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Falconag 01-20-2012 01:30 PM

70's Bathroom remodel
Howdy! I'm an fairly adept DIY'er- I've redone my kitchen from studs as well as built a couple of shops from the ground up. I have tiled bathroom floors etc, but never delved into the nuts and bolts of drainage plumbing (sub slab). I've spent several hours reading blogs and chats to educate myself on code, procedure etc. but have a few questions I'd like to ask.

1) I'm looking to do a curbless tile shower in my remodel. In another curbless shower post, O'Mike states to install a floor drain outside the shower. I've toured several new model homes in the area to get ideas and have not seen a floor drain outside the shower. Is this necessary?

2) My home was built in the 1972, and there is no membrane installed in the current shower. I had planned to install a new drain (will have to relocate it a short distance to be in center of new shower) without the use of a membrane. This is a first floor (no basement) installation. House is on a slab. Is there any reason why I can't forego the membrane? Is this code?

3) If I go the membrane route, I have my eye on either Aquashield or Nobelseal. These advertise to be tileable directly on the membrane, rather than pouring 2-3in of mud over the membrane. This is quite appealing for the curbless shower because it keeps my shower floor as low as possible after the preslope. Has anyone used either of these products? Experiences?

4) How far outside the shower door does my bathroom floor need to slope (and be covered in membrane) in a curbless situation?

5) I need to tile the bathroom floor to the same level as the shower entrance so there's a smooth transition. What is the correct way to elevate the bathroom floor before tiling? Can I just glue concrete board to the slab and fine adjust with the thickness of thinset as I lay tile?

Thanks for any advice!

oh'mike 01-20-2012 01:53 PM

Lots of questions---first you need to let us know the size of the shower and if is to be a barrier free
design (curbless)

The drain I installed outside the shower was for a large curbless install with out a door.

The wheel chair (rolling shower seat) will need a place to drip off outside the shower--hence the second drain.

With that install I completely removed the slab in the area of the shower floor--added a Schluter drain

Installed durrock on the walls--and packed the entire opening with deck mud---

For water proofing I chose a paint on surface membrane---Hydroban by Latacrete--

Walls and shower floor received three coats---all seams sealed with approve membrane and embedded in Hydro ban---Floor outside shower was waterproofed also---out to about 8 feet from the door.

I wanted to install a channel drain at the door to save the excavation by the $500 cost of the drain set was voted down---

oh'mike 01-20-2012 01:59 PM

Do not elevate the surrounding floor --that will defeat the purpose of a barrier free shower---as you will now move the barrier to the doorway to the room----

No pitch is required for the outside drain---although it would be nice if you could--

There is no proper way to lay Durrock on top of a concrete floor--

Falconag 01-20-2012 02:05 PM

The shower size is a bit up in the air as I'm redesigning the floor layout. In general I am trying to get it to be around 43" wide by 60" deep with the door on the end of the 60" side. I also have a design where the shower is more square, 4'x4' or so with a door on a 45 taking off one corner.

I prefer curbless at this point -not for any ADA reasons, but simply to match the much more modern look of the model homes my wife and I have toured over the last several weeks. The seamless look is much nicer.

We'll use a glass door and a combination of glass and tile wall surround.

I didn't seem to notice the floor in the bathrooms we toured slopeing outside the shower, but I don't want to assume I can end the slope at the shower door (or assume they did it correctly).

oh'mike 01-20-2012 02:15 PM

Look in the tile section here---look for posts about 'channel drains'Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum

Also Google images for channel drain showers---

With that the channel drain is installed at the door--then the shower floor rises up away from the drain to the opposite wall---eliminating the need to remove and lower the floor--

This also leaves a flat floor--sloped but flat--opening up the possibility of using larger tiles--

Falconag 01-20-2012 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 829053)
Do not elevate the surrounding floor --that will defeat the purpose of a barrier free shower---as you will now move the barrier to the doorway to the room----

No pitch is required for the outside drain---although it would be nice if you could--

There is no proper way to lay Durrock on top of a concrete floor--

I had envisioned the preslope would only elevate the doorway of the shower 3/4" at most (1/4"*3ft or less). Add a paint on membrane or tileable membrane (negligible thickness) and mortar/tile and the shower floor is now 1.25" at most above the slab.

To cover the 3/4 in the bathroom- a 1/2 in and 1/4 in sheet of concrete board stacked. This would leave the same 1.25" transition at the carpet line to the master bedroom. Carpet has a 1/2" pad and after the thickness of the carpet itself I don't think there will be much of a transition to the bathroom. Am I missing anything??

Also, not sure the Duroc would even have to be secured to the slab- cut to fit and after tiling it would be permanent by weight alone. But I would guess liq. nails or a ramset would hold it from shifting any on the floor.

Falconag 01-20-2012 02:30 PM

I've seen the channel drains. 2 things make me a little uneasy about them - they're pricey and I'd have to move the drain in the slab even further.

The *right* way to do it then is to recess the slab in the area of the shower floor so that the preslope will end level with the current slab at the door of the shower correct?

oh'mike 01-20-2012 02:30 PM

Forget the Durrock on top of the concrete---It doesn't work---You would want to do a full mud set

over the bath floor---Latex bonder painted on --then deck mud packed and smoothed----

Tiles could be set as you pack if you back butter the tiles with modified thinset--

That's some pretty advanced tile work----it would be faster and cheaper to remove the slab in the shower---set your drain --and contour the pan below the existing floor--

Or use a channel drain at the door---and over lay deck mud and feather finish to raise the pitch for the channel drain---

bareshiyth 01-21-2012 08:01 PM

I know its less DIY, buying a ready-made shower system, but there are a number of companies who make ADA barrier free & accessible showers in all sorts of sizes, shapes & types & with all sorts of amenities and equipment. They come in a variety of materials, even tile. Just do a Google search. One company to start with is Orca Health Care Supplies, who sells a big line called Best Bath Systems.
I hired (at my bosses' command) a company to install a barrier free shower in one of my handicap apts. Nice guys, result looked good, but cost a lt more than I thought it should and left me with some issues (like having built a slope in my slab floor that adversely affected flooring, water runoff/containment, and finding a good curtain system (doors usually come with wheelchair inhibiting rails or ridges, etc). My next install, I will buy a unit (possibly from Orca)!

Falconag 01-22-2012 06:40 PM

seems like a convincing argument to me... "you should hire someone, I did and it cost me more and they royally jacked the install..."

oh'mike 01-22-2012 06:59 PM

Like I had said--cut out the shower area---add drain in the proper spot--add sloped floor ---use Hydro ban to waterproof it and the walls---

opening floor---3 to 4 hours---diamond saw--electric jack hammer--
Repipe--1 hour
Pack floor--2 Hours--cement mixer
Seal all voids--1 hour--tilers mesh--modified thinset
Add Hydroban--about i hour per coat--three coats

Tile floor--tile walls---add trims and grab rails
take shower--

Falconag 01-22-2012 07:38 PM

now its a balancing act- jack hammer rental (or craigslist purchase) vs linear drain purchase. You said $500- i've not seen them that low. Any particular vendor you recommend?

I have a pneumatic air hammer I've used to bore through the driveway before to run electrical conduit to my detached garage. I'm going to try it where the new drain would go- if the slab is any harder or thicker than the drive I may have to rent the jack hammer anyway since the drain is moving.

Falconag 01-22-2012 07:58 PM

actually after a bit more research i see some for sub 300 with tile insert for 400 from

oh'mike 01-22-2012 08:06 PM

Diamond blade for your circular saw--$35--
Jackhammer rental--$65--

What ever you do you are going to need to open the floor---
A trench for the channel drain--and moving the drain--or centering the existing drain--or removing the entire section to drop the floor--

There is no easy,right way to build a barrier free shower,that I know of--

oh'mike 01-22-2012 08:11 PM

Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum

Go look in the tile section here--lots of post by John Whipple--who specializes in channel drains--
It's for pros only so you can look but not post

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