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Old 08-30-2008, 09:54 PM   #1
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Building a shower mud pan


Hi everyone,

I am building a bathroom in the basement, I have the drain already installed in the concrete floor. I have a 36 inc fiberglass pan, but have decided to try to expand the shower to 48 inc.(I have the extra 12 inc) I won't be able to get a fiberglass pan that will line up with the drain in the floor, so I am thinking of builing the shower floor out of a mud pan, or whatever its called. Can I cement board the walls, and then build up the shower pan out of a mud pan, don;t know if thats the correct name for it. How hard is it, and what is the mixture? Cement, sand, mortar??? Thanks guys.

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Old 08-30-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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Building a shower mud pan


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Originally Posted by helpless handyman View Post
Hi everyone,

I am building a bathroom in the basement, I have the drain already installed in the concrete floor. I have a 36 inc fiberglass pan, but have decided to try to expand the shower to 48 inc.(I have the extra 12 inc) I won't be able to get a fiberglass pan that will line up with the drain in the floor, so I am thinking of builing the shower floor out of a mud pan, or whatever its called. Can I cement board the walls, and then build up the shower pan out of a mud pan, don;t know if thats the correct name for it. How hard is it, and what is the mixture? Cement, sand, mortar??? Thanks guys.
Here you go. GOOD Luck Bob
http://www.ontariotile.com/preslope.html

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:08 AM   #3
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Building a shower mud pan


You know, there are pre-sloped pans made (by Schluter) out of expanded polystyrene that would fit your footprint, provided your drain opening is along the front-back centerline of your shower and has a bit of wiggle-room. Pans come as a kit with the drain cover and all the Kerdi membrane you need to waterproof the shower before you get going.

Nothing taken away from the 'mud' method; I know plenty of older guys who swear by that method. Some say it's cheaper, some say more finicky, but there's a wealth of info on other boards about how to do it right. But it is a mthod with pitfalls, and let's face it, technology has come a long way in 30 years!

Mind you, mess things up a bit with a mud shower and you have a leaky shower...and that could mean tear-down in 5 years. Depends on how handy you are and how long you want to shower in the same shower. A waterproof shower, properly done, will last 40 years.

The kit I mentioned might cost $500 but IMO it is the best investment one can make in a shower installation. Just look into it and see what you options are...
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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Building a shower mud pan


Thanks Buletbob, but I had seen that one, but mine will be right on top of a concrete slab. Thats one is built out of wood, should I built out of wood on top of concrete? I beleive not! CCarlisle, do you have link to the system you are talking about?
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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Building a shower mud pan


Go to schluter.com and follow the trails to shower installation. There you'll find all there is to know about building a waterproof shower.

As I said, the whole kit for a shower assemble comes to about $500; it contains the presloped pan made out of XPS, a drain assembly, a DVD of how to do it, and enough rolls of orange Kerdi membrane to cover the 3 walls and the joints. All you need is glue, unmodified thinset and perhaps some cement backerboard or drywall whatever your inspector will allow.

Good reading!
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Building a shower mud pan


To answer your original question, three parts clean sand to one part portland cement. You can buy this pre-bagged at tile stores, which is what I'd suggest. You use about 1/2 gallon of water per 50# bag, which is INCREDIBLY DRY. It will only have the consistency of wet sand. You pack it in place with a float or trowel. It can be finish screeded to get your slope (min. 1/4" per foot). Just sprinkle a small amount of water on the surface to screed it.

You'll need to install a membrane underneath the shower mud base, and that membrane needs to be sloped toward and tied into the drain. Tile shops have drain systems that will work well with membranes. The membrane is sloped by putting it on a mud "pre-pan" made the same way as the mud pan. So you're essentially sandwiching the membrane.
Or...
You can look into the Kerdi system by Schluter. It is an excellent system, and will be easier in the long run. Pretty failsafe when done correctly.

No matter what you do, I'd install an isolation membrane between the mud base and the basement slab. 30# felt will do this just fine. I wouldn't want the shower pan structurally tied and bonded to the concrete, which might decide to crack someday.

Doing the curb out of mud gives you limitless options. Just do your homework on proper installation methods.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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Building a shower mud pan


HH yes you can build it out of wood on top of concrete just put down some felt paper then build the frame on top as you want.I went ahead and lined the inside of my shower with paper then put my Sand topping mix in packed good and got the slope I needed.Then its just a matter of putting up your Darrick or whatever your using thin set and membrane the tile.The Saluter is also a very good system and pretty much fool proof the only drawback I saw with it was its a little pricey $$ but it is less work and ya really can screw it up ( ok some folks could )
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
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Building a shower mud pan


Thanks Guys, I like the Kerdi system, but it won't accomodate my size of shower. I can do a 48 by 36, but not a 48 by 60.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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Building a shower mud pan


OK then...you've got a 36"x48" if my memory serves. That's a very common size and it can be done with Kerdi...FYI you just add a piece or cut a piece and as long as the slope is maintained around the drain, it'll work.

But whatever you're comfortable with is fine by me!

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