Shower Pan Re-Do [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-24-2001, 04:58 PM
Dear John and List,

I have just ordered your book (rush, no less), and I am just about to the tiling portion of my "shower pan leak, rip out bottom 1/3 of shower-with-bench, have new fiberglass shower pan put in" project. (Yes, this time the new shower pan goes up the wall and over the bench.) We have not yet put in the greenboard (inside shower) or drywall (outside shower). Nor have I figured out what I'm supposed to do about mortar (?) on the floor to raise it to drain level and have it slope.

As an aside, I have always wanted to learn how to tile, so this "problem" is my opportunity. Frankly, my husband has a wincing expression, because this sort of stuff is not fun to him. He thinks it's actually home improvements. Me, I am fearless, and this looks like lots of fun.

I am seeking your advice on this project. I will, of course, read your book thoroughly, but please feel free to make comments, direct me to success, and provide sympathy for my husband (who loves me enough to do this with me, but will still be wincing).


Austin, Tx

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Bud Cline
05-24-2001, 05:11 PM
Diane WOW!

If your husband really loves you, he should take you on a trip for about a week while the hired tileguy repairs your shower. It's nice that you are this talented and fearless but learning to do tile by repairing a shower is not the place to begin I don't think.

Read John's book and see what you think. Just my thoughts, what say you John?

John Bridge
05-24-2001, 06:31 PM
I say let's chip in and send Diane's hubby a twelve-pack. That's just to get him through the design stage. He'll need more.

Hey Diane,

You really have bitten the big bullet here. You've already knocked out the bottom 1/3 of the shower -- plus the floor and curb/dam. Why not go the whole nine yards and have something new? Patching up a thing like that is something I wouldn't do. If you start over, I promise you we'll take you by the hand and lead you through the stages.

In the meantime, start doing your homework. You need to read this article by my friend Michael Byrne. And he's the guy whose book you should have bought. Mine covers tub surrounds but not stand up showers. (My wife will enjoy spending the royalty, though.)

Now don't believe everything Michael says, but on installing the pan he's right on.

Come back with more questions, Diane. We're happy to have you.

Bud Cline
05-24-2001, 07:45 PM

One more thing. If you decide to tear out the rest and redo the whole thing, (and I too think that would be wise) then now is the time to replace the shower valve. Those things don't last forever either.

Just a thought, I rarely go this far with a standup without doing a new valve.

05-25-2001, 07:45 AM
Dear John, Bud, and tilemates,

Tell me more! Why would I want to rip out the entire shower when ripping out a third, and getting rid of really gross mold, would solve the problem? ... I mean beyond the concept of perfection. <g>

I do understand perfection. My husband and I come from the computer industry. We used to have this "rule" that if you had to change 8 lines of code to fix a problem, you should rewrite the entire program (which was usually hundreds, if not thousands, of lines long). Why? These programs worked (mostly), but they were ugly to maintain. We, being perfectionists, couldn't stand them. We wanted to remove them and replace them with our own elegant code. So we were just looking for an excuse. <g> (Besides, we worked 80-hour weeks at no additional overtime pay, so we had to have SOME fun.)

However, perfection is expensive in time and money. So, here I am with a 10-year-old house (second owner), that has a lot of imperfect details. Whenever we do something, we do feel it is our chance to do it right! But I'm looking at this shower, which is perfectly lovely, and I'm thinking that sometimes it's wiser to fix instead of start over....

Please enlighten me. I can tell there are some major details I don't understand yet. (And I'm almost scared to ask.)


PS Scott says thanks for the beer. He needs it.

Bud Cline
05-25-2001, 02:48 PM

OK so your saying the vacation is off HUH?
You have answered most of your own questions being a perfectionist and all. But, I'll give you a couple things to think about, then we'll see what John has to say.

The shower your working on is ten years old. Then, so is the shower valve. Now some of these things (shower valves) live for a long time, and some don't. If something were to begin to leak (inside the wall) would you be able to access it from the opposite wall, or would you "again" have to go into the tile?

What size is your existing tile? Be absolutely sure your new replacement tile is exactly the same size or your grout lines obviously won't line up. Tile can vary just a tinch, but it will be enough variance to screw things up from an appearance standpoint, and remember, you are perfectionists.

The new tile won't match the existing. There is no discussion here, it just isn't going to match. Then there is going to be a change-up in the grout color, that's a given. And remember you are perfectionists.

The big thing what you are replacing, the big money is already going to be spent there. To redo the whole thing just plain isn't going to cost that much more. Really! I would estimate 90% of your cost is in the lower third the way you are going about it, meaning all the way up from the bottom.

Does your shower tile "wrap" through the door and out to the walls outside the shower? Is your new tile the same thickness as the existing?

Just some things to think about. John???

05-25-2001, 04:23 PM
Dear Bud,

Thanks so much for the reply.

Okay, what's a shower valve? (Doesn't this question just lower the level?) The other side of the wall is Scott's vanity/cabinet/sink area. Seems like it would be easier to go in that way and just repair the dry wall, than go in through the tile. But then I don't really know what or where a shower valve is! Is it at the top? Near the h/c water knobs? I can see two pipes, so it's in there somewhere.

The good news is that I consider our 4" white tile boring, so I never intended to try to match it. I should probably confess that I'm a writer and artist, so if I can make it funky, I will. I have 8 6" handmade tiles (with ocean fish) from an artist in San Antonio (yes, made for shower area), as well as some special-order sauna 2"x2" mottled blue tiles. I also have 2"x6" in this same color for the border between the 4x4 white and what I'm doing. I will scatter the blue throughout the file of 2x2 white that I haven't bought yet. (Any opinions on Daltile? It's at Home Depot and in stock.)

So, the only thing I'm trying to do that is the same as the top is white grout.

No, the tile does not continue outside the shower. There is tile in the "doorway" part of the shower, but that is it.

Please feel free to comment. I am very open to considering your experienced opinion.

As a side note: John's book did not arrive today. Rats. Maybe tomorrow. I can appreciate his wife enjoying the royalties. Should my books ever publish, Scott would be willing to consider giving up his job so that I could support him. He's already practicing going by Mr. Diane Holmes.



Bud Cline
05-25-2001, 06:32 PM

You continue to sound as if you have a plan (most don't) so now I'm not so intent on getting you to escalate your project. So many DIY'ers don't have a clue, and knowing that, I tend to go too far sometimes even to the point of being overbearing. So anyway............

Your valve is the little guy in the wall that you use to turn your shower on and off and blend your hot and cold water, you touch it every time you use your shower. (This assumes my minds eye is seeing your valve style correctly.) Yours apparently is ten years old now, so it's your call whether or not you want to take advantage of this project to take out MORE wall and replace it. Apparently you do have other access if you need to do it later so that is great.

Moving right along, I was going to suggest you purposely create a different look with the repair and divide the old from new with a border, or rope, or sizzle stix, or something, but you are ahead of me there. I think your idea is very practical and very smart.

So often people want me to tear up their leaking shower, disrupt their lives for days, put up with their barking stinking dog and inquiring kids, don't take their parking space near the house, clean up after myself, and keep a smile on my face when their damned lawn sprinkler turns on without warning soaking my truck interior, my tools, my dry goods, and everything around me. And when I am done they expect to see no evidence of my ever being there and everything in the shower is to be exactly like it had been for the previous twenty-five years. This can not always be accomplished. How's that for a rant?

When a customer is open for suggestions I become ecstatic.

About Dal-Tile, I think it is a great product and have used it for years, when I lived in Texas that is about all I would use. My greater concern would be with dealing with HD, (Home Depot) we don't have HD around here but the Big Box we do have has a bad reputation for buying second run goods and passing it off as first grade materials, so check it out.

One more quick question then I'm gone for now.....what do you have in mind for your floor tile?

John Bridge
05-25-2001, 06:39 PM
Hi Diane, This is getting good. Not much technical knowledge being transferred here, but a whole bunch of other stuff.

On the valve: Ordinary people say faucet. We say valve. It sets us apart. Actually, though, I don't agree with Bud on that one. Most valve/faucets can be rebuilt without tearing anything up, tile or sheetrock. So I don't worry about that angle. I suspect Bud derives joy from changing out "valves." :-)

Okay, so you've just about quelled all my arguments. You want eclectic, you get eclectic. The structure, though, is still of concern. When you say the new fiberglass shower pan goes up over the seat/bench, are you talking about a rigid fiberglass unit or something fabricated on the job, such as a shower pan liner? Did you read MB's article?

What is immediately behind the tile that remains in your shower? If it is cement mortar or cement backer board, we'll continue. If it is sheetrock/green board/plaster board/gyp rock, I'm going to continue advocating tearing it out. We don't work on "sheetrock showers" around here.

And I do agree with Bud that the biggest part of the shower (labor-wise) has already been torn out. Your eight lines of script are not a good analogy. If we were talking programming here, you would definitely throw the whole mess out and start over, not for neatness' sake but just because it would be the prudent thing to do.

But hey . . . . Where's Sonnie. He should pronounce on this thing. And Rob Z., too. And Jim. And if we're not careful, Dave G. might straighten us out, too.

Oh, and Scott won't get the brewskies until the other guys chip in, and nobody has chipped yet.

And finally, while I was typing this chapter, it seems Bud beat me to the draw. Had I not been so long-winded . . .

[Edited by Admin on 05-25-2001 at 08:53 PM]

05-25-2001, 07:45 PM
I'm confused..but then again we have more alcohol in our beer up here! It sounds to me like you have a built in seat in your shower? wonder it leaked. How is it constructed..and how is it attached to the wall? Is it wood covered in greenboard and then tiled? What's behind the existing tile?

Bud Cline
05-25-2001, 08:57 PM
John saidXXXXXXAdmin said: On the valve: Ordinary people say faucet. We say valve. It sets us apart. Actually, though, I don't agree with Bud on that one. Most valve/faucets can be rebuilt without tearing anything up, tile or sheetrock. So I don't worry about that angle. I suspect Bud derives joy from changing out "valves." :-)

True most valves can be rebuilt, in fact they all can, from inside the shower, and by the way we have more "flawsets" here than we have faucets OR valves. Believe it or not, in my seven years in this town I have seen as many valves leaking at the sweat fittings (copper) as I have seen leaking pans.

All the plumbers must have gone to the same school. At first I found this amazing but I guess I got used to it, so we almost always recommend replacing the older valves. In all honesty now that I think about it, it isn't the valve that's the problem. They were doing this when I arrived here and I learned to just join in, what a scam huh?

Anyway I will gladly subordinate to John on this issue, Now for the seat. I have an idea here, unless John knows something I don't. John have you ever used the "Better Bench" from Novis? Pretty nifty product I think. Neat, clean, fast, and I don't know about reliability but I don't see how it can miss.

We can get technical whenever your ready Diane.

So where's these other guys?

Rob Z
05-25-2001, 09:03 PM

Could you help me out and email a picture to John so he can post it on the Forum? I'm trying to visualize what you've got for a shower. You mention a fiberglass pan that goes up the wall and over the bench.

John is very computer savvy, so he should be able to handle this picture thing.

We look forward to helping you...

Rob Z

Sonnie Layne
05-25-2001, 10:35 PM

If you'd offered only a six pack instead of a twelver, I'd contribute my 16%.

Rip out the whole thing, Diane. No guts no glory, and you deserve all the credit not just 2/3 of it. Believe me the time spent will be nothing compared to...

I'll bet she's got sheetrock, green or otherwise behind the tile. Better rip it anyway. Put in a cool stone waterfall or something really cool. Maybe some neon lights under the stones.

I could see ripping my hair out with 8 faulty lines of code if it were CPM or elder COBAL but with the newer compiled stuff it's just a day's work (and a twelve pack!). Go for it, Diane, and by the way, hubby doesn't need his own vanity, just expand the shower while you're at it. I've been too busy replacing walls with glue-lam beams lately to be much help online, but I'm just a painter anyway, hehehehe.

John-o, how's your garden looking this year? Have you had so much rain even the ferns are floating? Missed your board lately, capacitor on mother-board failed this week so I was off line a bit. Too busy to sleep anyway, but glad to chip into this high-spirited conversation.

Yo Buddy,

05-26-2001, 10:06 AM
Dear Bud,

Bud wrote: "I think your idea is very practical and very smart."

Bud, I may frame this. There are many people (say, my parents) who would not necessarily think I'm practical, much less say it. <grin> They love me anyway.

Bud wrote: "This can not always be accomplished. How's that for a rant?"

Well, now, you should work for me. I have a complete appreciation for competence and would never soak the interior of your car. In this area (Austin, TX) it is very difficult to hire people, in any aspect of building or repair, who at least won't perpetuate gross negligance (I'm understating, trust me). I know there are true craftsmen here, but they are few and far between. ...Just speaking from experience and I mean no disprespect to anyone reading this, who is also from Austin. (This is only the preview of a rant.)

Thanks for the heads up on tile seconds. I'll check into it.

As for the floor tile, just the same 2x2 white tile with blue tile sprinkled throughout.



05-26-2001, 10:31 AM
Dear John,

Hey, I happen to have a faucet!

John wrote: "Are you talking about a rigid fiberglass unit or something fabricated on the job, such as a shower pan liner? Did you read MB's article?"

The showerpan was fabricated just for me. Ray, the shower pan guy, took measurements, then created the sides at home. Then he put it all in place here, and poured/layered (whatever it is that happened) the bottoms, corners, threshold, etc. It stunk like hell.

The liner comes up the sides 10" around the floor (except at the threshold, where it comes up and across/over). At the bench (which is along the left side), it comes up and across/over, and then up the wall and sides 5". Along the rise of the bench, the liner extends out 3-5 inches (the 3" side is the shower door opening).

Yes, I read Michael's article. It was very, very good (the crowds went wild), and there was only one small detail that I didn't follow. I'll be reading it again, and if I still don't get it, then I'll ask here.

No, we did not create a sloped floor prior to installing the pan. Bummer, eh? Our house is cement slab, so the pan is sitting on the slab. I figure I can follow all his direction for creating the mortar bed on top of the liner, including the wire mesh-stuff and slope.

Oh, I have not tested the liner yet. I will do that, probably today.

The old liner was rubber and went up a couple inches. It did not go over the seat. The seat (a series of 12" cement pavers) was just set on top of the liner. Also, the facing wall of the shower is the exterior house wall, and the liner was put in prior to figuring out where the interior wall should be. So "they" just nailed a big 2x6 over the liner at the bottom, against the floor, to bring the wall out.

I examined our drain. The liner is poured up to the white drain-y part, and looks very secure. The white drain-y part then rises another 1.5". I do not see weeping holes. Hmmmm. Does this mean they are below the liner? Am I allowed to create some holes (sounds like they are key to the concept of tile/mortar/liner)? Maybe with a very small drill bit???

John wrote: "What is immediately behind the tile that remains in your shower? If it is cement mortar or cement backer board, we'll continue. If it is sheetrock/green board/plaster board/gyp rock, I'm going to continue advocating tearing it out. We don't work on "sheetrock showers" around here."

You're not going to like this. It's green board. (Beats the heck out of the regular drywall behind the tub/shower in my previous home. That stuff crashed to the floor shortly after we moved in. Re-did the entire bathroom, and discovered stuff like the previous-previous owners had just cut all the floor joists where they were in the way of the tub. And did nothing to support them. And put the toilet trap in upside down. Sigh. And we only had one bathroom.)

So, wood studs, green-colored drywall, tile.

What I really need to understand are the risks associated with repairing the shower in the same manner it was installed OR using cement backer board on only the part I am doing. That way, I can see if these are risks I'm willing to assume. I do understand that redoing it the right way is the best risk handling plan. <grin>



05-26-2001, 10:37 AM
Dear Bri,

Bri wrote: "I'm confused..but then again we have more alcohol in our beer up here! It sounds to me like you have a built in seat in your shower? wonder it leaked. How is it constructed..and how is it attached to the wall? Is it wood covered in greenboard and then tiled? What's behind the existing tile?"

Are you in Michigan? Just curious. Yeah, you're right. No wonder. The seat, which I just described to John, is not attached to the wall at all. It is free-standing next to the wall(solid cement pavers?? 5 high, stacked next to each other), so sorta against the studs, but with enough room to drywall... or whatever. Ray attached the showerpan (as it comes up from the seat) to the studs to eliminate this gap.



05-26-2001, 10:51 AM
Dear Rod Z,

Rod wrote: "Could you help me out and email a picture to John so he can post it on the Forum? I'm trying to visualize what you've got for a shower. You mention a fiberglass pan that goes up the wall and over the bench.

Thanks for the offer of help! How about a word picture. Unfortunately I do not have a digital camera or a scanner for a regular picture, so I would have to take a picture, get it developed, and mail it the old-fashioned way. :)

The shower stall is built against the exterior house wall, so the other three walls are what I think of as free-standing (non-support). The entrance is roughly 4.5" off the ground, then 27" wide by 78" wide. (Would be different with tile.) We replaced the studs that were rotten or moldy.

The wall you are facing as you enter is the exterior house wall. There is a small 10 x 34 window, about 14" down. The bench is on the left and the shower faucet (valve) and sprayer is on the right. The bench (without tile) is 12.5" x 36". The floor space is approximately 35 x 35.

Where we have removed the tile, you see wooden studs and pipes. We need to replace the pink insulation on the exterior wall. Where there is tile, you can tell the wall behind it is green. We have also removed the drywall outside the shower on the entrance-side, due to mold, as well as the baseboards. The carpet is a gonner too.

The water pipes are copper, and the drain is PVC. There is a light in the ceiling, but no fan. Of course the ceiling is tiled too.

I have probably left out the one detail you are looking for, so let me know!



05-26-2001, 11:01 AM
Dear Sonnie,

Sonnie wrote: "Put in a cool stone waterfall or something really cool. Maybe some neon lights under the stones."

Oh, Sonnie! We would be very dangerous together. I didn't even mention the little glass pebble things I'm going to use. <grin> And my plan was made with re-selling the house in mind. If I had complete freedom... I'd be all over that waterfall with neon lights. I mean, I feel pretty ordinary having to choose fish tile. How cliched! Some day, when I know I'm living where I'll never leave....

Sonnie wrote: I could see ripping my hair out with 8 faulty lines of code if it were CPM or elder COBAL but with the newer compiled stuff it's just a day's work (and a twelve pack!).

I started coding in COBOL Lang Level 1, which was already ancient at the time. Never got to use the newer stuff, but I have some fine memories of ALC dumps.

Sonnie wrote: Go for it, Diane, and by the way, hubby doesn't need his own vanity, just expand the shower while you're at it.

Now see, that's how I ususally think, and I'm trying hard to be retrained. So don't be tempting me.

Sonnie wrote: John-o, how's your garden looking this year? Have you had so much rain even the ferns are floating?

John, ah, gardening. Gardening in Austin's limestone and clay is not near as fun as gardening in Indiana's rich black soil. This year, I'm sticking with Lantanas. I need a little success, before I humiliate myself in another vegetable gardening attempt. Besides, I'm too busy with tile. :)



Bud Cline
05-26-2001, 11:53 AM

Austin Texas is one of my favorite towns, have been there several times. Several years ago I spent about a month out at Marble Falls (not too far away) remodelling some condos, most of our materials came from Austin. Even had dinner a couple of times at a reataurant at one of the lakes (don't remember which one) and all the employees wore little sailor suits, "cute". Great place Austin.

Also there is another message board I play around with and there is a certified installer from Austin that comes there frequently should you ever have a need for a qualified carpetguy in your area.

NOW, unfortunately you've lost me on your liner. I don't think I have ever seen that done (fiberglass) anywhere. So I'm going to sit back and listen here. I am curious as to how the tile subsurface of the new (with liner) is going to flush with the tile subsurface of the old.

(Reclining now)

John Bridge
05-26-2001, 02:03 PM
Hi Diane, all,

First things first. Bri is in Ontario, Canada, and Canadians don't have more alcohol in their beer -- that's just a myth. The myth is that American beer is 3.2 percent. It's not. It's usually 4 or better, depending on the brew.

Second, the bulk of my gardening is in containers. I have over a hundred of them with all sorts of tropical and semitropical things growing in them. Check out the "Pic of the Month."

When you have more time you can visit the whole "Jungle," but we've got to resolve this shower thing first. I'm still confused, too.

Please take a picture and send it along. We've got to see what's going on here. And, don't you want some before and after shots, anyway? You can have your pics put on a floppy when they're developed.

And, I went broke in Indiana in '82. Owned a restaurant in Indianapolis that went under. That's how I got to Houston. Needed a job in a hurry, and Houston was booming.

John Bridge
05-26-2001, 05:15 PM
The plot thickens.

Don't try making weep holes. It sounds like the liner was formed ABOVE the upper flange. If that's the case, making holes now would only cause leaks. If I am correct, the only thing you could possibly do is bore small holes in the "insert," the part that screws into the flange and that contains the hair strainer. The hair strainer is the chrome looking part that you see after the shower is built. You won't find what I've just said in any book, believe me. It is very unconventional. I think it might work, though. You simply must have a way for the water to escape, or you'll have a smelly cess pool under you floor tiles.

It won't hurt to at least replace the missing sheetrock with cement backer. The two materials are the same thickness. I don't know how you are going to attach backer board OR sheetrock to your shower pan where it goes over the seat, though. It will probably have to be a mud job. Wish I had a picture. It would speak a thousand words.

05-26-2001, 11:16 PM
Good morning (by about 10 minutes). Well, Scott was reading the emails and said, we do, too, have a scanner. I replied, "But it doesn't work." Well, I was sorta right. Apparently it works with the old computer. What luck!

Also, it occurred to me I could be neighborly and borrow the neighbor's digital camera and have them upload it and email it to me, and then I'll send on to you, John. I'll lend them a cup of sugar in return.

Don't know if the neighbors are in town over Memorial weekend (can't see them, now that they built the three-car garage and obscured my view of their comings and goings).

Also, if I take my own non-digital pictures, I don't know if I can get hour-service over the holiday.

Bottom line: Neither lack of camera battery nor holiday will keep me from taking pictures. Hope all of you have at least one day off over the weekend.

John, beautiful flowers. Houston is a whole other zone. I'm kinda jealous of the tropical color. :)



05-27-2001, 02:49 AM
4% or better? That's a "light" beer....but on to more important things...I didn't need the beer to be more lost me on the "pavers"....but did you mention a window in the shower?....if so..this is another problem area..I think?...Can't wait to see a picture now!


John Bridge
05-27-2001, 06:43 AM
Great, Diane. Pics will help us out a great deal. Don't give the neighbors a cup of sugar, though. Give them some of the beer we sent Scott. There's more where that came from. [Oh, we didn't send the brewskies? Oh, that's right, nobody chipped yet.]

Yeah, we don't have topographical scenery in Houston (except for Mt. Houston), but we do have tropical weather most of the year.


Wasn't it you complaining a while back that Americans make all the beer in Canada nowadays? Are you saying we put more octane in yours than we do our own? Are you trying to infer we're dip shits, or something?

Rob Z
05-27-2001, 08:18 AM

This is a most interesting thread. I can't wait to see the pictures.

Rob Z

05-27-2001, 01:21 PM
Hey John
I never "inferred" anything of the fact our 2 big beer producers up here make, Coors, Bud, etc..and don't forget Fosters...but they all have 5% alcohol..Coor light ...Bud light all have 4%...but it's for the Canadian guys make your own. Not that it matters to me...I drink Guinness..3.8%...I can drink 2 and my lines are still straight! Well almost.

Bud Cline
05-27-2001, 03:59 PM
Administrator Post
Registered: Mar 2001
Posts: 98
Hi Diane, This is getting good. Not much technical knowledge being transferred here, but a whole bunch of other stuff.

Boy ain't that the truth? It's just as well 'cause I'm so damned lost on Dianes shower project.......

Then I kept getting emails that something was happening here but when I checked in it was all old stuff. Imagine my surprise a few minutes ago when I learned this thing has seperate pages. Seems that there are some reading skills required to operate this site (beyond reading the posts that is). "IT JUST KEEPS GETTING HARDER".

I thought all domestic beers that weren't 3.2% were 5.0% and that was it. Doesn't matter though 'cause 'bout all I drink anymore is Heineken's anyway. What's that alchohol content?

Hows thim ther pitchers comin' Diane??? (yawn)

05-27-2001, 05:38 PM
I am expecting my pictures any moment now! My neighbor came over with his wiz-bang camera, and I took 6 pictures. He took it home to transfer the picture card to his computer and email the pictyres to me. That was almost 3 hours ago....

Update on my liner. I tested the liner as instructed. Almost all the water disappeared at the drain, where there was not enough caulk between liner and flange. Hmmm. And the little bit of water that was left, after it sat for a while, made the fiberglass (which is sorta clear-ish) look milky. In other words, it seems to have "soaked in" a bit, and at the very least changed the color some.

I'm not happy.

Could be worse, of course. At least none of the water ended up in the wall space or on the concrete slab.

The whole fiberglass thing sounds logical to me, that fiberglass would be a good idea. After all, that's what they use to make preformed showers and tubs. Of course those don't become milky looking when you add water.

I have this feeling that I'm going to have to put my own liner in, as instructed in Michael's article.

I just keep thinking eventually I'm going to get to the fun tile part.



Bud Cline
05-27-2001, 09:10 PM

I'm still trying to figure out how that fiberglas liner is attached to the floor drain. Are you planning to slope a little concrete on top of the liner?

Photo's are going to be really helpfull here.

05-27-2001, 09:21 PM
Yipee! I have emailed John 6 shower pictures for our heckling pleasure. <g> BYOBeer.



Bud Cline
05-27-2001, 09:52 PM
OK John, it's up to you now, I'm getting really excited.

By-the-way John, is your clock set correctly on this site?
We are in the same time zone but we seem to be one hour apart one way or the other, I don't remember which way and now I can't find your time report.

John Bridge
05-28-2001, 08:04 AM
It is 9:00 AM Monday, 28 May. Pictures came in last night, and I am currently making a special page. Take me an hour or so. I'll post the link here.

Bud, You're worried about an hour? At least I've got it set to the right date.

10:15AM, depending on whose clock you use.

In my anxiety to get the pics on the web I merely reduced them to fit the page without actually editing them from their original bedsheet size. I realized my error only when I was uploading them to the site -- seemed to take a very long time. I may recapture them and edit them later, but in the meantime, depending on what kind of rig you're using, it's going to take you a while to load them. It's worth it, though.

Here is the link:

[Edited by Admin on 05-28-2001 at 11:14 AM]

05-28-2001, 10:39 AM
Dear John,

Thanks for loading the pictures!~

Sorry to all for the looooong download time. I'm glad John made them smaller. It's ugly to have to scroll sideways as well as up and down to see a picture. Just go the page, walk away, and take a beer break. <g> If you don't see all six pictures, you may need to reload the page. Yup, another beer break.



Bud Cline
05-28-2001, 11:20 AM

The "time" difference is no big deal I was just curious, thought maybe someone moved Houston and didn't tell me.

The flicks downloaded immediately for me and came in great, "good job".


That is probably the brightest smile I've seen in a long time.

John, Diane,

I've never seen this "fiberglas pan" technique before, heard of it but this is the first I've seen. I can't really tell the thickness of the fiberglass, but I don't see where it is much different than a vinyl pan liner so no big deal there.

I would have some minor concerns about the wood curb, (threshhold) I just don't do them because I believe they can spell trouble. I tear-out plenty of them though.

Now, for the floor drain.....I can visualize water collecting in the depression at (around) the drain. I would have used a different style floor drain. I would have also poured a cement base uniformly sloping to the drain. This would be the place for the pan to rest on and the entire area would be sloped to the drain. The other style floor drain assembly has weep holes to allow the evacuation of water fron on top of the pan.

The pan is there because the tile and grout are not really waterproof and water will get thru the tile and onto the pan in time. A flat pan on a flat floor will collect and hold water. A depression around the floor drain without weep holes to the sewer will collect and hold water. If the collected water has no place to go it will soon begin to develope an odor. Daily use of the shower when proper weep holes are provided allows for the daily exchange of the water and eliminates the possibility of the standing water stinking.

Even though a cement sloping floor is to be cast-in-place on top of the fiberglass, water will eventually penetrate to the pan. me out here John, tell me what is the proper procedure when working with a fiberglass pan of this nature.

John Bridge
05-28-2001, 11:32 AM
Not this boy. I'm gonna wait until some other ideas come in. I don't know that there IS a proper procedure.

That is an approved drain, and it does (did) have weep holes right at the bottom of the upper flange. It's the same drain we use around here. I'll bet it's an Oatey.

[Edited by Admin on 05-28-2001 at 01:36 PM]

Bud Cline
05-28-2001, 11:56 AM

On second look you are right about the floor drain, it appears the bottom flange has been buried in the concrete as per norm, but the fiberglass comes up to the upper flange closing the weep holes. Like I said this is a first for me.

05-28-2001, 05:56 PM
We begged for everybody is waiting to see who will jump in first...Ok..I'll go.... I see a lot of these kinds of jobs....and I usually "run like the wind"!. I would say there is more work there trying to patch it up, then there is tearing it all out and starting again(did you get Johns book yet?) I see potential problems with the drain, seat, window, door jams, curb, greenboard,plumbing, cup holders(for the beer).The pavers for the seat is an interesting idea though. It's not impossible to fix....just a lot of things to think about...we should start with the floor. Anybody have some ideas?

Bud Cline
05-28-2001, 09:49 PM
OK so now what? C'mon John, this isn't the time to subordinate. What do you think?

Someone please tell me this fiberglass thing that has been done here is in fact the way it is done sometimes someplaces. As I said, I have never seen such a thing and am waiting to learn something.

We had so much fun getting to this point I don't want to be the one to say this isn't going to work. So someone much wiser and more experienced than I should jump in here.

John Bridge
05-29-2001, 06:22 AM
Okay, okay. But I've got to get out to the job. I'll reply this afternoon/evening.

05-29-2001, 07:34 AM
Good morning!

Glad to hear the pictures are downloading pretty fast. I have a big-honking computer, but I live out in the country (where there are no building codes), and so my phone lines only support 28.8 at the best. And no cable. And no DSL. But who cares when you can look out at 4 acres of wild flowers and oak trees. <g> ...Which I do a lot as I'm waiting for things to load.

I have lots of questions which will probably generate lots of adjectives and exclamations. I'll just throw them out there. There maybe much more major issues that make these moot. If so, really, we can just talk about the major things.

The Fiberglass Pan: Can this work? (BTW, it is right on top of the slab.) If so, should I caulk round the ring/flange-thing so it doesn't leak? Should I re-test and watch the drain. If the water is just going down the drain, do I care if it leaks at the drain? What do I do/think about the liner turning milky from the sitting water? Won't it have a lot of water exposure over the years? Should I build a liner the way Michael described (in his article) over the fiberglass liner? If so, should I do a very thin sloped bed, then liner, then a very thing mortar bed, then tile... or do I just not have enough room to play with, with the current drain?

Bonus Drain Questions: When I look down the drain... should I see standing water? Should I see nothing but pipe all the way "down," or should I see sections of cement/slab??? And what do I do about those darn weep holes?

Wood Curb/Threshold: Bud, why do they spell trouble? (It looks so innocent.)

Running Like the Wind: Bri, you're scaring me! And no, I haven't received The Book yet. The UPS tracking number says today. Should be great reading tonight with fancy snacks. And on a completely unrelated topic, how to you say your name? Scott and I have been discussing it. It's either with a hard "I" or more like the cheese. Frankly, I'm fond of the cheese.

Seat: Bri sees potential problems. What's up?

Window: Ditto.

Door Jams: Ditto.

Bri wrote: It's not impossible to fix....just a lot of things to think about...we should start with the floor. Anybody have some ideas?

Can we save this patient?


Diane, grieving relative.

Sonnie Layne
05-29-2001, 10:39 AM
dead pan humour.

Bud Cline
05-29-2001, 11:50 AM
As I said this fiberglass thing is all new to me, so I'm backing off just a little until John has some input. I hate it when I look really foolish.

The wood curb is not my only concern here but I'll try to address that for now.

It appears to me to be made of treated lumber. If this is the case then "treated" now will mean shrinkage as it drys over time. Shrinkage will not be good for the grout job. If shrinkage occurs then water will be allowed thru the resulting cracks. Water wil then cause the wood to expand. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, this will not be a good thing.

We have already established that the tile floor is going to leak, that's just the way it is. Hence the need for a waterproof pan allowing weeping into the drain. If the floor is going to leak in time then so is the tile and grout over the curb, especially where it is subjuct to drippings from the door. I see where fiberglass has been used to coat the inside and maybe the top of the curb but I still view this as really risky business.

When you look into the drain you should see standing water. This is because if properly installed the drain pipe has a "trap". This will be called an "S" trap, "J" trap, "P" trap, any number of things but none-the-less a trap. The purpose of this "trap" is to hold the last little bit of water that goes down the drain to block off sewer gasses from finding its way back into the room. When you look under your vanities or kitchen sink you will find similar traps there also. When you look at the side profile of your stool you will more than likely see something that looks "S" shaped cast into the fixture. All water "egresses" should have traps.

I was also curious. Is it (Bri) pronounced "Bree" or "Bry"?

John Bridge
05-29-2001, 05:28 PM
I put this on another thread, also. Bri is short for Brian.

Okay, here we go, Diane. The reason you tore your shower out to begin with is because it was a piece of cow flop. It still is.

I've never seen a pan liner made from fiberglass and resin. I think it could work if the area around the drain is redone. The pan material (whatever it is) must go across the bottm flange to the drain hole. Then the top flange (weep holes clear) is bolted over the pan and lower flange. As long as water can't get UNDER the liner (i.e., between the liner and the lower drain flange), everything will work. That is if there are no holes in your pan installation.

To affect this repair you would have to chisel out the existing drain, buy a new one (throw the lower portion away). Reform the pan over the existing lower flange. Then install the new upper flange and hair strainer.

The fact that the fiberglass pan is not sloped troubles me. Therefore, the bottom of it would have to be redone also -- to provide a pitch from the walls to the drain. The pan cannot hold water, otherwise bad things will grow in the shower floor down the road, and those bad things will smell something terrible.

It is essential that the curb/dam area be completely waterproofed as well. The outside (front) of the curb doesn't matter. The fact that the treated wood will shrink doesn't matter, because we are going to advise you to do the curb with lath and mortar, which will support itself once cured. Properly waterproofed, the treated wood will never swell.

The seat/bench (built from cement blocks) would be great if it were INSIDE the shower pan, but it's not. I know it can be waterproofed, but its a hit and miss operation.

The window sill sill is a fact of life. Bri once stated that there ought not to be windows in showers, because they often leak into the framing. But it would be a gloomy world indeed without windows. And certain times of the year I use the window in my shower for ventilation as well as for light. (My neighbors don't mind. They keep their blinders on).

Anyway, the window sill should be treated like the curb -- waterproofed before the tile goes on.

Now here it comes once more. If it were my shower, I would tear everything out of there, including the pan attempt, and start from scratch. When I was finished I'd have a brand new, well-built and pristine shower installation.

Check out Daisey's shower on another thread (racerette). I had her tear out a framed seat so she could install her pan all the way to the stud walls. Look at her pictures. She's going to have a really fine shower, one she'll never have to worry about.

05-29-2001, 06:13 PM
I think I need a beer. <g>

But since I'm allergic to corn, I'll have to settle for Stoli. Oh, John's book arrived today! John, is that you in all those pictures?! Very fun to put a face to the name. And I'm glad I decided to do the shower before I got your book. Just looking at all those pictures of leveling walls would have discouraged me something fierce.


Diane, calling the mortician for the shower...

Bud Cline
05-29-2001, 07:01 PM
Well alrighty then John. Maybe I'll learn something on the next one. I've been scratching my head on that project thinking I was the only one that would go buy a twelve-pack and start over from the ground up.

John Bridge
05-29-2001, 07:10 PM
Hi Diane,

That's me all right, circa 1991. I'm much prettier now.

05-29-2001, 09:00 PM
Hello all,

I'll get in line and chime in on the "mortar bed shower floor" topic. Upon John's reccomendation, I read Michael Byrne's article on mortar bed pans and found it enlightening. I am embarking on a tiled shower in a new home currently under construction. Like Diane, I live in the Austin, TX area and have seen numerous new homes done with a fiberglass pan. As an added precaution, some builders even apply a waterproofer atop the glass ( similar to Drylock). This seems to be the standard in homes ranging from 300K to 3 million and beyond. Up until this discussion I assumed this was the industry standard. Guess not!

On question I have regarding Michael's article is related to the cement backer board as a tile substrate. Should the cement board go all the way down to the top of the liner or should it stop short? Is "wicking" an issue here or is that limited to drywall/gypsum products.

Also, Does anyone know a distributor in the Austin area for the liner ( chloraloy)material?


05-29-2001, 09:07 PM
Hi, Jason. Glad you joined us. I'm mulling over more questions, which I'll post some time tomorrow. But just thought I'd drop a quick note to say that in the Austin area the fiberglass liner must also be the standard for $300,000 and below. Well below. <g>



Bud Cline
05-29-2001, 09:11 PM
That's funny Diane LMAO.

John I noticed Dianes project has now taken us into FOUR pages. ""JOHNNY, PLEASE TELL DIANE WHAT SHE HAS WON SO FAR""!

05-29-2001, 09:13 PM
Any good tile contractor supply house should have a variety of widths of shower pan liner. 40mil is recommended.

Chloraloy is a brand name, there are several, Composeal Blue
is one also.

Sonnie Layne
05-29-2001, 10:21 PM
The wicking problem is a problem no matter the current standard backing you use. There are waterproofing agents that could be used with cement, and I suspect with CBU's but I've read no data concerning their use and compatability with tile setting mortars. I think the issue of wicking is satisfied by the waterproof membrane behind the wall which is typically a polyurethane or Tyvek sheeting. As far as how far to bring the CBU down over the liner, well I haven't written a book (oh, but I HAVE, haha) but it's necessary to bring the CBU down to deck level or just a tad above, but don't place any fasteners through it below about 6 or 8" above the deck. That distance is actually determined by the height of your curb.

And to all, on the subject of pressure treated pine, or CCA treated lumber... there is such a thing as #1 grade post-kiln-treated lumber. It's dried, treated, then dried to about 20%. Hard as a rock and as straight as John's beer selection. I've actually had to pre-drill holes in the stuff to get a nail in. In order to screw it down, I use stainless steel robertson head screws and even then I've had to back em out half way and re-drive them. Kinda pricey, as a matter of fact, tidewater cypress, mahogany and teak are all about the same price no more than you'd be using for curbs/seats/sills etc. Due to the process of treatment the shrink/swell issue is practically speaking erased. I've used the stuff in place of cypress for conservatory structures. Call it 20 years ago, everything is straight enough even today to hold glass panes.

Now, after the last phone call (hopefully, it's nearly 11pm in Dallas) I've ventured to see the photos. Dead pan is right. In the time it's taken us to discuss all this, John could have installed 37 correct shower pans. I could have installed 2. Brian is probably good for ummm well, I don't know him well enough to include him in the joke, but there would be no ill intended. At any rate he'd have been good for more than 2.

Now, Diane as John said POLITELY it's cowpie, but being fiberglass it's also very forgiveable. First biggest topic is drainage and weepholes. Cut the pan (if you want to call it that) from the four corners to the drain and set it on a sloped mortar bed. Cut it around the drain, sand it to provide a tooth, and cement a PVC membrane between the glass and the drain with silicone. The silicone will bite the sanded glass and I'd advise wiping the pvc membrane with acetone and it'll bite that, too (all this spoken from a former commercial greenhouse owner faced with endless repairs on various covering systems). Re-glass the cuts (easy). Now you've solved the slope and drainage issue, but for what? by the time you,,,well, never mind, just say a new pan could be installed by the time you finish your first Stoli, albeit not martini material. And given the 28.8 connection, I'd say you'd have a new proper liner with no cow pies before you even poured your first Stoli online. I've got that dead pan look on my face, believe me I'm having fun with my Beefeater.

Such a lovely field of bluebonnets.

Why not, instead of tile, slate the walls like a roof? Of course to get a good effect you'd want to extend the shower to thrice it's current size. But, since you're tearing it out anyway,... haha.

Then a lighted blown glass waterfall at the 76" height, side jets (white-wall washers) and a glass block floor. Oh, forgot it's on the first floor, forget the glass block floor, would accomplish nothing. Then just for drills, install an injector so the water could change colours according to... well, most anything electronics could decipher, say the colour of the sky, the temp of the water, the volume from the speakers which surely you'll have installed in the upper corners, eh?

I'm just a painter, but I'm saying you could make it work. I'm also a businessman and I'm saying you should make a fountain in the backyard with your fiberglass pan. Your time is worth more. Any person possessing intelligence deserves to be free of such distraction, even though it's a lot of fun to deal with a challenge.

By the way, if you have two 28K wires running into your house, you can twist two of them together and get a 56K connection, and the electrical utility company will never know!


John Bridge
05-30-2001, 04:49 AM
Hi Jason,

After reading Sonnie's post, I almost forgot the question. The brands of shower pan material you will find readily availabe are not CPE but PVC. This is one of the areas where Michael and I part company. PVC is fine. It's what most people use.

I'll leave the wicking thing to others who are more familiar with the process.

Rob Z
05-30-2001, 06:12 AM
Hi Jason,

"Knowlegeable" people in the tile industry have told me that all the tile backer products wick moisture from the bottom edge. In some experiments, water has wicked several feet up a piece of cement board that had the lower edge continually immersed in water.

I'd like to try it for myself sometime and see, but participating in John's Forum and reading Dr. Seuss to my 5 year old take all my free time. [Oh, the Places You'll Go! -- Admin]

Here's what I do: I do use Noble Chloraloy for shower pans. Yes, the debate is that they get brittle over time as the plasticizing agents "gas off" whereas the CPE material does not. And, yes, I believe John when he says that he has never seen a failure (of a properly installed PVC pan) in 30 years. To make it even more controversial, a friend called Oatey and asked them about this issue, and they did agree that the PVC pan material is subject to this brittle-ing problem. (sorry to make up such a word)

I don't what to think about all that stuff, but the main reason I use the CPE is because it folds nicely with tight corners. The PVC material I used to use would not. Also, I like sealing the the seams and dam corners with Noble seal 150 (a caulk like product) , rather than having to put on a respirator and breathe xylene and solvent weld the seams.

My supplier carries all the Noble products and my price for them is not a whole lot more than the PVC sheet goods. Avoiding the smelly xylene is alone worth paying the difference in price.

I happen to have a large supply of PVC dam corners left over from before I made the switch.

As for the wicking, I go contrary to the TCA on wall cement board installs. Since I apply a surface applied waterproofing membrane on almost all showers, I run the cement board down to just above the pan liner. I caulk the bottom edge with Noble 15o to seal it. I then apply the waterproofing membrane. (or, reverse this order-it works either way).

I hope this helps....

Rob Z

[Edited by Admin on 05-30-2001 at 06:13 PM]

05-30-2001, 09:30 AM
You say that you use CPE and a surface applied water proof membrane as well as caulk and coat your wall panel.

That is a bullet proof install if I ever heard of one.

Do you apply the trowelable to the shower pan mud bed on top?

If so and you were to get wicking, the drain would have to be clogged and then the water would roll over the curb before it could get to the wall board to wick up.

I've got a couple showers to do on the remod to the house we have agreed to buy, how soon can you get to south florida? We'll feed you and supply the beer/martini's.

Rob Z
05-30-2001, 09:47 AM

Before you commit to food and beer, you need to find out how big I am and how much steak and beer I can consume. It's not as much as my youger days, but still considerable.

I am home today because my helper is ill. What a nice feeling to be "working from home".

I just did waterproof the shower floor on a job because the plumber didn't slope the surface under the pan and didn't use any dam corners. I usually insist on doing the pan, but this was one where I came after the first guy was fired, etc etc, and had to deal with what was there.

Dave Raver(spelling??) tried to get me to switch to Bonsal's waterproofing at the last NTCA show in Northern VA, but I'm loyal to Laticrete and my buddy Kurt Weber (my Laticrete rep). I have used Bonsal grouts and like them very much, as someone mentioned on another thread.

You asked where I live on another thread. I live in Loudoun County, VA, just a few miles south of Dulles airport. That's where one of those Diehard (Bruce Willis) movies was filmed. We're lucky to be in the booming NoVA techway area where house prices are rising about 10% per week.

I just sent an email to Bonsal asking for literature on Propan. I'll let you know if I get some.


Yes, I've used the Proform curbs and niches-good stuff. I think I'll try the slope on my next shower.

05-30-2001, 01:32 PM
John, you handsome devil!

Bud, "Johnny" says Diane has won a fabulous new shower! (Models not included.)

Sonnie, the only reason you install 35 fewer liners than John is because you keep enlarging showers and putting in lagoons and swan boats and little wooden landings (for show only). Although the Audubon Society's special waterfowl certification is a nice touch. As for making a fountain in my back yard out of my copflop liner, I can't because I'm using my old Big-Dish Satellite to do that. (No, really, I'm not kidding. What else do you do with an eye sore like that? And since I believe in recycling....)

Sir Rob, I think I like what you said, but I'm now thoroughly confused about liners in general. Although Noble Seal 150 sounds like a product fit for the Round Table.

Art, I want a bullet-proof shower too! And Rob can't come to Florida until he's done here. I'm fixing up the guest room right now. Actually, I guess I should open up the bidding process. "Come see beautiful Austin! Bed and Breakfast, choice of dog to curl up at your feet, grumpy 17-year-old deaf-blind cat willing to watch you work on shower, lovely 122 degree weather if you wait until July or August, satisfaction of shower renovation your reward in heaven. Call now. Supplies limited."

Daisy's Shower: Very nice! And I can't help but notice that it looks different than mine. Hmmmm…… I want a nice niche too.

Okay, Scott and I had a meeting this morning <g> and we discussed our policy on perfectionism as it applies to this fiasco… er, I mean project.

#1 We think we should tear out the rest of the shower. Yes, I know. You talked sense into us. Finally, we understand and appreciate why John said we had bitten a big bullet four pages ago. Yup, I think we got it now. QUESTION: Do we need to tear out the ceiling tile also? Looks hard to tile a ceiling. Ow! Ow! They keep falling on my head!

#2 We don't want to even try to work with the fiberglass shower pan. What we're hoping is that we can just leave it there, and use it as a base for doing it the right way, as if it were only a floor. QUESTION: What do you think?

#3 I believe with help from all of you (and you have all been VERY generous with your time and humor), we can pull off the shower bed, drain, walls, shower valve-thingy. However, we are willing to consider hiring someone (yes, a professional) if any of you have a recommendation for someone in this area, and if that person can fit us into his/her schedule this year. Without a recommendation, however, we would rather do it ourselves, slowly, than hire yet another cowflop jockey to do it fast. QUESTION: Recommendations?

#4 I still want to learn to tile! Still looks fun. All this other stuff is getting in the way of my fun. QUESTION: What do I still not know? (...That would change my mind about tile being fun, that is. I'm sure there's a page limit on this forum, and I fear we would max out if we explored this question in all its existentialism.)

Off to test-drive acid stain on some cement floor!



05-30-2001, 02:57 PM
#1- Diane I had 1st dibs on Rob & Rob I'm as big as Dave Roever (sounds like Raver)& will go toe to toe with (belly to belly)you all night long.

#2- Rob, look at the #'s on 9235 vs. WP-6000

Carpets Done Wright
05-30-2001, 03:49 PM
Diane, I'm in Austin, Texas. E-mail me or call me at 899-0753.

Always here to help.

John Bridge
05-30-2001, 04:35 PM
Hey Perry, Welcome aboard!

If you have a url, you can list it right in your post. Start with the http:// stuff and when you've finished it'll be a live link.


Don't under-rate Austin, one of our more scenic cities. You could be in scenic (hehe) Houston, you know. Have you checked out Mt. Houston?


Rob is not only big, but he has acquired expensive tastes. He drinks Guinness.

Back to Diane,

It's hand-grenade time, baby. Pull the pin, close the door and walk away. (Don't forget to drop the grenade before you close the door and walk away.)

I would not leave that fiberglass mess. It'll only get in the way of something better.

The ceiling is easy. It's put up on sheetrock, and you can pull the whole thing down and then re-sheetrock. The ceiling is one area where I espouse puting tile directly onto the sheetrock. It'll never get wet. (Well, never say never, but it won't.)

And thanks for the compliment. My wife Pat thinks I'm pretty, too.

John (dodging those falling tiles) Bridge

Bud Cline
05-30-2001, 05:49 PM
Thanks Perry, that was quick. Service, service, service.

Rob Z
05-30-2001, 07:52 PM

I'm dissapointed-the posting I typed in today to you is not to be found. Oh well, the most important thing I said involved complimenting you on your neat and orderly vanity top, as seen in pic #1. Ours is always cluttered because I spread stuff around as fast as Christina can clean it up.

I lived in Harker Heights, TX from '76-'79 and went to Austin a lot for UT football games. A trip to Austin would be fun, but I think you should get John to come up from Houston. He could float the mud in that shower in about 20 minutes. Plus, when he writes the next edition of his book, he can give us another story about how he did an "out of town tile job, and I thought I'd bring my wife along to help me...." John will have to carry on from there.

I'm glad you've decided to redo it. I think you'll be happier in the long run, and the results will be great.

Thanks for starting the most interesting thread on this or any other forum!

Rob Zschoche

05-31-2001, 09:39 PM
Rod: I'm sorry your post was eaten by the thread machine. I blush at your compliment of my vanity, mostly because I am forced to admit Scott cleaned it. I didn't remove my stuff before he started ripping out drywall and tile. He very nicely cleaned all my knick knacks and patty whacks, and then cleaned (with real cleaner, which I am allergic to) the sink and counter. It's so clean I may never use it again. Where did all my coffee rings go?!

Ha! I like your idea of John using my shower as an example of On The Road. :) Oh, John.... I'll write you a nice forward to your book, if you'll only come to Austin.... And did I mention my degree in Marketing...?

All: I appreciated Perry's post (at Bud's invitation). We traded messages, and he left me the number for two guys he uses. I talked to both of them, and one guy just uses greenboard, which is no different than what I have now. But the other guy seemed to be more on the same page with this conversation. He does do fiberglass pans, but apparently they are built on a slope, don't leak, and don't turn milky when exposed to water. (I think he was surprised to hear this wasn't standard all over the US.) He also said he uses cementboard, on top of greenboard (if I understood correctly). Apparently doing it the old fashioned way (which is what he calls the lathe and mud method, which most of you would call the preferred method!) he will do, but it's much more expensive. (Isn't that phrase just a scary word combination? I don't even know what "expensive" is in this case, much less MORE expensive.)

I gave him a run-down on the current situation, and he said he would come out to see my shower late next week. (Frankly, with the Austin housing boom --in the over $300,000 category--, I'm surprised he can get out this summer, even to look.)

John: "It's hand-grenade time, baby." Ha! I can hear the Mission Impossible theme music, and this tape is about to self-destruct. I accept this mission, Mr. Phelps, and I have become such a convert that I feel by ridding the world of my shower, I am delivering a blow for decency.

John wrote: "My wife Pat thinks I'm pretty, too." See, that's how you know you married the right person. It's little clues like this....

All: If it's all right, I'd like to run the bid I get by you to see if the approach is sound. I'm feeling pretty grumpy about the $250 fiberglass cowflop I will be yanking out and gently placing in the trash.

Also, if it's not a complete breach in etiquette, and I am pretty hesitant to ask this... but what the hey. What price range should I expect on the bid. In the writing profession, there's a resource where I can look up all the different types of writing and what the standard billing rate would be. I'm not familiar with any such resource for home improvements. I feel like I have been completely at the mercy of some pretty shoddy workers for the past two years (in all aspect of home repairs). If you're comfortable giving even a range for the state where you do business (and I don't mean mental state, even though that is tempting), it would sure help a lot.

Meanwhile... I have a few days to read John's book. And then I can see who else on this list has books and read those too. Tile is calling my name. Big tile, little tile....

Best to all,


John Bridge
06-01-2001, 06:09 AM
Hi Diane,

I publish my basic prices around here -- no big secret. Check out:

Carpets Done Wright
06-01-2001, 06:19 AM
I mainly use these guys for floors on jobs that are too big for me to tackle by myself.

I'm curious which one is going to do it like you want??
Travis or Gary?

06-01-2001, 08:16 AM
Well, the world just seems different now that we've decided to rip out the rest of the shower. (Could be the coffee kicking in.) Will it be today? I'm feeling destructive.

John: Thanks so much for links to you price pages. They are excellent. (You're a good writer and truly understand the art of reassuring communication.) I especially enjoyed your "John Bridge's Valuable Information and Important Propaganda Sheet."

Perry: Travis is the one coming out next week. Gary is the one who tiles over greenboard. By the way, Gary seems to be under a huge amount of stress and is completely over-booked. He did give me the name of someone else to call, but I don't plan on calling that person, since it is a recommendation from someone who does not tile in the manner I am looking for.

I did not tell Gary I don't want someone who tiles over greenboard, because... well, I don't like to sound rude, and if that's the way he does it, he's not going to change his preferred approach because of me. Besides, it's not like he was asking my opinion (which I have plenty of).

BACK to John: Just wanted you to know I HAD been considering tiling my countertops. After reading your magazine... er, I mean website, I am completely convinced that THAT misplaced idea will never see the light of day.

Well, today is Dig a Trench day, for property drainage on the side of the house. In our area, that means dig-hack, as we have approximately 1 inch of clay-like soil and then nothing but limestone. Scott and I consider projects like this dates.



John Bridge
06-01-2001, 05:49 PM
Wonder how many pages this thing can create without going off the deep end. Amazing.

You might be interested, Diane, since you're a programmer. All of this stuff resides in a MySQL database which I've never visited -- too intimidating right now. We type in "plain," which is converted to HTML, which then calls up PHP to run the thing.

You mentioned property drainage, and since you were a sucker for my -- I mean since you liked my other propaganda, you might like my piece on drainage in the Houston area.

Bud Cline
06-01-2001, 08:50 PM
Each time I come to this particular collection it says at the top "LAST PAGE".

And I say "THANK GOD".

06-03-2001, 04:08 PM
Did I win the longest thread contest?! John(ny), what did I win?!

Hey, guys, I have learned so much and just had a ball in the process. Really, it's kind of exciting to know what a P trap is and that windows in showers are controversial. :) Also, that there is a Mt. Houston. (I confess all I could think was how much it would cost to truck some of that dirt up to my yard. I know, the shame of such thoughts in the face of destruction of a natural wonder.... How can I go on? I am not worthy.)

Oh, we did our drainage, and I'm proud to say Scott had already selected the lovely 4" pipe. And here's the exciting part. It works. At times like these, you must do the Dance of Success.

On the software topic, I like this package you're running, the vBulletin. Scott is familiar with everything you mentioned, but I have been out of the game long enough to be antiquated. <G>

Okay, the point of this post, and this post DOES have a point. Point #1 Many, many Thanks. Point #2 I will be reading John's book, and if it's all right with everyone, I'll start a new thread to address new issues as they arise.

Thanks everyone for protecting us from sure shower disaster. (Dum, dum, DUM!)



John Bridge
06-03-2001, 05:36 PM
Okay, yes, let's end it and start a new one next time. My post will be number 68 and last, unless someone sees fit to reply, and then . . . .

Diane, the prize you won is another twelve-pack -- just like the one we sent Scott a week or two ago. [You're telling me we still haven't sent that out? Geez!]

I'm disappointed, though. You apparently didn't think enough of the Save Mt. Houston Campaign to join the group. I know you can't see it from Austin (I can't see it from my house), but it's still part of Texas. Oh well, I'll bite my trembling lip and . . . wipe the tear drops off my keyboard and . . . oh, I can't even see anymore. I'm going to hit the submit button. . . .

[Edited by John Bridge on 06-03-2001 at 07:38 PM]