Tiling corner shower problems [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-21-2008, 09:37 PM
I had to tear out my old tile in a corner shower due to a bad install by prior home owner. I removed the shower walls but left the base installed. I installed backer board and was preparing to install the tiles when I ran into a problem.

I was doing a dry run of a few tiles in the corner when I noticed the problem. At the shower base, in the corner, the base has a curve to it. I am not able to put the tiles in the corner and butt them together because of this curve. The base can't be moved due to the drain. The base was about a 1/4 inch from all the studs so I shimmed the gap and screwed the base to the studs through the shims. If I could have moved the base to the studs without the shims, I would have a good overhang for the tiles but this was not an option. The tiles overhang the top of this lip in the base so that is why the curve is troublesome.

I don't know how to install the tiles now because of the curve in the base. Anyone have a solution that will make this work?

I thought of removing the backerboard and putting up plywood then put the backerboard up again. The problem I see with this is my walls in the shower would be thicker then the remaining walls outside the shower.

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02-21-2008, 10:55 PM
Why not tear out that prefab shower base and rebuild with a tile shower base?

You can search through the Liberry (http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?s=&f=8&page=1&pp=60&sort=title&order=asc) for more info on how to build a shower correctly.

02-22-2008, 05:52 PM
Until I stumbled across this forum, it had never entered my mind.

I have been doing a lot of reading/searching about doing just that. My main concern is the cost factor right now. I'm hoping I can find a way to make the plastic base work. I would love to make my own base but don't think I have the funds for it.

I tried to post photos of the area but I understand I can't do this until several posts are done.

02-22-2008, 06:01 PM
Deck mud is very cheap, as is sand. The parts that add up (and not all that much) are the liner, corners, and a drain. But all said and done, not a lot of money.

02-23-2008, 06:59 PM
A few questions:

I've read over most of the liberry section and am looking for good step by step directions on how to do this base. I will order the Tile Setting book but can't wait for it to arrive b 4 starting work on a solution. I looked locally but no one seems to stock it. Am I missing the area with this info?

1. Will the Kerdi book give me the steps I need to get started; ie: what materials I need, how to get started, tools, what exactly to do, etc?

2. Is there any way to salvage the pre-fab base I already have and make it work? Anyone think this is a bad idea?

3. If I go the new base route, where do I get the drain, membrane, etc? HD or big box stores carry them?

I am an avid DIY'er but have not ventured into this type of work before. I have done floor tile and carpentry. I don't doubt I can do this but need more direction on how to tackle it. I would post photos but can't get them to work, must not have met the magic number of posts yet.

Thanks for any help in advance. I really don't know where to go with this mess.

02-23-2008, 08:04 PM
Bacon -

What kind of backerboard did you install - 1/4" or 1/2"?

What kind of tile did you purchase?

What kind of bullnose?

02-23-2008, 09:36 PM
I put in 1/2 in backer to mate with the existing drywall outside the shower

I have porcelain tile w/o any bullnose. They didn't sell a bullnose in that tile.

I had planned on running the tile outside the shower walls on either side. I was going to find either an accent tile or matching tile with a bullnose for my end tiles outside the shower walls.


crow wing
02-23-2008, 10:13 PM
Chris if you want I live just north of the citys and could swing by to talk you thru if you like I see a few issues that should be corrected.
e-mail cwt279@msn.com

02-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Chris -

Thanks for posting pics and info. You have a couple options here plus it looks like Crow has offered to come by and help out. Great website, ehhh?

For a first mudpan, a neo-angle will be the most challenging as will the additional tile work involved. Personally, I would move along with the existing pan and get your shower finished up.

It appears from your pics, that the corner studs are set back just enough from the other studs to be causing the problem in the corner. You can remove the cement board and shim that corner out however much you think it needs to go - 1/4" or so? Before re-installing your cement board put a vapor barrier up or after re-installing the board, use one of the liquid applied ones everyone here harps about.....:D

You might also be able to build that corner out, without removing the cement board, with thinset and a straight edge off the wall?

You've got a few other things that need attention but just wanted to get the corner issue addressed.

02-24-2008, 02:04 PM
Crow wing- you have mail. What an unbelievable offer.

MudGuy- I think I would rather use the existing pan just to get this thing moving along and reduce the costs. I was thinking of taking off the board and fur out the one corner stud to the correct dimension to make the lip overhang.

Does my board have to overlap the top lip in the base or is it OK if it meets the lip, as shown in the photo? If it needs to over hang the lip, then I will need to fur out all the studs.

What other issues are you seeing? I know I haven't filled in the joints yet.

crow wing
02-24-2008, 02:30 PM
bacon You have mail and if it were me I would try to get vaiper berrier behind the cbu and in the little corner between the pan and door. some backing for the tile to adhere to. plus shim the corners in some so the tile didnt touch the round corner of the pan. much better (cheaper) to be sure of your seal before you tile.

02-25-2008, 04:52 PM
I want to thank Crow Wing for taking his time to come look at my novice disaster. What a great thing for him to do!!

After he left, I was left with a lot of info to digest. I took the CB off the studs and took the base out. It was decided that the best path to follow would be to either to build my own base or move the drain to fit the plastic one I already have.

I have found that most angled bases have drains at 12.5" from each wall. My drain is 12 5/16" and 12 1/16" from each wall. I set the base on the drain and took a photo so you can see how far off I am from the base drain hole.

I would still like to use the plastic base I have if possible. Is there a way of moving my drain pipe w/o digging up the floor? The pipe sticking up out of the floor has no concrete around it for a couple inches around.

If not, do I dig down until I find the trap and then cut the pipe before the trap and move the trap and all the required distance?

The other picture I took is of the base sitting against the studs, as I would like it to be. I set in a sheet of board on one side and found that I still will have a problem with the inside corner. Due to a curve in the lip, even with the board overhanging it won't clear this corner.

Am I supposed to notch out the studs to further set the base in the wall or do I put my board in the corner, butted against each other, and then fill the void with tape and mud?

02-25-2008, 11:05 PM
Chris -

When you had your cement board installed, did it clear all across the pan lip except for the inside corner?

02-25-2008, 11:50 PM
No, it sat on the top of the lip. This is b/c the drain was not installed in the right place b 4 the floor was poured.

I am wondering if I moved the drain and got the pan in the correct place, it looks like I would still have a problem in this corner.

I'm not sure how to move the drain though. Are there angled pieces I can put in to move the 2" pipe over the 1/2 inch or so it needs to be moved? What is the best way to get my drain pipe moved such a short distance?


02-26-2008, 04:47 PM
I'm now thinking about getting rid of the neo angle type base and adding another wall to make it a square base if I can't get this corner thing to work.

02-26-2008, 05:08 PM
Hey Chris -

Now that you removed your cement board, are the studs in the corner set back? Have you put a straight edge, two ft level whatever you have, along the face of the studs to see what those corner studs look like?

When your board "was" installed and it was installed on top of the lip, was the lip covered all along the pan except for the corner?


02-26-2008, 05:34 PM
Yep, the lip was covered except for the corner. Not overhung but covered.

02-26-2008, 05:59 PM
Why don't you shim that corner out a bit like we talked? Or if you want all the rock to slide down on top of the pan, shim all your studs a bit. It's ok for your tile to finish out just a bit (1/4") from the wall - it will only be a sanded grout joint, same distance prox as your field tile joints.

I don't think that corner is as big a deal as you're making it. In addition to shimming the corner studs out, backbuttering your tile as you install can buy you a little room too. What do you think?

I wouldn't mess with the drain or a new mud pan unless you're willing to do both. As discussed, neo-angle pans are a booger to build and install, too.

Don't forget a moisture barrier behind the wall or use one of the liquid applied ones after installing your cement board.

02-29-2008, 11:55 PM
I think having the cbu over the pan lip is the ideal thing to have, no? If I had the cbu meet the pan at the top of the lip, then only the tile over hang lip, I run the risk (probability) of water getting behind tile? This is what happened to original tile job and the base placement was the cause.

Would I run into trouble if I shim only the corner stud on right side wall, to get the corner of cbu to come out further. I would leave the rest of the studs as is. Would this slight shim in corner be noticeable on overall wall?

I hate to keep asking questions over and over, but I am torn between making this pan work or making my own pan. I'm probably making too much out of this, as stated, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about shimming the wall out. I have the skills just not the knowledge.

I don't want to shim out all the studs and then deal with covering up the wall differences at the door or middle of wall behind toilet.


crow wing
03-01-2008, 07:22 AM
Chris Just got back in town, I thought you had planned to reset or change this base out due to it being 1/2 inch from both walls and was rocking (not set flat)? if you shim walls and have the tile bridge the backer board and pan lip you still have a pan that will rock every time you step in.
lets see if anyone has a better idea?

03-01-2008, 11:15 PM
I think having the cbu over the pan lip is the ideal thing to have, no? If I had the cbu meet the pan at the top of the lip, then only the tile over hang lip, I run the risk (probability) of water getting behind tile?

Chris, most excellent point. Unfortunately, it also creates a bow in the wall, even when the drain and pan placement work out right because the pan lip is 1/8"-3/16" thick. Just one of the drags of pre-fabricated pans, eh?

Regarding the drain, back at post #12 you indicated your pan drain measurements and actual drain placement measurements. The measurements given indicate that your shower pan should be tight against the studs, actually needing to be notched to allow proper placement of the pan over the drain.

If this is the case, why is the pan sitting out from the wall? :scratch:

03-02-2008, 10:05 PM
The measurements given indicate that your shower pan should be tight against the studs, actually needing to be notched to allow proper placement of the pan over the drain.
I don't have an answer for that other then my measurements must be off. My pan is for sure not touching the studs.

I'll get back to you on that. :confused:

It was said that a "neo angled" pan is more difficult for a first timer. Where is the added difficulty? Is it the additional corners, them not being 90 degree corners, creating the slope, anything else? I am not doubting that it is more difficult, just want to know why.