Newbie Here: Bathroom Remodelling

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Old 12-06-12, 06:01 PM
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Cool Newbie Here: Bathroom Remodelling

Hey guys! I've got a few questions for you, kind of.
I need to be steered in the correct direction, I've done quite a bit of research, (probably not enough.) and even found some very helpful and similar posts to mine, but not quite.

I'm planning on tiling a shower from bottom to top. I've removed the pre-existing tiled shower, and am now left with this. From the research that I've done, everyone has pointed me to putting a vapor-barrier before setting the concrete on top of the slab, perhaps this wasn't the case?

Your advice?

^^^ Picture

Should I remove the current slab of concrete, and start fresh? How would I do that?


Thank you so much guys, your help, as I'm sure, will be incredibly invaluable in my first home.

Cheers!
 
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Old 12-06-12, 06:06 PM
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Ah, just clicked this wonderful link

How to build a shower - Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.

Would you guys recommend I first demolish the existing concrete slab?
 
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Old 12-06-12, 06:07 PM
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I don't see any reason to remove that. Have you considered a plastic pan & a surround instead?
 
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Old 12-07-12, 02:56 AM
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The Ontario Tile link you have is the best. Follow it an you won't have problems. No need to do anything to the concrete if it is grade level with the rest of the bathroom area. Sort of difficult to tell with all the demo stuff in the way. How is your drain set? What sort of plumbing do you have? PVC, Cast Iron, Copper??
 
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Old 12-07-12, 03:27 AM
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Congratulations on diving head first into a very challenging project. I'm sure you are more than a little sore from the tear out (and found some muscles you didn't know you had). The wall tile portion of the job will be challenging enough, are you sure you want to tackle a mud bed pan to boot? If this is your first time tiling, I would look into a ready made shower base. The challenge there would be the relocation of the drain rough-in's. Then you can focus all your energy on decorative wall tile and glass mosaics.

Not trying to point you in an opposite direction from your intent. But lets just say this, doing a preslope shower mud bed pan in a 3' x 3' shower with a center drain requires patience, skill and much attention to detail. Change that to a 3' x 5' shower with an offset drain, you can double or triple the expertise needed. You have to float an oval bowl and have everything slope toward a drain that is "way over there"....

Just some food for thought, either way, we will walk you through best we can.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 06:17 PM
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Would you mind sharing your recommendation for me, in both scenarios?
Also, as an FYI, the previous owner had a seat put in. Because of that, there currently is a space (nearest to me, in pic) that has no concrete base, only my foundation slab.

My next step if:

a) I remove the base

b) I keep the base and add concrete to the void.



Side note:

I'm not entirely sure what the 'grade is' in reference to your question.

I have thought a little about the plastic/fiber glass looking shower enclosures. What is your opinion then, when comparing it to tile. I thought tile looked nicer, but unless I can get some nice enclosures, then perhaps.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 07:08 AM
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I guess we can go in several directions here.

1-Use the existing concrete base in the shower area as the total SqFt area of the shower. Use the "seat" area to install a small linen closet or tall utility cabinet. You would build a wall where the concrete drops and anything to the right would be "cabinet space"

2-Can you remove the concrete without damage to the house slab? Is there a slip sheet (felt paper) underneath that portion of the shower? You will have to remove the framing to see if this is possible. You most likely will have to do some demo around the drain to accommodate the install anyway.

3-Find a suitable shower base that will fit the area. Shower Bases & Shower Pans - Showers - Bath Tubs, Showers & Whirlpool Tubs - Bath at The Home Depot Then tile and finish the walls to your liking.

4- Install a shower unit that includes ready made walls.

Each one has its own set of challenges. Sounds like a family meeting is in order so that all are in agreement with the proposed outcome.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 03:46 PM
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Unfortunately, it's just me. Just a college student who bought a big house and starting renting out rooms to tenants.

I love your suggestions Czizzi, and thanks again for the help. I would seriously be totally in the dark without your help!

In response to your response:

1 - You can't really see much of this in the picture, but unfortunately it's too small to be much of anything. It's about 1 1/2' long and 3' wide.

2- From what I can tell there is no slip sheet unless its directly under the concrete on all sides. I went ahead and removed the wooden framing, it looks like a giant piece of concrete, that's all.

3- Question about this, say I remove that concrete base I currently have, can I replace it with this, that way I don't need to make my own mud pan? Also, can I tile this? Pros/Cons vs Mud pan?

4- I'd like to leave this as a last resort, but great suggestion. Thank you so much.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 03:46 PM
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E L Mustee has nice enclosures.
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Old 12-08-12, 04:12 PM
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I've installed a couple of TileRedi shower bases. They are a bit on the pricey side but for a DIYer they are a no brainer. It's almost impossible to screw up. I put one in for a friend and it was so easy I bought one for one of my bathrooms. It took less than 2 hours to get it installed.

My only complaint is that the "accessories" are even pricier than the molded base. Especially since stuff like the flashing and epoxy thinset can be picked up at HD for a quarter of the price.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:48 AM
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If you are going to use a ready made shower base, you can make whatever adjustments you desire if you want to accommodate a closet or tall cabinet. Nothing is limiting you at this stage. I know what was there, but you do not have to put the same thing back.

My gut tells me that the shower area was a secondary pour. Based on the blocking in the stud cavities which says the pour was after framing. The main slab would have been poured before framing started.

I would choose the back corner on the drain side to experiment with removing the concrete. Eat your Wheaties, get a cold chisel, large hammer or mallet and begin chipping away. Hopefully you will get down to the original slab and you will find a layer of felt paper like you did on the topside. Wear safety glasses, dust mask and leather gloves. I say the back corner because if you can not separate the 2 concrete slabs, that area will be the easiest to fill back in. Chip out a hole 5" x 5" and let us know.

You really should cover the drain and protect it from junk getting into the drain line.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:56 AM
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You are going to need more than Wheaties to chop through that base by hand. The only way that I would remove it is if I were going to make it wheel chair accessible.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 06:55 AM
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We are just testing to see if we can remove the slab. He will have to cut eventually as most likely he will have to move the drain line. At that point, we will recommend renting heavier equipment. If it is floor mud, he should be able to get it started by hand.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 03:34 PM
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Hey guys, quick update.
I decided to take a whack at it with a mallet + chisel. After removing the wooden frame I can certainly see two types of concrete there. The one on top seems to have more rock sediment, and the bottom half seems to be more homogeneous, and very strong. The top layer easily broke off with chisel.

I'll be happy to be more helpful, you guys are awesome!
 
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Old 12-09-12, 04:05 PM
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This is good news, and will also be the last of the demo. Let us know which way you intend to proceed toward the final product given the choices above.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:07 PM
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Uploaded a new picture: Does not seem to have any felt, anywhere. I even went to the bottom of the

Can this be identified as 'floor mud'? As you can see, there are two layers. Let's say, Layer A and Layer B (Bottom).

After removal of Layer A, What is the next step exactly? I like the idea of putting in a premade 3x5 shower pan, that way I don't need to mess with the slope, and I understand that in order to do that I just need to change the position of the drain (which is something I would have to do anyway.)

My question is:

Do I remove both Layers (A and B) and start from scratch?
Do I just place my premade showerpan on top of Layer B ?(assuming I follow manf. directions.)

What I would like:

A tiled shower, floor to wall. Easy and nice as possible.
Out of the four options you gave me, I find option #3 the most likely.

I'd imagine this product

Redi Base 32 in. D x 60 in. W. Barrier Free Shower Base Right Drain-3260RBF-PVC at The Home Depot

will allow me to do what I need?
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:37 PM
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"Easy & as nice as possible"? You can forget about the easy part. That's long gone. You still have a chance at nice.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 09:25 PM
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You'll need to chip a little more away (5"x 5" square). The goal would be for the slab in the shower to be at the same height as the rest of the bathroom.

Not sure I would want you to try to tackle a barrier free shower. I would look more toward a acrylic or fiberglass shower base with built in curb and integral tile flange. You would be able to hang a door on it when through.
 
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Old 12-11-12, 02:24 PM
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I kind of imagined a sliding door, so that's fine.
I'm going to get to work on that 5"x5" square.

When you say, the slab in the shower should be the same heighth, essentially you're saying I need to completely remove the layers, yes? The slab you see is raised about 6" from the ground. If that's the case, I'll rent a jack hammer.

I'll wait on your response, thanks man.
 
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Old 12-11-12, 02:56 PM
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Clarify that we are on the same page. Is the floor of the rest of the bathroom (not shower area) concrete? If so, we need to remove the "raised" concrete so that it is at the same level as the rest of the bathroom. In other words, you could roll a ball from one end of the bath to another and it would not hit a bump or change in floor heights. Remove down to the same level as the rest of the bathroom, do not gut the entire bathroom floor slab, just the raised portion of the old shower.
 
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Old 12-11-12, 03:06 PM
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Yes, the rest of the bathroom is indeed, concrete. Ah, so it seems I have more demo work ahead of me. I'll rent a jackhammer tomorrow from home depot and get on with it then.

I'll report back with an update in a couple of days. Have a great week ladies and gents!
 
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Old 12-13-12, 01:54 PM
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Ah geez I screwed up. I'demoed almost all the concrete. I got to the PVC drain and accidentally snapped it. Hopefully its an easy repair.

I notice that the PVC pipe is leading to the drain, but its not directly below, like all the pictures I'm used to. Also, the PVC drain in its former form was not flush with with concrete slab. Which makes me wonder if the original owner raised it 6 inches because of that. So right now, I'm not sure what to do.

I'm going to continue demoing around the drain, before ky rental period is over.
 
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Old 12-13-12, 06:44 PM
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I said in the beginning that there was no reason to remove that base. Now you opened a can of worms.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 06:34 AM
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Cover the drain pipe so you don't get any debris in it. Was the only oops that you snapped the pipe, or were there issues with the concrete also?

The drain sits at the level of the tile, not the concrete so it would have been positioned higher.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 06:58 AM
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Yeah, only that.
The pvc pipe seems to be leading elsewhere, not entirely sure where.

Do you guys think I just cut open a trench so I can position the pvc pipe lower?
At this point, if I used the same parts as the previous guy, the drain will be at the same height as the base I just destroyed. I'd like it to be as close as I can to the level of the bathroom. Hopefully that's doable, not sure.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 07:11 AM
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Try to determine which way the pipe is going before you dig anymore. You don't want to break it a second time.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 10:10 AM
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Hey guys, quick update.
I've also added a new picture as well.
It appears that the pipe goes straight down after the pvc "s".

My next obstacle now, is to somehow have the drain be equiv-level of the broken pipe (as that is about the level of the concrete.)

I'm still relatively new to alot of these things, especially plumbing, do they make special pvc pipes to help me out with with this?

The original owner cut open the hard concrete slab, and put in the pvc pipe himself, he filled it with this really brittle concrete, is this fine?


http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...06393153_n.jpg
 
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Old 12-14-12, 02:57 PM
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Well, we have gotten a little more aggressive on the tear-out than suggested. Don't worry about the pipe, it had to be moved anyway to accommodate the new shower base that would have a new drain location. I assume that the trap for the old drain is below dirt level as we look at the new picture.

Lets take a breather and step back and evaluate. Get the shop vac out and clean up the whole mess and send us some wider pictures of the whole bathroom so we can see where you currently stand. The closeups you have been sending still don't give us the whole picture.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 10:05 AM
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Old 12-20-12, 11:44 AM
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I think that some wide angled pictures were requested. Go back to the other wall. Snap them from there.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 12:11 PM
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Replied with better pictures. Let me know if I can help any further! I believe I know my next plan of attack. I'll update this post in a minute.,


http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...21171751_o.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...91397359_o.jpg

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphoto...38094790_o.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...93799861_o.jpg
 

Last edited by Andy Svalesen; 12-20-12 at 12:32 PM.
  #32  
Old 12-20-12, 01:21 PM
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You have nothing to worry about, floor looks good. Everything is at the same level. Don't worry about the drain, it has a furnco coupling on it anyway. You unscrew and replace the pipes in the correct configuration to your new drain.

Now would be the time to update any in-wall plumbing in advance of the rebuild. I'll wait for your gameplan.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 01:42 PM
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Now that you have done all that, let me make a suggestion. I used a Hansgrohue shower body that remembers the temperature of your last shower. It cost $600 but it's pure luxury. Treat yourself.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 01:45 PM
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Awesome man, thanks so much!

I'm going to finish cleaning a little bit. Here's my game plan.

1) Clean up the drain, and replace.
2) Fill drain back up with stuff (Should I? What exactly was it? More info below)
3) I'm going to go with a Tile-Redi base or Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit, I hear better things about the Schluter, your suggestions?
4) I'll follow manf. instructions and continue tiling throughout the place.


Honestly I should be pretty okay from here on out, after this, I just need to follow instructions, and I should be done with this eventually.

My main questions are:

Tile-Redi vs Schluter? Schluter does come with the vapor barrier, is cheaper, but is also raised higher than a tile-redi. Not sure.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 01:47 PM
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I guess we were typing at the same time. Look at my suggestion on the shower body.
 
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Old 12-20-12, 03:37 PM
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Wow, I'll certainly look at it... the Shower head I saw that i liked was ONLY $1,800!
 
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Old 12-21-12, 05:17 AM
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I think he is renting out the room that services this bathroom, so a $600 faucet may be a bit much.

Make sure whichever pan system you choose has an offset drain. Also, dig down far enough in the dirt to verify that there is some sort of a trap in the plumbing line. If not, you will need to install one. Most one piece pans will float over the hole in the concrete. Follow installation directions for for whatever system you choose. They will let you know best practices on their system on going over a slab.

If you choose to fill in the hole with concrete, I would wrap some foam around the PVC to provide some cushion against expansion and contraction of the surrounding material.
 
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Old 12-21-12, 08:25 AM
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Thanks again for the help guys. I'll dig a little deeper with my hands later (very easy to break away)

I think I can handle it from here, I'll leave this thread open just in case.

Happy Holidays!
 
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Old 12-22-12, 05:43 AM
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Andy

The Schluter Kerdi shower is the way for you to go. You seem to be ambitious and not afraid to get your hands dirty so I cant see any reason why you cant do this project. You dont need to use the kerdi tray, you can use deck mud on the floor. If you use deck mud you have more flexibility with the drain location bench seats etc. the kerdi system also makes for a complete waterproof shower system. They have really good instructional materials on their website and you can ask questions here. The floor tile forum on this website has a few other tile guys that could answer Kerdi shower questions as well.
 
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Old 12-22-12, 04:08 PM
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I'm going to start doing a bit of delicate digging to look for a trap. I'm assuming it's something similar to a p trap. I really hope there is one, otherwise this will suuuuuck.

I may go with a 100% Schluter-Kerdi system, everything from the base to the sides. The dimensions of my shower seem to be more on the common side (3'x5') with a left drain, so I'll see how that works for me.

I read that using just regular drywall with the schluter will be more than fine for the use, vs hardiebacker board. I haven't looked at the prices, think it may be worth it?
 
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