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Old 09-24-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
ben-e
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Question about main shower control valve

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about different products, and ways to waterproof showers. I was just wondering about the hole cut all the way throuogh the tile, waterproof membrane, and backerboard that is for the main shower controls. I know the trim piece has a seal on it, but what about the water that gets behind the tile, and travels between the tile and backerboard? I know it is not a common problem, but It sure seems like the weak point, no matter what system you use. Am I missing something?
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
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No you're not missing anything, that is a concern. Now stop bringing up things to make us nervous! As you said the escutcheon has a seal,and the water from the shower head won't actually hit that part of the shower.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:42 PM   #3
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I think what he's saying is what happens to any moisture that finds it way through the grout joint and gets under the plate and finds it way to the opening.

That's one of life's mystery's.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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It's a very old discussion, Dan. Out inna real world, here, and on other forums known to moi.

We go to very great lengths to make out showers as water tight as possible, then pole a five-inch hole inna wall with no moisture barrier behind the plumbing and no waterproofing membrane closet to the surface than the back of the tile.

Then we smile and hope don't nobody notice.

Down near the bottom of the shower wall, or even at the wall at a tub flange, there is significant moisture present. We know that on accounta lots of us have torn out lots of those units. It's why we are so adamant about having a moisture barrier behind the CBU or a waterproofing membrane over it.

My theory is that the hole in question is usually fairly high up the wall (as compared to the bottom of the wall) and the area being drained to the hole is only five inches wide. What little moisture gets down to the hole evaporates because it is open to ventilating air at that point.

But it's still a fair question. Unfortunately, it's one that doesn't get answered very well most of the time. Today is no exception, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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If you're using Kerdi, you can patch in around that hole and use some Kerdi-fix to seal it to the valve body. But, hope you never need to do maintenance on it!

IMHO, unless you are using multiple body sprays, it's not a big deal in most instances. Now, if your valve was not under the showerhead (which is pointing away from the valve), and the shower would hit the valve, it would or could be a much bigger deal. Some people in a large shower put the valve near the opening, while the showerhead(s) are further in. This probably works better if you are using a thermostatically controlled valve since once you find the perfect setting, you can just turn it on or off and not need it near the showerhead.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
you can patch in around that hole and use some Kerdi-fix to seal it
yep, and if you consider that the opening is under the shower head and therefore not in direct path of the water, then you must be thinking of an empty shower . . . when you get a body in the shower path, water goes everywhere! and lots of it. i do cut as close a hole around the valve body and then seal as best as possible. since i wuz shluterized, the last valve the owner ordered came with screwdriver cutoff valves attached and i did cut a hole in the CBU for future access and then kerdied right over it! the next guy to work on it will have to cut a little hole to poke his screwdriver through . and then he'll have to patch it too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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I will be building my first steam shower soon, so I have been laying in bed thinking about all of the possible issues instead of sleeping. I was just wondering if there were any other precautions I could take to cover my bases. I could see how the vapor barier behind would help, but everyone here is so sold on Kerdi. And 2 vb's are not good right? I will either use kerdi, or Densshield. What do you think of this idea?--Leave an inch or so of kerdi hanging proud of the valve control opening, then after tiling you could make a few small slits in the kerdi, then thinset the kerdi to the tile. Sort of creating a loop, or trap for any possible moisture. I know it's completely overkill, but these type of little detials help me sleep at night.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:01 PM   #8
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With these you can pretty much keep the water out. The valve can be serviced from the area where the red plate is, tile right up to the outside of the white plastic.

hansgrohe valve
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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Ben:
Your concern is right on the money - important weak-points in shower installations are the "vulnerable" (but hidden) edges of the tile backerboard that are behind the tiles. These vulnerable backerboard edges exist at all tile-wall penetrations (e.g. valves, screw-attachments, interfaces at acrylic pans, etc).
So, it must be considered that 'some' water/moisture will eventually penetrate behind the tiles to these backerboard edges, in spite of using Kerdi, or in spite of using epoxy grout, or in spite of tile-surface gaskets.
So what is a fella gonna do?
In my case, I used CBU (not gypsum sheet-rock) as the backerboard behind the tiles. Accordingly, any moisture that does penetrate the tiled walls at these wall "discontinuities" should not cause any deterioration. That is, any water that does eventually make its way behind the tiles at these locations will simply establish a moisture equilibrium that will never cause tile failues or leaks (as long as thinset -not organic adhesive - is used).
Anyway: this is why I used concrete backerboard units (rather than gypsum sheetrock) along with Kerdi - in spite of the 'recommendations of Schluter!
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #10
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in floor heating in steam shower floor, and bench

I am preparing to build a steam shower. It is on the 2nd floor, and the contractor would like to run the radiant floor heating in the shower, and up the bench in the shower. I will confess that this is my 1st steam shower, and also the first shower I will construct with any type of in floor heating in it. I am looking for advice about all phases of this job. Mainly the pan. I would assume that Kerdi would make my life a little easier because the pre-slope in a traditional pan would not be high enough to cover the tubes. Is there any reason that I would need to pour self leveling compound over the heat tubes 1st? And aside from the expansion joints in the wall to floor, and wall to celing joints, what are the major considerations I should give attention to. Any advice would be appreciated. As for the heat tubes in the bencg, I was thinking I would build a masonry bench, then run the tubes on it, and then form, and pour a few inches over the tubes. ???
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #11
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For the pan, why cant you cover the tubes with your pre slope? You determine the thickness. We just did one about 2 wks ago with no problem. If they have the infloor heating, then where they run them in the shower just dont cover the tubes with the gypcrete like you do in the rest of the house. This gives you an extra 2 inches to work with. No need for any self leveling.

For the seat, I would tell him no unless he wants to pay you a lot of extra coin.

I usually red guard my steam showers with several coats, you could also use kerdi. I have found in my steam showers that color matched caulk doesnt hold up on the floor bc the steam shoots out there. We now grout the floor and go over the grout with clear silicone but use the color matched everywhere else.
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:30 AM   #12
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I've combined your steam shower threads here, Ben. Please bookmark this one and use it for all your project questions.

When you get into non-standard applications, such as hydronic heat in shower floors, you need to get a little creative and mix some construction methods.

We don't know what kind of floor you have, nor what kind of heating system, so the advice will necessarily be limited. You should probably be trying to incorporate the principles of covering the heating tubes and then having a cleavage and reinforced mud bed over that.

But you're gonna need to decide a lot of the detail of the heating installation before you can decide much about the rest of the shower floor construction.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:41 AM   #13
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so there is no reason i shouldn't pour a regular pre-slope over the flexible hose for the heating? It is a wood subfloor on the 2nd floor. I totally spaced the fact that I have an extra 2 inches to work with. I was thinking that the pre-slope would not cover the tubes when coming from the weeps. Which brings up another problem. The drain will most likely have to be raised to avoid havind too much slope on the 2nd pour. I'll have to check out how high I can set it. I am leaning towards using redgard over durock. Superdave, How many coats do you use? And do you bring the redgard down to the edge of the pan, or just cover the backerboard? Thanks for the help
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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Ben, it sounds to me like you may have some fundamental misunderstandings about the proper construction of a traditional mud/liner/mud shower pan. Perhaps if you look through some of the material in the Shower Construction section of our whirl-famous Liberry you'll have a better grasp of what might fit where.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:40 PM   #15
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I see why you would think that. I got a little confused somewhere between thinking of using kerdi, which is all on the surface, and redgard, which could be done a few different ways. I actually feel like i have a good understanding of how everything works. I've just been thinking about all the different ways to utilize the different techniqes. I have yet to build a steam shower, so I am looking for advice. Superdave said he used redgard, so I guess my question is "when using a trowel on membrane, like Redgard, do you put the coats on before, or after the 2nd sloped pour?" I would think before. CX, If you don't mind, could you give me your opinion on my best bet for the steam shower if I dont use Kerdi. Normaly around here, everyone uses "Denshield". I don't feel comfortable with it. I have not had the best experience with Kerdi, but I think I learned a lot from my first use. I plan to get the official training soon. Thanks again for all the help. I work alone, and you guys have saved me more than once.
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