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Old 10-19-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
reilinjw
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Question Newb looking to take it all on....(Schulter shower system)

Hello,

Well..... We have decided to re-tile our shower and tub and while we are at it i figured we could widen our shower just a little bit (a foot or so) to have a full 4ft square floor.

We currently have a preformed shower pan and i am trying to talk myself into a tiled floor in the shower and to use the schulter shower system. I am just having a hard time convincing myself that i can do this. I have tiled before, but it was a small room and wasnt really that big of a deal - but i have to admit that i am intimidated by the membrane and drain portion of the install (ok, mostly the drain).

Since i am widening the shower, i am going to move the drain the 6" or so over to ensure it is centered along with re-centering the shower fixtures. Hoping that really isnt that big of a deal, as the house is all plastic piping...

Few quick questions before i pull the trigger...
Is this kit really a "Do it yourselfer"?
Which kit do i need, PVC i imagine?
How far up the walls should i go with the membrane (shower head height or all the way up?)
Because we are using the membrane, do i still have to purchase the mold resistant drywall?
Do the walls have to be done before the floor?

I really dont have much of a plan, just sort of winging it at the moment, although i am trying to get all my ducts in a row.

I am going to purchase the Schulter shower book and hopefully that will answer many of my questions

One other question (i know i am asking alot here)... Does anyone know what the standard distance a shower needs to be away from a light switch? I am moving the shower a foot closer... I imagine it will still be 1.5 feet away, just not sure if that is enough.

For the rest of the bathroom floor - i was planning on using the Ditra - as i was not a huge fan of the backer board and do like the idea of the "floating" floor. Any comments/suggestions on this would be helpful as well.

Thanks for any assistance you can offer... I know this was a bit of rambling.

John
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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hey john

back in august the installer i work for had to do a kerdi shower and ditra floor.

we were not big on the unmodified thinset use. its hard to get all the airbubbles out from behind the kerdi. the drains weird to setup the only nice thing is its square. We were not big on it, but we followed the directions to manufacters specs and the job turned out amazing. homeowner was thrilled!

Ditra my boss loves and now we use it alot. i dont like it but he does.

the reason he didnt like the kerdi was because he usually built old fashioned wetbed wall showers or mud showers where u float your own walls and make em dead plumb and square with your mud. There are others on this site that love the kerdi install.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:05 PM   #3
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welcome, John

even with your limited experience you're ahead of many folks who've quite successfully done outstanding work with the Kerdi system. Of course it helps that they had a little TLC from the pros and diehard DIYers hereabouts. I even count myownself in that group. My only tile experience was 2+ bedroom floors.

Do your homework, take your time, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Unless the drain is black plastic (ABS) you'll need the PVC kit.

Use plain ol' drywall throughout - don't waste your money on the other stuff. Typically the membrane is run up to the shower head. Higher is OK if there's tile.

My light switch is a lot closer than that. Put it on a GFCI circuit and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
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Welcome, John.

The Kerdi shower is, indeed, a DIY project. No rocket science involved. It does require substantial attention to detail, but so does your plumbing, eh?

You can use the foam Tray since you seem to be making your floor a standard Schluter size and intend to center your drain. I'm still in favor of the mud floor, though, because of the cost savings and ease of fitting the floor exactly to the size and shape of the shower.

You don't hafta Kerdi the walls first, it just makes sense to some of us to do it that way. You must Kerdi to a little above the shower head, but the rest is optional unless you're making a steam shower.

You buy the drain to match your drain plumbing; you got PVC drain pipe, you order PVC drain.

The eBook will be the best ten-dollar tool you'll ever buy for building a Kerdi shower.

That light switch should be on a GFI protected circuit and I don't know that anybody cares how close you get to it with your shower wall.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Art ain't no smarter'n me, he just types faster.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Art ain't no smarter'n me, he just types faster.
cx is too modest, John - he musta been typing with a brewskie in one hand.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:17 PM   #6
reilinjw
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Thank you for the replies...

I am just a bit torn... I am on an extreme budget, but i think the peace of mind with the shower system would be worth it to me.

I was talking to the wife today and we are thinking about corner bench in the stall as well (if we widen).

I am going to download the book on monday and print it out, hoping after i read through it that i quickly pull the trigger and gain the confidence to do this job.

I have been reading some posts on the forums and they are also giving me confidence The replies are quick enough where i could ask questions as i am doing the job

Thanks again!

John
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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Ditra Question

As i understand it, the Ditra replaces the requirements for underlayment and creates a floating type floor....

So when talking about deflection in the floors, is this really a concern with the Ditra system? The way i process it is that Ditra allows for flex in the floors without impacting the tile.

Am i completly off base? do i still need to figure out the deflection prior to using the ditra?

Thanks!

John
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:05 PM   #8
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Ditra does not create a floating type floor.

It is an uncoupling membrane which is different. It must still be securely fastened to the subfloor.


Yes you need to figure out deflection and have a proper amount of subfloor.
Deflection is a vertical stress while ditra is more for horizontal stresses.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:18 PM   #9
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What Scott said.

If you plan to use the Ditra, you should familiarize yourself with the product online at least. Start here.

The subflooring requirements are similar to those of other tiling substrates.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:13 AM   #10
reilinjw
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I did search the forum a bit, but dont completly understand the deflection stuff.

I am not sure how i would measure for deflection in my bathroom, it is on the second floor and the joists are not exposed. Should i be trying to pull up the floor to get the measurements?

I went into the basement and quickly measure the joists down there, and they are 1.5x9, 15" on center wise and 15 feet long (on one side of the house) and about 12 feet on the other.

I believe all the subfloors are particle board anyway (I remember my laundry room being that), so i am thinking i have to pull it all up anyway and put down plywood - but how thick do i need?. 3/4? and will adding 1/2" vs 1/4" hardibacker help at all to strengthen the floor?

Not sure if it matters, but we will be laying 18x18 porcelin ceramic tiles on the floor.

I will post a few pics up in a minute of the actual shower and bathtub.

Thanks!
John

Last edited by reilinjw; 10-21-2007 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:29 AM   #11
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Pics of project

This is how the Bathroom is currently. We want to widen the shower to the edge of the Tub. I will be moving the drain and water lines to re-center.
We are also looking to have a corner bench or something, not sure yet.

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Old 10-23-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
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Can i get away with just putting 1/2" hardi backer on the floor to stiffen it up, vs 1/4" plywood?? I am not really sure what the deflection is and trying to play it safe.

John
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:44 PM   #13
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No, you can't. CBU is not structural, it serves only to provide a thinset-friendly tiling surface. The 1/2" severs the same purpose as the 1/4" or a sheet membrane. All the same, structurally.
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I believe all the subfloors are particle board anyway (I remember my laundry room being that), so i am thinking i have to pull it all up anyway and put down plywood - but how thick do i need?. 3/4? and will adding 1/2" vs 1/4" hardibacker help at all to strengthen the floor?
You gotta give us some idea what your subflooring is before we can help you much here. All the particle board must be removed. What's left?

If we're tiling the part with the 15-foot span, your joists are a bit overspanned unless they are of exactly the right material and in perfect condition - which, of course, they ain't, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:00 PM   #14
reilinjw
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I just pulled up my vent to get a better idea what is under there.

Looks like i have 5/8's compressed board of some sort? and then there is 1/4 inch plywood on top of that... and then my laminate floor. About 7/8's total on the floor. And i think i have 15" centers. I am not sure what the length of the joists are on the second floor... The bathroom sits on the edge of the house, and there is no room next to it (not sure if that makes any difference), and the room is about 14 feet wide total.

I imagine it will not be a fun job to pull the laminate up... I know you cannot lay tile directly on this, but I remember reading that you can lay ditra down on top of laminate or backerboard without any issues. Is this true? Also, would there be any issues with my heated floor mat and the laminate?

Thanks!

oh, I ordered my shower kit today and both of John's books..... Hoping to start demo the weekend of nov 3rd...

John

Last edited by reilinjw; 10-24-2007 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:40 AM   #15
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If that "5/8's compressed board of some sort" is OSB, it can stay but it's not enough subflooring for a tile installation in my opinion. Some substrate manufacturers find it acceptable, including Schluter, but that presumes new material in perfect condition, perfectly installed, which you don't have. You'll need to add plywood after you remove the laminate and Luan layers.

If, instead, it's particle board, it's gotta go, too.

You must determine the "unsupported span" of your floor joists. The location of the support walls on the first floor will be your best indication in most cases.

Schluter does have a spec for installing Ditra over existing vinyl floor covering, D-V-T-07. Again, you should go to their website and familiarize yourself with their requirements. It's probably easier to remove the layers.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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