Shower Drain [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-22-2010, 12:17 PM
I have a question regarding a shower drain. There are 2 drains in this shower because of the amount of shower heads in this shower. As you can see in the pictures, one of the drains is mounted higher than the other. 1 is flush and the other is not. Is this going to be a problem with anything or will it be fine if we make it up with mud? Any water issues I might have to be concerned with either? I am just the home owner and I am concerned with it. The contractor says they will make it up with mud and it will be fine. I am not so sure, and thats why I am asking the experts on here :).

Also do you see anything else that might be a concern from the pictures or does it look ok?

P.S. dont mind the white shelac on the studs, there was smoke damage and that is the sealer to contain the smell.

Thank you for everyones help, I really do appreciate it so much.

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02-22-2010, 12:30 PM
Wow two drains. The only thing I can think of is that the plumber envisioned the slope of the pan so he made the drain away from the center a bit higher. It does not really matter though. If you look closely at the flange there, you will see threads in the drain. That is where the actual drain goes and the threads allow the installer to adjust the finished height of the drain. Just make sure those weep holes are clear.

Dave Taylor
02-22-2010, 12:55 PM
Hello Jordan..... and welcome to Tile Your World forums.

One of my forum associates indicates you may wish to question if that pan liner is placed over a pre-slope (it should be) or if it is laid directly over flat flooring.

They also indicate you may wish to question the nail(s) through the curb liner at the top (and perhaps elsewhere), the lack of the use of curb liner corner covers and the lack of carrying the liner further over the curb and covering a bit of the bath flooring directly in front of it.

We hope this helps

John Bridge
02-22-2010, 01:36 PM
Hi Jordan, :)

I would like to see another picture of the curb corner where the curb turns up the door jamb. Looks like a couple flat pieces of liner tacked up there. And I'll second what Dave said about the "pre-slope." That is a mortar bed that's formed on the subfloor before the liner is installed. the sloped floor helps direct water to the weep holes. :)

You will find pictures of a properly installed shower pan here:

02-22-2010, 03:37 PM
Now that's just weird. I've done a shower with about 8 shower heads when including the body wash heads and we only used one drain. It drained fine. Only time we had 2 drains was for big showers that curved. 2 heads far apart around a curve.

If your tile man knows what he's doing he can make the mud work; but that pan looks dead flat with no preslope so no it will never completely drain no matter what your tile guy does.

Houston Remodeler
02-22-2010, 04:56 PM
The pre-slope thing jumped out at me too.

I would like to see a pic of the "far right side" of the shower - is there some sort of half wall there? The liner looks kinda suspicious in that pic but there isn't much to see easily.

The plumbing work looks very neat and precise. :tup1:

02-22-2010, 06:23 PM
That nail through the top of the curb is a big no-no. This can be straightened out, but the time to do it is now before the mud goes down.

02-22-2010, 07:26 PM
whats strange is the right drain looks like it was set with a preslope sitting low and the other drain to the left sits too high like there isn't one.

soooo. I dunno?

was this left drain a second thought add on or something ?

02-22-2010, 07:49 PM
If you look closer Brian; those are two different manufacturer's drains. One on the right looks like a standard Oatey. The one on the left I've never seen before.

Edit: After looking closer The one on the right is not a standard Oatey. Weepholes are different.

02-22-2010, 08:21 PM
it's still sitting lower in a recessed area.

Houston Remodeler
02-22-2010, 08:30 PM
It looks to me like the lower drain is in the original hole. The higher drain is in a hole drilled only to accomodate the diameter of the pipe, hence it is setting higher. I will bet the higher drain is the added drain.

02-22-2010, 11:20 PM
If this is a remodel, could that have been a tub with an 1 1/2" drain and plumber added a 2" drain to meet code or do you need a 3" for that many outlets? Not sure why he would have done it that way but maybe he was in a hurry....which would explain no pre-slope unless the camera is playing tricks on these old eyes. Why was the wood burnt? Fire in house or torch from plumber? Feels like a CSI episode.

02-23-2010, 11:31 AM
Didn't even notice the lack of pre-slpoe and the curb top penetrations. That shower isn't starting out good.

02-23-2010, 03:55 PM
The higher drain was added after the inspector told the plumbers they needed to add another drain. So yes it was an after thought. The liner was laid on a flat floor. Is this bad? should they have laid the mud then put the liner down? Let me know anything else at all that anyone sees is a problem. I will post more pics that you requested to see shortly. Thank you all for your help and quick replies. I really do appreciate it.

02-23-2010, 04:22 PM
The liner must be sloped towards the drain. To do this, there is a mud bed below the liner to slope it, then another above the liner that the tile is set upon. It's up to you to force the issue so you can have a trouble free shower that will last a very long time.

Your tile guy is going to tell you "I've been doing it this way for xxx years, it'll work". Many inspectors don't enforce it either, because the system will pass a leak test.

A flat liner will allow water to stagnate in the deck mud below the tile, which will cause mold, mildew and horrible smells. Also, with no slope the mud will remain wet near the walls, where it can wick up the cbu (I hope they don't plan to tile on drywall!), causing mold on the walls.

See links here:
Noble liner install instructions (
Compotite liner install instructions (
Article by John Bridge on liner install (

02-23-2010, 07:55 PM
Post #20 has the national plumbing code as put up by Dave Gobis.

Pertinent part of the code; highlight by me.
417.5.2 Shower lining. Floors under shower compartments, except where prefabricated receptors have been provided, shall be lined and made water tight utilizing material complying with Sections 417.5.2.1 through 417.5.2.4. Such liners shall turn up on all sides at least 2 inches (51 mm) above the finished threshold level. Liners shall be recessed and fastened to an approved backing so as not to occupy the space required for wall covering, and shall not be nailed or perforated at any point less than 1 inch (25 mm) above the finished threshold. Liners shall be pitched one-fourth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope) and shall be sloped toward the fixture drains and be securely fastened to the waste outlet at the seepage entrance, making a water-tight joint between the liner and the outlet.

What the highlight means is that the liner has to slope a 1/4" per foot just like pipes do.

Yes; showing your plumberr this part of the code will agitate him but yes it's very important that it be done.