shower floor prep for tile

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Old 05-05-09, 08:24 AM
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shower floor prep for tile

I plan on installing tile on a new shower floor. 2nd floor, plywood subfloor. I've read 2 techniques to create a waterproof base prior to tiling: 1) lay down rubber shower pan material, mud pack with appropriate slope to the drain, tile. 2) lay down plastic, lay down screening, mud pack with appropriate slope, cover with a waterproof membrane, tile.
I'm leaning towards #2, but would appreciate pluses and minuses for each approach.
Thanks, JoeP
 
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Old 05-05-09, 06:39 PM
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#1 is the way most showers are built, and of course that is wrong. #2 is more like it, but it's not as simple as it may seem. A variable of #1 can also be correct.

The thing is that a shower is a very difficult project to get right. As I said, most showers are built wrong, and I mean by pros, well people that charge anyway.

There is no method that tells you how to build a shower floor. It has to be a total system, floors and walls together.

You need to do some research is you're going to build this shower yourself, and do it right. Go to Ceramic tile installation. Shower construction, installing floor and wall tile. check out some of the articles, also visit the forum page.

If you want to build a waterproof & watertight shower, consider one that has the membrane on the surface instead of the traditional old fashion way. Check out the pics here; Picasa Web Albums - Tile 4 You Inc.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-05-09, 07:28 PM
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100% agree with Mr. Jazman. Don't take any shortcuts, you will regret it.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 07:28 AM
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Joe

I have built many many showers with your number 1 option. Actually, see Jazman's link for the complete method. The one thing I do different from that link, is that I don't use additive in my deck mud, just water. The biggest advantage of this method, is cost, as completely water tight showers cost more to build. No real downside to this method if you do it right. Follow the link Jazman gave you. It should last many years.

As to your number 2 method, I have built only a few kerdi showers. My opinion, and the opinion of most pros is that its a first class premium shower. Along with it comes the extra cost of materials, and in my experience, extra labor as well. I think Jazman builds most showers this way so he may be a little faster and more experienced with kerdi showers than me. One thing I cannot get comfortable with is using drywall in a shower, so I still use cement board with kerdi (just my preference and mindset I guess). In this economy, I can't sell this kind of shower and make money. Every job I quote these days is very tight margin wise and people simply don't have money (or don't want to spend it) for a premium shower. If you are doing this in your own house, labor cost is not an issue so you may want to spend the extra bucks on materials. Go to the Schluter site and read up on kerdi.

Both are good methods if done correctly and you can expect to get many years of use out of either one.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 01:04 PM
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A big thank you to you all. I had been considering using Kerdi for the entire shower and you have all thoroughly convinced me that is the way to go. Yup a little more expensive, but I only have one shot at this, so it must be done right. As for drywall in the shower, I'll be using CB. At least in my area, green board is no longer permitted as a backer in the shower area.
Again, many thanks to all of you for your professional advice!
JazMan, thanks for the web site links.
JoeP
 
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Old 05-06-09, 01:12 PM
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Joe

Drywall and greenboard cannot be used as a tile backer in wet areas, however it can be used under kerdi as theoretically, it will not be exposed to water. Kerdi is a total water proof system. Check out the Schluter website. The cement board is more my own personal preference. I always have concerns about plumbing leaks from the back side of the drywall that could cause damage to the drywall. Its not an issue with cement board though.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 03:06 PM
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I'm sure HeresJohnny is correct about Kerdi and drywall, but our building code doesn't allow anything other than CB under tile in wet areas. Maybe someday it will make an exception for Kerdi.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 04:37 PM
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Cement board in a shower floor?

Inspector? Who needs inspectors....pfffft
 
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Old 05-06-09, 05:42 PM
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I LOVE IT. " Inspectors? We don't need no stinkin' inspectors"
 
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