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Old 05-31-2017, 09:07 PM   #1
greenjp
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Another Jeff's shower project

Howdy folks,
I'm redoing the master bathroom shower in my place, as the original shower started to fall apart. House is 18 years old, the shower was what I'd call the standard 4" square tiles installed directly onto drywall with no waterproofing. We had an intermittent leak into the ceiling in the living room below for a couple years. I tore the entire thing down and am building it back up from the studs and bare floor.

It's an alcove type shower, originally with a 48x34 Florestone pan. I've elected to do the new shower with a Wedi base, curb, and walls. I am fairly handy, more so in the garage and fixing appliances than construction type stuff, and the Wedi system seemed to me to offer the best combination of ease for a DIYer, fool proofness, and the base can be pretty easily made to fit the space and drain location, unlike the other tile-able pans I saw. I've been emailing with Bastian from Wedi a lot over the last month or so as I get ready for the job. He is very helpful and patient!

At this point I'm still getting the space ready for the Wedi base & wall install. The next step is to shim & trim the studs to get them level, install the kick plate blocks along the floor, and do a bit of levelling of the subfloor. Planning to use Henry Feather Finish for that part. The subfloor is solid but peaked a bit so I'll build up the edges to keep the pan from teetering. It only needs ~1/8" down to 0" for a bit on the edges. But of course I'm thinking of the next steps and have a few questions:

- I'm planning to tile the curb, and wrap the tile from the shower to the adjacent perpendicular walls. I'd like to use the Schluter (or equivalent) round edge profiles on the curb and the exterior corners. Are the PVC types OK for this, or should I plan to use the aluminum ones? There will be a sliding door on top of the curb. I ask because the PVC is about 1/4 the price.

- To fit the base, I have trimmed 1" from the back wall side to get the drain to line up. A matching 1" trim on the curb side, along with trimming down the curb from the standard 4.5" width to 3", will allow me to get the outside of the curb to line up with the adjacent walls, which I think will look nice and make extending the tiling out of the shower easier, not to mention keep the shower floor symmetric about the drain. However one of the adjacent walls is a bit closer to the back wall ,so i'll need to build it out by 1/4". Home Depot carries 1/4" regular drywall, but not the water resistant stuff. Is that OK to use in this sort of application? I'll put a few coats of Kilz on it. It'll eventually be tiled up to about 3' up from the floor, with a 2-3" strip of bullnose up along the edge adjoining the shower to the ceiling. Paint on the rest.

Thanks,
jeff
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:08 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Jeff

I read through, but I didn't see a question.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
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Ha, yes perhaps too much narrative and not enough to the point

Questions:
- OK to use the PVC type of Schluter RONDEC profile on the top of the shower curb and shower to exterior wall corners? Or would it be better to use the aluminum type?
- OK to use regular drywall on the adjacent walls to the shower? I need to "thicken" one wall by 1/4" and can't seem to find the green stuff in 1/4". I'd paint it with a few coats of Kilz. The corner adjoining the shower will be tiled, as will the wall from the floor up 2-3', the rest painted. I should also have enough Wedi board left over to use that on the lower portion for several inches.

Thanks,
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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1. Either is fine, but personally I'm a fan of solid surface for on top of curbs like a quartz or granite. It makes for a cleaner easier to maintain surface.

2. Regular drywall is fine
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:25 PM   #5
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Slowly working on the project. 3 kids and a convenient spare shower impeding progress! Here's a picture from just after I tore down the walls and removed the moldy insulation:
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And here it is now with the remainder of the drywall pulled, old acrylic/fiberglass base removed, new insulation, cut the drain pipe flush, and some additional framing in prep for putting up the new Wedi wall boards. Wedi requires a kick plate around the bottom perimeter, and I took the liberty of adding some framing in between some studs that were pretty far apart. I treated the mold on the studs, which were otherwise still in good shape, but didn't bother with a deep clean for the stains.
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My next step is to finish up the last bit of framing repairs in the lower right corner there (water had gotten out, probably through the screw holding the old door frame on), sand the subfloor, and put down a bit of feather finish in a few spots to even things out and fill in some small divots. I'm feeling reasonably good about getting the Wedi base, walls, and curb up in the next couple of weeks.

Thinking way ahead, to when the shower is done and I'm moving on to the floors, I have some questions about the existing floor. It appears to be vinyl or linoleum, a single sheet for the entire bathroom which is about 60 square feet. As seen in these two pictures, it's installed on what appears to be a thin underlayment of wood of some kind of less than 1/4" thickness. This thin wood was stapled to the subfloor, which is a 5-layer plywood ~3/4" thick. I used a small saw and cut a strip of this out to accomodate the slightly larger dimensions of the new shower:
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My questions are:
1) what exactly am I looking at here?
and what are my options for tiling this space:
2) tile right over the existing floor?
3) put down something like Ditra over the existing floor then tile?
4) put down a 1/4 backer board, then Ditra, then tile? Or do that but skip the Ditra?
5) tear out the vinyl, then use option 3 or 4 and tile over the subfloor + ~1/4" underlayment?
6) tear out both the vinyl and underlayment, then use option 3 or 4?

If I do need to tear out the vinyl (and underlayment), any tips? The small strip I did pull out was a PITA. I cut through the vinyl with a utility knife but it didn't pull up cleanly as the glue was pretty persistent. Ended up sawing through both with a little saw, then using a chisel from the side to pop it up. Obviously I'd like the easiest/least effort approach that will provide a good looking and durable result, but would like to understand the trade space so to speak. Thanks,

jeff
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:04 AM   #6
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Welcome, Jeff.

Number 6. The Lauan plywood has gotta go. I know of no easy way to remove it, but a wide blade on a medium hammer-drill will help. For a CBU installation you can usually just hammer down the staples that don't wanna come out with the plywood.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:06 AM   #7
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I had that in my bathroom - the 1/4" lauan plywood was stapled about every four inches but not glued, so I cut the flooring into big squares with a circular saw set to 1/4", used a pry bar to rip them up, then spent most of an afternoon with a pair of pliers pulling out the staples...

...and several days later decided to replace the entire subfloor anyway :/
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:48 AM   #8
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Any plans on raising that shower head?

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Old 06-14-2017, 09:14 AM   #9
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Haven't planned on it. It's almost 7' up, I'm 6'3" and it's pretty comfortable as is.

jeff
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:20 AM   #10
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Something to consider is your finished shower floor will likely be 3-5" higher, and a new shower arm and shower head may reach down lower. In our case, the new (larger) shower head, which replaced one like you have in your picture, ended up about six inches lower.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:36 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input. That shower head is staying put, it's a glorious solid brass sucker without a flow restrictor for maximum pressure & flow. Not quite like Kramer's but it's great. I've used many fancy showerheads in other people's homes and hotels and this silly thing remains my favorite.

I expect the floor to be just a bit higher than the old Florestone pan. The Wedi pan is 1 9/16" at the perimeter, which is about the same. Figure 3/8-1/2 for the mortar underneath, and 1/2" for the mortar and tile. Maybe 2" higher max.

jeff
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:37 PM   #12
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Chris,
I've thought about the shower head a little bit more, and I think you may be on to something so am considering raising it up a bit, maybe 5" or so. The existing pipe from the valve up to the showerhead is 1/2" nominal copper. I think the easiest way to add some length would be with a section of PEX and a pair of push fit couplers. Any thoughts on that?
If I do go that route, would it make sense to use 3/4" PEX and the 1/2"-3/4" reducing couplers to avoid a flow restriction through the narrower ID PEX?

Thanks,
jeff
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:56 PM   #13
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Why not just extend the existing copper by sweating in a piece with 2 unions? Quick, cheap, easy, and you can sleep easy once the wall is closed up. Also, no flow restriction with narrower pipe and you don't have to play with adapters.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:17 AM   #14
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I would agree with Jeff (Gozo) except that you don't need or want any unions in that line. A new drop el and one coupling with your pipe extension sweated in would do the job just fine.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #15
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I hadn't ever sweated copper before my shower renovation. It's really not difficult and there are tons of videos to show you how. The tools and supplies are pretty cheap too.

The drop el is thicker and brass so takes a lot longer to solder but you can do that part outside, and then bring the finished shower riser piece back in the house to solder into place.
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