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Old 11-06-2017, 06:37 PM   #1
jacks
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What can I use to fill this void?

Hi, I am remodeling my basement bathroom. There is an old ugly fiberglass shower in harvest gold, but the thing is in beautiful condition and is like iron. So being as I don't ever plan on moving from here, I am going to decorate around it.

But I am having to completely remove the subfloor. It is cement raised with 2x4s laying flat so about 2 inches plus the 3/4 plywood and then underlayment. Anyway, between the subfloor and the fiberglass shower is what I am guessing is white bedding mortar. It is such a small amount but it has fallen out. I really don't want to buy a 50 lb bag of mortar to fill this tiny space!!

Here is a picture of the situation and a piece of the stuff that was loose in there:

Thanks for any help!
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:38 AM   #2
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Unusual setup there, especially finding a wood subfloor in a basement. Anyway, typically the shower would be on top of the subfloor, so there would be no gap to fill.

How wide is the gap?
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:49 AM   #3
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What can I use to fill this void?

Seems to be a poor location for grout or other non flexible product. Why not use a hi quality caulking ? Mapie for example makes some to match their grout. With sand or not. Or other off the shelf caulking. You need flexible for a long time. Tip for you is to be sure to run tape on both edges (shower and floor) and apply caulk, smooth with finger, and then remove the tape before the caulk starts to skin over.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:20 AM   #4
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The shower is actually sitting on the cement floor. I am glad for that being as the subfloor is shot. If it was on the subfloor we would have no choice but to gut the shower too.

There is no need for it to look neat, it will never show once the tile is put in. To me it is acting like a mud bed does underneath a shower, but on the side.... for support to keep the fiberglass from flexing too much. Caulk will not stop the flexing. So I need something to go in that space to stop the fiberglass from flexing but don't know what to use?

Yes, it is a very odd set up, I agree. But this is how they did it when the built the house in 1983!

PS.... not truly a basement, it's a tri-level and they put the subfloor in over all of the lower floor concrete. Actually nice to not have an entire floor of cement!
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:43 AM   #5
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Mix up some plaster and pack it in there. Mask the edged first. (That could be what it is, too.)

Or buy a bag of sand mix (cheaper) and use that. Give the remainder away.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:15 AM   #6
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You mean like plaster of paris, or a different kind of plaster?
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:49 AM   #7
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What can I use to fill this void?

The wood subfloor is going to heat,cool and react to humidity etc. differently than the fiberglass shower unit. Putting a hard non yielding material in the crack will yield the same results with what you had ?

When tile i assume you will allow for movement at all edges of the tile floor. Including next to the shower. Same issue again with movement and allowing for it.

Some on the forum have way more expertise on this perhaps than i do will have something to say hopefully.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:38 AM   #8
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plaster of paris

but seriously..you'll probably be fine to put that piece back and caulk it shut.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:12 PM   #9
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Mark: If it was all there, yes, I would just stuff it back inside. But some of it is missing, don't know where it went, it was like that when I pulled off the top layer. of floor. It might have worked its way up over the years and been tossed by previous owner, whow knows. But I can see that it was all there at one time by the mark on the fiberglass.

Robert, yes, I am trying to get it back to how it was. It was just fine the way it was. The subfloor was rotted but not because of the shower. The wood was still good around the shower and the shower is still in great condition. I just want to make sure it doesn't have too much flex. Maybe I am thinking wrong, but I think of it like when you put a concrete/mud bed under one of those Vikrell tubs. Without it, the tub would flex too much. Seems like the bottom side of a shower would do same.

I am going to be using vinyl. Too old and too tired for any more tiling jobs. Today I finished pulling up the subfloor and the sleepers. The concrete is nice and dry. They did not use any type of vapor barrier. Should I be using one? (2 x 4 sleepers laid on their sides, 3/4" inch ply with 1/4" ply underlayment)
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:47 PM   #10
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I am down to concrete now and getting ready to reinstall the sleeper joists. Been searching and searching and am getting so many mixed answers about using a vapor barrier or not. There was not one there originally but I don't take that to mean I don't need one now. Help? Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:56 PM   #11
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If you add your location to your User CP we can better answer that question.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:30 PM   #12
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Ok added. And I am in Indiana. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:57 PM   #13
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If u install one and itís needed then your good to go. If u install one and its not needed u wasted some time and a bit of money. Seems one would play it safe. I do know in the past linoleum installed directly on top of Concrete served as a vapor barrier for some wood floor types
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:25 AM   #14
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I guess I am worried about a moisture sandwich if I put one in and it is not needed.

Our actual crawlspace is super dry. If not for the hotwater tank problem pre-purchase, I am guessing this subfloor would still have been in perfect condition. But I don't like guessing about such things.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:55 AM   #15
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How about bondo, the auto body repair stuff to fill that hole.

I am neither clever nor funny
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