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Old 10-25-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
jep
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Noob bathroom remodel


Hi All,

I am in the midst of a complete bathroom remodel. The original bathroom was plumbed with polybutylene which cracked and leaked, grew mold, and ruined 3 bathrooms. Insurance didn't give us near enough to rebuild all the bathrooms so we're doing two of them ourselves.

Our plan is to build a walk-in shower with with two shower heads and electric radiant floor heat. The subfloor under the shower is plywood. The subfloor under the rest of the bathroom is particle board. We plan on tiling the floors. We plan to use suntouch

BATHROOM DIMENSIONS: 12' x 5'.
Shower interior dimensions: 44 1/2" x 4'7"

We plan to use a single 3' x 15" Suntouch radiant heat mat. The power source for the heat mat comes from the wall next to our bedroom which is about 8' from the shower.

The dimensions of the shower are 48" deep (including the divider) x 55" wide. I have a bunch of questions and attached some pictures but apparently I can't post images. OK I can post images!

First photo shown: bathroom02 (overview)
Second photo: bathroom05 (ceiling)
Third photo:bathroom07 (exterior wall)
Fourth photo: bathroom10 (interior wall)
Fifth photo: bathroom 11 (exterior wall) highlighting nonexistent but needed nailer for sheetrock. (see writing on floor).

PHOTOS AND QUESTIONS

First photo: overview shot taken from the doorway.

bathroom07 shows a bit more detail. The wall that is shown in 07 is an exterior wall (into a garage). It has always been a bit cold in that shower. We are planning on filling that space with double insulation and running the pipes from above. I realized after building the 2x6 frame that I'll need a nailer for the sheetrock on the outside of the shower. (see bathroom11). I am thinking that I should attach a 1x4 nailer to my 2x6 stud. I don't want to use 2x4 there because I don't want to compress the insulation.


bathroom10
We'll probably build a half-wall attached to the interior wall. The step into the shower will be to the left of the 48" line shown in bathroom10. WIth or without the half wall we'll need a nailer in front of that black drain pipe. There is only room for 1-by since the distance from the pipe where the sheet rock will be is only 1". Will 1x4 or 1x6 nailers be ok?

bathroom05 ceiling.
I believe the panasonic fan shown is ok in a shower, but I guess I better double check it. The other question related to that picture is related to the 1/2 " pex lines shown. Those lines feed a utility room above which has a washer and a toilet. Can I feed one the new shower head from those lines or should I replace them with a larger size? I am thinking it wouldn't be that big of a deal to replace the lines from about where they disappear into the ceiling on the left back to the right to where they connect to a bigger line. I'd probably want to use shark-bite fittings with a T there. On the other hand, I don't want to replace those lines needlessly. Is the existing 1/2" PEX wide enough to feed both the shower and the washer?

All input/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
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Noob bathroom remodel-bathroom02.jpg   Noob bathroom remodel-bathroom05.jpg   Noob bathroom remodel-bathroom07.jpg   Noob bathroom remodel-bathroom10.jpg   Noob bathroom remodel-bathroom11.jpg  



Last edited by jep; 10-25-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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I've also started wondering about what size of Suntouch heating mats to use. Initially I figured I'd use 15' x 3' but those cost nearly $500. I have baseboard hotwater in there already, so the point of the radiant heat is just to warm the tile a bit so that they aren't so cold on our feet. The room is only 5' wide. the vanity will be 2' wide. Maybe we can get by with heating mat that is 15' x 2' by placing it say 4" from the vanity and 8" from the other wall where the baseboard hotwater radiator is. This knocks $150 off the cost of the heating mat. I don't want to give up much performance, but I'm thinking that we might not notice the difference in performance between the 15' x 2' or 15' x 3' mats?

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Old 10-28-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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A 1x4 nailer will be fine, however you will also need a 2x nailer on the other side for a shower door.
If you plan on building your own shower pan you will also need 2x10 or 2/12 blocking around the base of the shower. I would upgrade to 3/4" pipe for dual shower heads, I don't think you'll be happy with 1/2 due to the volume of flow needed for both heads running at the same time. The fan should be fine but gfci protected. Plan on kerdi or cbu for the shower walls?
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:56 PM   #4
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Hopefully, someone else can answer the Suntouch questions.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:26 PM   #5
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Thanks mop.

I bought some 3/4" pex today.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Is that junction box in the stud cavity? If so, it must be accessible.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaros bros. View Post
Is that junction box in the stud cavity? If so, it must be accessible.
Thanks jaros bros.

It is accessible. Whoever installed that line in the first place cut a rather large (~18" by 18") hole in the wall. If you look behind the junction box you'll see the metal they put on the back side of the panel that fills the hole. They had an outlet there rather than a junction box. If you wanted to use the outlet while in the garage you could pull out the panel covering the hole. The panel has a handle on the other side. If you left that panel off in the winter the shower floor could get really cold. I'm going to screw that panel closed, but there will be access. They ran a power line for a jacuzzi from the outlet. There was the power line and there was the jacuzzi but they didn't install a switch for the jacuzzi. At least not one that I found during my 15 years in the house. The mold remediation guys removed the jacuzzi so I never got to see exactly what they had done.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:58 AM   #8
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Another question:

I am using the "Fine Homebuilding" Sept 2001 article on shower pan construction as my main guide to building the shower pan. I hope to
start the shower pan this week.

I have a couple of questions about that article.

They layer from bottom to top as follows:

0: plywood subfloor
0a: inside what will be the shower my subfloor is plywood
0b: outside the shower my subfloor is mainly particle board but with a bit of plywood.
1: thinset
2: pitched mud layer
3: felt paper
4: membrane
5: 2 1/2-3 inch mud-layer for tile
6: tile

I recently purchased a couple of sheets of hardi backer for floors because I was under the impression that it was necessary to have something between the subfloor and the tile to allow for movement? Or maybe I'm conflating a tile floor outside the shower with the tile floor inside the shower? Do I need hardibacker between the subfloor and the tile outside the shower but not inside the shower because there are additional layers inside the shower?

On page 70 of the article (2nd paragraph in the section "Keep the backerboard up from the shower floor") he says: "After the pan has been installed and tested, I put a protective layer of felt paper over the membrane while I hang the bottom pieces of backerboard. "

My understanding is that this felt is temporary and will be removed prior to the final mudlayer. Is this correct?

My plan is to install the Suntouch heat mat in either the bottom layer of thinset or the pitched mudlayer. If anyone has any comments on this I'd love to hear them. I'd thought that maybe the heating pad ought to go in the top mud layer because it would be more efficient but I guess thinset/mud/etc are pretty good thermal conductors so that it doesn't matter too much? It seems that putting the heating mat in the bottom layer of thinset is the easiest thing to do so that that it is about the same level from the subfloor both inside and outside the shower.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
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This link should answer all of your shower construction questions:http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...ead.php?t=5434
Should be:
1. sub floor
2. felt paper
3. metal lath (I use anyway)
4. pre-slope (mud)
5. membrane
6. Install cbu on walls
7. mud deck
8. tile
9. grout
9. sealer
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:50 AM   #10
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I have never put a heating pad in a shower, although I suppose it would be possible. It would need to go on the bottom layer (pre-slope). Water WILL travel though the grout, tile and the top layer of mud deck until it hits the PVC shower pan liner (membrane). I doubt that I would recommend putting a heat pad in the shower area anyway. Doesn't sound all that safe. At some point a leak MAY develop between the liner and the drain. Besides the hot water should warm up the tiles anyway.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mop in Hand View Post
I have never put a heating pad in a shower, although I suppose it would be possible. It would need to go on the bottom layer (pre-slope). Water WILL travel though the grout, tile and the top layer of mud deck until it hits the PVC shower pan liner (membrane). I doubt that I would recommend putting a heat pad in the shower area anyway. Doesn't sound all that safe. At some point a leak MAY develop between the liner and the drain. Besides the hot water should warm up the tiles anyway.
The floor of this shower has always been pretty cold. Suntouch says their product is UL approved for use in showers above the membrane. The thermostat is GFI protected. I do want to be able to test the GFI unit regularly. I haven't asked Suntouch how to do that though. I read somewhere that some enormous fraction of GFI units that were tested failed to operate properly, presumably because they'd been damaged power surges caused by lightning.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:58 PM   #12
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Good eye, jaros bros. But now that you mentioned it, is that a gas line in the same pic?
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mop in Hand View Post
Good eye, jaros bros. But now that you mentioned it, is that a gas line in the same pic?
It is. Why?
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:53 PM   #14
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Photo update. Anybody see any gotchas coming? I've been wondering about the best way to attach the 2x12 pieces that go in between the studs at the floor . Countersunk screws "toe-screwed" in? I'm a little nervous about having the screw heads sticking out but I don't see any way to avoid having screws (or nails) that without countersinking could touch the shower membrane.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:12 AM   #15
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Countersink the screws if your are going to angle them in from the front. I mentioned the gas line because I believe in some local codes that fitting would have to remain accessable. 1/2 "green board" is allowed on the ceiling but only with 12" centers.

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