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Old 05-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
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Installing a shower pan


I'm remodeling a bathroom and it occurred to me today that I'm not sure the best way to handle the shower pan.

I figure I have 3 options:

1. Install the shower pan and then build up the subfloor and tile around it
2. Install the subfloor, shower pan on that and tile around the shower pan
3. Install the floor completely (tile and all) and then install the shower pan over the finished floor.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 05-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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Installing a shower pan


Subfloor first--then the pan--then the tile backer board--then tile---

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Old 05-25-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Installing a shower pan


Thanks Mike- I realize I may have been a little unclear in the original post- the tile I was referring to was the flooring tile.

So, I should lay the subfloor on the complete bathroom- then place the shower pan on top of that surface, and lay floor tile up to and around the shower pan. Did I get that right?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Installing a shower pan


What are you calling a sub floor--the subfloor is the 3/4" ply on top of the floor joists--are you looking at the floor joists now?
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Installing a shower pan


OK Sorry. The bathroom I am working in is on a concrete slab. When I pulled up the old tile I ended up with a slightly irregular surface, so I intend to lay down a layer or Durock with thinset to give me a nice surface for the tile and radiant to lay on. That layer of Durock is what I'm referring to as a subfloor.

Now there's one more wrinkle. There is a roughly 2ft x 4ft section where the slab was cut away (or never poured) to allow for the plumbing and drain line for the shower. There is what amounts to framing for a deck in that hole, and the hole is capped with a 3/4 and a 1/2 in sheet of plywood sandwiched together.

So my question is really whether I should install the shower pan directly on top of the plywood/concrete slab (which would mean I am laying my durock layer up to and around the shower pan), or if I should lay durock over the entire floor (including the sheetrock hole thing for the plumbing) and then install the pan on top of this "subfloor" and tile up to an around the pan.

I apologize for being so lengthy- I hope that all makes sense.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
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Installing a shower pan


Now I understand---

Set the pan first---fill the plumbing opening with gravel and a thin cap of concrete--

Then level the rough concrete with self leveling compound--the cement board is not going to work over a concrete floor---(underlayment is the word you want)

If you are going to install electric heating to the floor--that needs to be embedded in the self leveling compound.

Then set your tile---
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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Installing a shower pan


Thanks again Mike... two more questions.

1. Last time I did a radiant system I laid the electric wire into the thinset under the tile- my understanding was that I would get a quicker response time since the heat was closer to the tiles. Is this bad? I know I have to be careful not to knick the wire during installation- is that why you recommend embedding it into the thinset or are there other reasons?

2. I must admit to being terrified of self leveling compound. I keep picturing ending up with a big pile of it in one spot hard as a rock, or half the room being covered by it, with the other half not, and the two halves being at different heights. Am I making something out of nothing? I've never worked with the stuff before, and the fact that it dries hard like concrete scares the bejeezus out of me. Any advice?
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Installing a shower pan


What you do with the heat system depends a lot on the systems recommendations--

Follow the directions to a T---

Some mats are set into thinset an then the tile is installed right on top using more thinset--

Many require embedding into self leveling compound---I've done both--

Jazman has much more experience with these systems than I do---so if he sees this thread and offers you some help---listen to him--

Otherwise follow the makers instructions---Self leveling compound is not as scarey as it sounds--
I've never had trouble with the product---Jifset is my 'go to' brand--but all good brands work about the same---

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