Bath Remodel with Shower Bench [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-24-2011, 04:51 PM
Hi Everyone,

The bathroom was largely demolished yesterday and loaded into the truck for a trip to its final resting place.
Though no pictures of the DFO's (dumb former owner) work, let me describe it: Greenboard with 4" tile stuck with mastic, then painted the same color that she painted the rest of the house, which I affectionately call "Lock-Down". It just reminds me of the NM State Mental Hospital......don't ask why I know.
If you look closely at the portait oriented shot, you will see that the framing on the last remodel was done during the Great 2X4 Famine of 2001. The snap shows there is no plate. When it was removed at the last remod 'cause it was rotten, it wasn't replaced.
Fortunately, the 2x4 Famine is over.

Anyhoo, here are a couple of snaps of the current Bathroom from H-E-Double- Toothpicks:

As you may be able to see, the water supply lines run outside of the studs. They were concealed by the tub.
I will be putting in a Kerdi shower. Rather than move the supplies or firring out the studs, my thought was to build a bench that would conceal the supplies. It would be cantilevered, deeper at the top than the bottom, allowing more foot space on the shower deck. The entire shower and bench would be tiled. The Kerdi manual states only that a bench should have at least 14" from its front edge to the exit, which I have covered.
How deep and high should a functional shower bench be? Planning to build it from a mess of 2x4's and 3/4" plywood, covering all with 1/2" drywall then Kerdi.

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Houston Remodeler
07-24-2011, 05:29 PM

Thanks for such a well written post. :lol1: But you failed to mention the open pit copper mine you had started. I know copper prices are high, so were you fixin to keep that mine active after the shower rebuild?

Benches are normally 17-20 inches high and a foot deep as a finished size. To allow room for overlapping the kerdi, thinset, tile thickness and wiggle room, make the bench 11 inches deep and an inch shorter than you planned. You can always fill in the left over space with medium set mortar if things get out of hand.

Any particular reason why you can't put the valve back on the left side where it started and omit the bench?

07-24-2011, 06:03 PM
Uh, I was hopin' ya wouldn't notice, but that's a small uranium mine. Lots of us have down here in NM. We take it up to Los Alamos National Labs where they tell us they use it in the cafeteria for baking something called Yellow Cake.:stirpot:

The hole jack-hammered in the concrete is to relocate the drain to the center of the floor, rather than the far side where the drain for the tub was located.

Reason why I don't simply relocate the valve to the opposite end is that the plan is for me to have a shower valve at BOTH ends of the enclosure. I did this in one our other houses and studies showed that chicks dig it. Imagine, having a bench the full length of the shower and the ability to sit and get get sprayed. Or other stuff. ;)

From an integrity standpoint, I was planning to build it entirely on the slab, then pour the deck mud then sheetrock, then Kerdi the whole deal. This way, it will be fastened to the concrete and the walls.

I would have to add a few inches to the height of the bench to allow for the height of the deck mud.

Any ideas what the allowable slope is between the bench deck and the taper to the floor?

Houston Remodeler
07-24-2011, 06:25 PM
Good plan,

Just calculate the height of the drain before you build your bench. Figure your slope and that height of the mud will be along the front of the bench, as it will around the entire perimeter of the shower.

You'r lucky with that mine. Alls we got round these parts is the occasional tar ball washing up on the beach. And the guys at the refinery don't like the sand coating. :tongue:

07-25-2011, 05:32 AM
It's so easy to replumb with PEX and sharkbites that you may want to consider going that route

07-25-2011, 08:13 AM
Hi cbonilla,

I am taking your advice under consideration, as it may be easier. However, it would not give me seating.......

Perhaps re-plumb and install corner seats? For a guy like me, it's a creative process that tends to evolve with time.

07-25-2011, 08:15 AM
The creative process is part of the fun of doing a shower. Much more fun than hauling mortar mix and tile up the stairs. Replumbing with pex and sharkbites is almost foolproof. Doing this would let you do things the way you want without having to work around obstacles that can be easily corrected

09-22-2011, 01:40 PM
So, updating you all is owed and some advice will be asked for.

I jack-hammered up the floor to move the drain for my epic shower, new trap and cemented the floor up. Did it in no time flat!

Couple days later, my lovely "Reason for Living" announced that we need a tub in the house.

So I jack-hammered up the concrete and took out that center drain.
Then I went to the Big Blue One and ordered a 50" cast iron K_h_er tub. Got this length as I am stealing some length to have a deeper coat closet on the other side of the bathroom. Wait'll you see it when I'm done.

Anyhow, the tub came and it's a beast. Spec sheet says it tips the scales at 288# (130 kilos), and its all crated and palletized in the garage.

This tub has an apron. I plan to sheetrock, Kerdi, and tile the walls around the spiffy and very expensive new tub. QUESTION: How do I space the sheetrock from the flange? Do I install the tub next to the framing and have the sheetrock be on plane with the inside of the flange? By tub lip, I mean the nailer (if it had holes, which it does not). Or, do I fir out the framing and have the back of the sheetrock on plane with the inside of the flange?

Leave a gap of ~ how much of a fraction of an inch above the flange? Fill that in with silly-cone before Kerdi-ing the wall? If I use silly-cone, what will make the Kerdi Stick at that critical junction between the tub and the sheetrock? Alternatively, do I just use thin-set down to the top of the tub behind the Kerdi? Then use silly-cone behind the bottom-most tile before grouting?