do I need a new tub?? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-22-2004, 09:38 PM
Hi folks,

Thanks for all the great information you are passing along. I have read alot but don't seem to find an answer to my question, so hopefully someone can help me. I have just demo'd down to the studs my shower in master bath. I had a fiberglass? shower that was cut crooked at the bottom and was leaking between surround and shower pan.. The shower area is 42" square. Would I be able to use a kerdi kit? Thanks in advance for your response.

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08-23-2004, 05:23 AM
Hi mliss,

Building a Kerdi shower is a great choice for a DIY'er. The Kerdi shower receptor (pan) comes in a 48"x48" size. Using it in your situation would mean trimming to fit your smaller pan area 42x42. This could work if your drain will be exactly in the center. If your drain isn't centered your best bet would be a standard mortar bed. You'll find a lot of information in the Liberry for this. Also, on Schluter's site ( there are installation videos that show a mortar bed and Kerdi Drain being installed.

Steven Hauser
08-23-2004, 07:56 AM
Hello Miss,


Joe's answer is right on target.

Use this thread to post any questions you may have.

Here is a link where you can purchase the material you need.


08-23-2004, 08:25 AM
Yes the drain is center. Also it has two sides that are walls, the third is a low wall / next to the tub and the 4th wall is shower door.

08-23-2004, 10:03 AM
Looks like you could go with the Schluter pan and trim it to fit. It would be nice to hear form someone that has actually used the Schluter shower pan kit to get their take on it. It does look pretty easy to use.

Make sure you post some pics along the way.

08-26-2004, 11:41 AM
Thanks Joe and Steve for your insight.
I went to links you provided and have some more questions...
There is a Kerdi Shower ST/SC that says the tray is 42"x42" is this different then the 48" kit ? (page 8 on link)[/URL]

my shower is 42" square with center drain so would this fit perfectly without cutting?? (I hope) ..... I thought I read that J. Bridge is against trimming kerdi and states to build your own mudfloor if the size isn't right....(or something to that effect, sorry John if I am misquoting you)....... would that apply to my situation???

also what is difference between ABS and PVC ? I'm not sure what ABS is.... I have plastic pipes...relatively new house--7 years-- Thanks in advance..... can't wait to start my project!

08-26-2004, 12:29 PM
I would go with the mud floor if you have to trim the kit at all. 2nd best if you trim the same amount on all sides for the kit it should work well.

I think the information in that pdf from Schluter is out-of-date. As far as I know the Shower Kit is available in 48"x48" and 32"x60" sizes.

Plumbing is not where I excel BUT....PVC and ABS are both types of plastic pipe. PVC seems to be fairly common here in the Northeast. You can't join PVC to ABS directly but there are apparently transition fittings that can be used. If you have access to the plumbing, the pipe should have markings indicating whether it is PVC or ABS.

08-26-2004, 01:14 PM
Both ABS and PVC are plastics.

PVC is white.
ABS is black.

They should not be mixed, because joining them is a pain.

It seems that ABS is used in some areas and PVC in others. Everything here is PVC, but my RV has ABS. As near as I can tell one is as good as the other. Just be sure to buy fittings and parts that are the same color as what you have and all will be well.

08-27-2004, 10:14 AM

I have to add my 2 cents here. I am in the process of building my Kerdi shower with Kerdi pan and I trimmed it to fit a very unique shape. The drain is almost centered but there are many 45 degree cuts. The worst thing that happens here is that the bottom row of tile are going to have to be custom cut for each spot. And I 'll have to start tiling with the second row up from the bottom to give myself a level start point. Water drainage is not a problem because the whole pan is sloped towards the center. So if you don't mind a little variation in the lower row of tiles and don't feel like slinging more mud around then go for it. Check out my project....


08-27-2004, 10:37 AM

Your shower project is looking great! I think I would have done a mud floor given all the cuts you had to make!

Even though I did a mud floor and Kerdi I also started tiling the walls the second row up from the bottom. When I did the bottom course I was able to make any adjustments necessary to get a nice space between the floor and the bottom wall tile.

John Bridge
08-27-2004, 07:07 PM
Welcome aboard, Mliss (Melissa?) :)

I have no problem with the "Kerdi-tray" so long as you can cut an equal amount off all the way around and end up with a level shower perimeter, and it sounds like you will be able to do this. I know your drain is centered because you had the plastic receptor in there originally. And yes, the 42 in. tray has been discontinued. You'll need to order the 48 in. if you go the tray route.

There is one important thing that has not been mentioned. You'll need to make sure the tray is installed level even if your subfloor is out of level, so you may have to provide a thin mortar bed under the tray. Also, the tray is made from very rugged foam, but it must be fully supported throughout, another good reason for a little mortar (or thin set) under it. :)

08-27-2004, 07:28 PM
I just ordered the 48" kerdi kit...The sales rep told me that I will be able to cut off 3" from every side and that would work fine. He said you could use a hack saw or a wood saw or even a utility knife.... my husband thinks his fishing knife will work great...don't know about that one..... :rolleyes: I had some initial confusion as to the different products that are available. The Manufactuer web site is showing a 42" square shower pan tray that is 1 peice--(which I thought would be perfect for my 42" sq shower). but that is a discontinued product and has been revamped to the 48" two piece system. (Less bulky--save $$$ on shipping). I feel that now I can move on to my next query. I am wondering if there is a way tile my exsisting tub and make it look nice. I thougth about using 1" sq tile but am not sure what to do with the corners and the lip of the tub... any comments or suggestions would be welcomed... I have thought about buying a new drop-in tub,...but my little tiling project is swelling beyond initial expectations. attached is some starting pictures of where I am at...Thanks

08-27-2004, 07:33 PM
here are the pix....

08-27-2004, 07:51 PM
sorry no pictures yet....files are too large to accept..... will try again later....thanks again Melissa

John Bridge
08-27-2004, 07:52 PM
I don't think you uploaded the pics. Either that or I'm blind. :)

08-27-2004, 08:42 PM
:laugh2: I am trying again,.....

08-28-2004, 11:00 AM
Thanks Joe for the easy instructions on posting pictures.... :yipee:

08-28-2004, 11:09 AM

08-28-2004, 11:11 AM
possible solution???will it look good?

John Bridge
08-28-2004, 05:36 PM
Nope. :) I don't think so. That would require sticking a row of little tiles directly to the plastic flange of the tub. There will be movement there that the grout won't be able to handle.

It would be better to build something that will enclose the flange or lip of the tub that the tile can be mounted to. You'll need to build something up at least a couple inches higher than the flange.

08-28-2004, 08:35 PM
Thank you for your response. I thought it would be a "no-go". :crazy:
So in my situation as long as I cover the flange/lip with something I can tile over, the tub is usable? Do you think I will I be able to cover with wallboard and then use my kerdi? :idea: I need to tile the front and the surround, as well as the shower. Thank you Thank you Thank you..... this bathroom has turned into quite the saga.... we haven't been able to use this shower for a loooonnnnnggggg time and the kids are starting to complain about us using "their" shower. Mel

09-01-2004, 05:13 PM
Hello everyone

I am still working on my bathroom and am trying to decide what I should do. My current bath tub is functional, but am not sure if it will work for my tiling project. I had to remove my exsisting shower as it leaked ...the bottom of it was cut crooked and water was seeping into the drywall behind. So I decided to replace the fiberglass shower with a tile one. Now that all the fiberglass is gone, I am not sure what to do....can I tile this tub and have it look good, or do I need a drop in tub. (I don't want a whirlpool, just a soaker tub.) HELP !!!!PLEASE ADVISE ME!!!!! I posted pictures before, and John responded not to tile directly onto the tub, but to build up area first. Has anyone done this?? Does it look good?

Much obliged,

09-01-2004, 05:24 PM
Form a raised ledge at the cut in the tub, maybe 6" high,a place to put shampoo, then at the front nail a 2x4 onto the face of the framingto bring it out away from tub and you'll have your ledge,then cover all with cbu and tile,i shoulda been a decorator. :)

Steven Hauser
09-02-2004, 10:32 AM

Is the cut edge where the shower needs to attach?

Was there a glass shower surround there?

I don't know. If the area doesn't need to attach to the shower again, then I agree with Decorator Dave, if not I think you need to start over.

My .02

09-02-2004, 02:55 PM
That cut edge originally had a 2x4 running next to it with a fiberglass top that a glass shower wall was on top of that . I took out the 2x4 cuz I couldn't stand looking at it,...they had all kinds a goop, painting sticks, nuts and washers imbedded in it...I guess to level it out???....A++ install job I reckon :rolleyes: .... I guess it belonged to the same guy who left his half empty bottle of gatorade that was inside my wall when I took down the shower, ..... so anyways I will need to put a new 2x4 along the length, then I can have my glass for my shower put back up. I don't know if it will look good with the tub being lower than the tiles in the front and on that one side....what do you all think? :bang:

Thanks again,

09-02-2004, 03:16 PM
So that gap next to the tub lip in your pic used to have a board there, and the fiberglass of the tub wrapped over it. So your original setup was an enclosed glass shower with a bathtub bottom? Just trying to get it straight.

Does your project involve making it into a shower again, or are you just trying to find a way to make the bathtub look good without a shower? Just trying to get an idea what you want versus what you have in the pic.

09-02-2004, 03:43 PM
The shower is separate from tub....42" square...the tub is next to shower

09-02-2004, 03:48 PM

Well....why not build another partition wall between the tub and the shower space on that landing next to the tub.? Either go all the way up, or partially. If you decided to go partially (since it's not load bearing) you could do something cool like set some glass blocks in the top or something...or do it all in glass block, but leave like a 6" wall down at the bottom by the tub to make a clear division between the two, and leave it open at the top 6-12"....just brainstorming.

Cover both sides with wonderboard, build your shower box, and tile away. Put a glass shower door on the entrance...the only thing that's funky is where the tub faucet is, but with a cool wall there it won't matter.

The more I look at it the more I like the glass block idea.

09-02-2004, 04:13 PM
I vote for the partial knee wall with glass block on top.Or a full wall with a maybe 2x3 opening with glass block in that. :)

09-02-2004, 04:20 PM
Hi Melissa.

I went back and read your original Thread and after doing so decided to merge both Threads together. All that background info. gives us the big picture and really helps us to move you forward. Hang on for the ride.....

09-02-2004, 04:55 PM
I was planning a having a 3/4" frameless shower on the two sides, (it had a partial frameless before)... but I do like the idea of a higher partial wall...... showering in there was a bit like being in a fish bowl....a big one but still..... :laugh2: ..... Mel

09-02-2004, 05:28 PM
Well that's the beauty of glass block. It's partially obscured (fully obscured, patterened, or whatever) to allow natural light of the room in, but you won't feel like you're in a fish bowl or on display. Pretty cool if you ask me.

It'll reduce the footprint of the shower a little bit, but it will be well worth it I think. I have a 36" x 36" shower I'll be tiling soon downstairs in my basement, and it's plenty of room, but there are trade-offs of course.

I really think this glass block thing is a good idea....something to think about.