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Old 03-05-2018, 04:32 PM   #1
tango
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Hot Mop shower

Hi, I've been reading this forum for a few days now and have learned a lot. but, I need to ask the experts about about how my contractor wants to do our master bath shower. He's going to use the Hot Mop technique with Tar paper behind Hardiebacker board. It' a small shower, about 5' x 3'. I"m concerned that with so many new technologies for water proofing out there that this may be the wrong way to go, but this is the way he does it. Is this still an accepted way to do a shower (we live in California)? Or should I ask him to explore other techniques.
Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:38 PM   #2
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"Hot Mop" is pretty much limited to California....Not that it's a bad procedure, but then again the horse & buggy still works. There are many other procedures, such as the Schluter Kerdi showers that, in my opinion, are superior. Still, if you want the smell of hot tar in your house....go for it.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:19 PM   #3
evan1968
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I would find a contractor that knows the other techniques. Hot mop and tar paper is probably all he knows.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:21 PM   #4
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Well, I know about as many ways to waterproof a shower as the others and I still choose to use #15 felt paper on most of my showers. Mainly because I've tore out 60-70 year old showers that had it and it was still doing it's job. Felt paper will get brittle after many years but if left alone, it still works.

As far as the hot mop pan, I've tiled over them many times. I've also tore out a lot of them that were 25-30 years old. I think they can and sometimes do last longer than that but it probably depends if there's a preslope under them and also depends on the hot mop man.

What substrate will he be installing on the walls to bond the tile to?
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:50 PM   #5
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My main reason for avoiding a "traditional" shower and going with surface applied membrane is that I've never really seen a shower without some degree of a mold problem, unless it's new. I'm expecting to have less of a problem with mold since there is no large reservoir of water behind the walls and floor that never dries out. I knocked out my original hot-mopped shower about 2 weeks after its last use and behind the tile the bottom few inches of the wall and entire floor was still wet.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:13 PM   #6
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Joe, the only way there's a large reservoir of water under the tiles is if it wasn't installed correctly.

This can be discussed in the hang out if you want to start a thread on it. Or add on to the countless other threads that talk about it. The advice forum isn't the place for it.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:20 PM   #7
tango
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Hot Mop shower

Thanks all for the comments. I'm brand new to the site and have never done any real construction work. My wife wanted to remodel our small house (built in 1973 with original PVC or fiberglass shower pan I think), and now I'm the one that has to investigate everything.... I had no idea just how much there was to know about showers!
evan1968 I think you're correct, Hot Mop is all this contractor knows. He's a talented guy and isn't as expensive as the others we talked with, but I'm seeing now that he does have his limitations.
Lazarus and MisterJJ, I'd love to do a more modern water proofing technique, but I may be stuck with the Hot Mop method (unless he wants to try doing one of the Membrane techniques).
Thanks Davy, I feel a little better now about the Hot Mop method, though we won't be anywhere near the area when it's being done thank God!
Thank you all again for the comments and info. Great site with many talented folks contributing.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:25 PM   #8
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Chris, what substrate will he be using on the walls?
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:25 PM   #9
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Davy, I didn't mean "reservoir" in the sense of a large volume of sitting water. I meant it more as a place for water to remain for a long period of time. Once I broke the tiles off the walls I could see the waterline across the bottom of the wall and as I broke apart the base and lower wall the mortar (not sure if right word) was very damp. Weep holes appeared to be functioning but may have been somewhat plugged.

The point is that the membrane reduces the amount of water in the walls and base, allowing it to more easily dry between uses, which seems like a very good idea to me.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:17 AM   #10
tango
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Hot Mop shower

Davy, I'm assuming the substrate is Hardiebacker. I'll be seeing him tomorrow night to discuss the rest of the project and I'll find out more at that time.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:38 PM   #11
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No real need to add to what others have said as it has been covered, but I had the same discussion a few years ago on a remodel. I have done a few and never heard of the "hot mop"; however, we live in Southern California and in talking with a number of contractors I can tell you it is a common method in this area. Not sure why it is common here and nowhere else, but assume it is something that is passed down through training and people stick with what they know.

That said, we ended up doing our shower in Kerdi and I am not sure why people would choose a hot mop over that. I am sure they can clean up after, but seems much cleaner and simpler to embed the kerdi in thinset vs. having hot tar pushed around.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:58 PM   #12
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Yeah, it never made sense to me why Hot mop pans are so popular in California. As picky as they are about their air, those tar pots they pull around stink up the whole neighborhood.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:02 PM   #13
tango
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Hot Mop shower

We had the meeting tonight with our contractor, and he is doing all the prep, and floating the walls, but is subbing out the Hot Mop job to a local company he has a relationship with. My wife and I trust him and I think the Hot Mop method will be fine (but if I was doing this myself I'd probably try the Kerdi, or one of the other techniques). We won't be living in the house at that time anyway thank God, so I"ll just leave some fans for the guys to use and make sure all the windows are open!

Thanks again for all the comments. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge here, and have learned quite a bit.
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