load capacity of the base, depending on how the base is supported underneath.

All covers are 1/2" deep.

It's a snug fit. There are round rubber bumpers that you insert into pre-bored holes in the side walls of the cover. Pressing the cover into the adaptor squeezes the bumpers just a bit, making for a snug fit. The cover will come out only if you want it to.

TrueDEK® Linear Drains

Not at this time, though adding oil-rubbed bronze has been considered. Stay tuned.

Waterproofing Kits

Tank/10 is a premium latex based liquid paste compound. It is quite thick and has a very high latex content, which results in a product that has the consistency of pudding and spreads out in a thick layer to create an exceptionally protective membrane. Tank/10 can be spread with a paint brush, paint roller, or toothed trowel. Cleanup is best done while the material is wet using warm water and a mild soap.

Tank/10 has a 3 year shelf life. A born-on date is printed on a label that is adhered to every bucket, and that date is also written on a label that is stuck to every waterproofing kit box. This shelf life applies to unopened containers. As soon as a container is unsealed the aging process will accelerate, just as with paint or glue or any other liquid.

The dark gray color of Tank/10 makes it easier to spread over shower foundations and tile backer (you can easily see spots you miss) and the color darkens as the compound dries. When applying the second coat it's easy to see the areas that are wet (lighter gray) and dry (darker gray).

The difference between these kits is in the amount of waterproofing supplies that are included.

The Premium Kit has enough waterproofing materials to do a full alcove shower, including the shower base and three walls. The Pro Kit was created for installers who prefer to waterproof the shower base with Tank/10, then use other waterproofing products on the walls.

It's up to an installer to consider compatibility of different waterproofing products and their appropriate use in a shower system.

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