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Old 06-13-2018, 08:27 AM   #1
zonetrap
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Another Shower Pan Question

We have an old house, building a standup shower. Everything was down to studs, carpenter used rubber roofing (And I think ice and water sheild) on the shower walls, floor, and the curb. He poured a concrete pan and attached the drain and all that (probably need to do a flood test to make sure). Added cement board to walls, and curb. I have a tile guy looking at it and he wants to put a membrane over floor and up walls and curb. I have read about moisture sandwiches, but I want to be sure.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:36 AM   #2
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What kind of rubber roofing? A shower pan is different from a roof. I'd stop production until you get this worked out. Even if he used a pan approved for a shower, he drove nails thru it when he installed the CBU on the curb. Step on the brakes!
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:57 AM   #3
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I agree, not sure what rubber roofing he used.

So putting a membrane over the walls, curb and shower floor, and then tiling on that would not help?
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
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Did he make the shower pan out of ice and water shield?

Did he put a cement slope under the pan liner?

What kind of membrane are you talking about? What brand name?

Post some pics, it would probably help us. We need more info.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:18 AM   #5
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I think he used a rubber roof, nailed it to studs and then used ice and water shield over that around the base and up the ways a bit and the curb. And then built the mud pan. but the mud pan is sloped and he tied in the ice and water shield and possibly the rubber stuff to the drain.

"What kind of membrane are you talking about? What brand name?" No idea what kind of membrane, waiting on quote. But tile guy wants to add a membrane to cover the curb, walls and floor as a precaution because its on the 2nd floor. I think my worry is, I don't want it to leak and I don't want mold trapped.

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Old 06-13-2018, 10:26 AM   #6
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Davy has this under control. I will add that if there is no preslope under whatever membrane he used for the pan, then that is reason enough to tear out and redo the pan.
If I were you I'd go ahead and pull a sheet of cbu off the wall and check to see exactly what is behind it. Unfortunately it's starting to sound like the pan needs redone and possibly pull the cbu off the walls to remove the ice and water if a membrane is to be used over the walls going forward.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:29 AM   #7
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Cement board screwed into the curb is a failure waiting to happen. Every screw penetration is a soon-to-be leak.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:34 AM   #8
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There is a preslope there.

The cement boord on curbs does worry me. That is why tile guy wants to put membrane over it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:58 AM   #9
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I took a couple pieces of the CB and this is what is under it.

My guess is its a problem. The shower pan looks great, sloped and all.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:25 AM   #10
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Looks like another esoteric shower build by someone who has no clue what they are doing. Looks like he built a shower pan liner out of self adhesive roofing membrane based on your ice & water description and black membrane we see on the curb there. This is not an approved construction method.... anywhere. It's likely a shower building method he made up himself perhaps because he had prior roofing experience. He didn't even wrap the entire curb with this stuff there is exposed wood on the front side of the curb that will get soaked after the first shower, swell up, and then pop off and crack your curb tiles as the curb slowly rots away.

Anyway that all needs to come out and the fact that your tile guy seems to be concerned is actually a good sign. Why isn't he the one building the whole shower though? Kinda weird. Anyway because the cement board doesn't appear to have been taped or thinset yet you'll be able to reuse some of the cut cement board. It looks like someone dry wall mud and painted some some of it well into the shower which you would never do. Might be okay with a direct bonded sheet membrane like Ditra going over that but not with what they were thinking. Same with building a curb from cement board which requires many fastener penetrations. Fine when using a direct bonded membrane but not with a conventional shower pan liner.

Also he clearly used way too rich a cement mix rather than drypack. It can work okay with a direct bonded membrane but not so great with a pan liner because it won't drain moisture out the way dry pack does. I'd bet those weep holes are clogged now too.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:14 PM   #11
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I remember guys would use Ice and Water shield on balconies and they wouldn't last. I can't remember exactly why but might be the acids in the cement eats away at it. Same thing would happen in a shower floor.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:42 PM   #12
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This is what he did: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/ro...base-and-floor

No ice and water shield on concrete though, my mistake there.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:02 PM   #13
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The pic in post 9 looks like Ice and Water shield to me. I've been wrong before.

If your tile man adds another membrane over what you have, he won't be able to tie it into the drain. Re-tiling is expensive. I would want all tile industry approved materials.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:15 PM   #14
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Hi Davy,
Thanks for the help here.

Can you explain why he won't be able to tie it into the drain? The drain has a cover on it now, that is screwed on. Is it because its set in the concrete?
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:46 PM   #15
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Because that is a 3 piece clamping style drain. The grate is not the only designed entrance for water in that drain. That drain also has slots in the threaded body and slots and weep holes in the clamping part of the drain at the level of the liner. The purpose for this is to give a path for water to drain from the shower pan liner (which is under that cement you see there). That is also why there needs to be a pre-slope under the liner and why you want to use dry pack instead of a rich cement mix which won't pass moisture as easily allowing the cement to stay moist longer which is a breeding ground for mildew and the odors and stains that come from that. Neither tile nor grout no cement is waterproof. Water will pass right by all these materials. Google what a shower clamping drain looks like and you'll understand how they are designed. There is no way to tie the entire clamping drain assembly to your direct bonded membrane unless you use a divot method (which is not what we see here).

With a direct bonded waterproofing membrane generally you use a non clamping drain (aka a bonding flange drain) which is designed for use with direct bonded membranes. Many manufacturers of direct bonded waterproofing systems have their own specific drain. There is a method to use a conventional clamping style drain (what you have there now) with a direct boned liquid membrane (aka the divot method) which requires creating a divot near the drain at the time creating the final mud bed. There are threads on this forum if you search but this is a more advanced method and really should only be done by pros with lots of experience working with direct bonded liquid membranes.

That black material on your curb doesn't look like a PVC liner to me. The most common PVC liner is Oatley and it is grey in color. Noble makes one that is blue. Oatley is what is commonly available at all the big box stores and what virtually everyone in the industry uses when it comes to PVC pan liners because they are sold everywhere. All these pan liners have their certification for use printed all over them so that an inspector can easily see it's an approved pan liner material. That's why I have never seen a black one. Now you can get black vinyl pond liner that is black and plain but it will not be certified for that use and a good inspector would likely fail it.

Also look how tightly bonded that black material is to the curb as if it's stuck there. It looks like that self adhesive roofing material to me to be honest. There is no way I would want that stuff in my shower at all. Regardless he didn't even wrap the whole curb and put holes all over the liner when he installed the cement board so clearly he didn't know what he was doing. With a traditional pan liner receptor you are supposed to use a mud curb because it's the only way to avoid penetrating the the liner below the 1" above threshold requirement. Most codes say the lowest penetration must be at least 1" above the threshold.

Have a look at this diagram:
http://buildingincalifornia.com/wp-c...Inspection.pdf

What you have there needs to come out. Sorry but this is a fact no matter what. You can pay now when it's comparatively cheap and easy or pay a lot more later perhaps when you get water coming through your ceiling and need to do a complete shower tear out along with ceiling work down stairs and possibly mold abatement.
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