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rmontyw 03-07-2012 11:53 AM

Basement Concrete As Shower Floor?
I"m exploring my options for my basement shower and since I've ripped out all the existing concrete I wonder if it will save me many steps by just repouring the new floor with the area the shower will be on with a gentle slope towards the drain and pour epoxy over the slab aftewards for water proofing.

Has anyone ever tried this or does anyone see any problems with this technique?

I am also considering putting heating cables in that slab before I pour it as well as pouring 6 - 8 inch curbs around that shower area. Then later I"ll frame walls on top of the curbs, claddthem with denshield and bring the wall tile right down to the concrete floor. Finally caulk the joint where the wall meets the floor.


cleveman 03-07-2012 06:13 PM

If you have no concrete there, then you have the opportunity for a curbless shower if you would like one.

Do you have some leeway with the height of the drain?

I would pour a pre-slope, then the rubber membrane, then the topping. You can put a membrane under the entire bath area if you like.

Of course you can have a curb, as you wish.

My current home, and a lot of them in the neighborhood, simply had a shower built in the basement with 4" concrete block and a sloped floor.

A step up from this would be a shower from my childhood home, with walls built of glazed clay block, such as you might see in the hallway of a school.

oh'mike 03-07-2012 07:08 PM

There is a surface water proofing made by Latacrete--Hydroban---designed for exactly what you have in mind---a special drain is needed to seal the system and allow you to tile it--Latacrete makes those also.

A Schluter drain will also work with the Hydroban---

You will water proof the walls with this ,too.

I done this and can vouch for the product---nice stuff---Mike--

rmontyw 03-08-2012 10:15 AM

Cleveman, yes I was hoping a no curb solution was a possibility but didn't know if it was a good idea. My main worry with having my concrete floor as the shower floor is if the space would develop one of those hairline cracks like all basement floors do after they are poured. So it seems logical to me that any hairline crack that would develop would likely aim right for the drain given its a break in the floor slab.

So my thinking was that if I pour the shower floor as a separate section it would be an independant pad so it would only move as one unit and no cracks within would occur. I also live in an area of Ontario that has the occasional small earthquake so this could help isolate the shower pad. But if I do pour separate pads to provide a natural break for any movement then how I properly seal this joint?

I have all the leeway I want for drain position or height or whatever I want. I have it all excavated down there.

Oh Mike I"m not sure I understand why I need a special drain, or any membrane for that matter? What I'm describing is having my new concrete floor double as my shower floor. So I would slope it in the shower area to teh drain, maybe install heating cables over top of some rigid foam, and then epoxy over top of the finished concrete. I guess the joint where the slab meets the drain would have to get siliconed or maybe the epoxy will fill that joint?

cleveman 03-08-2012 11:07 AM

Let me explain what I did once, maybe it will help you.

I was pouring the basement floor of a duplex. The bath rough-ins were back to back. I didn't want to mess with the pre-slope, etc. as I was pouring the 1800 square foot pour, so I formed the two shower areas off separately.

Then I went back months later and established my drain height and poured my pre-slopes. You'll want to use a drain which the rubber membrane clamps into. I brought the rubber membrane up the walls a bit, and up to the surface of the existing concrete.

Then I poured my second pour on top of this and tiled over everything.

You can use the hydro ban as suggested as well. I prefer the rubber membrane because I think there might be some shifting at the wall/floor corner and I wouldn't expect the liquied waterproofer to move as much as the rubber membrane.

You'll notice, I believe, that everyone is pushing you towards a pre-slope and the special drain with weeping holes. I think you'll find that this is a little more work, but it is the correct, most foolproof way to do it. If you just have a standard floor drain with some epoxy coating on the floor and the epoxy coating fails in some area, then you have water in your slab. The membrane system ANTICIPATES leaks and takes them via the second drainage plane into the drain.

One could argue that a standard floor drain on pre-sloped concrete would be fine even without the epoxy. Any water that seeps down into the concrete will just dissipate into the earth, right? The problem with this is keeping it clean and keeping some funky fungi from coming up through the concrete.

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