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Old 03-20-2017, 09:33 AM   #1
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Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


Hi guys,

I was in a rush to finish a job last night and think I may have made a critical mistake.

I'm installing a new shower with a fiberglass pan and tile walls. The underlying floor is mostly level except for the back corner where I had to patch the subfloor (the last pan leaked).

Anyway, fatigue had set in and I ended-up putting down only about a half inch of mortar under the pan because that's how high the little support sections are at the bottom. I leveled it but noticed it would still rock a little to that low spot. This morning it seems solid but it's still too early to stand on it.

If I get any movement, I'm ripping it out because I know it will never last and the glass walls and tiles will be under stress.

Does anyone know how hard it is to remove a fiberglass pan from versabond mortar? Will the pan separate first or will it tear from the osb underneath. Any hope of saving the pan if it needs to come out?

Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


It will have some good bite at this point.

Can you access if from behind it or cut and access point? If it is a bit light on the fill, you can always pipe in some additional mortar to take up the gaps.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:13 PM   #3
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


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It will have some good bite at this point.

Can you access if from behind it or cut and access point? If it is a bit light on the fill, you can always pipe in some additional mortar to take up the gaps.
No. Unfortunately, the probable low spot is on an external wall. It's open to the room on 2 sides so I could maybe notch a piece out of the front edge near the floor and try your squeeze some more in. ...but it's a very low profile pan so it would be very tight trying to get something in there.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


Well, it's been 24 hours so I got inside and bounced up down lightly. There is very slight movement along the bottom edge. ...probably no more than a 1/16" or 1/32".

Is any amount of movement ever acceptable for these things? The instructions for this particular model doesn't call for anchoring to the studs and I'm guessing it wouldn't move it all if I did that. ...but not sure if the material is strong enough for that.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


Can you get some spray foam under the pan to stabilize it? The applicator straws are flexible. Window and Door Foam would be your best bet, it is not too expansive. If you do use it, be sure to mask everything off, it is messy and impossible to clean. Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:18 AM   #6
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


I think you can ignore the movement you sense, as long as the drainage is positive. Don't rest the wall on the pan, it usually shouldn't be. If I start with the bottom row, I shim each tile, glue or thinset, and wait at least half a day until I'm sure glued tiles will not move. If the tiles don't have the preset grout spacers, I shim every row going up. I use anything I have for shims. Toothpicks and wood shavings for adjustments. Also have plastic crosses but used them only once on a job and never came across another grout joint that large.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


Thanks for the responses on this. I decided to pull it up and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. Either thin set doesn't stick to fiberglass or there just wasn't enough contact. Anyway, no damage at all to the pan.

There was mortar around the support sections but none at all touching the underside of the pan. ...so I'm glad I pulled it up.

I'm gonna put more thinset over what's already there and try again this weekend. I'm also planning to screw it to the studs this time even though the instructions don't call for it. I found the I can reach back through the open studs and get finger underneath to feel for open space. I'll add some foam if there's any left when I'm done.

Thanks again
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:20 PM   #8
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


Quote:
Originally Posted by remoh View Post
Thanks for the responses on this. I decided to pull it up and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. Either thin set doesn't stick to fiberglass or there just wasn't enough contact. Anyway, no damage at all to the pan.

There was mortar around the support sections but none at all touching the underside of the pan. ...so I'm glad I pulled it up.

I'm gonna put more thinset over what's already there and try again this weekend. I'm also planning to screw it to the studs this time even though the instructions don't call for it. I found the I can reach back through the open studs and get finger underneath to feel for open space. I'll add some foam if there's any left when I'm done.

Thanks again
Be carefull with the foam... it can actually lift / raise your tub/pan.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: Removing new fiberglass shower pan from mortar bed


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Be carefull with the foam... it can actually lift / raise your tub/pan.
Yes, I've heard that. Planning to use the low expansion stuff.
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