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Old 11-20-2004, 03:07 PM   #1
Amoreena
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Question New shower project, please help me start right!

Hi everyone, I've been reading for a while and just joined today, what a great site! I had a drain line replaced under my concrete slab and as the kitchen and dining room are are already trashed, I figured why not replace that shower that's been unusable for 18 years due to a leaking pan. I had the pan replaced 4 years ago, but it still leaks and the bottom was so wavy it puddles and won't drain. What I'd like to do is tear out the whole shower and go back with a one piece acrylic or fiberglass unit. I think that I can bring the unit in through the sliding patio doors, and slip it in through the diningroom wall, after temporarily removing a few studs.
Do you think this is possible?
What's the best way to demolish the shower? It's seems to be black paper, metal lathe, mortar and tile.
Can I use a sawzall to cut out big squares and then chisel out the rest?
Is fiberglass or acrylic better? (I know, TILE is best, lol!)
I sure appreciate any help you can give to start this project properly!
P.S. I tried to attach pics, I hope they show up!

Thanks, Amoreena
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:18 PM   #2
LonnythePlumber
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Sledgehammer

I use a small sledgehammer and break between the studs. This makes everyone else nervous and tends to knock things off the shelves in other rooms. Slow going with a sawsall and a plaster blade. You should try to make sure you don't have any electric in the walls or you may not end up finishing the project.
It's disappointing that you are not going to fix your tile pan. It certainly seems it wasn't done right to begin with. A properly installed tile job will last longer than fiberglass. If you can get a one piece in the pocket you can set it. I take it you don't have to worry about the bathroom door because the dining room wall is the back wall of the shower. It is likely you will need to reframe to accomodate the nail in unit. You will probably have to relocate your drain. This will probably cost the same or more than replacing your pan.
The sectional units are of a better quality than the one piece. Some feel the one piece have less problems but that isn't always true. They are thinner and get cracks and holes.
Acrylic over fiberglass but I think you should evaluate total project costs before starting your demo. The cost of a unit is only about one fifth of the total project cost. Of course that's true with tile too.
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:20 PM   #3
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Wow thats an old shower nice tile Its kewl man
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:38 PM   #4
Amoreena
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Lol to opiethetileman! I prefer to call it "retro" rather than old! I just read the article on how to install a shower pan and from what I can tell, I paid for a very crappy job. It doesn't look like the old drain was even removed, so they couldn't have sandwiched it with the membrane.
Also, it looks like the old membrane is still there, and I see "naked" areas on the backs of some tiles. Lonnytheplumber has got me thinking that maybe I should tear out the floor area and replace the pan myself.
I suspect I'll go ahead and bust through the slab and replace the trap, since my other drain line was in such bad condition. From looking at the pics, do you think a properly done pan might fix the problem? Do you think this job looks as half-a**ed as I do?
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:42 PM   #5
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Im sorry you just had that tiled so its GROVVY man. I like the color anyway. i get tired of seeing white
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:47 PM   #6
Amoreena
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They only replaced the shower floor (the white part) the rest is the original 1971 groovy baby blue! You ought to see the crazy cool avacado tile in the other bath, rofl!
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Old 11-20-2004, 06:50 PM   #7
John Bridge
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Hi Amoreena,

I can't believe you're not going to try to restore that beautiful shower. Looks like one I did back in the seventies. You're not in Phoenix, are you?

You can certainly get the unit in that way. You'll have to build the walls around it, though, after you get it in place. Do I like it? No. Will we help you do it? You bet.
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Old 11-20-2004, 07:01 PM   #8
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What John said.

New tile shower, correctly constructed, gonna outlast the fiberglas/acrylic unit and isn't gonna leak in your lifetime.

Could even be blue if you wanna.

You could even just do a pan replacement, which I think is what JB is suggesting. Done correctly, it's never gonna leak again. Yours wasn't done correctly.
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Old 11-20-2004, 07:49 PM   #9
Amoreena
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Thanks for your replies! I know the shower is out dated, but not in bad shape other than the leak. Plus it matches the rest of the bath tile, lol! So, if I do just replace the pan myself, how much do I tear out? I want to remove the floor and down through the slab and replace the drain. How much wall do I need to remove, and do I need to remove that all the way to the studs? I'm thinking that removing only the wall tiles without messing up the lathe/mortar bed won't be easy, there is no type of backer board behind it, just the lathe and mortar. I guess that's why I was thinking of tearing it all out and going with a prefab unit, because I don't know where to start, or stop, when it comes to repairing this old type of construction.
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:03 PM   #10
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I'd sure rather see you do that if it's not a matter of you wantin' to get rid of the look of that shower.

You'd need to remove about a foot of the bottom of the walls at a grout joint, usually about three tiles high. Yes, all the way to the studs. You can carefully cut the highest grout joint all around and carefully remove that highest row of tiles. Then you can not-so-carefully cut to the studs a little below that line with an angle grinder and diamond or abrasive wheel. Then remove everything below that line to the slab.

You'll replace the drain, repair whatever hole you made in the slab doing that, and then proceed to install a pre-slope and pan liner following the instructions you've read carefully in the Shower Construction section of our Liberry.

A little tricky after that, but not anything the big-time mud guys can't walk you through. You'll install some roofing felt and metal lath and mud the wall sections and the curb so that everything is flush with the old tile mud, then tile with a complimentary tile (on accounta you can't match what you've got), grout it, and stand back in awe of how little dinero you done spent for an essentially new shower.

The real tile guys can fill in the details.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:28 PM   #11
Amoreena
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Please forgive me if I sent this twice, I wrote a message and it disappeared...I must have hit the wrong key.

The gist of it was that I've started removing the old shower, I know I can't match the baby blue tile, and don't want a half and half look. Might have been for the best, as I also found a damp area about 16 inches up the back corner, and I didn't even suspect a leak in that area. The lathe/mortar bed is thicker than I thought, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches, so the demolition will take a bit longer than expected. The sledge hammer is working, but darn that metal lathe !
I looked at the Kerdi website and videos, is it that easy to install?
How long has it been is use, (tried and true?)
I have a pretty good idea of how to install the drain in a slab thanks to Randy's (rstreet) pics, thanks for posting those! My pics aren't so great, but I'll post them anyway just in case it might help some one else.

I'm going to continue demolition over this long week end, and decide what to put back in later. I sure hope there is a McTurkey McDinner, lol!

BTW John, sorry I never did answer about my location, I'm in Alabama. I apologize if some one from here stole your style back in '71! Thanks for having such a great and helpful website!
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:41 PM   #12
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Real Shower

So are you going to put in a real tile shower or try to do the one-piece? Since you're now experienced on the tear-out you could come to Kansas. I have a few lined up just like yours except one yellow and one green.
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have a few lined up just like yours except one yellow and one green.
Lonny! You fixin' to be the tile guy?


You gonna pewt in a pre-slope and not use mastic, though, ain'tcha?
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:30 PM   #14
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Tile Guy

No I'm not going to be the tile guy. I can get thinset on CBU but I haven't been able to get the pre-slope. I should say I have gotten it but it's a fight. I have not identified a tile contractor in my area doing the preslope. For that matter I do not know of one doing mud walls except commercial guys. I thought it was old fashioned.
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