Using Material Regions

Reference Number: KB-02929
Last Modified: July 15, 2021

The information in this article applies to:



I want to be able to create a custom walk-in shower in my bathroom. How can I create the transition from one material to another within the same room?

Bathroom containing custom wall material regions


The Material Region tools are used to define a region on a floor or wall surface where the materials are different than the rest of the defined room area. They can contain several layers of materials, similar to walls and floors, for example a layer of mortar with tile on top.

In this article we will be creating a walk-in shower with tile on the walls within a bathroom.

Creating the shower

  1. Start by opening a New Plan .

  2. Draw a basic bathroom layout as shown below:

    Walls defining bathroom with a four foot bumpout for the shower

  3. Draw a wall separating the shower from the bathroom. In this example, a vapor barrier wall is used, as shown in the Knowledge Base article "Creating a Steam Shower" in the Related Articles section below.

    Wall drawn at bumpout to better define shower area

Now we are ready to use the Material Regions to define new materials for the walls and floor.

Using the Material Regions

  1. Select Build> Floor> Floor Material Region from the menu.

  2. Click and drag to draw a Material Region inside the new shower space.

    Floor Material Region drawn on floor of shower
    Note: Be aware that simply clicking on a floor or wall with the Material Region tools will create a Material Region across the entire surface; be sure to click and drag across the area you want the material applied to, to ensure that only the desired area is covered.

  3. Select the Material Region and click Open Object to open the Material Region Specification dialog.

    • Under the Structure panel, check the option to Cut Finish Layers of Parent Object as this will remove the finish layer from the floor and insert the material region's bottom-most layer in it's place.

    • Click Edit and modify the layers of the floor material region as needed.

      Material Layers Definition showing two layers. Layer 1 is tile and layer 2 is mortar

      In this example we are using two 1/4" thick layers: the top(1) layer is Tile and the bottom (2) layer is Thinset Mortar.

      The tile material used here is called Morning Dove P325 and can be found in the DalTile® Manufacturer Catalog.

    • Click OK and OK once again to apply your changes and close the dialog boxes.

  4. Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation and create a cross section/elevation view looking at the back wall of the shower.

    Elevation camera placed in shower pointed at back wall

  5. In the cross section/elevation view, select Build> Wall> Wall Material Region from the menu.

  6. Draw a new material region over the wall.

    A Wall Material Region is drawn on wall in an Elevation View

  7. Repeat Steps 4, 5 and 6 for the two side walls of the shower.

You can now customize the shower however you like. The material region tools can be used to create material transitions or areas within a room without the need to add any additional shapes or objects that may change the structure of the room or building.

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