As part of a $12 million renovation that began in October 2018, the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis renovated its Club Level accommodations, guest rooms, and suites. Part of the initiative included modernizing nearly 300 guest bathrooms to feature step-in showers in king guest rooms and new powder rooms in all suites. Project Managers John Krauska, owner of Kent Plumbing, and Ralph Hoxsworth, also of Kent Plumbing, needed to convert roughly 300 bathtubs into showers.
The project involved a two-phased approach to the tub-to-shower conversions. According to Hoxworth, the team initially used a fixed drain system that would connect to the existing plumbing rough-ins after removing the old bathtubs. As the project team removed more and more tubs, however, they quickly realized that the process required core-drilling additional drain holes to utilize the fixed drain system.
In the second phase, Hoxworth identified the exact location of the original plumbing rough-ins, so the team decided the best route from there would be to customize the drain system to adapt to the existing plumbing rough-ins. The team wanted to avoid core-drilling, since it would only increase labor and extend the time span of the project. The project’s time-sensitive schedule was an important aspect to consider, since the hotel would remain operational throughout the renovation.
“It’s a very busy hotel, and we had to shut it down floor by floor,” explains Hoxworth. “We needed a more efficient drain-connection solution to complete the job in a timely manner.”
Following a discussion with local distributor Crescent Plumbing Supply and the interior designer on the renovation, Krauska decided to switch to ShowerLine PVC System, made by QuickDrain USA. He had previously worked with the system on other projects. Once he learned that the drain body could be customized to adapt to the existing drain holes, he felt the linear drain would be the best solution.
Krauska, along with other renovation team members, subsequently sat down with a local QuickDrain representative who “made everyone very comfortable and confident in moving forward with the new system,” he explains.
Ideal for tub-to-shower conversions in hospitality spaces, the ShowerLine drain system features a fully sloped trough in which water exits through either a vertical or a side waste outlet, making it easy to accommodate existing plumbing. The system’s linear drains also benefit the tile setters. and, once the drains and pans were secured in place, allowed for a smooth tile application. Afterward, Hoxworth and his crew were able to make the final plumbing connections.
In addition, QuickDrain’s PET (polyethylene terephthalate) rigid-foam shower floor panels, fabricated from 100%-recycled plastic, were also used in the Ritz-Carlton renovation. Hoxworth completed the layout for the placement of the PET panels, along with the drains, and the tile setters cut the panels into place. “QuickDrain brought in everything ready to go,” says Hoxworth. “All we had to do was prefab the drains and wait for the tile guys to lay the PET panels. Then we placed all of the drains in the holes lined up for the tile guys to match.”
“We were both very impressed with the installation,” says Krauska. “The ShowerLine linear drain system saved the job a lot of time, because we were able to easily offset the drain. I believe it saved time for the tile setters and others on the renovation team as well.”
Luxury baths at most high-end hotels are typically known for sleek designs. Stand-alone showers are especially well-suited to this clean, contemporary look, particularly when equipped with an equally sleek linear drain. The new bathrooms at the Ritz Carlton of St. Louis met this expectation and have been running smoothly since the project’s completion in August 2020. In addition to the time-savings, “the ease of installation and allowing for the entire crew to work cohesively were huge benefits from this system,” said Hoxworth.
“Ninety-nine percent of our work is repeat business with general contractors that maintain great relationships with us,” remarks Krauska. “If the system is applicable to a job we are working on, I would, without a doubt, recommend the QuickDrain ShowerLine PVC linear drain.”
Part of the Oatey family of brands, QuickDrain USA is a premier manufacturer of curbless and curbed shower solutions for showers and wet areas. Since 1916, Oatey has provided reliable, high-quality products for the residential and commercial plumbing industries, with a commitment to delivering quality, building trust and improving lives. Today, Oatey operates a comprehensive manufacturing and distribution network to supply thousands of products for professional builders, contractors, engineers and do-it-yourself consumers around the world.
Oatey is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China.