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amodoko 06-06-2015 05:32 PM

General Questions w/ Pics on 1st Time Shower Pan Build/Install
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Hi guys, I'm a bit of a newbie to shower installs. My first real big project with tile I did was a few years ago and it was removing a tub and enclosure and installing a new tub and tiling the surround. It went well and am satisfied with how it turned out (although I need to make the caulk lines prettier, but I can fix that later).

But now I have a new task ahead of me, and it is removing a shower and enclosure and building a new one with tiled walls and a tiled shower pan. The shower pan build is the "new" part to me.

I've done some research on the subject but still have a lot of questions.

So I've already removed the old shower and pan and am ready to start dealing with building the shower pan.

If anyone here doesn't mind answering a few questions, I'll just list them below. I greatly appreciate any help as I do have a lot of specific questions.

1) First, one of the walls, the long wall, is an exterior wall. Do I need to install plastic sheeting there (there never was any there to begin with, but it looks like there used to be green board there) before I build my shower? Or can I just install Durock, then Red Gard the Durock cement board, then tile and be okay?

2) When removing the old fiberglass shower pan and drilling into the rubber gasket around the drain so the pan would remove easier, I ended up nicking parts of the PVC drain (as you can see in the photos) with the drill. Does this need to be repaired in some way before I install an adjustable drain kit? Or does the adjustable drain kit have something in it that kind of takes care of this issue?

3) As you can see from the photos, there is a hole in the concrete subfloor where the PVC drain is located. Obviously this needs to be filled. I was wondering what is the best way to fill in that hole so that when heavy/human weight is standing on the newly tiled shower pan, that it holds securely? Do I need to install plywood over the cement floor and then build my mortar bed? I'm a bit confused about the proper way to both fill that hole and to ensure it supports weight well.

4) Does anyone know specifically what kind of drain kit I need to install? There seem to be so many and I'm unsure if there is something specific I need to be looking for in order to install a drain prior to laying out the mortar bed/shower lining/etc.

5) When building my shower curb, if I end up just installing over my concrete floor, can I just use bricks and thinset to create the curb? Does it matter what type of bricks I use? If I end up having to lay down plywood to fix the hole issue (as mentioned above), then I can use plain/regular 2x4s, correct? I have heard that you should never used treated wood for some reason (maybe because of moisture content I'm assuming) and you should never create a wood curb if you are installing over a concrete subfloor.

Thanks in advance for your help. I am a bit overwhelmed with the idea of building a mortar shower pan, I can handle the wall prep/tiling but the shower pan is completely new to me.

PC7060 06-06-2015 06:25 PM

Hi Amodoko, welcome!

Looks like you got a good start in things. Quick question to get things moving; is there a trap under the slab?

Re your concerns about the mud, building a mud bed is no harder than plumbing, water proofing or tiling. You just take one step at a time.

amodoko 06-07-2015 08:09 AM

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Hi, thanks so much for the response. You're right, taking it one step at a time is the way to go when something's new to you. I was a bit concerned about building a shower pan since I've just never done it before and I wanted to make sure I water proof it correctly.

And to answer your question, there is a p trap under the slab (if that is what you were asking). I took a photo to show you. I've attached it below. Thanks so much for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

PC7060 06-07-2015 09:01 AM

Wow, that's a big hole! Ordinarily I'd have said fill it in with sacrete to level but that not going to work here. I think I'm seeing steel structural elements under the concrete, is this in a multistory condo building?

amodoko 06-07-2015 10:08 AM

Exactly! It is a condo that is 2 stories. I am the first floor and there is a condo directly above me owned by someone else.

PC7060 06-07-2015 10:18 AM

Ok, so what's at the bottom of the opening we see? Not that it matters since we won't be filling it in.

How wide is the opening in the concrete around the drain? Kerdi drains require a pretty good sized opening (5")so it may be fine as is. I'd defer to CX or one of the other pros here but you may be fine just with the mud floor installed over the concrete with metal lath to to strengthen the area over the openings.

amodoko 06-07-2015 11:17 AM

The stuff that you see at the bottom of the hole in the concrete is mostly what I think is pink fiberglass insulation with like a silvery backing I think. It is supposed to be glued or stuck to a concrete section/wall underneath but has come off over time. The shower is right next to an exterior wall so I'm assuming they were trying to insulate the air a bit below the condo too. There are also a bunch of other things down there also, like wood scraps, nails, basically a ton of leftover construction stuff and random things. If you look around more and to the sides (not in photo), most everything below the condo is just dirt.

The concrete hole is irregular and slightly oval in shape. It has a diameter of about 11 inches on the longer section and a diameter of about 7 inches at its shorter section. But if you're just talking about the distance from the sides of the drain (not the inside of the drain hole) to the edge of the concrete hole, then the distance ranges from 1.5 inches to about 4.5 inches.

Yeah, I was thinking that I could do something like metal mesh and then creating the shower pan bed over it but wasn't sure if that would be strong enough.

What do you think with regards to the drain pipe damage? Do you think this needs to be repaired? Kind of annoyed that I damaged it with the drill... I should have just tried prying out the rubber gasket little by little instead, lol.

PC7060 06-07-2015 12:00 PM

Pretty common for the builder the throw all kinds of crap down in those areas. poor practice in my opinion but it happens all the time.

Not sure I see any damage to the pipe other than the few chip at the top. The pipe will need to be cutoff a couple inches below the floor to mate with the drain (varies based on mud floor thickness) if that helps.

The hole is pretty big, wonder if you can put a layer of exterior grade plywood down over the entire shower floor and build your floor over that with a cleavage membrane and lathe?

Problem is I'm not sure if that's proper over the concrete. Should be fine since you won't any moisture wicking up through the concrete.

Any recomendations, CX?

cx 06-07-2015 03:27 PM

Welcome, amodoko. Please change that permanent signature line to a first name for us to use. :)

PC, I can't tell just how that floor is constructed. He/She says there is dirt under most of it, suggesting that it is essentially SOG. And I can't really tell how thick the existing concrete might be there. Perhaps we can get more information on that.

If SOG I'd rather not see a sheet of plywood installed over it to make the hole smaller, but it could be done. If the concrete is thick enough (4" or so), I'd likely drill in some dowels, put something under it for a form, and pour more concrete in there for a patch.

I'd first wanna know what kind of shower pan was to be used so's I'd know how large to make the hole and whether to install the drain first.

My opinion; worth price charged.

PC7060 06-07-2015 03:36 PM

CX, based on the picture I thought the slab was only a few inches thick laid over a structural support of some type. That's why I asked if this was a Condo, although I have to admit I was surprised when amodoko (AM) said it was the 1st flor.

Can't tell for sure but it looked like brick or something at the bottom. If it is typical SOG I'd skip the plywood and just fill in the hole.

AM, is the slab laid directly on grade and that hole is just where the pipe comes up? Or does the space extend under the slab like a small crawl area (for tiny people).

amodoko 06-08-2015 06:56 PM

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Thanks for the responses. CX, I tried changing my signature but for some reason it won't let me. I don't know if maybe I am missing something, but I can't seem to find an option to edit it. Maybe there is some software conflict. I click on my name, it takes me to my profile, I can see my signature but no way to change it. If I can't change it for some reason, you can call me AM.

I've attached some photos to help with describing what I see. Basically, the concrete looks to be roughly 2 inches thick.

In reference to what kind of shower pan I wanted to install, I was planning on creating one with a mortar bed and then just tiling the shower pan. Kind of like this one from the floor elf:


I was going to try to use his website to help me with creating the shower pan.

As far as what the space is under my condo, you can see pipes and dirt everywhere. And there is space for a small person to crawl down there. I would want to avoid doing that if possible, but you can access it through a small door on the back of my condo.

I've attached photos to show what I see. I basically just stuck my hand down the hole and took a bunch of photos to show the space. I also took photos to show how thick the concrete is as well as a photo of the exterior wall where I believe the insulation should be stuck to but instead has fallen off.

Also, for some reason all the photos came out sideways even though they are normal on my computer. So just for reference (even though it's easy to tell), the right side of the each photo posted is up in real life and the left side of each photo is down.

PC7060 06-08-2015 07:33 PM

You've definetly got a engineered concrete floor: I'll double down on my recomendation to place a base (3/4" exterior grade plywood, 1" Kerdiboard?) over the entire shower floor and build up from there.

I'd be hesitant to use tapcon or other penetrating fasteners in that floor. Seems like you could set the plywood down over the concrete using an approved adhesive.

If you are planning to use a Kerdi drain, you'll want to cut a 5" hole centered on the drain line to accommodate the base of the Kerdi drain before you set the base.

You can wait on the doing the base until you have the plumbing and kerdiboard (or wallboard of your choice) up on the walls.

What are you planning to install for the wall board / water proofing layer on the wall.

PC7060 06-08-2015 07:46 PM

Quick follow up, what part of the country / world are you located in?

amodoko 06-08-2015 08:34 PM

Okay, so what do you think the first step for me should be? Should I first get cut the PVC down that is nicked, couple it with PVC cement/primer to another new pipe to extend it far above the ground so I can later cut it down to the right size for the tile-in drain?

I honestly don't even know yet what the first step should be. I need to research this more I guess.

For the walls, I was just planning on attaching durock to the studs, then painting on Red Gard, then thinset, then tile. I've never used Red Gard before, in the past I used 6 mil plastic sheeting but I wanted to try Red Gard this time to make it easier to waterproof niches.

And I currently live in the US, in Missouri.

But at this time, I'm not too sure what my next step should be. Should I decide between a normal tile-in drain or Kerdi drain first? Or should I extend the PVC pipe above ground significantly first? But I do realize I have a lot of reading that I need to do now, lol

cx 06-08-2015 09:56 PM

If you'll click on UserCP in the dark blue bar near the top of the page and look to the left you'll see Edit Your Details, where you can add your geographic location, among other things, and Edit Your Signature where you can change the permanent signature line. :)

While I'm not really thrilled with the 3/4" plywood remedy, I honestly can't think of a simple alternative and that might work well enough now that we see what you have under that floor.

You need to decide what kind of shower pan you intend to build before you can go any further. Steps are pretty simple after that.

My opinion; worth price charged.

amodoko 06-09-2015 02:25 PM

Okay, thanks, looks like I was able to change my signature to AM. Okay, so looks like I'll have to use 3/4 inch plywood. I'm guessing I should make sure to avoid pressure treated plywood? I was thinking about just getting these smaller panels since they'll be easier for me to transport (I have a small car at the moment):


2 or more panels of 3/4 inch birch or oak plywood that is 2ft by 4ft and then just use some adhesive to get them to stay put on the concrete.

And you said the first step is to decide what shower pan to build. Just checking, but there are 3 choices correct....? The 3 that I'm aware of are:

1) Vikrell/acrylic/fiberglass shower pan
2) Kerdi shower pan
3) Mortar bed shower pan (with shower liner embedded between two layers of mortar/concrete)

So I just need to decide between those 3 first? Or am I missing an option?

PC7060 06-09-2015 03:19 PM


You'll need to cut down a full sheet of AC grade plywood to size. Lowes sells Plytanium 23/32" plywood which should work fine and they will cut it down for you.


Originally Posted by AM
(I have a small car at the moment)

That's what neighbors are for. Living in Missouri, your never more that two houses from a pickup! :D

Once you have the plywood cut to size, cut the 5" hole for the Kerdi drain centered over the existing pipe and bond it to the concrete using a quality adhesive.

Per their technical data, LOCTITE® PL PREMIUM® POLYURETHANE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE should work well. I'd trowel it out on both the concrete and the plywood using a 1/8" v notch or similar. You can get the technical data sheet here with usage instructions.


Originally Posted by LOCTITE
Recommended For bonding most common construction materials such as wood, treated wood, hardwood flooring, concrete, stone, marble, slate, masonry, brick, foam insulation of all sorts, carpets, metal, lead, cement-based products, ceramic, fiberglass, drywall and mirrors

Go with the Kerdi drain system, c'mon, you know you want to! This thread provided an interesting primer on the Kerdi drain system including tips on cutting off the drain line.

amodoko 06-09-2015 05:01 PM

Okay, just a quick question, why does the plywood have to be AC grade if it is just being used for structural/non-visual reasons? Can I get this cheaper plywood that is D-D grade:


The one you linked in your post says it is B-C grade under the specs on Lowes website. And I completely forgot I could ask them to cut it down for me, that will make it easier for me for sure, thanks for the reminder (although I would prefer to cut it myself, since I don't really know how well they will cut it, but it will make it easier for me for sure).

And thanks for looking up the adhesive for me for the plywood-to-concrete bond. I appreciate that.

It seems at the moment I need to first decide what kind of shower pan I need to build based on CX's comment. I listed 3 options in my previous post, those are the only options for a shower pan ,correct?

And about the Kerdi drain system, it looks great, but the thing is I am on a tight budget since I have to do quite a bit of remodeling to the condo besides this shower and I have to kind of cut costs where I can (without sacrificing quality). As a full condo remodel goes along, every step you can save money can add up to thousands of dollars, so I have to try to save money here and there. So I'll definitely consider the Kerdi drain but if it's too expensive I'll have to maybe go with the conventional tile-in-drain system. That is kind of why I was asking if I could use the cheaper D-D grade plywood vs the B-C grade one you had linked, even though it's only 10 bucks difference, I'm just trying to be money conscious from the start so I can actually stay within budget while getting a quality remodel done.

Thanks again for your replies, all this information has been and will continue to be very helpful to me.

May I ask why you feel the Kerdi drain system is better than the regular tile-in-drain system? It does seem popular right now. However I believe the Kerdi drain system can be used on a regular/conventional mortar bed application, which means I could just buy this I think:


But if I just do a normal tile-in drain, I believe I could just buy this:


Which would save me 80 bucks (not much normally, I actually am generally not cheap, but I have to stick with a budget I have in mind so I'm really trying hard to cut costs anywhere I can).

PC7060 06-09-2015 05:50 PM


Originally Posted by AM
why does the plywood have to be AC grade if it is just being used for structural/non-visual reasons? Can I get this cheaper plywood that is D-D grade:

That link is technically not plywood, it is rate as sheathing and has a much lower structural rating.

Your alternate choice for a lower cost underlayment would be CBU ($10 for 3'x5' piece). However, it's not structural and you'll need to to call the various CBU manufacturers (Durock, Wonderboard, etc.) technical support lines to see if they recommend their product for installation over concrete under mud floor. PS: I can see CX shaking his head already.


Originally Posted by AM
May I ask why you feel the Kerdi drain system is better than the regular tile-in-drain system? It does seem popular right now. However I believe the Kerdi drain system can be used on a regular/conventional mortar bed application...

My experience is limited to the Kerdi drain but that's certainly not the only solution. The standard pre-slope / liner / final mud bed is a fine solution and would be very cost effective. I'm sure it would work fine in combination with the CBU/ Redguard water proofing you described. There are a lot of Pro's on the site that will be help you install one too.

You'd still need to install some type of underlayment over concrete to cover that big hole. Davy is a whiz at the mud work, maybe he has a better idea how to deal with it.

PC7060 06-09-2015 08:12 PM


Originally Posted by AM
I have to stick with a budget I have in mind so I'm really trying hard to cut costs anywhere I can

It's just occurred to me the easiest and most cost effective way to resolve the shower floor dilemma is a fiberglass shower pan that's properly sized for your shower. No need to install a underlayment, mud based clamping drain, etc. Your CBU with Redgard could be shimmed out to overlap the flange to ensure a solid water resistant transition.

I know this is not the typical advice from members of this site but it's a common approach used on some very expensive homes.

This link from Home Depot list a variety of pans including "tilable" ones.

Stars_Fan 06-09-2015 08:53 PM


Just my 2 cents as an amateur in your similar position about 2 months ago.

I thought the traditional mud pan was the best/cheapest option when I priced it out but in the end, I don't think it was the best option. When going the mud option you have to consider all the little things that add up quick in time and money.

How are you going to mix the mud, in what container, and where? I mixed mine in the garage, a long way away from my upstairs bathroom. Portland cement/mud mix is extremely dusty and when your mixing it, it will get everywhere so your not going to want to do it in your bedroom or living room. I had to buy a mixing tray and a bucket to haul it in. I also had to buy a trowel for smoothing it down. It was hot, somewhat labor intensive work for a somewhat in shape 46 year old. And your going to do this twice, once for the bottom layer and then again on top of the liner.

The liner is super difficult to get in properly because you have to notch out the 2x4 studs....and that just flat out sucks if you don't have the right tools. You also have to block between the studs, again, nothing super difficult but time consuming. Folding the liner in the corners and over the curb took me about 2 hours of grunting and groaning and trying to fold it properly. If you screw it up, as i did, then you have 2X the time and costs in doing things over.

Don't forget the 100% silicon caulk and drain and getting the weep holes right.

I don't know everything about the Kerdi shower pan but if you just set it down in the opening and your done with it and moving on, then that is money well spent.

amodoko 06-09-2015 09:16 PM

If CBU is not normally used for this purpose, I'll stick to the plywood for the base. I don't want to sacrifice function/quality for cost. I will however sacrifice other things to save on cost.

Okay, that's confusing to a newbie if they call the D-D grade "plywood" when it isn't technically plywood. See, this is why I need help, lol. But the one you linked that is B-C grade, is that one still fine for me to buy and use?

And since I'm most probably going to do the standard pre slope / liner / final mud bed route, I believe the first step for me will be to cut my PVC pipe, use a coupler, use some Oatey Medium PVC cement and Purple Primer (mine is old, from a few years ago, not sure if that stuff expires though) and attach/solvent weld the old pipe to the new pipe so it extends above ground, then use loctite adhesive to glue the plywood to the concrete with a small hole cut in the plywood for the PVC pipe, then attach the tile-in drain, then install the tile-in drain (I was thinking of something inexpensive like this I just hope it's adjustable: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sioux-Chi...2PPK/202313207 ), then build the curb, then put down 6 mil poly sheeting on top of the plywood to prevent the future base layer of concrete from losing moisture to the plywood, then put down metal lathe so the future base layer of concrete has something to grab onto (I'll staple the lathe to the plywood and plastic sheeting), then do the pre slope concrete base layer, then the liner, then the deck mud, then tile. Does that sound right for the order?

The thing is I first watched some videos on how to do this before I really knew anything about making a shower pan. Now that I know a bit more due everyone's help, I should go and watch them again and they should make more sense now to me.

One thing I'm not too sure about is why I can't just attach some metal sheeting under the hole in the concrete with some adhesive, then pour down a small layer of concrete just to fill the hole instead of using plywood. I would let the concrete dry and then build the shower pan over that. I would think (newbie thoughts) that the concrete would be solid enough. But maybe because it wasn't part of the original pour of concrete, the filled hole may not be structurally sound just adhering to the old concrete. And then when you do your base layer of concrete for the shower pan, I thought that may take care of any structural issues with the old hole since it's all one big base layer. But I guess it just can't be done that way?

cx 06-09-2015 09:59 PM

I think there is some confusion in terms here, AM. a "tile-in drain" is usually one in which the drain grate is replaced with a piece of tile, making the shower floor appear not to have a drain.

There are generally two types of drains used in shower construction: One is the standard clamping drain used with the traditional shower pan construction with a mud/liner/mud floor. The other is the bonding flange drain used with direct bonding waterproofing membrane shower pan construction. The Kerdi drain would fall into that category. We'll skip the linear drains for this discussion, but any of the above can be "tile-in" drain if you want.

And while it's possible to construct a direct bonded waterproofing shower using a standard clamping drain, that's a bit of a hybrid design, although some membrane manufacturers have instructions for doing just that, but I much prefer to see you use a bonding flange drain if you elect to build a direct bonded waterproofing membrane shower.

Amongst all that is what you need to choose before we can help you get much further with your project.

I'd personally recommend USG's Durock Shower System.

My opinion; worth price charged.

amodoko 06-09-2015 10:07 PM

Just saw your guys' posts after I posted mine so my post may seem like I didn't read your previous posts, lol.

Anyways, PC, yeah I had thought about the fiberglass shower pan but I thought that in general a tiled shower pan was more desired. You're saying that fiberglass shower pans are more common in expensive homes? I thought that the mortar bed/tiled shower pans were more common in high-end homes, or at least I thought tiled shower pans were more sought after. I literally gave away my old white shower pan that was in there before (it was discolored and a bit dirty but I could have buffed it out and refinished it or something) because I thought that a tiled shower pan was better and would possibly help/add value whenever we sell the condo. I also kind of wanted to try to build one since I just wanted to see if I could do it.

And Eric, yeah, that makes sense. I have found some shower bases that would fit my area for pretty cheap at Home Depot now that I am reanalyzing this issue with your guys' suggestions. I found one for like $130 from Home Depot:


But once again, I thought that building a shower pan and tiling it would maybe make the condo more appealing to new buyers also. That's kind of why I was shying away from the pre-made white shower pans. Now I wish I hadn't taken out my old shower pan and given it away. It did have some hairline cracks around the edges but I believe those could have been repaired with some kits from the hardware store. And then I could have just bought some rustoleum paint kit for shower pans and tubs and maybe made it look like new. Oh well, now it's too late.

But I guess the question I have now, is would a white pre-made non-tiled shower pan be more appealing to new buyers or would a tiled one be more appealing? I guess if I can recoup the costs when we sell the place I would be willing to do a mortar shower pan, but if it doesn't make a difference in terms of making the place look attractive and sellable, I guess I'll put in a pre-made shower pan.

CX, just saw your post so I'll edit my post to respond. I guess then I am going to use a standard clamping drain with the traditional pre slope, liner, then top layer concrete for cost reasons over the bonding systems ( I believe the bonding systems are more expensive). But I am also considering buying a pre-made non-tilable shower pan because that may be even cheaper than building a mortar bed shower pan. I'm kind of on the fence now between those two.

Steve in Denver 06-09-2015 10:35 PM

If I were in your shoes, I'd consider what is customary / expected in a condo of your sort...If the other units tend to have non-tiled shower floors, no need to go all out....if the norm is a tiled floor, or if the trend is toward nicer finishes, you might want to go for a tiled floor. It also depends on how long you plan on living there yourself...and how much you prefer a tiled floor to a pre-formed base.

I'd tile the floor myself, and I'd probably give the USG Durock system a closer look. If CX likes it...

I don't think I'd worry too much about the mud pan dust / logistical issues...just mix the deck mud in a bucket outside and forget about it..you are going to have to deal with the same problem when it comes time to mix your thinset, anyway.

It's probably six in one, half dozen in the other for the traditional vs bonded membrane in terms of difficulty (I really have no basis for this...just conjecture), but the surface membrane is much more appealing in function to me...I think the benefit is worth the $extra...but I could see that going either way depending on how much jingle is in your pocket.

amodoko 06-09-2015 11:05 PM

Yeah, in terms of resale, I do think that either one is fine for the shower base. I think most condos here do not have a tiled shower base. However, I found this on Home Depot's website:


It says under the specifications that for shower base type it is "made for tile." I wonder if that is correct, because all the photos show it being non-tiled. But for $129, that would be cheaper, or right around the same price as building the mortar bed and everything. And then I just tile. But I have a feeling that the website is wrong because that is so cheap for a tile ready shower base. Edit: Actually just looked at the base again and in the Q&A section someone asked about it saying it was "made for tile" and the product expert replied saying that it is meant to be tiled from the walls up, the shower base can't be tiled. But that is still a good price.

I also would like to say that I do have a desire to learn how to build a mortar bed for a shower also, so that is also a factor, but I have to keep our budget in mind as well.

amodoko 06-09-2015 11:31 PM

7 Attachment(s)
Here are some photos of my old shower and shower pan (this was really old and I believe it was refinished and the prior paint job was discoloring and literally chipping away).

Does anyone know if I could have actually used it and just tiled the walls? Kind of kicking myself for giving it away before I had decided for sure what I was doing. I don't know if I could have used it and tiled the walls because of how the edges of the pan jut out, etc. I would have to do some significant shimming I believe or be okay with the tiles just resting on the edge of the shower pan, with part of the pan jutting out. So maybe I could have kept it, darn. It definitely needed to be refinished and cleaned up, and it did have a hairline crack on a vertical area in an inside corner. Really wish I had it now so I wouldn't need to buy a new one if I decide to use a pre-fab shower pan.

PC7060 06-10-2015 05:43 AM


Originally Posted by AM
Does anyone know if I could have actually used it [shower pan] and just tiled the walls?

Possibly, depends on how the flange were configured. Usually only configured to mate with the match sides. Looks like it had reached it's max useful life anyway given the condition of the door tracks

I'd skip the tilable bases and go with the a regular fiberglass one. Seems like an expensive alternative to a mud bed.

amodoko 06-10-2015 12:43 PM

I kind of want to do a mortar bed one for fun but I'll have to think about it I guess and make a decision. Thanks for all your help, I still may do a mortar bed and tile it though I just need to talk to my family about it as well.

Lazarus 06-10-2015 02:35 PM

Irrespective of what the other condos have for a base, a beautiful tiled base always adds to the value of the unit. My vote is for a Kerdi system.

Yes, their custom drain assemblies are about about a hundred bucks...but look SO much nicer than the traditional $9 PVC/FHA drains. You only need one mud slope and the Kerdi and KerdiBand shouldn't cost more than $120 or so. Standard drywall instead of ceement board. (Much easier to install.)

You eliminate the preslope, the rubber liner, the folding of corners, etc.....so, pricewise, it's about a "Draw." :gerg:

amodoko 06-11-2015 12:57 AM

I know, I'm so tempted to do a tiled base, arghh, hahaha... It is a lot more extra work though. Spoke to my family about it and they seem to be leaning towards the basic pre-fab pan, but I get the final decision so I just have to think about it... :scratch:

asmad 06-11-2015 07:19 AM

My impression from PCs comments about high end homes was that you can sometimes find the preformed bases in high end homes, not that those bases were common to high end. My mil has a preformed base in her nice home. But tiled floors are more desirable. However, what you must ask yourself is what is appropriate for your market? Is your condo in a competitive market or one that is expected to be by the time you try to sell? Are many neighbors remodeling? Those considerations are important too, because you don't want to do something just for resale appeal only to find that buyers in your area just aren't that interested in paying more for a condo because it has a tiled shower floor OR in buying a condo that has a preformed pan. It could go either way depending on your market.

amodoko 06-11-2015 01:34 PM

Great advice, we have been thinking about those things as well. I think in our area that either one is actually okay. There are a lot of remodels going on here right now, and I saw one just recently that had gutted the entire place and redid everything, and they installed pre-fab shower bases. So that is acceptable in my area. I really don't think it matters too much what we do (I don't even think most buyers would recognize the difference as long as the surround is tiled and nice). It's more that I kind of just wanted to do it initially for fun/try something new/thought it looked nice/etc. And that makes sense about PC's comments, as I have seen them in high-end homes as well.

PC7060 06-11-2015 06:02 PM

IMO, based on tours of new homes and friends homes with "upgraded" builder showers, the fiber glass definitely prevails. If you do a nice job on the wall tile with a niche or two, I doubt anyone will even notice the floor.

I see the tiled shower floors in the custom home and higher end renovations. Look very nice but it takes a informed buyer to notice.

Looked at a beautifully renovated house recently with a nice slate shower and linear drain. Looked pretty but after seeing alla the shower disaster threads on the forum, I asked; have any "in progress" pictures I could look at? :uhh: What kind of water proofing was used? :shrug:

Don't get me wrong, I love the look of tiled shower floors and am very happy with my Master Bath reno with the Kerdi drain. My point re the fiberglass based was purely economic. It's your home, your $$$ and your choice; we are just watching from the side lines. :D

amodoko 06-11-2015 07:22 PM

After thinking about it overnight and talking to a few more people about it, I am leaning towards a built-in shower pan now. It will save me some time, a little bit of money, save me some labor, and I'll be able to more quickly start doing the stuff that makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere with the project (which is building the niches, tiling the walls, etc... basically stuff I've done before and feel more comfortable with and can, thus, do quicker).

I'm thinking of buying one of these shower pans:




The Home Depot one says it is composite while the Lowes one says it is Vikrell.

Also, I really shouldn't over-remodel the place either since it wouldn't make much financial sense, so anywhere where I can save time and money is a plus so now I'm more okay with just doing the pre-fab shower pan. I'm not living in high-end condos, and the buyers won't be expecting tiled shower floors when we sell in a few years, so my extra work building a shower pan will feel almost pointless from a financial perspective (which can kind of suck the fun out of things).

The one thing that I've noticed that is weird, is that my floor area for my pan was 48 inches long and 35 inches wide. And the pans at Home Depot and Lowes are 48 inches long and 34 inches wide. The only real issue with that is that it may affect the drain location by a bit so maybe I will have to shim out the new pan and cbu a bit from the back wall to avoid changing the plumbing.

PC7060 06-11-2015 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by AM
The only real issue with that is that it may affect the drain location by a bit so maybe I will have to shim out the new pan and cbu a bit from the back wall to avoid changing the plumbing.

Agree it would be easiest if you can get a new pan to line up the drain but if you can't shim the pan into the exact position of the existing pipe, you can adjust the position of the existing drain line without too much trouble.

amodoko 06-11-2015 10:26 PM

I'll try to see if I can find one the same size (doesn't seem like there are a lot of 48in by 35in pans here). If I had to adjust the line below to line up the drain, I think I would have to crawl into that crawl space to adjust it since the p-trap is kind of far down and hard to reach from above, which would kind of suck, it's so nasty down there, lol.

PC7060 06-12-2015 04:56 AM


I think I would have to crawl into that crawl space to adjust it since the p-trap is kind of far down and hard to reach from above, which would kind of suck, it's so nasty down there, lol.

Git yer' self some coveralls and a head lamp and you'll feel like a real pro when you're crawl in' around down there.

PS. Attics are sucky too!

amodoko 06-17-2015 03:39 AM

Hahaha! I've been working a lot lately so haven't been able to get to work on the shower the past few days. Hopefully, I'll be able to start up again on it in a few days. I really would like to finish this shower within the next month if possible and I'm sure I'll have a few more questions here and there since I'm always paranoid about doing things right:crazy:

And of course, I will be uploading pictures of the process in case someone can benefit from it. Plus pictures are fun:)

amodoko 07-08-2015 01:47 PM

Hey guys, didn't know if I should start a new thread or continue with this one, but I'm ready to actually get this project done. I had gotten busy with work and had to put this aside for a bit. But my goal is to get this shower done by the end of the month. So I'm going to go out and buy some of my supplies now.

I haven't been able to find a pan in my area that is inexpensive and 48 x 35 (the size I need). All the big box stores here only have 48 x 34, so I'm going to probably just get the slightly wrong size and shim out the base about 1/2 inch to get the drain to fit perfectly. I'm not too motivated to crawl under to deal with adjusting the plumbing (too many creepy crawlies there, lol).

I just have two questions for ya to get me finally started. Which pan do you think I should get between these two (similar prices, one is composite and one is vikrell and I believe there are differences in warranties too, one specifies weep holes but the other may have it too)?

This one...




And as far as the Durock CBU, I need 1/2 inch CBU right?

Like this, right:


I believe that is all the big stuff I need right now, I'll get all the small stuff later (tile, screws, drain, etc). Just using someone's car for the big stuff right now. I may need some more 2x4s but I can probably fit those in my tiny car later.

Once I get this all setup and the drain in, I can start doing the stuff I'm more familiar with (tiling, building niches, etc.) I'll post tons of photos of course:)

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