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Old 11-20-2017, 07:53 PM   #1
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34" Fiberglass Shower to 60" Tiled Shower w/Knee Wall

Hi all,

First time posting. I've found this forum to be a great reference so I decided to sign up. As the title states, I am doing a bath remodel and converting what was a fiberglass shower stall to a tiled shower w/ half wall and frame-less glass. This is my first attempt at this type of project. I am using a 32X60 Kerdi tray w/offset drain that's cut short on the back side to make room for a Kerdi 32X16" rectangle bench. I used Durock for the backer. I am on a slab and relocated my drain to match the tray. My slab is nowhere near level so I tried to use SLC to bring it in line in just the shower area of the room. I also had to add a 1/4" backer board to raise the entire substrate because I have a clamping ring drain and am using the adapter ring on my Kerdi drain. Even after all of that, I think my floor is flat enough but it is still not perfectly level. It's not off by a lot so I plan to make it up when I thinset the tray to the floor. Also, the adapter ring on the drain still sits about 1/16" inch higher than the floor. I would have to trim the foam tray a very small amount to go completely flat against the floor. I am trying to think 5 steps ahead so this is taking 10 times longer than it should.

I guess my main questions are.

1. Am I on the right track? (I ask myself this every 5 minutes as I stare at it)
2. Is it ok to trim the tray slightly to fully fit around the drain flange?
3. Is my substrate high enough for the Kerdi drain to seal properly?

Any advice,questions or criticisms are welcome!

Thanks,
Doug

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Old 11-20-2017, 08:04 PM   #2
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Welcome, Doug.

You really didn't wanna add that CBU over your concrete SOG floor. There is no acceptable method of attaching the CBU in that application unless you drilled for a whole lot of TapCon or similar fasteners.

Not sure why you didn't change to a bonding flange drain when you moved the existing one. And it's still not too late to do so. You could remove the existing clamping ring drain and the CBU, relocate the drain plumbing to the center of your shower floor, install a bonding flange drain, and create a sloped mud bed floor with a level perimeter without regard to the lack of level of your slab. You'd end up with a much better job of the whole installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:29 PM   #3
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Hi cx,

Yea - I initially had the mud bed floor in mind when I first started thinking about this however, every single contractor I got a quote from said that all they or anyone is using these days is the Kerdi system. So I thought the pre-sloped tray vs having to make one by hand seemed to be the better option. At the time I wasn't aware of the condition of my slab or how trying to mount a flat foam tray to a messed up slab would be a bad combo. Pretty obvious now. I used a combination of LFT mortar and thinset on top of the SLC to mount the backer to the floor. Thinset for the high areas and the medium mortar to build up the low areas. I take it that this was a bad approach.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #4
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LFT (more correctly LHT) mortars are thinset mortars, too, Doug, "thinset" being a tile installation method rather than a product.

That aside, no, I don't think that was a good plan at all. You might get by with it, but I'd hate to see you bet your whole new shower on that.
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Originally Posted by Doug
...every single contractor I got a quote from said that all they or anyone is using these days is the Kerdi system.
I'm not at all opposed to using the Kerdi system, but I think that for nearly all remodel situations, and most new construction, use of the foam trays is a net negative. You can save a lot of dinero and heartache by creating your own shower floor with mud to fit exactly into your shower footprint and drain location and have a better floor to boot. All of which still gets covered by the same Kerdi membrane for the same Kerdi Shower System.

Whatever you do now is entirely up to you, of course, but I think you could more easily save the day by removing what you have and building a mud floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:19 PM   #5
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So - you're saying I could demo back down to the slab, leave my drain where it's at with the clamping ring and install a mud base sloped to the drain as is? And if so - would it be ok to still use the kerdi bench?
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:05 PM   #6
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Almost. Use a Kerdi "coolie hat" drain kit which attaches to the clamping ring, then slope the mudbed to the drain flange if the added height doesn't bother you

Otherwise cut out the clamping drain and use a normal Kerdi drain glued to the riser pipe directly. This may involve chisling the slab to make room for the flange and the connection.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:12 PM   #7
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Ok - current plan going forward is to demo the CBU back down the the slab or to the SLC that I poured on top of the slab if it survives the demo. I also have to drill a couple of holes in the slab for wedge anchors in the curb/knee wall base plate. Would a Roto Hammer suffice for both tasks? Something like the Model # HR4010C rental from HD?
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
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Think I answered my own question by searching the board. Tool should be fine for both jobs.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:31 PM   #9
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Doug, I think you'll find that HR4010C has been replaced by the Makita HR4013C.

I've had a 4010 for years and think it a very fine tool. Never have laid hands on a 4013, but I have every confidence that it would be a fine tool as well.

If you can find a good deal on the older model 4010C I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:43 PM   #10
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In regards to deck mud - lot's of info to be found. I plan on using straight portland and AP sand since that's all I can find locally. I will mix dry ingredients by volume at 5:1. My question is that once my floor is done, how do I tell if it's good to go? Should it just basically be solid and not falling apart on the surface?
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:11 PM   #11
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Yes.

If you mixed fresh ingredients properly and with the correct amount of water and if you packed it down well before shaping it, you should be fine. I know of no test you can do at home to determine exactly what you ended up with.

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Old 12-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #12
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I took the advice from CX and removed the CBU from my slab. This is definitely a learn as I go project! I am now back down to an uneven and unlevel surface. My shower area is 32x60. I am using a 32x16 kerdi rectangle bench on the back end. Because the floor is uneven, the bench does not sit flat so it kind of rocks back and forth a little. I'm trying to find a valid fix for that.

1. Can I mix a small batch of deck mud and try to create a level base in just the bench area for the bench to sit on before I set my drain and do my perimeter screed? Or - is it best to just make it up in thinset when I glue it in place?

Another question in my head after reading other threads.

2. I'm using kerdi membrane. I installed Durock rough side out and taped seams. Found where several people recommended smooth side out and not to tape seams/corners. Of course I'm 180 out of what is technically correct but, is this enough of an issue to undo what I have?
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:37 PM   #13
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Here is my current plan. Does this seem workable to anyone out there?

1. Finish framing knee wall and curb and cover with Durock. Durock on both sides of 36"x24" knee wall. Curb is 3 2X4's with base wedge anchored to slab. I have to shim the top plate to maintain level.
2. I already have 1/2 the Durock seams taped so guess I'll finish out that way.
3, Install Kerdi-ST 32" rectangle bench between back wall and knee wall w/Kerabond
4. Kerdi walls, bench and knee wall w/ Kerabond and kerdi-trowel.
5. Tile top of bench using same 12x24 tile as walls and kerdi square profile on front edge
6. Tile front of bench using 2x2 tile starting at 3 rows up to leave room for mud base
7. Tile walls using ledger to start at row2. Using 12x24 tile laid horizontal w/1/2" notch trowel and Kerabond-T. Tile will end at front edge of knee wall and curb w/ sq. profile
8. Tile 12x20 kerdi niche using bullnose or same square profile - (not sure how yet)
9. Set kerdi drain and create sloped mud base
10. Kerdi floor and curb - guess starter row of tile has to land high enough above curb to be able to use kerdi corners for waterproofing curb. Wall tile edge will line up direct with outside edge of curb so square profile will transition straight from curb to wall
11. Tile floor using sliced pebble/stone all the way to edges
12. Tile inside, outside then top of curb sloping in with same tile as wall
13. Tile outside of knee wall w/ 2" tile and figure out how to tie that in with tile on outside of curb that will have same as wall tile (maybe).
14. Tile top and side of knee wall and slope horizontal surface toward shower.
15. Call glass company
16. Tile bathroom floor - vanity already set on slab.


Have to think about installing wall tile and schluter profile down to the curb first before I waterproof curb. I be working on 2cnd course of tile so the gap would be there above the curb but if I use a profile strip it would have to go all the way down - unless I cut it short as well and use a connector? I assume I should use a kerdi corner on outside/front side of curb right at where this vertical to horizontal profile transition will be.


Thanks so much for the help!!
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:53 PM   #14
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12-1. You could do that if you actually have room for deck mud under your bench. You must slope the top of that bench, too.

12-2. Don't worry about which side of you wallboard is exposed. I would recommend you not fill any more of your joints and I would recommend you cut out the joints you've already filled that will be covered with your Kerdi membrane. Especially the inside corners.

12. The waterproofing membrane must be sloped to drain, not just the tile surface.

14. See #12.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:01 PM   #15
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Thanks cx - I appreciate the feedback! Got ya on making sure the membrane is also sloped on the curb and wall. The bench has a slope built in if I can just get it set on a level base.
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