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Old 11-18-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
msamyn
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Alpine Mike's First Kerdi Shower Project

Hello,

First time Kerdi user and I have a huge problem at the floor drain. I carefully mudded in the membrane but unfortunately I somehow missed fully filling in the drain area and thus had air pockets over the flange area. I really felt I could not possibly leave it that way and decided to cut out the bad area and install a patch. Minimum overlap in the Kerdi is 3 inches and 5 inches elsewhere as you'll see from the pictures. This time I think I have a good solid seal but would like opinions on my approach.

Also there is now a step because of the overlaid Kerdi which may be an issue when laying the 2x2 tiles.

So, before I go any further I would appreciate any opinions on the fix and advice about how to deal with the Kerdi build up near the edge of the patch.

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Last edited by jgleason; 11-19-2010 at 05:55 AM. Reason: readability
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Mike, I think it was a good call to fill in those air pockets. In my opinion, your patch looks fine and should be watertight. To deal with the buildup just mix a wee bit of thinset and use the backside of your trowel to feather out from the edges of the patch a bit. I doubt it will be too big of a deal. Did you flood test it? I would.

Looks good.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:04 PM   #3
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I probably would have just done the whole floor if I had the material to avoid the buildup, but it doesn't do any good to Monday morning quarterback your work, so,

as long as you have the 2" overlap you'll be fine. Skim coat some thinset from the overlap out about a foot or so, or to the wall if it's close enough. The key is to keep it thin, about the same as the thickness of the Kerdi, then the floor will be more uniform. Make sure not to lose the slope of the floor while skimming.

Edit: what Mike said, since he types faster, or at least doesn't try to watch TV while reading and answering posts.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:17 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for your comments. I was thinking the same... feather out some thin set from the patch to even things out. So good I will do that.

Question: What is a flood test?
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:25 AM   #5
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Plug the drain (you can get a drain plug from HD for a few bucks) Make sure it's plugged really tight. Dump a few buckets full of water into the shower. I like to get it pretty full. Mark some lines on the walls where the water line is. Let it sit for a day or 2 or 3. Check around walls on opposite rooms of shower and under floor if possible for any signs of leaking.

Whenever we do a shower in a new home we're required to pass a flood test inspection. Mostly it's just good for piece of mind though. I've never had a kerdi shower leak but you never know.

Edit: Make sure your thinset is good and dry under the kerdi before you do the flood test. 24 hours or so is usually good.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Depending on which plumbing code applies in your jurisdiction there may be specific requirements for a flood test (aka a "shower liner test"). (Presuming, of course, that you've applied for a building permit and are having your work inspected.) In my fair city we use the International Plumbing Code; the requirement under the IPC is to plug the drain, fill the shower with water to a minimum depth of 2 inches measured at the curb, wait for 15 minutes, and check for a drop in the water level or evidence of leakage. (See http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...-P-2009-000019 for the details.)

I personally opted for a 24-hour flood test just to be sure; the last thing I wanted was to have any issues with water leakage after installing mucho expensive tile. I saw some evidence wicking of water into the Kerdi seams, but no leakage, so I have confidence that my shower is indeed water tight. FYI, some wicking at the seams appears to be a normal artifact based on input from the pros here.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:38 AM   #7
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Mark & Tony,

Well - I would have not considered the flood test w/o you mentioning it. But now that you have I plan to do the test tomorrow after I'm sure the thin set is good and dry.

2 inches of standing water - wow, Yep if that doesn't test it nothing will. I am doing this job on an old second floor condo with no way to look for leaks until it's expensive - if you know what I mean so a water level mark is my only check. I assume you guys use a large rubber plug jammed into the drain. I will look for that today.

I will be as nervous as a cat in a dog pound for the first few minutes and will not leave the site while the test is in progress.

Great advice and I will write you back on the results. You're right - I will feel a whole lot better knowing its water tight before a dump $$ into the tiling process.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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You can find test plugs at Home Depot or Lowes that will do the trick (similar to http://www.simplyplumbing.com/joness...s-t31-004.html), or you can opt for a test balloon (see http://www.simplyplumbing.com/cherne...i-270-024.html); the advantage of the balloon is that you also check the connection between the drain and the pipe.

Your profile doesn't list your location, but if you're close to Nashua, NH you can borrow my 2-inch test ballon.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #9
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Hi Tony,

Sorry my profile is not complete. I'm in east county San Diego but thanks for the offer. I may just go for the balloon plug if my store has it. What's $20 when you're spending all the time and money to get it right.

As I said I'll let you guys know how things go.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:02 PM   #10
jadnashua
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If the relative humidity is really low or you leave it for days, you will get some evaporation. Overnight is more than enough.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:05 PM   #11
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Mike, I always get a little nervous and excited when I dump 3 5 gallon buckets full of water into my showers for a test. That's part of the thrill of being a tile guy I guess

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #12
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Mark and Jim,

Thanks for piping in. Bought the plug and it's in place now with water ONLY over the Kerdi drain to test its tightness and seal. I dump 2 inches of water tomorrow.

Will Let You All Know - You Guys are Great!
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
Mike, I always get a little nervous and excited when I dump 3 5 gallon buckets full of water into my showers for a test.
You really need to get out more, Mark.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #14
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Tell me about it.

Ever wonder how many showers one of your customers will have to take to spend as much time in their shower as you have?
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #15
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Smile

Tony and Mark

OKAY! - It's been well over 24 hours since I flooded my Kerdi shower floor and not one thousands of an inch drop in the meniscus line of the water level at my two inch mark. And as you can see my rubber ducky is still happily floating along too. Pulling the stopper plug in the two inch pipe just below the Kerdi drain caused one heck of a swish of water that must have really flushed the trap!

Thanks to you guys I feel a whole lot better about the patch I installed as well as the entire Kerdi water proofing job. I would have never had tried that without your advise.

I am sure I will have more questions about laying the tile but will start a new thread for that.

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Best Regards and Thanks Again
– Mike
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Last edited by Brian in San Diego; 11-21-2010 at 02:24 PM.
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