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Old 12-16-2002, 05:31 PM   #1
adpinc
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New tile shower installation

Hi,

I'm tearing out an old shower stall with an acrylic base, and want to install a new tile base.

I've done tile job on walls and floors with cement backer board and thinset, but I've heard I need to use a mortar bed for the tiles going in as the shower base for more strength and water proof.

I'd like to know what the right approach is to creating a tile shower base so it is water proof and pitched properly towards the drain.

Again, I've tiled before; this is a new twist.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 12-16-2002, 05:53 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Greetings, Adpinc. How about a first name?

Shower floors seem to be our specialty around here. We do a lot of them. If you'll check out the search at the top right of the page, you'll hook up with others who are in varying stages of the project.

We have posted several articles in what we call the "Liberry." It's another forum. You'll see it on the main list. The foremost artical to read is the one by my friend Michael Byrne. Lots of good pictures.

Do a little reading and then come back with your questions.
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Old 12-16-2002, 06:34 PM   #3
adpinc
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Thanks! I'll take a look. First name's Allan.
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:59 PM   #4
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curved curb

Thanks for the links. I have a ton of info now. I did not realize how complex the tile shower floor is, and I'm glad I didn't start yet.

To make this a bit more complicated, I've chosen a 1/4 round shower door. The nice thing is I only have 2 walls to deal with, and I plan on using a cement backerboard approach like I did in another bathroom with a tub.

The challenge is the curved curb. It's a 36" radius. What I'm wondering is this:

1. What is the best approach to framing out the curved curb. I saw what appeared to be a pair of 2" x 4" sistered together to form the curb. Obviously, this won't do.

2. From the subfloor, how high do you make the curb? Am I right that the curb is typically 3-1/2" high (the actual width of a 2" x 4").

Any ideas to make this go easier would be appreciated

- Allan
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Old 12-16-2002, 08:54 PM   #5
Ron
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Hi Allan

The best approach for the curb would be to form it with plywood and pour concrete which will be reinforced with steel.Form it at about 3 " wide which will allow you to continue with John's mudded curb method easily.

I would set some long screws in the floor and leave them sticking out to anchor the poured concrete mix.Not the easiest approach,but the most fun
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:08 AM   #6
adpinc
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Thanks.

My original approach was going to be to use a high-quality, acrylic receptacle.

If my space were square, I think I'd do the tile, but now I think I'm going back to the acrylic. The curved shape just magnifies the complexity. I'm confident in my general tiling skills, but if I don't do the shower floor right, I'll regret it!!

Better safe than sorry...

So here's a different question:

Should I put backer board between the acrylic receptacle and the 3/4" plywood subloor, and then set it in mortar or thinset? I'll be using backerboard for the tile job on the rest of the bathroom floor and walls around the shower (I did this in another bathroom, and after 4 years, I don't have a single grout crack).

Or is setting the acrylic directly on the subfloor okay?

Seems to me that it would be a good idea to use the backerboard and thinset to make sure the acrylic has a firm base. A contractor who set a new tub for me set it in mortar, but without the backerboard.

Thanks for your help!! This website just saved me a huge amount of aggrevation. The key to a DIY is to "know your limits".
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:35 AM   #7
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Follow the installation instructions supplied with your base. They usually say to set in mortar directly on subfloor.
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:25 AM   #8
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Either way, actually.

For the benefit of anyone who might read this thread, a simplfied way to build a radius or irregular curb is to use fragments of concrete block (cinder block). You break it up with a hammer and lay the pieces like bricks, fill in the gaps with mortar. It doesn't need to be reinforced at this point.

Install the liner and then bend pieces of metal lath over liner and "sub-curb." Then mortar the curb. The lath is the only reinforcing necessary.

For radius curbs whose radius fit inside the shower you can use a stick or narrow board as the compass to keep the curb shape symetrical. For other curbs you can use a piece of wood lattice as a "batten" that can be bent around the curb to keep it fair.

Ron,

The poured method is fine too. Just a little more complicated, I think. You do have the advantage of being able to get everything just so before you mix any mud, though.
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Old 12-17-2002, 10:49 AM   #9
adpinc
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These are great ideas. My biggest concern was now trying to fold over the rubber membrane over the curved curb. It's not going to simply fold over, as when the curb is straight. You'd have to split it to fold it over, then cover the splits with more rubber membrane patches.

It concerned me that since I am not a professional, I'd introduce more harm than good in this type of installation.
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Old 12-17-2002, 05:20 PM   #10
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Allan,

I don't want to talk you into anything you don't feel competent at, but you would not have to cut the liner, at least not where it will be subject to leakage. On the inside of the curb you would be gathering it, and it will stretch a little when it goes over the top to the outside. It take's a little jacking around, but it can be done.

We can help you either way.
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:19 PM   #11
Scooter
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Since the Membrane is covered in Mud. . .

No worries about bunching the membrane, since it is covered in about 1/2" of mud.

Still worried? Go ahead and cut little triangles out at the inside of the curb (large side of the triangle up), but seam them with another strip of CPE along the base. Use a good quality membrane and fresh cement, and the primer if required. Do a wet test of the membrane and I bet it will be fine.

Some membranes have instructions as how to make inside and damn corners without folding, using this same method.
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:38 PM   #12
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John,

Do you have any pics of tiled radius curbs lying around?

Thanks,

Max
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:56 PM   #13
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I'm afraid not. It's not something you do frequently. In thirty years I can recall doing one.

I've done an "S" turn or two also, but there's not much call for that either.
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