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  • Tim McGrath

Custom Comfort

One of our favorite special projects that we have done was a custom tiled chaise lounge installation in a steam room.

Custom tiled chaise lounge in a steam unit
Custom tiled chaise lounge in a steam unit

This client has fibromyalgia and was looking for a way to ease her muscle pain at the end of a long day. She came to us with the idea of a chaise lounge built into her steam room. We did a lot of research on how to go about this and got started. We worked with a company out of Canada called Custom EPS. They provided us with a custom styrofoam bench that fit her measurements. This wasn't just an ordinary chaise lounge - we wanted the bottom half to be flat so that it could double as a bench, instead of extending down towards the floor.

Construction of a chaise lounge in a steam unit
Starting the process

Because of the contour on the bench, we were not able to use traditional finishing trims on the outside edges where the mosaic and the face of the tile come together. Instead, we utilized a materials that would allow us to roll over the bench. We used a 5/8" chicklet mosaic tile that wasn't sharp around the edges. This unit was going to be utilized sans clothing, so obviously we wanted to make sure no one would get hurt. Much consideration went into proper material planning.

top view of a tiled bench in a shower
More construction

Not only is this lounge in a steam unit, it is also heated. This was to ensure that when the client laid down, the bench was already warmed up regardless of how long the steam had been running. There is a heat wire located inside a special mat that runs through the surface of the bench underneath the tile. Pennsylvania law requires that this heat system be fully encapsulated and waterproof. In order to do this, we used a KERDI waterproof fabric over top.

The tile used to cover the lounge was about 1/8" thick - very thin! In order to grout the mosaic, we had to be very careful as the KERDI fabric was so close to the surface. Great care went into making sure the fabric was not ripped. This was a tedious process, but it was worth it in the end.

The client is a huge Disney fan and wanted to incorporate a "hidden Mickey" somewhere on the chaise. We used different colored tile to create a Mickey Mouse head as seen below.

close up of a tiled surface with a Mickey Mouse pattern
The Hidden Mickey!

As you can tell, this project required a great deal of product knowledge and finesse. The client was ecstatic that we were able to make her dreams come true. This was finished in 2015 and she says she has used it pretty much every day ever since!

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