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Old 10-27-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
DIYDan1
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Sunken Tub Remodel

Hey, guys, I知 Dan (new here) and I have a remodel project that I need your expertise on. The sunken tub in question was originally built in 1970. (see attached photos) This (Florida) house has a concrete slab base and no access from below. I知 wanting to fill in this sunken tub and turn it into a floor level shower. I have attached a couple of photos showing both sides of the plumbing wall. I知 looking for some perspective on what I might be getting into as well as some best practices on the drain connection when I configure the new shower drain into the existing waste line. I致e had previous experience with lead and oakum joints years ago and would really like to avoid this if possible. However, I知 concerned that using a pipe cutter on the waste line to attach a band clamp fitting will require a pretty large opening as well as the likelihood of cracking or uneven cutting the old buried waste line if I go that route. I considered just tapping into the shower drain itself to take a shortcut but am concerned that would be a mistake as well outside code allowances. I have read numerous posts debating pro/con of methods to cut waste pipe but they generally don稚 address older buried lines.
I知 curious how the original plumbing would have been configured for this type of construction. My experience was in level flat slabs, so components like the tub drain/overflow would have been installed above the floor and after the slab was poured. It looks like the overflow would have been installed before the slab or they had to have access but not sure how this would have been covered up and reinforced for the flooring. I suspect I値l see when I start to bust out for the new drain but would like to better understand what I知 getting in to. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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Dan, I moved you to the advice forum, since you were asking for advice, and all.

Your project will involve some concrete work, so making the hole big enough to gain access to the trap should not be an issue. So, that's my first bit of advice, start digging. Find the trap and cut it out in the horizontal section just down stream (you might get lucky and find the next hub and simply remove the trap section without cutting). Fernco makes a line of no-hub connectors and rubber do-nuts, so attaching a new PVC trap will be easy. So, that's my second bit of advice, install a new trap such that your drain fitting will be centered on your shower floor.

When you get all the plumbing issues worked out, tie the new concrete back into the old with some re-bar dowels epoxied into holes you drill into the edge of the old concrete. Follow this with some re-bar or wire cloth wire-tied to the dowels. Use thinset smeared onto the edges of the old concrete to act as a bonding agent. Get your slab back to one level, then start building your shower.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:16 AM   #3
DIYDan1
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bbcamp,
Thanks for the response and lead to Fernco. Your suggestion for the concrete was exactly what I intended so feeling better about the project. I'm still curious about the initial rough in as it would seem more practical to have left space for the waste trap at the bottom of the tub when pouring the slab, then brace/reinforce that section after the waste was set. I guess I'm worried about the thickness and rebar I might be running into. FYI, the riser is to the right just the other side of the toilet, so my lateral digging very quickly enters the main floor space and I hope to not get deep in that space.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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Depends on how deep the lateral is going to the stack. Your trap could be in fill material or embedded in the concrete. I guess you'll have to start digging to see how much digging you got to do.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:14 AM   #5
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Next Step remodel

To continue my sunken tub to shower transformation, here痴 what I知 hoping to do. I want to cut the tub and overflow pieces from the stub up and connect a no-hub clamp to the copper stub up and run pvc pipe up to the new drain. It will be pretty much a vertical run of about 8 or so. I plan to encase the existing trap, clamp etc in cement to stabilize it and provide a 都hroud so to speak in case of some future leak develops at the copper stub /no-hub clamp. I知 leery (as well as weary) of busting out the trap to cut and run a new trap and vertical extension. A busted horizontal pipe repair would be a real pain. Looking for input on the wisdom of this approach.

Thanks
Dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:23 AM   #6
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I dunno, Dan.

You're going to a lot of trouble to connect your nice new tub to a forty-year-old cast iron trap, there. Not sure I'd wanna do that. Yeah, chipping concrete isn't the most fun part of such a project, but I think I'd wanna be doing some more of it in your case.

And I'm not seeing just where you'll plan to connect your "Fernco" when you cut those two horizontal pipes. Might need some more thought there.

Encasing a drain system in concrete in an effort to make it leak-proof has never been really effective in my experience. Sounds good on paper, but doesn't work all that well in concrete. I'd wanna make a tight drain line and keep as many of the fittings as possible out of the concrete.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Tile Layout questions

I have a question on tile layout and design that I知 hoping the pro痴 here can provide some input. I知 wanting to create a curbless shower level with the rest of the bathroom floor. The shower is 25 x 57, the field tiles are 12 x 24,the mosaic floor (see pic) are an elongated mosaic approx 12 x 16 oriented long ways toward the drain. I知 planning to install a linear drain as I see it would be the most practical way to maintain a smooth slope with these tiles.

My first inclination was to place the drain at the fixture end since the 24 (Noble FreeStyle) drain would cover the end nicely. Since this is a curbless shower this presents a problem in that I値l have a 1-1/4 drop at that end (pic). The easier approach is to slope towards the non-entry side but I知 not sure I like the look with the 24 drain which fits my budget better than the 54. I知 don稚 want a curb but have considered dropping the shower floor down an inch or so to minimize the visual elevation change. I though about placing the drain in the center but I don稚 think will look that good. Also these tiles do not have rounded edges or matching border so a floor transition will be a bit sharp. If anyone wants to take a stab at some design input I壇 appreciate it oh, and you don稚 have to remind me I致e taken a harder path.

Thanks
Dan
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:17 AM   #8
Winter River
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Dan, are you planning a shower that's only 25" wide? That's really tight.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:33 AM   #9
chuck stevenson
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Dan,

Have you considered centering the 24" drain on the 57" wall?
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Yah, the width is pretty tight. (See top pic) I'm placing the glass shower door at about 28 and am going to try to slope slightly the floor from there to aid in water draining. We had used that shower with a plastic curtain so it def is narrow. Helps to be thin I guess.
Centering the drain on the long wall is the current option, though I think it will look funky. The 54" drain along that wall would look better but $600 + is pretty price for a drain. I haven't finished the sunken tub conversion yet so it hard to visualize layout options. Just hoping those with more experience might offer tile layout advice, esp with respect to the mosaic and field tile junction if I have a drop edge.

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:23 AM   #11
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Dan, many plumbing codes require that you be able to place a 30" diameter hoop inside your shower with the door closed. You won't even be close at 25 inches.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #12
DIYDan1
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Bob, thanks for the update, I'll check it out. This house has three sunken tubs all of which are narrower than 30". The real width of the shower will be 28" (wall to glass shower wall/door) so we will see. The 25" figure came from the width of the sunken part, thats the part I'm raising to create the level or nearly level shower floor.
I suspect the way I'm going to have to go will be to start the slope just past the glass wall (entry side) towards the opposite face and place the drain along the edge as I can't seem to reconcile how to address the edge issue I spoke of originally.
Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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roman tub remodel

I'm filling in a sunken roman tub and have a couple of question about the best practice for the slab. I'll use sand for the bottom fill up to where I'll start the concrete slab which will be around 4" thick with reinforced with rebar anchored into the walls, then covered with a mud deck, covered by either kerdi or noble's membrane on the floor with probably hydro ban for the walls.

1) What should I place between the bottom sand and concrete slab? gravel?? I'm assuming I should worry about moisture moving in to out of the slab.

2) The shower will be rectangle with noble freestyle drain running longways in the center of the rectangle. Is it OK to just use the mud deck to create the slope from he drain to the walls? I figure it will be 1 1/4" at the drain rising higher to meet the wall and maintain proper slope. If so, would it suffice to use visqueen between the concrete and mud deck for moisture control?

Thanks
Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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Hi Dan, Welcome aboard.

I'll move you to the Advice Forum where you'll get more coverage.

I would fill the whole space with concrete blocks up to about four inches from the surface of the slab. If you start out with sand or some other fill you'll have to make sure it's compacted. Gravel would be much better than sand in that case.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:14 AM   #15
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Thanks for the reply, in case it was not clear the moisture control/movement I'm referring to is for the curing of the cement products.

Thanks Dan
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