Spackle and pee trap? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-19-2019, 08:05 AM

I apologize in advance if this post is in the wrong place, new to this forum.

I have two question for consideration. I tore out an old bathroom in hopes of something better....ugh. I removed a bathtub in order to replace it with a larger walk-in shower. When I remove the tube the drain line ran 2-3 feet to what I can only imaging is the sewer line of the toilet.

My first question.....

1.) Does this existing bathtub drain line have a pee trap to stop sewer gases? I did not expose the complete line to the sewer line? Do I need to break up the flooring to investigate this???

I intend on tiling the bathroom walls which are covered in green board and the shower walls, covered in cement board.

My second question.....

2.) Do I need to prepare the green board, (tape and spackle) the same way as if I was going to paint if I am going to cover with tile????

Well that's it for now. Sorry for what I can only assume to be a newbie question but I appreciate any advice.

Thanks in advance,


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05-19-2019, 08:16 AM
Welcome, Joe, you're in the right place. :)

1. We'd certainly hope so, but I'd want to be sure. You can usually tell just by looking down the riser pipe to see if you see standing water at the bottom, which would likely indicate the presence of a P-trap. Then you'll want to consider the type of drain material you have and the age of the drain lines.

You'll really want to move that drain to the center of your new shower footprint for best results, anyway, so exploring down there might be a good move. I'm guessing you're on a SOG floor?

2. The MR Board (greenboard) is a bit of a waste, but if you already have it up, you would fill and tape the joints minimally (Level 1) before tiling.

What is your plan for a shower receptor and wall waterproofing in the shower area?

My opinion; worth price charged.

05-19-2019, 08:19 AM
1. All drains need a p-trap. Toilet has one built in so it's not in connnecting plumbing. They must also be vented which is a whole 'nuther subject. As far as breaking up slab...probably. Ideally conventional (not linear) shower drain is in center, not so with tub.

2. I would at least do a single coat of mud and tape (sometimes called fire taping) on drywall outside of wet area to tie it all together. Doesn't have to be pretty, but you don't want mountains of drywall compound either.

Both of the above are likely to be within local building code, so if you intend to have it inspected, it will have to be compliant.

05-19-2019, 08:44 AM
Ok great and thank you. The wall tiling issue is covered, no pun intended.

Looking into the drain line, which I did move to the center-ish of the shower when I started this project....wait for it, 7 years ago, does have standing water so more likely than not it does have a pee trap.

Lastly and unfortunately, there is NO vent line. So...I am still ripping up the concrete far enough to put in a vent. Is that correct?

Thanks again for responding


05-19-2019, 08:49 AM

For waterproofing, I have 2 considerations. I have used the Schlutter <sp>, material on 1000 square foot of flooring before but never in a shower. I have also read that Red Guard has a waterproofing product that is easier and interesting. By the way, I live in Dallas and this 1969 house was built on clay so we get a great deal of movement. More toward the back of the house and this bathroom is on the front wall.

I would be interested in your thoughts.


05-19-2019, 09:38 AM
Good not to be hasty, eh?

Some grey areas for me. If you moved the drain, how do you not know if there's a p-trap? If there's water in it and shower has never been functional, where did that water come from?

Unless this was an outside-of-code building in the first place, I doubt there's no vent. Codes typically call for a vent to be no more 5' away from drain, so assuming it's sloped correctly, it sounds like it could be vented at toilet stack or possibly drain itself.

Glad I don't work where slabs are common, this would be easy to determine with crawl space. If you can't figure out venting from above the slab investigation, scoping the drain may save a bunch of concrete busting.

I think it would be good to understand what you've got and how it all works. Dysfunctional drains in slab might come back to haunt you in any number of big and expensive ways.

05-19-2019, 09:54 AM
The Schluter product you used under your flooring is not (or should not have been) the same product you would use to waterproof a shower. The Schluter Kerdi System is a good product for creating both the shower receptor and the wall waterproofing, but I prefer the similar, but better, USG Durock Shower System product. Both are sheet-type membranes.

The RedGard and similar liquid-applied membranes are fine for wall waterproofing if properly applied, but I would not use any of them for creating the shower receptor. You might think them "easier," but the object is to have the receptor completely waterproof for decades to come and it's not easier to ensure a perfect job with the liquid membranes.

I gotta agree with Peter that if you moved that drain, you must be aware (or were once aware) of a P-trap somewhere. If you left the trap in it's previous location and moved the drain, you'll need to correct that before you go any further as that would be a bad situation.

And if you don't enter that geographic location into your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

My opinion; worth price charged.

05-20-2019, 08:16 AM
Gray area' as I recall I broke out enough concrete to move the drain from its prior bathtub position to the more centered mid walk-in shower spot. There was no pee trap apparent as I recall. The drain is within 4 feet from a 4' stack vent behind the toilet. The water is in the pipe because I assume a pee trap...or hoped and I manually poured water into the line so gas did not escape.

I am just going to bang this concrete out and start again. So glad this forum is here for those of us not in the trade. Thank you so much for you patience and insight.

CX, USG Durock Shower System it is, thank you.