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Unread 04-03-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 22
starting bathroom rebuild

Hi all, I've been lurking here for a while, trying to soak up what I can. This forum puts an impressive amount of know-how in one place.

I am finally starting this bathroom remodel that has been needed for a long time. I tore out what was there before and now I've got a nearly clean slate, and I have a few questions about what I found underneath all the cheap crap out of which the bathroom was constructed.

I'm on the ground floor of my condominium, which is nice because with concrete slab I don't have to worry about structural concerns with tile.

The old shower was FRP over drywall, with some kind of burly plastic base. When I pulled that out, I found a big hole with the shower trap in it- about 14" square and a foot deep, and this gap was just bridged by the old shower base. So I need to fill this in and put in the drain. Should I fill the bottom with dirt and put cement over it, or do the whole thing in cement?

My original thought with the floor was to just set the tile onto the concrete slab, but now I've read that if the slab cracks your tile will crack too and I want to do it "right". The building is 20 years old and the slab has some tiny tiny cracks in it. What's the best way to do this? Is tiling directly on the slab safe? Should I put down a layer of RedGuard? I have read a little about Ditra but it seems like it may be more than is necessary in this instance.

There's a chunk missing from the slab up against one wall, it seems like it's simple to fill that in with cement, but maybe there is some gotcha I'm not thinking of?

I am also not sure what to do about the toilet mount, the bolts are pretty rusty and the area is kind of rough. I guess it's probably just a matter of getting new bolts, but I have never done it before and any tips are appreciated.

I've had several people suggest to me that I lay down some radiant floor heating but I am not sure it's worth it- this is an entry-level home no matter how you slice it, and being surrounded by other units it stays pretty warm. On the other hand I guess tile is cold on your feet. What are all your thoughts on that?

Thanks in advance for your help and patience! I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg of my cluelessness.
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