Alternatives for Foundation Walls, Shower Drains

by Tracy Hegg

The following product received the most reader inquiries in June on


Designed to provide an alternative to poured concrete foundation walls, the Epitome quality foundation walls from Composite Panel Systems (CPS) combines strength, integrated stud cavities for mechanicals, insulation, the top plate and vapor barrier in one step. With the panel-system fabricator, Fiber-Tech Industries Inc., and fire-retardant resin-systems supplier, Ashland Performance Materials, the Epitome quality foundation walls were designed with residential builders and contractors in mind as minimal training is needed for anyone in the skilled trades. The walls can be delivered all together in a single trip, and typical installation takes less than two hours.

Foundation composite walls can be fabricated according to building specs in a controlled environment, and the panels can be installed in all climates. Epitome quality foundation walls have an inherent R-16.5 insulation value and decrease moisture and mold issues common with traditional foundations. Because the panels are 7 in. thick, more usable living space is available (compared to the 12-in. thickness typical of cast-in-place concrete walls). With an airtight transition between the floor and foundation, the walls do not require covering with a thermal barrier, such as drywall, prior to occupancy due to passing the NFPA 286 room corner burn test, allowing lower levels to be finished at leisure or not at all. The composite technology used to create CPS Panels makes them usable in any soil type suitable for backfilling, and each 24 ft. of foundation panel can withstand 500,000 lbs. of downward force. 

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The following product received the most reader inquiries in April 2015 issue of Qualified Remodeler:


The Luxe Linear Shower Drain — Tile Insert is designed to be flush with the shower flooring surface to create the illusion of water vanishing into the floor. The introduction of the linear shower drain from Luxe Linear Drains provides a zero-threshold, barrier-free custom shower. Produced with architectural-grade, 100 percent stainless steel, the Linear Drains tile inserts accommodate any glass, porcelain or natural stone tiles up to ½ in. thick.

Manufactured independent of any specific waterproofing membrane, installation materials and methods, the Luxe Linear Shower Drain Tile Insert can be used to create ADA-compliant, wheel-in-entry showers in residential or commercial settings. Like all of the company’s Linear Shower Drains, the stainless steel square wedgewire drains feature welded 2- and 3-in. central diameter outlets that replace the strainer and flange in all standard clamp-down shower floors. The Luxe Linear Shower Drain with Tile Insert tray and channel are available in standard lengths of 26, 30, 36, 40, 48 and 60 in., and the tile tray can be removed for maintenance access and cleaning. 

Luxe Linear Drains is a veteran owned small business making all its drains in the U.S.

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