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Mechelle 07-18-2008 03:14 PM

Do we have to break the concrete floor for a shower drain?
Me and my husband are finishing the basement together. Oh, yeah. Almost all done and now running into trouble with the shower base installation.

The 2" drain pipe is half way in and out of the drywall. There is no way we could find a shower unit that has exactly the same drain hole layout to fit our drain pipe location.

We both would be very reluctant to break the concrete. What are the options out there for us? Is that half way pipe in the studs done purposely for the bathtub?

I, not my hubby, am doing the post because he sees asking for help as a girly thing. But he runs out of idea and silently encouraged me to do so. :laughing:

Marlin 07-18-2008 05:48 PM

I'm confused. You're installing a shower and your drain is in the wall? If you need to move the drain 2ft you need to chop the concrete.

clasact 07-18-2008 07:05 PM

I think you might want to post a picture or something cus I am a bit lost here also

mjdonovan 07-20-2008 06:29 AM

If you are planning to put a shower in a basement, then you will either need to cut out a section of the concrete floor for running the drain pipes or build an elevated floor to allow the drain pipes to sit underneath it. In either case the drain pipes will need to flow into a pump up basin or out to the sewer line.

Termite 07-20-2008 09:29 AM

The reason you need to break out a little concrete is so you can fine tune the drain's location and install a trap. You can't just connect the drain to the pipe unless a trap is already installed.

Don't be intimidated! This is a relatively easy DIY project. Rent a small demolition hammer (mini-jackhammer) and slowly remove pieces of concrete around the pipe until you have room to work. Wear ear and eye protection for sure. A concrete saw could also be used, but beware of dust!

Once your drain is plumbed, bed it in gravel...I mean surround it with gravel for support. Clean the edges of the slab so they're free of dust and dirt, then mix a bag of concrete and patch the hole.

Mechelle 07-21-2008 01:43 PM

I am going to the concrete
Thank you, Marlin, Clasact mjdonovan and thekctermite.
It seems that breaking the concrete is the way that I have to go and I am going to.

I am 5'7, 116 lb. My husband is not much bigger, neither. It was a huge challenge to lift up the 4x8 drywall to the ceiling. thekctermite is right, I am half way backwards already whenever I hear things about concrete. I thought it is built for lasting forever.

With that being said, would you think that I could handle a drivehamer? I have a circular saw, a cheap 12" firestorm model. Is cutting using a saw easier than hammering? Sorry about all these dumb qustions but I (we) am freshly out of the college and trying to be a diyer. The concrete floor is 3 " thick. After breaking it, what I will be expecting? digging and cutting the existing pipe and extend it to the desired location? I hate to ask but would hiring a professional a good idea? Would any contractor willing to take just the concrete work? I doubt. I will do it myself.

Thanks guys,


clasact 07-21-2008 02:23 PM

your little firestorm is NOT going to cut it and I really dont think your going to be abel to handel the jackhammer even a small one(my wife is your size and she cant).I got a little better picture of what your dealing with now.Once you have the concret broken out and I would make it a bit larger then the pipe so you have a little room to work the clean out the area cut the pipe and put it where you need it to go fill in a little gravel and recement it.Gettting a contractor or plumber to do it would be the best thing but I really dont know if one will come to do just that and it wont be cheep but you could try if you dont want to tackel it or you dont want to rent the hammer or a concret saw(what a mess that is) One other point make sure you clean out any concret the falls into the pipe or later you will be working on a clog
just a thought here instead of a shower pan have you thought about making your owne shower also if you were in college you know their are no dumb questions just dummies who try to do things the know nothing about without asking first so tell hubby we all need to ask things now and again

Mechelle 07-21-2008 03:33 PM


Hahaha, you really cracked my up.

The pipe now has a cap on it that might help prevent it from falling concrete debries. I still want to handle it myself. Like said: be:boxing: a man, man!

My own customized-shower base? Why not? That would be a lot easier than breaking the concrete. I like the idea and I also prefer the tile and slope (gravel?)work than the hammer. My husband said the drain has already had the trap down bellow the concrete (he called the builder). But the 2" drain pipe is one inch inside the drywall and one inch outside, I would need to build the shower base drain into the wall literally. I will go home and take a picture and post tomorrow. I will also let him know your "asking first" theory. :yes:


Termite 07-21-2008 09:40 PM

I'm not talking about a jackhammer. I'm talking about a demolition hammer, and yes, you can handle it. If you can't, your husband certainly can.

It is something like this one...
They have chisel attachments that chip away at the concrete. It might take a while, but it is small and easier to handle than a regular jackhammer. I agree, a jackhammer isn't for people barely over 100 pounds. :no:

4just1don 07-21-2008 11:48 PM

That machine pictured above is the girly option,,,REAL men use old fashion sledge hammers and or 5 lb. short handled hammers with cement chisel/drill like they hand drill rock on "little house".

better yet take a rotary hammer drill and drill along each side of proposed track and connect holes with big hammer. once you get started and its hollow underneath,,,its a breeze

Mechelle 07-22-2008 07:00 AM

picture of the pipe
2 Attachment(s)
Thanks, guys,

Attached are two pictures of the pipe location. It is in the corner 4' away from the toilet drain.

Now I have more options! 4just1don mentioned a manual hammer! I googled "sledge hammer" and got this: It looks like it is for "REAL" men. I am worried about my husband's toes. The 5lb short hammer sounds better. I will go to the Homedepot for a comparison with the demolition hammer rental thekctermite recommended. 60$ rental would cover the hammers I think. I would also get to keep the hammer for weight lifting. But still a decision to be made. :confused1:

clasact 07-22-2008 07:49 AM

Some are going to dis agree with me on this but I am allowed an opinion too.I would defiantly build my own shower around that.You could cut it off low just enough to put a 45 elbow on and extend it out turn it back up ,put a drain on it and build the shower around it.The base would have to be raise a bit to account for the pipe but you wont have to come out very far and it will surely beat breaking up the concrete.Their are many threads on here about building your own shower one even has a video on how to do it ( I tried to find it but couldn't but I know its here I saw it not long ago).Once you have the pipe and drain where you want framed it all in add some gravel and tamp it down then your sand topping cement mix and waterproofing membrane.I think you will be much happier this way since it will have your personal touch and not some premade contraption.If I could figure out how to work the wifes camera I would show you what I did in a situation like yours but I am better with a tools then I am with stuff like that.If you choose to go the other way you don't have much to break out either and a small demo hammer will work just fine as KC said.You would need to get your base and mark how far out you need to come from the wall and then just go to it.IMO you would be happier doing it yourself but thats just my opinion and my wife says I like to make more work for myself

Termite 07-22-2008 08:21 AM

Clasact's idea is a good one. I'm 6'7" tall, so I failed to consider a step-up floor as an option!

Mechelle 07-22-2008 08:27 AM

I like this option
Thanks, clasact,

I like this new option. How high would I need to build the base frame? Would 4" be sufficient? 2" for the pipe and maybe 2" more for the topping material?

clasact 07-22-2008 09:09 AM

yes but that all depends on how high your drain sticks up but I'm thinking it shouldn't stick up more then 4-6 inches so a few inches of gravel then sand topping mix which according to the bag should only be used for 2-3 inch depth anyway.also take in to consideration your membrane ,thin set and tile.I had to go with a 10 inch frame around one of mine due to a pipe and drain problem but it still gave me over 7 foot of shower hight.So you would have to decide if this is what you want then fit your pipe and see how high you need to go and if you will have enough hight for it then.Also think about if you put a vent in the shower it self you will need about 4 inches above the ceiling

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