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Old 02-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
chip84
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what to do when re-tiling a shower with a concrete floor

I am in the process of redoing a basement bathroom. I tore the old shower tiles out and am wondering how to go about putting the new floor in. Surprisingly, the old tiles on the wall were simply stuck to a 1/4" piece of plywood, no concrete board or plastic at all! I guess that was the way they did it in 1965? On the floor, the shower floor is recessed below the grade of the bathroom floor about 2" and slopes down toward the existing drain. How do I go about doing the floor and walls? I have no idea if there is any membrane below the concrete floor, and I highly doubt it. I have read that concrete will absorb the moisture over time, so a membrane is needed. Do I need to cut the concrete out all together, or can I lay a membrane on top of the existing concrete and put in a new drain with adjustable height? Basically I dont know what to do to get started, with the floor or walls. If one of you nice people could help me out I would appreciate it. I am not a tile layer, but I am not incompotent either. I like to save money by doing things myself and I like the satisfaction of doing projects on my own and seeing the end results. On the other hand I also want my bathroom to look good and be waterproof when I am all said and done, I dont like to do things twice! thanks. any other web pages or reading material you recommend would be great as well.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #2
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Chip,

Welcome to the forum.

1- What type of drain do you have?

2- Can you post a pic of it?

3- What was to be your waterproofing method of choice?

4- Can you add your location to your profile? That will help us suggest methods and materials

5- Can you number your questions? It saves on typing and we aren't paid by the word. Come to think of it we aren't paid at all.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Hi Chip, welcome! If I was doing that scenario you have I would be using Kerdi. You would hafta chisel out the concrete around the drain and replace it with a Kerdi drain the hang your drywall and Kerdi the walls.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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1. I don't know what kind of drain I currently have, what kind of drain do you recommend, please tell me brand names etc.
2. I will try to attach pics on this reply, hopefully they will load up
3. I havent decided on a waterproofing method yet, but I was thinking of using a rubber membrane on the floor and concrete board on the walls if that is a suitable option, or I could just go with a membrane on top of the drywall if that will work. I guess I am open to suggestions.

also, in the picture you can see some crud left over on the floor from the original 1" mosaic tiles that i removed, is it necessary to remove all the old morter and tile backing before continuing on with the new material?
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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I'm interested in seeing what the pros say here. You already have a sloped bed that seems in reasonably good shape and a drain that's (presumably) worked since at least 1965 and is already the lowest spot on the floor, or at least in the bathroom. And it's in a basement. Couldn't he just get away with Kerdi on the walls, thinset an overlap a few inches onto the floor, then tile? Putting a Kerdi drain in (what I did) would mean needing a mortar bed, probably busting up concrete, putting in a curb (and probably losing what would be a nice curbless shower), etc. You could even thinset a piece of Kerdi down over the existing floor rirst. Given without a Kerdi drain you couldn't have that Kerdi-to-Kerdi drain bond but couldn't you devise something to affix it to the existing drain? I guess through all of this I'm asking - isn't all the water just going to go lower? As long as it's not wicking up the drywall or dripping down to another floor, is it worth 10x the effort for the threat of of something so minor in your own house (vs customer)?


I will tell you that after I ripped out my floor tile, I had a similar looking floor to yours and it was done with crappy mastic (not the black stuff). I scraped up everything pretty aggressively with a shovel and shingle ripper and left it at that. I put a test tile down with some thinset and had to end up busting it off with a sledge after a week. I needed a chisel for the thinset.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Chip,

From what I can see around the perimeter of your shower you have no waterproofing, thus the old sloped floor will need to be removed in some manner depending on your water proofing method. I heartily recommend a Kerdi shower as it is the most DIY friendly. You can do a 'traditional' shower with a vinyl (not rubber) liner, but there are a number of challenging steps which all must be done correctly to make a long lasting vinyl liner shower. Read the shower construction thread in the Library to see what waterproofing you want to use. (psst go kerdi)

Once you've chosen a waterproofing method we can answer your other questions.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
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the upper pic is a kerdi shower, the lower is a traditional vinyl liner
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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so I have done a little more research and have a few more questions.

1. I see quite a price difference in different ceramic tiles, are some suitable for showers and others not?

2. I looked at some manufactured shower kits, but my hole in the floor is 32x36" and I couldn't find any that size, besides they look tacky. So I guess based on opinion here and DIY friendlyness, I will more than likely be doing a kerdi shower, or one using a rubber type liner. I am not sure what is harder about using the rubber type membrane vs. the kerdi system.

3. Ultimately, what do I need to do about my drain situation? Do I need to chisel out the concrete around the drain and put in a new one that would accept a rubber membrand or use the kerdi drain? Or is there a way I could do all of this without breaking up part of my floor around the drain?

4. I also previewed the kerdi online book offered at this site, does it contain all I will need to know about installing a kerdi shower?

5. I was also thinking about doing a half wall on the side of my shower that would face the side of the toilet, would that be wierd? I was thinking about doing a half wall in tile, with glass on up to the ceiling, just to make the bathroom feel bigger by opening that up a little by using the glass instead of having a solid wall that would make the room feel cramped like it was previously.

Thanks for all the help so far, I am getting closer to picking an idea and going with it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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Why couldn't he put Kerdi down over his existing concrete slope?
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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Welcome, Chip.

1. You can install nearly any type of tile in a shower.

2. Nothing particularly difficult about using either shower pan construction method, just differences.

3. You'll need to change out the drain no matter what pan construction method you choose.

4. No. You must have/acquire basic construction and tile skills and you must read and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions as well. The eBook will be very helpful, though.

5. Very common.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #11
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I also just went and measured my drain placement, and it isn't centered at all in the pan, but that doesnt really matter, if using the kerdi system right.

I was also wondering if one of the main differences in the kerdi system and the typical rubber membrane system is that with kerdi you can place the tile directly on the kerdi membrane, but with other "rubber" membranes do you have to use a metal mesh to go along with the morter to place the tiles?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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Chip, the difference between a traditional shower construction and a direct bonded waterproofing membrane construction (Kerdi and others) is that in the direct bonded method the entire shower is waterproof immediately behind the tile surface.

Look at the Shower Construction thread in our whirl-famous Liberry for instruction on how properly to construct a traditional shower pan. Look at individual manufacturer's websites for instruction on the use of their particular products for shower construction.

The primary advantage Schluter has over other brands is their proprietary drain. None of the knock-offs has yet matched it and it can be used with any other manufacturer's waterproofing membrane, sheet or liquid applied.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #13
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Chip,

When asking about tiles, you may have un-wittingly asked too pointed a question which ol' CX answered correctly; any ceramic will work in your shower. There's a little more to this though and since I have a full cup of coffee, I thought I'd expand on this a bit (ala Ceci)

Glazed and unglazed ceramic tiles include as a sub grouping porcelain (my favorite) You can also use a natural stone tile such as granite, slate, glass, onyx, marble, or travertine. I'd shy away from the softer marble, onyx or travertine as the maintenance staff will not be happy with the extra work.

Other factors to consider when selecting a tile; think about the tile size in relation to the shower size. It would be awkward to install 20" tiles in a 42" shower. The shower floor should have tiles no larger than 4", the smaller the better as you reach 1". If you are mixing tiles, check for gauge (thickness) If they are all the same gauge, life will be easier.

Bench tops, curb tops, and niche sills are sometimes tiled in solid slabs matching the vanity counter top.

Is there a Mrs Chip who can assist in all the selections?
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #14
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yes there is a mrs chip84 and a 7 month old mini chip84! my shower is pretty small, 32x36 so I was thinking about doing like 6 or 8 inch tiles on the shower walls and the 1" mosaic tiles on the floor. Naturally, I am cheap, so I didnt want to buy the cheapest tile and have to "pay for it" someday if it was lacking in some area. So it pretty much sounds like I can use any tile i wish as long as it is proportionate to the area, all tiles are the same thickness, and try to match the shower tiles to the sink top somewhat.
1. Now, I would like advice on brand/type of morter and grout to use.

2. also do I need to use any self leveling "stuff" on the rest of my bathroom floor as it is concrete, not PERFECTLY level. Or can I let the morter "fill the gap" and just set the tile on the concrete the way it is?
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:18 PM   #15
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concrete prep for tile on 45 year old floor

I am redoing a bathroom in my basement, and have received great advice on the shower portion as far as tiling goes, but I also want to tile the concrete floor in the rest of the bathroom.
1. Do I need to do any prep to the slab before tiling? If so what products are needed and what methods need to be used?
2. the floor is not perfectly level, meaning there maybe some gradual dips in the floor. also there appears to be some old carpet glue on the floor, what needs to be done with that if anything?
3. As I have read some threads on here, I have learned to leave a gap on the outer perimeter of the tiles or where the tiles meet a fixed object, and fill that void with a caulk like product that is flexible to prevent side strain on the tiles, is this correct?

4. can i expect this slab to stay put, or even though it is 45 years old, will I need some kind of membrane to prevent the tiles from cracking. I should also tell you that we are talking about a space that is only about 30 square feet.
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