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Old 07-12-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
Lednar
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Drain Level with Slab

Hello everyone. I am currently redoing the shower in a bathroom of my house. The shower was likely built in the 70s, and is a corner, neo angle style built on a concrete slab. I've removed the old tile, cement, and liner, and am now down to the slab. The original drain is 3 piece. After removing the top two pieces, I realized that the bottom piece that is connected to the drain pipe is level to the cement slab due to the fact the person installing it actually chiseled away some of the slab. You can put a level across the pipe and it's perfectly level with the surrounding slab. My original plan was to use deck mud to build up the pre slope from this drain at the proper angle, add a vinyl liner, cover that with more deck mud, then tile. Since the drain is in a concrete slab rather than wood, can I still build the pre slope with the drain as it is (level/flush with the slab)? I was thinking that the base part of the drain needed to be slightly above the slab when building up the slope. Will the chiseled concrete be an issue? Would I need to remove the drain and install one that has a base that is slightly above the slab? I'll try to attach pictures. On a side note, when I removed the old liner from the shower, I was surprised to see that the old "pre slope" was nothing more than sand. I'm talking straight from the beach sand. That's not normal, right? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:21 PM   #2
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Welcome, Chris.

If I were going to the trouble and expense of building a new shower, I think I'd want a new drain and a new P-trap at least. That's entirely up to you, of course, but if you've got a 40+ year old cast iron trap under there, chances are it's seen better days. I'd at least wanna check that before I went any further.

As for the pre-slope, on a concrete slab you can get away with building a pre-slope that's much thinner at the drain. You could use deck mud bonded to the slab and when you get close to the drain you could mix some thinset mortar or concrete patching compound with wetter mud and taper it down to nothing. I don't recommend that sorta thing on any other application, but there are no rules for pre-slopes and anything solid enough to support your liner will work as you saw with your old sand slope.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:45 PM   #3
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Yeah I've been wondering about that piping beneath the slab so probably should get it checked out. Thanks for your help and advice. Btw this is a really great board. I've gotten a lot of good information from it.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:08 AM   #4
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I have one last question, just out of curiosity (sorry, this is likely more of a plumbing question). The bottom flange (pictured) of the shower appears to be made out of cast iron. If that's the case, would there be any issue if you connect an ABS or PVC middle flange and strainer fitting to this cast iron flange seeing as they are made up of different materials? Would any issue arise with having the vinyl liner between the cast iron bottom flange and ABS or PVE middle flange? Would I need to get a cast iron middle flange and strainer fitting to match the cast iron bottom fitting? I'm probably going to look into getting the plumbing redone as suggested, but I was just wondering about that, as my toilet has a cast iron flange too. Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:44 AM   #5
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If both flanges are in suitable condition that would make no difference at all, Chris, but you'll still have the concern with the trap.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:59 AM   #6
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I'm definitely going to get that trap looked at. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
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I have another question concerning my shower design, but this one is about the curb and how to go about tiling around it, particularly around corners. The shower I'm redoing was originally neo-angle. The two exterior walls (the two meeting at and forming the entry way of shower) were drywalled outside the shower and of course tiled inside (no glass in exterior walls). The shower/base was designed as seen in the "Top View" diagram labeled as "A" in the first pic I've attached. My plan is to keep this design.

The second pic is of the outside of my shower, after I've removed the drywall from the outside and tile from the inside (tile on inner walls still in place). I'm going to replace the 2x4s seen here on the exterior walls as they have some minor termite damage (shower was over 30 years old). The original curb, still tiled, can also be seen in this pic.

The third pic is taken from the inside of the shower looking out the entrance after the tile was removed from the curb. Just an fyi, cement backer board wasn't used originally in this shower. All inside walls of the shower were constructed of a metal lath, covered with at least 2 inches of mortar, then the tile as placed on top of the mortar. For my renovation, I'm going to used hardiboard for backing of the tile.

I have a couple of questions concerning the curb:

1) My floor is concrete slab. Should I use cement brick, which was what I originally planned to do, or would it be easier/alright to use stacked 2x4s?

2) Any recommendations on how thick the initial curb should be from the outside to the inside (I guess that would be the depth)? What I mean by initial curb is how thick should it be prior to placing any liner or additional mortar and tiles on it. 2x4s would make the depth be 3.5 inches. If I use a brick, should I make sure it's about the same thickness/depth?

3) Now for the one that's really making me scratch my head (actually related to question 2 as well). How do I get the tile to line up properly where the walls meet the curbs (inside and outside shower walls)? Neo-angle showers have tricky inside and outside corners I'll have to work around. Any suggestion on how to tile all this to make it look proper? Do I need to adjust the thickness/depth of the curb to account for the liner, mortar, and tile to be added to it and the 0.5 inch thick hardiboards plus tiles on the inside and drywall on the outside (I plan on only tiling the entire inside of shower then only the outside corners of the entrance of the shower, where drywall starts). We haven't picked out the type of tile we are going to use yet, so I'm open to any suggestions on a good tile to use.

4) What about a glass shower door? The angles should be good for one, but just want to know if there is anything I need to take into account if adding a shower door (the original shower had one that was removed).

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:54 PM   #8
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1. If you're sure you have no moisture vapor issues from below your slab, you can use either. If you have such issues, or if you don't know, I'd recommend you use the CMUs.

2. You'd usually want to make the finished curb the same thickness as the adjoining walls. Making the rough curb a little thinner than the wall framing gives you the option of flushing it up when you apply your lath and mud.

3. Use whatever tile Mrs. Chris wants.

4. What about a glass shower door?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:08 PM   #9
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Sorry, I was pretty vague on my shower door question. I've been assuming you can get a shower door pretty much made for whatever size entry you have. Is this correct? And can I just order it after I build and tile the shower, or is this something I need to figure out before? Also, does the entryway require any special backing at the "door frame" of the shower to ensure it's strong enough to hold a door? Right now I'm planning on using about three 2x4s on either side of the entryway. I've been assuming this is enough.

For those outside corners of the shower, do most people use bull nose tiles? What other options are there out there for handling the tiling of outside corners for a shower besides bull nose tiles?

Thanks again CX for your replies and help.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:20 PM   #10
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1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. Doubled studs at those jambs is usually sufficient.

4. "Most people" do whatever they want. My best option other than bullnose tiles is to back-bevel your tiles at that outside corner. Like so:

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My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:11 AM   #11
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Thank you once again!
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:13 PM   #12
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One last question (hopefully). I'm having someone come out next week to check out the plumbing (piping, pea trap, etc...) that is currently in place in my shower. If he suggests having it replaced, I'm going to get it replaced. If he says the plumbing in place is fine, I'm not going to have it replaced and will utilize what is already there. Please see the pic below of the cast iron drain body. There are only 3-screw holes in place to attach the shower flange onto. All shower flanges for clamping drains that I see at my local hardware store have 4-screw holes. Are these flanges with 4-screw holes universal? In other words, will the flange somehow still fit onto my drain body that has only 3-screw holes? If not, what type of clamping drain do I need to fit my current drain body and where can I find one? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:57 PM   #13
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I've never seen two different brands interchange. The plumber will likely tell you the bottom section of the drain that's in your pic needs to be replaced. That section can be cut out and replaced on the old riser pipe. But, like Cx said, I'd want to dig down and check out that riser pipe and P-trap while I'm in it this deep.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:55 PM   #14
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Chris are you having the door swing inward? and are you moving the plumbing to the wall left of where it currently is?

We had the same shower setup that we tore out. Moving the plumbing to the other wall, placed you in the line of fire when turning the water on, also your outside of the door is gonna get wet when you open to go in.

Unless I am miss reading your pics.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:03 PM   #15
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Code here requires that the door open outwards. They say it's because if someone were to collapse in the shower, rescuers can get in without having to break the glass. Makes sense (not that I plan to collapse in my shower), but check your locality before ordering the door.
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