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Mike59 07-24-2022 06:30 AM

Transitioning Durock to concrete
4 Attachment(s)
Good morning,
New member here. Recently discovered shower leak. Licensed plumber came out and said Pan needed to be replaced as water was seeping out under tile floor into next room. He told me I could save some money by doing demo myself. I discovered a real mess and saw that the concrete subfloor was never sloped, just flat. When he came back out he said that was correct and he would not be sloping it just putting in the new liner. I had another plumber tell me the same thing. From what I am seeing that is wrong, so I am attempting to do this whole bathroom remodeling job myself. I am 63 and this is my first undertaking so I will probably be here again. My first question...if I create either a preslope or use a Kerdipan...what is the deal with all the sand around the drain? Do I fill it in with concrete or what. The original liner just laid over it and the tile mortar bed on top of the liner. Here are some pics. Thx in advance.

ss3964spd 07-24-2022 09:03 AM

Welcome, Mike,

Yeah, you are correct and your "plumbers" are not. There should be a pre-slope under the liner, even in Florida. Further, if water was seeping out then the liner itself was leaking. Those 2X4's have seen better days.

The sand around the existing drain is just fill, but should have been concrete, at least the top 3 or 4 inches of it.

I can't tell from here if the existing drain assembly has enough adjustability to it, so if your intention is to install a new, and properly sloped mud bed, then new liner, and final mud bed you are likely to need to raise the existing drain. To do that you may need to excavate the area around the existing drain.

Mike59 07-24-2022 09:19 AM

Thank you for confirming that. There is room around that pipe that I can dig sand out to raise the pipe. From what I see I can use a multi tool to cut away to access the original drain. The shower was really a bad job to begin with, liner only half way over rotten curbs..nailed inside and top..I could go on and on. That corner section was a closet and my wife wanted to make it part of the shower as the original layout was really bizarre. My concern is either to try to do mud bed myself or try this Kerdi system I read about. Also if we square off the front where it is a 45 degree now, would I have to modify the part of the ceiling overhead to match? Think that would be beyond my scope I think. Or to leave that angle like it is. Easier to use Kerdi curb or fashion out of brick? No more wood as I am concerned after what I saw before.

ss3964spd 07-24-2022 09:40 AM

I'm with Mrs. Mike, Mike; commandeer that closet for the shower. However, if you do so you might consider also relocating the drain so that it is more centered in the shower. Doing so mean chipping out concrete, and a bit of plumbing work on the drain line. Easy for me to say, 'eh? :)

If you built it correctly wood isn't an issue. Water can come from the shower itself, or up through the slab. Correct water proofing will eliminate water getting to the wood from the shower, and plastic between the wood and the slab will do the trick there.

You could absolutely use Schluter's system (Kerdi), or a number of different brands. If you do then you can use a single, sloped mud bed, a Kerdi drain, and cover the mud bed with Kerdi, thus reducing the height of the shower floor and enabling a slightly lower curb. My choice for the walls would be water proof foam boards, but you could certainly use plain old white drywall and cover that with Kerdi. The foam boards, though, are a little more DIY friendly, but also a bit more expensive.

Can't tell from here what it would take to eliminate the angled entry. Could be as simple as adding a bit of framing in the ceiling and some drywall work, or there might be something up there that is in the way.

Mike59 07-24-2022 11:39 AM

Thank you for all your input. So it’s yes on the closet removal. I don’t feel comfortable with breaking up floor and repositioning the drain. Do you think it would look awkward if the shower was full square and that drain was kind of like in the corner ( the shower head is on the left as you enter the shower) and everything sloped down to it? Or would it look worse if I left the angle in there so I don’t have to mess with the roof. Hard to find pics on the internet to compare to...So if curb done with wood, how do you secure dura roc board to it and the membrane tightly over it without nailing in the liner on top and inside? Lastly, being a novice at this and not necessarily trying to go cheap as possible but rather easy as possible, would you recommend Kerdi system using their pre formed pre sloped shower pan and curb rather than concrete pre slope conventional shower pan based on my situation (angles, large area app 60” x 50” Thank you again and sorry for so many questions.

Lazarus 07-24-2022 01:55 PM

Were it me, I would first address the water damaged wood...either by sistering or replacing them. I probably would not move the drain, unless you have to have it perfectly centered.

At this point, Schluter makes an adapter kit that can dovetail with your existing flange, I would go there. Then you can simply do a single mud bed and cover it (and the curb) with Kerdi fabric.

Before you do the curb, clad it with cement board or drywall before the Kerdi. Not concerned about the fasteners as the Kerdi waterproofs everything.

You can use the floor mud that you make the pan out of to fill in the space around the drain...

Mike59 07-24-2022 03:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Yes you are spot on. I am planning on sistering the wood studs once I get my exact layout confirmed. I just got done removing the existing drain assy. so now just the drain pipe is there about three inches below the surface, and no...I don’t think I will be attempting to move it. So it’s safe to use regular non pt wood for the curbs? A lot of what I’ve read and heard say stay away from wood so I was thinking about using a Kerdi curb, maybe have to use two to form that 45 degree shape if I go that way. And thank you for answering a question I had on my mind about filling in that area around pipe with bed mud! Here is a pic of the demo...notice how the original installer never even fully covered the curb with the liner, and you can see that’s where the majority of the damage came from. Unbelievable how some people take pride in their workmanship!
Thx Mike

Lazarus 07-24-2022 04:19 PM

Mike...again, you can leave the existing drain flange/assembly if you are using the Schluter adapter. If you do cut the riser down to 2"...obviously you can use a standard Kerdi drain. This is much easier though......

Mike59 07-24-2022 05:20 PM

Thank you!

ss3964spd 07-25-2022 06:25 AM

I'd replace those studs, Mike. Doing so will allow you to make certain they are plumb and square - two thing you want when tiling. You'll also be able to easily replace all the rotten/compromised wood, including those bottom (sole) plates. I think you'll spend as much time trying to patch all that together as you would just replacing it.

Forming the curb out of wood is fine, you just need to be sure to isolate from the slab with plastic sheeting. For that matter, ALL the wood that touches the slab should be isolated from it. You could use pressure treated kiln dried wood for all the bottom plates and for the bottom board of the curb, then use non-PT wood to build up the rest of the curb.

Keep in mind that if you leave the drain where it is, the slope of the floor will be much steeper in the areas where the drain is closer to the walls, and much more gradual elsewhere, and will feel funny to walk on. But perhaps your shower head is positioned, or could be, so that excessive slope near the walls won't be a problem.

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc 07-30-2022 10:18 AM

Personally, I would chip out the concrete and center that curb. It's in an odd spot especially when the closet is removed.

You should look into a custom-made foam shower tray. You can get one from several places. Many of the major companies make them. I don't know if Schluter does but they might. But these companies do and are known for quick turnaround times:
  • Noble
  • RSS
  • Built with Foam
  • Rodkat

Most of this forum will disagree and encourage you to mud your floor and there's nothing wrong with doing it that way.

But I think a foam tray, foam curb, and foam wall board is much, much easier for a DIY'er and you can have your shower prepped, completely waterproof, and flood tested in one day and you're ready to tile.

Finally, if you center the curb, it might make sense to buy a standard sized foam pan, instead of custom, and adapt it yourself. Depending on the measurements, this could be as simple as cutting the corner off.

Mike59 07-31-2022 05:57 PM

Transitioning durarock to concrete
Good evening,

So getting my plans in place for the shower redo. I’ve decided to go with a mud base with Kerdi membrane and Durarock wallboards which I will use a liquid membrane on from six inches up. I have two questions. I will be using bricks to form my curb (on concrete slab floor). The curb will have two inside angles like 35 degrees or so, so there will be gaps unless I can cut the bricks to match those angles. If I can’t, what concrete mixture would you suggest to fill in those gaps which would be a good mate to Kerdi membrane overlapping the curb....and finally, how do I transition the Durarock wallboard at the bottom of the shower wall where it meets the brick curb so that the Kerdi membrane will cover properly?
Thanks Mike

cx 07-31-2022 08:04 PM

Mike, it'll help if you'll keep all the project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

I trust we're actually talking about USG's Durock wallboard?

You understand you're completely on your own mixing the Kerdi and RedGard, right?

'Fraid I don't understand the question about transitioning from the Durock to the brick curb. You'd just cut the wallboard to fit the curb or butt the curb bricks into the wallboard.

Any number of cementitious patching materials could be used to help fit your bricks, but it's usually fairly easy to cut the bricks with a wide chisel to close enough tolerance for what you're doing. You can put them together with thinset mortar if the fit is close, or you could use brick mortar from your local home center.

My opinion; worth price charged.


Originally Posted by James
...you can have your shower prepped, completely waterproof, and flood tested in one day and you're ready to tile.

How do you account for the Kerdi manufacturer's required 24 hour mortar cure time before flood testing when you do that, James?

Mike59 08-01-2022 09:08 AM

Sorry, I thought I was starting a new thread...only my second post so my bad..I will pay better attention next time. Ok, so thank you for answering my question about transitioning..yes, I guess I would just butt the durarock and bricks together and fill in the gaps like you said. When you said “on your own”...I take it you don’t agree with the plan. As most of us first timers do we watch videos to learn. Ones I have seen show Kerdi up a few inches on the durarock and then a painted on primer for the rest of the durarock. While that might not be 100 percent the best way to go, would it be better than just tiling right over the durarock, or what do you recommend...full Kerdi only?

cx 08-01-2022 10:28 AM

The Kerdi membrane is part of a shower system, Mike, and includes covering the entire wet area, including the walls. If you elect to use it only for the receptor and then use some other product to waterproof the walls, you're no longer using the system and you have no guarantee from any of the product manufacturers.

Will what you're doing work? Probably. Would I recommend it? No, but I understand that people do showers that way. Entirely up to you.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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