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Old 07-12-2008, 12:20 AM   #1
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


I am in the process of remodeling a walk-in shower that is 44" x 36". The shower was built originally with no pan, just sheet rock walls and a formed impression in the slab. I have replaced the studs, installed hardibacker and a new shower pan liner. I am now at the point of floating the floor and I have a couple of questions:

What grade or slope is required for proper drainage?

The drain is NOT in the middle of the floor so how is the easiest way to float this out so the tile looks right?

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Old 07-12-2008, 08:42 AM   #2
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


You need at least 1/4" per foot of slope toward the drain to effectively drain the water.

I just finished my first walk in shower with a tile base, and I used these tapered "pitch sticks" with an integrated drain and weep holes. They make it incredibly easy, as they establish a level top to screed to. They're called "goof proof" and the Tile Shop sells them.


Do you understand that your mud base (above your liner) should not be conventional concrete? It should be a VERY DRY mix of three parts sand to one part portland. I used 1 quart of latex and 1 quart of water per 80 sack of dry mix. That gives the consistency of wet sand. The mix is packed into place, not poured and finished like conventional concrete. When packed down tight and screeded to the finished level, you just sprinkle a little water on the surface to make it easier to float to a nice finish.

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Old 07-12-2008, 08:48 AM   #3
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Also, have you waterproofed your hardibacker? Or did you install a waterproof membrane on the back side of the hardibacker? Backer is water resistant, but not waterproof...Meaning that it won't degrade when it absorbs water. Note that I said when, not if.

Accepted practice these days is to apply a surface waterproofer to the shower side of the backerboard, which will prevent water that gets past the tile and grout (it will) from getting through the backer. Check out Scluter Kerdi and RedGuard. Kerdi is a system involving a sheet membrane, RedGuard is applied. I used ProGard HDG from the Tile Shop.

In this picture you can see the pitch sticks, as well as the waterproofing goo.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:48 PM   #4
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


EXACTLY what thekctermite said!
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


The floor should be level. The pan has slope to allow faster drainage and weeping. If you are floating the floor, why not learn to float the walls too and do it right.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #6
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The floor should be level. The pan has slope to allow faster drainage and weeping. If you are floating the floor, why not learn to float the walls too and do it right.
What? The floor of the shower should be sloped to facilitate drainage. The pan liner should sit on a presloped base of mud.

As for floating the wall, I've never seen that done, and certainly wouldn't consider it a better method that cement backerboard. Not to say it couldn't be done, but the methods I've described are the industry standard.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:01 PM   #7
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Full mud jobs are definitely old school. Not many newer guys can even do them. I can't. But absolutely nothing wrong with them. Best way to ensure straight walls. Very labor intensive though.

Here's a pic of one of our occasional visitors mud jobs:



Nice job Bill!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:26 PM   #8
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I guess I'm not old school, because I've never seen that done! I stand corrected for saying it isn't a better method. I'd say that is isn't a reasonable recommendation to give a DIYer on a DIY site since it is rare for even pros to do it.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I'd say that is isn't a reasonable recommendation to give a DIYer on a DIY site since it is rare for even pros to do it.
Right! No way
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
What? The floor of the shower should be sloped to facilitate drainage. The pan liner should sit on a presloped base of mud.

As for floating the wall, I've never seen that done, and certainly wouldn't consider it a better method that cement backerboard. Not to say it couldn't be done, but the methods I've described are the industry standard.
Key word is Level. No dips or birdbaths. Water will seek the drain. Do rain gutters slope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
Full mud jobs are definitely old school. Not many newer guys can even do them. I can't. But absolutely nothing wrong with them. Best way to ensure straight walls. Very labor intensive though.

Here's a pic of one of our occasional visitors mud jobs:



Nice job Bill!!!!!
Very nicely done. Mud jobs last forever when properly done. Hot mopped pan and tile over mortar walls, 2" thick. Ever seen a 50 year old Hardi-Backer or cement board job? What kind of guarantee can they offer. A DIY method gone pro.

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I guess I'm not old school, because I've never seen that done! I stand corrected for saying it isn't a better method. I'd say that is isn't a reasonable recommendation to give a DIYer on a DIY site since it is rare for even pros to do it.
Not all DIYers are looking for shortcuts. With the internet, instuctions are available. Compare prices of mortar and wire to the price of hardi-Backer or cement board. Add in the tools (redwood lathe and screeds, angle iron will do) save money doing it right. Knowledge is power.

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Right! No way
Lathe, Scratch and Brown, Stucco, Plaster, not quite a lost art but getting there.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
What? The pan liner should sit on a presloped base of mud.
Sorry, I 've never used the liner method.
A hot mopped shower pan usually sits on a slope of built up cedar shingles or 3 tab asphalt composition roofing material under the hot mopped tar.
Dry pack Mortar is then applied on the pan to the correct height of the drain after tiling. The tile can then be set, residual surface water will filter through the grout joints and mortar to the pan where it is then channeled to the weep holes.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Ok, we don't need to argue here. We use different methods, both of which have merit.

With a membrane liner, which is a very popular method, you build a "pre-pan" out of sloped mud underneath the liner. Very similar procedure to your hot mop method....The only difference being what the membrane is sitting on and what the membrane is made of. That way water that gets to the membrane hits the slope and can weep to the drain. Then, on top of the liner you build your final mud base, onto which you adhere the tile.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:04 PM   #13
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Hot mopping is a west coast thing. Don't know why it's that way, but it is.
The rest of the country typically uses the procedure KC describes.

However, looks like we scared off the OP.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:08 AM   #14
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


Yep, not much hot-mopping in my region, we use a membrane too, and the procedure KCT listed, as well.
We just did two walk-in showers last week. Gotta get pictures of them.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:52 AM   #15
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Remodeling a walk-in shower


The shower pan should slope 1/4" per foot toward the drain. You should first pour a mud base using mortar, next apply the shower pan membrane liner, and then finally adding a final layer of mortar.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 07-20-2008 at 12:57 PM. Reason: DIY Chatroom Rules Violation: Site Link Removed
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