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frantznewb 03-25-2021 05:12 PM

1st Shower Build
Hi everyone,

1st post here, hello and thanks in advance for the advice! Total shower newb so pardon my ignorance!
Here goes:
I want to finish building a custom shower started by the previous homeowner. I think they planned to add a pvc liner then a top mortar bed, traditional build out. I want to pour a second mortar bed directly on the preslope then apply a liquid hydroban membrane instead (no liner). Is this a bad idea? Will new mortar adhere to an old bed , or will there likely cracking, movement, mortar incompatibility etc.? Also for this situation, are there any recommended mud mixes or densities that should be used? I plan to pour 1.5 inches minimum depth then use the goof proof sticks to get the right slope. I read elsewhere that a thin bed should be laid, let it cure and then add the last bed. Don't know what to think and if I should just stick with the pvc liner.

Carbidetooth 03-25-2021 05:40 PM

1. is the drain installed and if so what is it?

2. Slope should be in the existing pre-slope. Second mud bed should be consistent in thickness on top of pre.

3. What's you waterproofing strategy?

4. What's all there now?

Pics would be helpful. If I was unsure of any part of existing, it would be time to regroup and develop a game plan based on answer to #3.

frantznewb 03-25-2021 07:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks Carbidetooth!

Pic is now attached that shows the current state of shower area. Not at the house but will be later tomorrow. Only the lower flange is embedded into the preslope - tape is still covering it. This bed is somewhat pitted in several areas, but I think that's ok since it will mortared over.

I bought a Schluter-Kerty-Drain with ABS flange and an adapter ring to lock it into the flange on the floor.

A basic question is I have is - can I apply a ring of plumbers putty over the lower flange then attach the Schluter adapter ring, the weep hole cover, then the Quick Pitch sticks then screw in the riser, then mud?

Water protection would occur afterwards on top of the second bed using the Hydroban liquid membrane and tape.

I'm beginning to think maybe I should just go with the liner - seems simpler and water testing can occur before I even mud.

The carpenter built a wood curb and also wooden bench. The plan there is add sloping to his framing if needed then cement board tape, seal, thinset, tile Of course all of this is easier said than done!

ss3964spd 03-26-2021 06:33 AM

Welcome, Shane,

Thee very first thing I would do is check to see if the existing shower floor is sloped to the drain at not less than 1/4" per foot from each corner. The results of that effort will dictate how to move forward.

A couple of other things right off the top. You mentioned adding slope to the bench and curb framing if needed; both should have been framed with the necessary slope. It also appears that there's a stud missing from the rear right hand corner. What is the on center measurements of the studs? Most tile backer boards call for 16" OC spacing.

Carbidetooth 03-26-2021 09:06 AM

What Dan said about slope. Bad start = compromised finish.

I've never used the Kerdi conversion drain, but I doubt plumber's putty is called for anywhere in its installation.

Conventional liner and drypack will be tough to get right with bench. Surface membrane easier for this.

Honestly, it looks like framing lacks a lot. I wonder about original vision with the wraparound? bench, sloping wall, lack of corner attachment. I assume there was a plan for glass, but it's not clear where it might go.

I'm ever curious why projects like this weren't completed. Repo? Ran out of ideas? Ran out of $$? Realized error of ways? Not that important, but might give insight into original builder's train-of-thought.

cx 03-26-2021 09:25 AM

Welcome, Shane. :)

I agree with the others, but if you plan a direct bonded membrane waterproofing system, I'd start by at least removing and replacing the existing drain and installing a bonding flange drain associated with the waterproofing product you elect to use. And for my part, I would not use a liquid-applied waterproofing membrane for a shower receptor, only a sheet-type membrane.

Replacing the drain and providing a proper slope may well be easier, and certainly more effective, if you remove what's currently in there and start over with your own sloped floor.

Peter, I'm not sure that train stopped at that particular station any longer. Possibly the reason for lack of completion. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

frantznewb 03-26-2021 10:39 AM

Much appreciated everyone, you guys rock!

My plan is to use pvc liner now if slope checks out.
regarding the bench: can't I just block it in with wood to support
the pvc liner then screw in cement board starting at the TOP of the liner?
I will:
Check for corner stud and OC spacing
Calculate slope on existing bed. assuming I need to patch it with thinset for smooth sloped surface for proper drainage.

If slope is incorrect, I assume it's a tear out scenario. OR can I potentially proceed with liquid membrane on top of new mud bed?
Regarding Kerdi drain: I'll research it. I bought it thinking the adapter ring would make it compatible with the existing drain if it's the flange interlocking kind.
Regarding framing: I plan to extend the bench to the curb. There was framing for a tub that I have partially torn out.

I also plan to improve on the pan liner sipport by adding blocking between studs. Currently it's only 5" high and nothing where the supply lines are.
What else is lacking from the framing?
I was planning to try and use that rake wall on the left but it would be pretty simple to rip and frame to the ceiling.

Thanks a ton everyone!

cx 03-26-2021 03:41 PM

Shane, the problem with a wood framed bench in a traditionally built receptor is that there is no way to waterproof the bench. You can feasibly construct your receptor after the bench is framed, as you have now, but then you must install your CBU and a direct bonded waterproofing membrane over bench and walls. The framing of the top of the bench, and the plywood top must be sloped to drain at a minimum of 1/4" per foot, just like the floor.

But if you're gonna need to use a direct bonded waterproofing system for your walls, bench, and potentially niche(s), I'd recommend again that you take out what you have, finish the bench construction, install your wallboard, install your sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membrane on walls and bench, tile everything excluding the bottom row of wall tiles, install a bonding flange drain and your properly sloped mortar bed floor, waterproof and tile the remaining area.

You can, of course, continue with what you have, but you still must do the bench as I've described (you can use a liquid-applied membrane if not doing the receptor - personal opinion) treating the front of the bench the same as a shower wall. If you use the adapter drain (poor choice in your case in my opinion) you will raise your shower floor a good deal (couple inches?) as compared to a bonding flange installed at the subfloor.

Number of ways to skin your particular cat, but first you must decide on a waterproofing method.

My opinion; worth price charged.

frantznewb 03-27-2021 03:11 AM


Just want to make sure you are clear that the framing on the right towards the back in the photo IS the bench. I am having difficulty understanding why adding blocking between the bench studs of the bench, tacking the traditional pvc liner to that blocking then adding cement board and slathering the board with hydroban won't waterproof it. Isn't the bench's vertical face essentially just a short wall? And wouldn't water run down this wall, land in the pvc liner and drain?

Regarding Kerdi drain: I see your point. I think it best to use it exactly as prescribed by Kerdi, i.e. embedded in their pan or membrane. Besides it's ABS and my plumbing is PVC. They are incompatible, right? Going to Lowe's and a tile shop in a few hours. Can you recommend a good flange clamping type drain for the traditional pvc liner type install? I'd love to return the Kerdi as it was a lot more expensive than most of the other drains.
Many thanks for helping this newb out!

Lazarus 03-27-2021 08:57 AM

ABS and PVC are, technically not compatible...however, there is a "transitional" glue sold that will adhere to them both. Been done before, and is no problem as there is no pressure on a drain......

cx 03-27-2021 10:00 AM

Yes, the front of the bench is just a short wall. See post #8. You can use a conventional liner for your receptor, but you're then left with waterproofing the bench and rest of the shower.

You must also do that with the direct bonded waterproofing membrane system, but then it's all just a continuation of the shower receptor.

The Kerdi drain is available in either ABS or PVC. I think these days both are the same dull gray color, but I haven't purchased one for years.

One of the reasons I like the direct bonded waterproofing systems is that you can install your wallboard and waterproofing and tile the ceiling and walls down to the last row from the bottom before you ever even install the drain. Makes it a lot easier to work in the shower without damaging any part of the floor.

My opinion; worth price charge.

Lazarus 03-27-2021 12:45 PM

Current pictures show ABS in black and PVC in gray......:)

cx 03-27-2021 01:21 PM

Where do we find that information, Laz?

Lazarus 03-27-2021 05:43 PM

Found it on Google.

ABS https://www.homedepot.com/p/Schluter...KABS/309686195

PVC https://www.homedepot.com/p/Schluter...KPVC/309686216

Found different links/pics earlier, but these oughta do.

Lazarus 03-27-2021 06:02 PM

And this for a link to the "transition" glue...only acceptable in a non-pressurized application. https://www.oatey.com/products/oatey...ent-2074377300

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