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-   -   Bathroom rebuild 5' x 10' - new sunken shower (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=114229)

01sesedan 09-17-2014 02:28 PM

Bathroom rebuild 5' x 10' - new sunken shower
1 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone,

Long time lurker, been a while since I've posted anything. I've searched but didn't find what I was looking for. If this topic has been covered, I apologize in advance. Please provide link.

I'm in the process of remodeling the bathroom and need guidance on the shower floor.

I've remove the shower and concrete slab to make a sunken shower. The floor was cut 34" x 60".

What's the best way to make a sunken shower? My plan was to lower the drain. Then add rebar to the bottom havlf of the existing floor by drilling and epoxy the bar. Also add reinforce wire in the middle open section, and tie them together.

Can I pre-slope the concrete slab towards the drain and waterproof with hydroban/aqua defense, then tile?
Do have have to make the slab level, then pre-slope mud to the drain, waterproof them tile?

Waterproofing available locally is Mapei Aqua Defense and fiber mesh.
I've been reading a lot on Hydro-Ban, but will have to order online. Is waterproof membrane better? Is membrane just another method that achieves the same results?

Plans are to durock, perma base, wonderboard the walls and waterproof with liquid membrane. Reinforce all corners with fiber mesh.

How difficult would it be to make it a curbless shower correctly? Would I have to move the drain from the middle to the wall to get the correct slope/angle?

Thanks in advance,


PC7060 09-17-2014 08:40 PM

Hi Joe, :wave:

You mentioned both sunken shower and curb less shower, are you considering both options or referring to a curb less shower only?

You can build a curbless shower using deck mud over a recessed slab as long as you have the required 2" drop from the shower entry to the drain.

Have you ruled out a surface applied membrane such as Kerdi or Durock membrane as a option for your water proofing method?

01sesedan 09-17-2014 09:45 PM

We would like curbless. Was thinking of moving the drain close to the wall under the shower controls. Controls are on the left side of the photo. Hope by moving the drain that would give a gentle 2" drop to the drain.

As for waterproofing, I've read about noble seal ts and hydroban sheet membrane. Still haven't decided which one to use.

How would you approach the curbless method? Wasn't sure if we had the space for curbless.



cx 09-17-2014 10:08 PM

Joe, if you're gonna have a step-down shower pan there is no need to move your drain to achieve the necessary slope.

The problem I see is one we frequently see in those Florida slabs where the shower area is simply left out of the slab. There's no easy way to create a structurally sound floor under the shower area without filling in the opening flush with the existing slab level. And perhaps that's what you're trying to describe.

You can make the very thin slab I think you're describing and have vertical room for a mud bed and curbless entry if you use a bonded waterproofing membrane for your pan. I wouldn't be real happy with that, but you could do it.

The requirement for the drain to be two inches below the top of the curb is probably moot where you are, anyway, since it's my understanding that you don't really have any code requirements for a shower receptor to speak of. And it's a subject of much discussion and dispute whether that applies at all if you don't actually have a curb.

If you're in a code compliance jurisdiction I'd want to discuss all that with your enforcement official before making any final decisions.

My opinion; worth price charged.

01sesedan 09-17-2014 10:29 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I'm going to check with code enforcement in the morning.

I got the step down idea from a family member down in South Florida who cut out the slab, removed 3 inches of sand/dirt, lowered the drain. Poured a new slab around 4" thick, leaving 3" step-down. The pre-slope and tile.

Not sure what they used for waterproofing on the floor. Walls were durock, seams taped with thinset and several coats if redgard.

This is what I was also planning. Just wondering if curbless could also be constructed in a 34" x 60" shower. If it's too complicated, I may just do a step down.

Here's the step down shower completed.

cx 09-17-2014 10:34 PM

Curbless and step-down are not mutually exclusive concepts. I have done many step downs that are also curbless. And some with small curbs. Many doorless, too.

01sesedan 12-31-2014 05:23 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone,

Been working on this bathroom for many months now. Very slowly.

Going to use Noble TS for the floor, drain flashing and Noble Wall Seal for the walls.

Ready to install Noble TS. Dry fitting and need your input on the drop down/step down section. Was able to make all the bends/folds, looks good so far.

Should I use both inside and outside pre-formed corners? I know I have to be careful with corner and seam buildup. Guess I'll have to use more thin set on the tile to level the wall.

Here's what it looks like.

Attachment 171872

Attachment 171876

Attachment 171874

Attachment 171877

Attachment 171875

Attachment 171873

Question for those that have installed this before. Which thin set have you used? I only have access to Mapei (from flooring supply house) and Lowes. Custom from Home Depot. From reading forum, some have used Mapei UltraFlex 2. Lowes has Ceramic Tile Mortar.

I was reminded to pitch the bathroom floor slightly 6" to 12" toward the shower. Also got suggestions of placing tile edge 6" to 12" for capillary break. I have to look into this. The bathroom I posted above didn't have this installed.

Hope to get tips/feedback/suggestions...

Thanks again.....

01sesedan 03-11-2015 07:10 PM

Tile layout question.
4 Attachment(s)
Been working on it little by little.

I'm ready for tile and drew a layout to get an idea.

Tile: 12x24
Mosaic: 12x24

Here's the trouble I'm running into. By trying to use mosaic tile as back splash, I would have to install the first 3 rows of 12x24 horizontal. It should finish at the height of the vanity top. The mosaic the rest of the wall.

The problem is in the drop down, I'll have about a 2" strip along the bottom. I'm currently searching the web for other layout ideas. Our original thought was to install them horizontal brick pattern.

01sesedan 03-11-2015 07:13 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here's the tile.

cx 03-11-2015 07:28 PM

Joe, it looks like you were rather overlooked back in December. When that happens, please make another post to your thread to bump it back to the top of the queue for attention. We try not to miss anybody, but it sometimes happens.

In your most recent posts I see the drawings and photos, but no question for us. What am I missing?

01sesedan 03-11-2015 08:00 PM

Was looking for input on layout. I didn't know how to handle the 2" strip along the shower floor.

What do you guys think about the strip down below? Is it uncommon to start the first row in the shower so small?

Maybe someone has a totally different layout idea. Been looking at lots of pictures online.

Peerless Tile 03-11-2015 08:29 PM

Most tile mfgs. recommend a maximum of 33% offset of tiles longer than 15" on any one side..... So your 50% brick is sort of a no no by today guide lines but it's your tile and your home... Have you considered a vertical offset??? or not bringing the accent tile over the toilet and just use it over the vanity.... Then you could the balance the horizontal pattern w/7" cuts top and bottom.

01sesedan 03-11-2015 09:02 PM

Could you confirm I understand correctly. The tile we purchased is rectified and possible to lay 50% . I still have to open all the boxes to confirm tiles are flat.

We'll look into vertical layout. Boss was stuck with horizontal.

Tile: Florida Tile Time 2.0

Thanks for input.

cx 03-11-2015 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by Joe
The tile we purchased is rectified and possible to lay 50%

That is a manufacturer's recommendation, Joe?

While the warpage allowance varies very slightly between Calibrated and Rectified tiles, being rectified is not what is gonna allow them to be set in a full 50 percent offset. I would recommend you verify the flatness of a very large sample of your tiles before you commit to that layout.

My opinion; worth price charged.

cpad007 03-11-2015 10:55 PM

As to the skinny tile...best to avoid 'em. Cut the top and bottom row tiles half the amount of the skinny tile...no more skinny tile and not as easy to pick up with the eye that the top and bottom rows aren't quite full tiles.

01sesedan 03-12-2015 02:38 PM

For you guys that have installed barrier free, curbless, walk in, drop down shower. Have you placed a capillary break about 12" from entry? I've read on the web it's a good idea to prevent water wicking into the bathroom.

Just wanted to get input from others.

Thanks again.

cx 03-12-2015 05:38 PM

A drop down shower is not gonna be barrier free, Joe.

I've done lots of dropped showers in concrete SOG foundations and have never done anything that could be called a capillary break on accounta I honestly don't know what that would mean in this particular application. Just what is it you're being told to do?

01sesedan 03-12-2015 06:07 PM

Here's my understanding from what I've read. Around 12" from the drop should be sloped to the pan. At that point were it slopes (12") install an L shape tile profile glues/sealed to the membrane. This should keep moisture in the wet area when you exit the shower. The moisture will work its way back to the pan.

Also, if the drain has a blockage/back up, the water level could go up close to the L tile profile. This should keep the bathroom floor dry. Once over the L profile, then your in trouble.

What do you think? Not needed on SOG?

The logic makes sense to me. Just wondered what you guys thought or has anyone completed this type of install.

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