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How to reinforce shower half wall

1068 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  JYL
Hey guys posted in the wrong place initially.

I framed in my basement shower with a half wall that a glass panel will be attached to. It is securely attached to the intersecting wall and the floor, and there is a bench framed into it that helps to make the wall more study.

But I am able to flex/wiggle the top outside corner of the wall about 1/4”-1/2” in each direction. The inside of the wall will be tiled and I am worried that this flexing will cause my tile to crack.

The wall is 36” long x 39” high. I am planning to drywall the shower and then waterproof it with Kerdi membrane. Will the drywall help make the wall more sturdy? Anything I can do to stiffen it? Maybe add a second top plate?

I attached a couple pics. Thanks!


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I don't use drywall of any kind in a shower (or bath area)! Even with Kerdi. It is better to use James Hardie 1/2" HardieBacker or (for more money), the WEDI Panel and Board but for WEDI panel, you don't need the Kerdi membrane. (Other acceptable option exist)

Reason: Even Green drywall might be damaged if their is a pin-hole in the Kerdi membrane. Sometime, when a plumber work, it might leak some water inside the wall. In my market, tilling a full shower (with seating area) will cost 3.5K to 7K. The different in price between cement board and green drywall is not worth it if you need to redo it after a minor snafu. (You still need the Kerdi Membrane with Cement board).

If you never installed any Kerdi membrane before, I will recommend you go with a different product or an "Hybrid method". For non initiated, installing Kerdi membrane is pretty difficult to work in complex angle -- like at your sitting area. So, unless you are very comfortable with the membrane product... I will go with RED GUARD. Red Guard apply like paint (you need a few coat) and work perfectly in any angle. (purchase disposable paint equipment to apply it... you won't clean them).

IMPORTANT: Just because I can't see with the picture: make sure your seat is inclined toward the shower pan at least 1/4 inch per foot. You absolutely don't want water to stay on the seat. The same is true for the shower curb.

Regarding the Knew wall: Usually, the "Drywall" or "Hardie Backer" will stiffen it. Even a WEDI Board when glue (with the WEDI system) will make it pretty stiff. The ceramic, even on a single side, will make the wall definitively stiff.

However, For some knew wall, I sometime use a 3/4 Galvanized Steel Hanger Strap from the top or the knew wall (side of the shower door) -- going in diagonal toward -- the bottom on the wall side... I turn it up 90° for 10 inch (or what ever available) on the wall itself but usually on the room side (the strap go trough the wall) so as to make it impossible to pull the screw). I screw the strap at every 2x4 on it way. You need to do it on both side (For larger knew wall, I use seismic strap).

The goal of the strap is to make sure nobody "push" or pull the knew wall (unless they really want too). The wall will still flex a little.

Shower PAN: You did not indicate the type of shower pan you intent to use. If you selected Concrete/Oakley membrane, make sure you know how to terminate the bottom of your wall. Drywall but even the Hardie-Backer board can't touch the concrete pan.

If you selected a Foam based one (Like Kerdi shower-T, WEDI Fundo or USG Durock), the method might be a little different.

Religion war: In shower installation, their is a lot of religious believed. I am sure we can write an entire bible with them.

So, if you are following the recipe from a Youtube video, make sure you understand why they do thing. This is especially important if you try to mix-and-match recipe from different installer.

I am telling you that because, usually when I build a sitting area (or soap space), I will build it on top of the shower pan often without leg (using 2x4 at 45 degree toward the wall). I never build the shower pan around the seat.

I have include a picture of a shower with a soap space. Their is no 2x4 in their... this is WEDI Board... but I will do the same if I was using wood.

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I did forgot anothers method (Because somewhat expensive).

5/8 x 8" bolt (or all thread) epoxied in concrete and a Simpson HDU16-5/8 on the stud side. You only need to do it on the stud close to the shower door.


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