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Old 08-18-2014, 01:55 PM   #1
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What can I do to save money on a new walk-in tile shower?


I'm currently renovating my first home, a small condo. I've removed the tub/shower combo, and I plan on replacing it with a walk-in tile shower. I don't plan on using expensive tiles, or getting too fancy with it in general, but I do want it to look nicer than your average bathroom and somewhat upscale. I'm not looking for the cheapest, I'm looking for the best value.

I'm alright at DIY projects, but since this is an upstairs condo and we're dealing with water, I'm thinking I should hire a pro. I want to do whatever I can to mitigate my risk of water issues. I want the tile to run up to the ceiling, and I'll also need the rest of the floor tiled.

I'd like to know what, if anything, I can do myself to save money. I also know every market is different (I'm in Portland, OR), but I'm hoping to get a ballpark before I start requesting estimates. I'll be reinforcing the subfloor with another layer of 3/4" plywood, which is what is down there now. The size of the shower will be 60"x32" (about 85 square feet).

Pic of the space, and the current condition.

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Old 08-18-2014, 05:00 PM   #2
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60"x32" = 13.3 sq ft, not 85.

I don't know the condo rules in Oregon, but in Calif. you have ripped out wallboard that belongs to the association.
Where is the toilet plumbing ? It too would belong to the association (Ca).

I would suggest you talk to your association now. They may have a lot to say about what you can and cannot do.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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Find a pro that you like before you go any further---the drains need to be set (2") before you beef up the floor---and every tile setter has a preference as to the type of pan--and each pan style uses a different drain set up---

I build a lot of showers---but can't help you on pricing---being a condo--the insurance requirement and your permit fees make that impossible to guess.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Back in the day, all the coffee cans were tin. I now buy my coffee at costco and they still have the metal coffee tins.

I would save up a bunch of these and tile the walls with these, shiplap fashion, with each can in a course overlapping the one behind it as well. This should give you leak proof walls.

Just have these walls overlap one course of tile along the bottom and go ahead and splurge on a tile floor and you should be good.

I use the kirkland 100% colombian dark roast, which is unimportant, but please have all the same cans on the walls, and put the print all in the right direction. If you have to, you can have a different type of can on the wet wall and back wall or even the back wall can be different from the wet wall.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:24 PM   #5
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Joe you have already made enough mistakes that you shouldn't even consider going forward with this if you intend to do the work yourself.
oso954 has offered the best advice so far.

To help you along however if it was me doing it it would cost around thirty-five hundred dollars not including the tile or plumbing/plumbing fixtures.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:54 PM   #6
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Guys, come on. I think he means 60x32 base so effectively 85 square feet of wall tile.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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kirdi shower system.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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Thank you for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
60"x32" = 13.3 sq ft, not 85.

I don't know the condo rules in Oregon, but in Calif. you have ripped out wallboard that belongs to the association.
Where is the toilet plumbing ? It too would belong to the association (Ca).

I would suggest you talk to your association now. They may have a lot to say about what you can and cannot do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickWa View Post
Guys, come on. I think he means 60x32 base so effectively 85 square feet of wall tile.
I did mean 85 square feet of wall tile, sorry for not specifying. Am I correct in that some contractors charge this way?

I appreciate the concern, great advice. Here in Oregon, and with this particular HOA (not sure if it varies), the unit is mine from the studs in on shared walls. The long wall is the shared wall in this condo. I can do almost anything I want with the interior walls, short of moving/removing/replacing (as it is structural). From what I've been told, this HOA has fairly permissive rules compared to others.

I read the rules and regs very carefully before buying the place, so there wouldn't be any surprises. The president of the HOA lives next door, and has been over many times to view the progress and chat. She was more concerned with why I removed the crown molding, which I assured her I'd be replacing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Find a pro that you like before you go any further---the drains need to be set (2") before you beef up the floor---and every tile setter has a preference as to the type of pan--and each pan style uses a different drain set up---

I build a lot of showers---but can't help you on pricing---being a condo--the insurance requirement and your permit fees make that impossible to guess.
Thanks for the advice. I've been reading quite a bit, and I think the way to go for me would be a pre-fabbed pan. What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Joe you have already made enough mistakes that you shouldn't even consider going forward with this if you intend to do the work yourself.
oso954 has offered the best advice so far.

To help you along however if it was me doing it it would cost around thirty-five hundred dollars not including the tile or plumbing/plumbing fixtures.
Can you elaborate on the mistakes I've made? I want to learn from them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
kirdi shower system.
I thought about this, but I've decided against it. If this were a standalone home, it would be a viable option for me. The combination of my inexperience, the HOA, the condo below me, and water have me ready to hire a professional.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:23 PM   #9
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Custom tiled shower pans cost a lot more than a pre made pan---there are some nice looking cast onyx pans available---

The big advantage to a custom pan is the drain location---while a centered drain is nice--it is not a necessity with a custom pan.

For custom pans--here is a link to the traditional Mud pan How to build a shower - Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.

Also look at Schluter and Latacrete--they have a surface membrane system and preformed pan sections--

Always do a flood test before tiling---a properly built shower is waterproof without the tile---

Do NOT even consider a 'Tile Ready" brand pan---they are expensive failures.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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I have a nice Kohler cast iron pan which I snagged for $300 and put in storage. I'm waiting for a framed floor installation to do with it. I seem to do showers in the basement, where I prefer to go with a curbless (cut out concrete on a remodel or pour the basement floor around the shower pan area and put in the slope later on new construction) so I have to wait for the opportunity to do a shower on an upper floor.

http://www.build.com/kohler-k-9025-0...C15C=500836983

The receptor I have has a very low curb. I think you probably have to head off the floor joists and it sinks in a bit.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Custom tiled shower pans cost a lot more than a pre made pan---there are some nice looking cast onyx pans available---

The big advantage to a custom pan is the drain location---while a centered drain is nice--it is not a necessity with a custom pan.

For custom pans--here is a link to the traditional Mud pan How to build a shower - Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.

Also look at Schluter and Latacrete--they have a surface membrane system and preformed pan sections--

Always do a flood test before tiling---a properly built shower is waterproof without the tile---

Do NOT even consider a 'Tile Ready" brand pan---they are expensive failures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
I have a nice Kohler cast iron pan which I snagged for $300 and put in storage. I'm waiting for a framed floor installation to do with it. I seem to do showers in the basement, where I prefer to go with a curbless (cut out concrete on a remodel or pour the basement floor around the shower pan area and put in the slope later on new construction) so I have to wait for the opportunity to do a shower on an upper floor.

http://www.build.com/kohler-k-9025-0...C15C=500836983

The receptor I have has a very low curb. I think you probably have to head off the floor joists and it sinks in a bit.
Good information guys. When it comes to the pan, I don't need anything fancy, just something that isn't going to fail on me. I like the low threshold look, but it doesn't have to be so low that the pan needs to be recessed and sit on the joists. I should be able to get something like this for around $400-$500 (Kohler) and be done with it, right? Are there other brands out there which are just as good quality-wise but less money?

Though I plan on adding a glass door, it'd be nice if I could use a curtain for a while while I replenish my savings.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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If you want to save money and you have labor available, you should build your own pan.

If you have money and just want to spend less, then when you google the kohler receptor, there will be something that pops up and wants you to shop for other stuff or "compare to others" or something.

I don't remember what the membrane costs or the clamp on drain, etc. etc., but I would think the materials for a shower pan would be under $100.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:39 PM   #13
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Hot Mop?

I know the guys on the far coast have a hard time understanding it...but, if you are not in risk of freezing temps....hot mop is a tried and proven method.

It cost me about $200/shower to have the hot moped. All I had to do afterwards was put in my mortar base and then tile (click on the link in my signature for pics)

Besides Kerdi, your only other option is membrane....if real cold temps are not an issue, hot mop.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:51 AM   #14
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If you want to save money, I don't see any reason to tile all the way to the ceiling. But anyway, that's not the biggest money save with tile. The biggest money save with tile is the tile itself. You can get tile at $1/sf that looks perfectly fine, even in an upscale condo. So many people buy $10/sf tile that just doesn't buy them anything. Obviously, if you go to an expensive tile store, you're going to have better selection and better advice on average. But there is lots of tile at Home Depot that looks perfectly fine. Some if it is only 69 cents/sf if it's going out of stock.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:07 PM   #15
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That is valid advice. Just make sure you sort out the tile and get the different sizes in different piles before you lay them.
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