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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unsure whether to post in Construction, Plumbing or Flooring:

Case History: Townhome, Built in 2000 (we just bought end of May), walkout basement never finished. Bathroom drains were plumbed during initial construction. We just spent the last five weeks finishing the basement, last thing to do was the bathroom. The original plumber or construction crew installed the toilet drain and shower drain 17 1/2 on center from edge of concrete wall. Our plumbers came in and said we had to move toilet drain or toilet would sit 5" away from the wall (or something close to that) and would look funny and the shower drain wasn't situated appropriately. Additionally, they were concerned about the clearance of the vanity, shower, and toilet - so moving both lines allowed for code clearance, ease of movement (getting in/out of shower), etc. They jackhammered out existing toilet drain and shower drain and moved appropriately. They then filled in everything with original clay, gravel, etc. Quickrete Mortar & Concrete. I'm unsure if they reinstalled any plastic-type barrier (husband didn't ask). We do not have a sump pump. Plumber is doing work for 'free' as my husband has done their IT work for many years at no cost - so this is a trade in labor - so not a situation where they're making work for pay.

1) Should we be concerned that the original plastic liner underneath foundation/over existing gravel/clay has been torn away and there is no plastic under this new section of concrete in terms of future water seepage? A plastic angled shower unit base has been installed and all of the support legs are sitting on original concrete - not the patch.

2) The patch for the toilet drain: How long do I need to let things set/cure before I can tile over the patch and original concrete? *I am planning to install 18x18 travertine tiles over the patch and the remaining original concrete floor. Had hoped to lay tile yet this week but I'm unsure if we should be waiting for a period of time. Weight of new toilet will obviously be sitting over the new toilet drain/concrete.

*We are a little pressed for time in that we've rented the room and need to finish the bathroom for renter. That said, long term success of bathroom and floor is more important - so I'm trying to decide best plan of action for this new bathroom floor.

3) I've never laid travertine over slab concrete floor - just used cement board over wood (on above grade rooms). I assume we should use a good layer of the mortar so the tile adheres well and try to make the tiles as level as possible (quarter slide) - but is there anything special we should know about in terms of installing tile on slab concrete/basement floor?

As with most posts on this site - time is of the essence, so hopefully someone can offer advice as soon as possible. Many thanks!


Retired Moderator
25,770 Posts
Lots of questions----The 17 1/2 inch placement of the toilet opening from the foundation is typical placement for a 2x4 framed wall in front of the foundation. Your new hole location means that the concrete foundation is now your finished wall?

As to the vapor barrier missing at the excavated area---not a worry,you will be fine.

The new concrete need to cure at least 48 hours before setting your floor.

18x18 travertine will require a very flat floor or you will end up with lippage.

Use a self leveling compound with a primer if the floor is not flat.

!/2" x 1/2" trowel---white modified thinset and leveling clips will yield the best floor---
If you are not familiar with leveling clips ---look here.
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