Shower Build - please offer tips

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Old 01-27-14, 05:24 AM
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Shower Build - please offer tips

Looking for general advice as this shower build progresses. Building a 9w x 4d x 8h shower. Contractor is handling build but I would like so pointers to watch for.

Some details on the plan:

-floor has been pre-floated already
-treated lumber used
-ceiling to be tiled as well as walls/floor
-shower floor is raised up to get slope to sewer line
-top of knee wall to have glass almost to ceiling (12" gap for ventilation)
-glass door in matching height

General observations appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-27-14, 05:36 AM
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Sorry for the minimized image. Hopefully my comments offer enough info so far.
 
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Old 01-27-14, 05:45 AM
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Are you going with a traditional pan liner or one of the specialty systems? Pay particular attention to how your contractor plans to finish both the knee wall top and the window area. Both are potential failure areas. On the knee wall, I would plan on a piece of marble that overhangs both finished sides by 3/4" and is positively sloped so that any water sheets to the shower side. The slope will not effect the glass panel in anyway. Same idea can be used at the window. While you can tile, a continuous piece of marble without grout lines will be the most water tight. I would also consider taking the membrane up and wrapping into the window. Sealing the membrane as well as sealing the marble shelf for double protection.

Should also have some blocking in between studs on the knee wall to hold up the pan liner.

The make super quiet fan/light combos that can be located inside the shower area to dissipate moisture. While your tall glass panel will add some beef to the overall look, the height is not necessary (most tubs/showers are only 6 feet high). Some have hooked the fan/light combo in the shower to a wall timer so that it runs for a length of time after and shuts off on its own. The more moisture you can vent, the less mold/mildew issues down the road.
 
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Old 01-27-14, 01:13 PM
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Failure prone points noted. Single, sloped marble surfaces noted . Extra knee wall support noted.

The glass height is undecided right now because we were thinking of a steam room option in the future (glass to ceiling) but are dissuaded because of various problems associated with them - mold, $$$$, infrequent use.

~~~~~~~~~~

There will be a 12d x 18h x 48w bench made from concrete block on the inside under the shower head. The shower head protrudes out 18" so bench should not be an obstacle.

Floor tiles will be 6x6 with 2x2 closer to drain. Wall/ceiling tiles will be 12h x 24w.

Inside of knee wall will be tiled / outside will not.
 
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Old 01-27-14, 01:32 PM
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There isn't much to comment in that pic yet. I am concerned of a few things too.

The window for sure. One other thing is that they used pressure treated lumber. That is not a good thing. Also wondering how it's gonna be waterproofed (if it will) etc. Slabs of marble or granite helps, but does not waterproof sills, shower curbs or knee wall.

Need more and better pictures along with detailed description of what's being done and specific names of materials used. Gotta feeling this work is being done by someone who calls himself a carpenter.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-27-14, 01:57 PM
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JazMan - thanks for the observations. Why not pressure treated lumber? And what material would be preferable?

I will be adding material info shortly.
 
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Old 01-27-14, 04:19 PM
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Michael,

Pressure treated is never used for indoor use. The wood contains too much moisture and will distort as it acclimates. You're supposed to used good quality regular kiln-dried lumber. It's a fact most tile setters with any experience know.

Waiting for pictures too.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-27-14, 04:23 PM
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What the others have observed......of course there is no preslope, no 2x12's inside the stud bays at the bottom to accept the pan liner, and no packed slope on top. Not sure if that is in your plans, but it is needed, if you are not installing a factory pan. The window will be a special "leak" place that will need attention. Pressure treated wood is only used for concrete contact. The remainder of the wood will dry and warp/skew causing problem down the road with your backer, and potentially with the wall tile. Using SPF lumber for the studs is acceptable.

I just finished a similar shower for a client and used back to back bullnose on top of the 2x4 wall (I note yours is 2x6, so it is different). The seam between the bullnose is where the glass guy will put the glass wall, and it is more in the middle of the wall so it hides the seam and is sealed against leaks at that point. The bullnose protrude a little from the edge of the wall to give a good drip edge.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 06:57 AM
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These tips have greatly helped my to guide my GC.

-Stud bays supports will be added
-Durock will be used wherever possible
-Window/kneewall/step will receive waterproofing membrane
-marble sills with positive slope and 5/8 overhang
-all tiles above floor level will be 12x24 to minimize grout

Pics to follow - continuing suggestions greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 01-29-14, 07:08 AM
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One large concern is how will the GC handle the slope to the drain. No mention so far. Good reading: How to build a shower - Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 01:10 PM
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-Roofing membrane added around window and knee wall.
-2x6s added to support liner.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 01:15 PM
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The drain slope on the concrete liner is 1.5" from drain to short wall (4.5' away).
 
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Old 01-29-14, 01:50 PM
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A little wimpy on the 2x6's (2x10's) as the liner runs 9 " up the wall, but better than nothing. You want the membranes that already are up to overlay (to the inside) of the pan liner you have yet to install. You may have to add a supplemental layer to shingle the results. I also run a layer of roofing felt shingled up the walls to aid in sheeting any moisture that gets behind things. Also, being an exterior wall, that may be of assistance in your case.

Test your walls with a 72" level now and check the studs. the large format tile you are using requires a super flat surface. Any waves will wall will cause headaches during the install.

Gut is telling me that the curb should be one stack higher, but not there to see for sure. Figure that the final slope on top of the liner will be a min. 1" thick (prefer 1 1/4") and there should still be a lip to the curb top.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 02:07 PM
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If the slope is already there, where is the liner? Are you planning on a final slope from drain to edges?
 
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Old 01-29-14, 02:52 PM
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The distance from the top of the concrete to the top of the curb is 2.5". I'm guessing the liner pan + mortar + tile = 1". Would be cool to remove that top 2x4 on the curb.

Other picture is of the screw in drain. It is screwed into the fully down position. Next the liner will come in, followed by tile. Yes, next slope comes on top of this. There's an opportunity to take out some of the pitch which is kind of sharp right now. I think I'd like about 1" over 4.5'.

Waterproofing is not done yet.

Walls checked with level. Durock will hopefully install smoothly as there are not any wobbles.
 
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Old 01-29-14, 05:39 PM
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We usually make the curb 3 high not two. Is this concrete we're looking at already sloped at least 1/4" per ft? So, membrane next then the final deck mud and then tiles? No way is 1" enough, gonna be more.

What's with the tarpaper? Tar paper is not a waterproofing. Will you be using a surface waterproofing method, if so which method?

Is the curb with pressure treated still solid? Is that a 2x6 on end under that knee wall?

Jaz
 
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Old 01-30-14, 02:23 AM
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Concrete is sloped at 1/4" per foot currently. Membrane to follow and then mud/tiles.

Roof sealing membrane was used (more to come) for the problem areas noted (sills, corners). These will hang into the pan. Is this not a viable water barrier? Is extra sealant needed?

2x6 in knee wall is cut sections of 2x6 in the stud bay - placed on top of long base 2x4.
 
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Old 01-30-14, 05:50 PM
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OK so, the shower pan will be installed over this which is right when using the traditional method. The membrane will create humps by the folds, what's the plan for that? Then you're gonna nail/screw the backer, holes all over, not waterproof anymore. How you gonna remedy that? How will you build the curb?

Why not just use surface waterproofing and therefore make it waterproof?

Some of pics don't show what I wanted to see.

Sorry to bring all these things up. I don't know your skill and experience level. Just trying to keep you from making too many mistakes. I would never build a shower this way.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-30-14, 06:06 PM
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Jaz

I'm gonna have to part ways slightly with your methodology. This is a traditional mud bed. If your MO is to hot mop or brush on a membrane then we are not on the same page. There will be no screws through the membrane. I'm not following your objections.

OP has a pre-slope which will be overlayed with a pan liner and then an additional mud bud (1 1/4"): which will be installed above it. This I support. The mud be will be feathered back to the drain at around 3/8" thickness, the weep holes not obscured or blocked.

I think that the window area needs additional waterproofing - OP has addressed. I think that the curb needs to be higher, OP will discuss with GC on the job. I see nothing as a gross failure that should prevent the build from going forward.

Different ways to waterproof a shower. Red Gard or other is not the only way to proceed.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 03:52 AM
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Z, not stealing Jaz' thunder, but I don't think for a minute he was advocating a tar proofing. He will clarify, but it is certain he was suggesting the use of a Ditra floor and Kerdi wall systam. It would be totally waterproof at that point. We'll see.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 07:03 AM
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Liner has been laid - filled with water yesterday. No apparent leakage.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 07:06 AM
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Another angle. More to come today.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 10:16 AM
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Michael,

Maybe it's my eyes, but do you have a better camera? I'm missing lots of details.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 10:36 AM
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Hi Czizzi,

Originally Posted by Czizzi
I'm gonna have to part ways slightly with your methodology. This is a traditional mud bed. If your MO is to hot mop or brush on a membrane then we are not on the same page. There will be no screws through the membrane. I'm not following your objections.
No way would I ever consider a hot mop membrane. I think it's a goofy way to waterproof inside a home. Plus how do they fasten the lath if you have a seat for example? How about the holes made by the CBU? You have to go back and apply a surface membrane.

I believe surface waterproofing such as Kerdi is the best method. There are others such as liquid applied Redgard & Hydroban. I still like Kerdi although it takes more time and costs more than most others.

Originally Posted by Czizzi
OP has a pre-slope which will be overlayed with a pan liner and then an additional mud bud (1 1/4"): which will be installed above it. This I support. The mud be will be feathered back to the drain at around 3/8" thickness, the weep holes not obscured or blocked.
I know what he's got. The pre-slope is in therefore the deck mud will be the same thickness throughout. It will not be tapered near the drain. Anyway, even if it needed to be tapered, 3/8" over the membrane is way too thin.

I wonder if he knows how to keep the weep holes clear and where to apply the silicone?

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Chandler
not stealing Jaz' thunder, but I don't think for a minute he was advocating a tar proofing. He will clarify, but it is certain he was suggesting the use of a Ditra floor and Kerdi wall systam. It would be totally waterproof at that point. We'll see
Thanks for clarifying before I could reply myself.

Kerdi for waterproofing a shower, floor and walls. It's a system installed with the Kerdi Drain etc.

Ditra is used outside the shower on floors in bathrooms, kitchens, car dealerships, you name it.........

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 11:49 AM
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The weep holes are under the membrane around the drain assembly, right? Those need to stay free and clear to collect water that finds its way under the membrane? So, the silicone attaches the membrane's drain hole to the drain but should not interfere with the weep holes, right?
 
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Old 01-31-14, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael
The weep holes are under the membrane around the drain assembly, right?
NO! The weep holes are on top of the membrane, there's no water under the membrane.

Those need to stay free and clear
Yes they have to stay clear cuz plugged weep holes do nothing.

So, the silicone attaches the membrane's drain hole to the drain but should not interfere with the weep holes, right?
Ah...not sure what you just said. Go look here, then ask more questions here.

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

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 04:16 PM
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Anyway, even if it needed to be tapered, 3/8" over the membrane is way too thin.
Jaz - You are correct, my goof as I got my pre and post slope confused. The pre-slope is feathered to match the rough in height of the drain. However, I also slope my 2nd mud bed which is on top of a sloped pre-slope so that all flows toward the drain, whether from the top or through the weeps.

I believe the OP is having a General Contractor do the work, he is merely doing his due diligence in making sure they do a good job by educating himself and watching the build.

I think the OP sees what I meant when I mentioned that the blocking (2x6) was a little wimpy.

The pictures remind me, I have to buy a new 2" balloon as mind won't hold a charge anymore.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 04:21 PM
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Jaz, thanks for the clarification.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 04:31 PM
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Czizzi,

I don't recall, but I thought you did some Kerdi showers? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

Right, a bonded to concrete 3/8" pre-slope at the drain is fine. 1 1/4 - 2" around the walls.

So, if your pre-slope is tapered 1/4" per ft. and you also taper the top deck mud, what is your final slope per ft?

I know Michael has a GC, that makes me nervous for him.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 04:39 PM
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Yes, I have a GC - which is why I am here. Just want to make sure things go well.

I see that the membrane ran 12" up the wall. I actually call our local inspector who told me 3" is code and it cannot be higher than 9". Why? I don't know.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 04:52 PM
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So, if your pre-slope is tapered 1/4" per ft. and you also taper the top deck mud, what is your final slope per ft?
Jaz - Its just slightly greater than the 1/4" ft. I cut my own wedges and use them as guides. Four wedges from drain to corners and four from drain to sidewalls. I pack the mud in between and remove the wedges one at a time and fill the void. But the double/double slope gives me piece of mind that all is sloped toward the drain.

I thought you did some Kerdi showers?
No, I have cheap customers.... JK Haven't done Kerdi, but have done a number of roll in showers with trench drains. They are really awesome and have promised the wife that she could get one if I win the lottery someday. (of course you actually have to play the lottery to win, but that is another story).
 
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Old 01-31-14, 05:12 PM
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Michael,

The liner on a traditional shower should not be lower than 3" above the finished curb. No idea why you were told it shouldn't go higher. There's a misunderstanding there, I'm pretty sure.

Czizzi, With the Kerdi system the tile man's portion costs the customer more, but they don't have to pay a plumber to install the pre-slope, pan and drain which in many cases is done wrong by the plumber. In the end the difference isn't as much as you may think, but it's completely waterproof and watertight.

I think a Kerdi shower is worth about $600-800 more, Mike Holmes always said they're worth about $1,200 more. But that's in Canada where they didn't participate in the last recession.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 05:41 PM
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but they don't have to pay a plumber to install the pre-slope, pan and drain which in many cases is done wrong by the plumber
Jaz - I do it all myself, as I too think that the plumber doesn't know squat about requirements for tile. If I have a permit and need to work with a plumber, we stage everything so that I bear the weight of the final inspection on the rough-in so the plumber is off the hook. Rough me in a drain and hit the road, I got the pre-slope and liner.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 06:07 PM
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Doesn't matter that you did the pre-slope & pan, I used to do some myself too. It has to be done. Often The plumber was involved and is why I said that.

After awhile, some plumbers around here decided they were not gonna do shower pans anymore. That's a good thing. In all the years I sold, ripped out and installed showers, I saw "zero" number of showers that were done with a pre-slope before I arrived on the job, for example. Plumber here are not required to follow IRC code or common sense either. That's why I only do Kerdi showers.

If people want it done right and I convince them, fine. Otherwise they'll have some hack install tile over GB or Durock with bubble gum and do it for $500 or so less and in a few years wonder what went wrong again.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 06:26 PM
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Otherwise they'll have some hack install tile over GB or Durock with bubble gum and do it for $500 or so less and in a few years wonder what went wrong again.
While it pains me to say, those guys are good for business.......Be well Jaz, we are on the same page and have a similar work ethic. I like that
 
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Old 01-31-14, 06:33 PM
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For the record where in VA are you? I'm in Troy MI which is 8-10 miles north of Detroit.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-31-14, 06:40 PM
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Born and bred in Buffalo NY but now Located in Southeastern Virginia (Yorktown). Have posted many times that I live one mile from where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington to end the Revolutionary War. Drove past the Battlefields today to get to the job site. Have 9 bathroom remodels in progress at a local waterfront hotel. The view is magnificent.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 09:41 AM
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So, thanks to the suggestions here, I found a better installer to finish the job. Here are some pictures as they progress. I would still appreciate continuing advice.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 09:45 AM
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Here we are a few days later. Durock has been treated with waterproofing agent.

The knee wall was strengthened with concrete anchors and tapcons.
 
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