Need Help With Shower Pan [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-01-2007, 03:53 PM
I have been in the handyman business for about 25 years. I just took on a job to redo a bathroom which includes taking out a tub and putting in a 30 X 60 shower. I already am familiar with the general concept of installing a mud bed pan, so I figured I would just get some more specific info and have at it. Naturally, the more I find out, the more I realize the shortcomings and pitfalls of this system. I hadn't heard of the Kerdi Sytem before and it is obviously a nobrainer choice. The problem: It is wicked expensive and I have already bid the job and started. An upsell of several hundred $$ is not my really what I want to do. The Question: Can I at least use the Kerdi pan and drain and do the walls with backerboard? I am willing to eat the cost of those components inexchange for knowing that I did a good job that was going to last.

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03-01-2007, 05:10 PM
Maybe you need this,it'll make it much easier, and it's cheap...;jsessionid=ac112b6c1f43ee52b93fab214a7a9a28a27b9c91fac8.e3eTaxiMa38Te3yTbheTaxaQbi1ynknvrkLOlQ zNp65In0?sc=8&category=12

03-01-2007, 07:20 PM
Short Answer--no. The Kerdi has to go all the way up the walls is my understanding.

A mud bed shower is pretty cheap.

03-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Mr. Handyman,

No, your option of Kerdi pan only wont work. Any moisture that makes it's way behind the tile and grout will not drain back into the pan. Grout is not waterproof, and if you've ever wiped a sponge across some Hardibacker, you know it sucks the water right on in. A crack in some corner grout or caulk will let a lot of water into the wall that wont make it back to the drain either.

Tell the homeowner about the Kerdi system, say your fellow tile buddies (us) love working with it, and you'd like to build them one, but it will incur a small upcharge. Print out some info from the Schluter site to hand them.

Oh, a regualr liner and mudbed built with the proper preslope and vapor barrier is still a fine shower.. You make it sound so bad, but they're still built like that every day without problems. :nod:

03-02-2007, 03:11 PM
The Quick Pitch site you sent me to looks like it could be very helpful. I spoke to my customer today and told her about the Kerdi system. I'm going to price it out for her, compared to the mud pan, so we'll see.... I realize that the mud pan has been used since forever, but the idea of that mud layer being constantly saturated seems a bit unsavory.

03-02-2007, 04:24 PM
You can also do a Kerdi shower without the tray. You just do one sloped mud layer and Kerdi over that. It's how all Kerdi showers were done before they came out with the newfangled tray.

03-02-2007, 05:24 PM
:nod: Yep, what Terri said. I've never used the Kerdi tray, just the drain and membrane, and I do my own sloped mortar beds... Since it's covered in Kerdi, it never gets wet.

03-03-2007, 12:14 PM
Its not saturated. It has so much sand in it, the water flows quite nicely to the membrane and down the drain. Thats the whole point of a sandy mix and a good well pitched membrane.

Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2007, 12:29 PM
What Scooter said. Water will travel down through the mud w/o hassle. Take a look at this thread in the Liberry on Deck Mud (Dry Pack Mortar) for Shower Floors (

Take a look in the Liberry and you'll find this thread called "Shower Construction Info (a collection of posts) ( that will tell you all sorts of things about the shower you never thought to ask. :)