Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 06-07-2019, 11:32 AM   #1
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Old Shower Base Pan with no visible drain flange?

I am about to embark on a full bathroom remodel and have a doozy of a problem that has me quite baffled... It currently has a stand up shower but with a molded shower base pan that I will be changing out for a tiled shower floor. And I believe what’s there now may be original to he home, built in 1982.
I am still investigating what I’ve got and educating myself on how to properly remove the old to replace with the new.

So I took the screwless snap-on cover to the shower drain off to see what type of drain assembly was used, normally it’s some type of a compression fitting in these things. But what I found was nothing I can make sense of. What’s there is the edge of the shower base, then mortar and then the center PVC drain pipe, that’s it. Whoever built this shower did not use the cap that the snap on drain cover is supposed to fit into, they made their own with mortar. The only thing I can imagine is that they must have depressed the snap on cover into wet mortar, removed it to let it dry and just used that mold to hold the drain cover in place. It is not siliconed either, it just sits into the man-made groves in the mortar underneath it. This is on my second floor of my home, not a concrete slab. I really don’t want to have to open the ceiling of my living room, we’ve already had to open it and patch the ceiling for a leak, thus the reason for this remodel. It wasn’t the drain that leaked though, it was grout failure that we were able to patch temporarily which bought us a little more time in order to be able to do this remodel right, not under duress.
I’m thinking there must be a compression ring under that mortar but I can’t be sure until I start taking this out. Attached pic is what I’m talking about.
What I think I’m going to have to do it cut the shower base around the drain, detach it from the studs and remove the majority of the base. Then I think I will be able to have a better look at what was used to secure this drain pipe into this base without it ever leaking. I am hoping to see something I recognize so that I will be able to remove it all without damaging the drainpipe or having to cut it back too far. I can do minor plumbing like replacing a drain assembly which I was hoping to be able to do here myself and not have to spend the money on a plumber to figure out this mess.
So has anyone seen a drain encased in mortar like this in a shower with a moulded base?
I have been searching online plumbing blogs, online forums and YouTube videos and cannot find one mention of anyone running into this type of drain set up. I’m thinking there is a compression ring under this mortar, or at least I’m hoping that’s the case. If it is, that can easily be carefully drilled out, the compression ring removed and that will free up the drain pipe for use with my new drain assembly.
Please tell me someone has seen this before and has some good advice for me, I’m really at my wits end on how to proceed until I can start the demo a few weeks from now. I like to educate myself to be as prepared as I can be, I don’t like surprises - especially costly ones, and I can’t find anything that even remotely looks like this.
If I do have to cut the drain pipe down to remove this mess then I know I could use a coupler and a new riser but I really don’t want to have to do that. I know it meets code but by my own estimation, the less interference (cuts and reattachments) in piping, the less of a chance of leaks from any extra fittings or failures at glued together pieces.

Help! Please?
Attached Images
 
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 06-07-2019, 12:20 PM   #2
Carbidetooth
Hmmmmm
 
Carbidetooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 1,414
I'd guess stripped threads, lost top ring or clueless installer.

I'd also question why it matters at this point. You're going to be replacing with an appropriate drain anyway, right?

1. Decide on method of construction
2. Gather what you think you'll need
3. Demo existing
4. Assess what's different than imagined
5. Gather more stuff
6. Install new drain and proceed with plan

Edit to add. There's nothing you'll want to reuse there save the vertical pipe and maybe trap. Frame or slab underneath?
__________________
Peter

Silicone (not silicon) Sealant Ranger

Last edited by Carbidetooth; 06-07-2019 at 12:59 PM.
Carbidetooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 12:37 PM   #3
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Yeah, not looking to salvage anything but the drain pipe. I am doing a complete Schluter Kerdi Shower install, boards, base, including a kerdi drain. So I do know I’ll have to cut that riser back (and the subfloor around the drain possibly depending on the size of the drain opening under this base) somewhat to make room for the Kerdi drain assembly but don’t want to cut it too far down that I’ll need to add a coupler and riser to it, ya know?
I’m just worried I guess about what the heck kind of build this is?!? And if anyone had any advice on how to proceed without doing too much damage to the drain pipe itself, the only thing I don’t want to ruin in this bathroom. I can not wait to rip this thing apart, it well past time.
I mean, after the amount of research I’ve done looking for anyone having the same issue, I can find not a one. So I honestly do think crappy installer is to blame, this look really unprofessional. Like they lost the piece or used it for another house (quite a few went up when mine did) and just winged it on my build. Glad it’s held up as long as it did, which I think at this point, really looking closely at this, is probably pure luck. I have never seen anything like this. Base, mortar and pipe - without any view of an actual drain assembly in sight. I’m really hoping there is a compression ring under that mortar because I can’t think of any other way this thing hasn’t leaked through mortar alone.
Thanks for your reply though, it is what it is I guess. I’ll have to just carefully take this apart when the time comes.
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #4
ss3964spd
Moderator
 
ss3964spd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairfax, Va
Posts: 2,212
Send a message via Yahoo to ss3964spd
I'm going to guess that stuff is plumber's putty, Carrie, and it's probably hardened a bit over the years. I'd further guess that if you chip it out you'll find the top edge of the plastic riser pipe and the sealing rubber sleeve.

Someone may have left the pipe long which caused the base to hold water and shampoo and soap and hair and and and between the base and the pipe. Filling it with putty was easier than cutting the pipe down to the rubber sleeve.

Just a guess though.
__________________
Dan
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
ss3964spd is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
Carbidetooth
Hmmmmm
 
Carbidetooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 1,414
Ohhh, I like puzzles!

If the pan floor adjacent to that drain is really solid, my money is on a big blob of mortar underneath pan. Someone may have thought " I'll just plop down mortar gob with pipe extending through, set pan and cut off excess".


Don't fear the coupler, Carrie, water won't know the difference. And keep us posted as discovery unfolds.
__________________
Peter

Silicone (not silicon) Sealant Ranger
Carbidetooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
From your mouth to god ears, Dan.
That’s what I’m so hoping I find when I start drilling this hardened stuff out. I really think it may be mortar, it has the texture of mortar and is as hard as it as well. But it most certainly could be really old hardened putty too.
I can’t imagine that there isn’t anything under it that is stopping water from leaking out. It would be ideal if it is putty or mortar on a rubber sleeve, at least I know what to do with that and I can get that off of the drain pipe without too much of a hassle and without cutting it back so far that I’d have to use a coupler and new riser. I have a bit of a phobia about piecing things together if I can keep something in one solid piece to begin with. Nightmares about failures and leaks behind walls and in floors. I know the right products to piece piping together are tried & true but I can’t help but worry anyway. Especially since I can’t immediately identity what actual drain assembly was used, probably the rubber gasket type. My fingers are crossed!!
Thanks for that. I was beginning to worry about the unknown under this. I’m no expert but I’m no novice either. I am the daughter of a professional handyman dad (maintained a two high rise complex in Manhattan, around 400 apartments) retired after 40 yrs in the business. But an even more handy mom who finished all the work in our place that my dad started but never got to finishing at home LOL I’m an avid DIYer, only thing I won’t touch is electric, that stuff scares the life out of me.
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 01:22 PM   #7
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
I know I worry too much Peter LOL Couplers wouldn’t be used if they didn’t bond properly with the right glue. I know that in my head but it’s my subconscious that will be impatiently waiting for it to begin leaking 😂
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 01:22 PM   #8
ss3964spd
Moderator
 
ss3964spd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairfax, Va
Posts: 2,212
Send a message via Yahoo to ss3964spd
I hear ya, Carrie, I don't care for piecing bits together either if there's a way not to.

I don't mind electrical at all, I'm actually better at it than tiling!

Let us know whatcha find.
__________________
Dan
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
ss3964spd is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
And I love tiling, it’s like a puzzle to piece together just perfectly so, the perfectionist in me loves that. And in the end, if it’s done just right, it’s like a piece of artwork admiring the finished tiling product. You have some leeway with all other building products and materials, but electric though? If you get that wrong it could cost your house and/or your life and that seriously terrifies me. Got an uncle who will be doing that for me, he’s taken over where my dad left off since his passing. I could stand to learn more about it, it would probably help getting rid of this fear I got. I’m fairly confident in my abilities but that all goes out the window at the thought of doing electric wiring.

I will most definitely report back here, not a whole lot of people in my life will be quite as interested in this stuff as you guys LOL Definitely not many of my female friends, they really don’t get why I enjoy doing this stuff! But it’s just in my blood, what I’ve always known to do. The old motto “if you want something done right, do it yourself” was they mantra of my parents. Besides, I really do like saving money, not hiring out what I know for certain I can do myself. Which I honestly believe was the motivation behind my parents handiness, we didn’t have a whole lot of money growing up and I’m the youngest of 5. That’s a lot of mouths to feed LOL

Thanks guys! It’s been helpful to quell my fears about what’s under here. I’m just really grateful at this point that this all held out as long as it did, save the grout failure leak we had. I’m actually pretty impressed that if this is the original 1982 build that it hasn’t crumbled long before now. Former homeowners did a load of real bad DIY work that I’m slowly but surely fixing and/or replacing. People shouldn’t be attempting to do things in their homes if they’ve never done it before and aren’t willing to do their homework and due diligence about how to do right. I’ll never understand those people. It’s a real fool who’s confidence far exceeds their abilities.
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2019, 02:45 PM   #10
Lazarus
Texas Tile Contractor
 
Lazarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 7,902
Carrie. Glad to see it's coming along. Can't tell from the photo, but a Kerdi drain assembly requires a 2" opening...The Kerdi flange needs to fit that with the required height above the floor. Your riser may or may not to be cut or modified to fit the flange.

Fitting the flange requires that you chip or hammer out an opening of about 6" or so...about 3-4 inches deep to fit the flange.....

This video might be helpful. There are others at www.schluter.com

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...18&FORM=VDRVRV
__________________
Laz...

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

Last edited by Lazarus; 06-09-2019 at 02:53 PM.
Lazarus is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2019, 06:31 PM   #11
Elkski
Took the Schluter part 1 class my team won!
 
Elkski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wasatch front, Utah
Posts: 780
Don't fret about a coupler and riser, Or worry so much about damaging the pipe. You can cut it off with one of these so you don't need much access. Get after it man!
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-In...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
__________________
Teddy
Elkski is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2019, 06:40 PM   #12
Lou_MA
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 885
Quote:
People shouldn’t be attempting to do things in their homes if they’ve never done it before and aren’t willing to do their homework and due diligence about how to do right.
In all fairness, there's a lot of bad / wrong info out there, some from sources that look legit. Even if you think you've been diligent in your research.
__________________
Lou
Lou_MA is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-11-2019, 04:55 PM   #13
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Thanks for that Teddy, I do have an internal pipe cutter already. I don’t want to open my living room ceiling again, already did that after the leak.

Lazarus, I specifically got the schluter kerdi no access drain assembly and have watched all of their videos. I knew that I’d need to cut the pipe and subfloor to size specifically for this drain, since it’s nothing like the prefab base drains. But when I popped that cover off I just wasn’t sure what I was looking at and came here to see if anyone else had seen anything like it before. Honestly, I’ve never seen a drain that was missing the piece that the drain cover is supposed to fit into 🤷🏻*♀️

I know a lot of you guys run into so many botched jobs... Which is why I came here, this forum is full of really knowledgeable pros & DIYers and I’ve appreciated you all taking your time to offer advice. Hoping maybe someone had experience with seeing something that looked like this and could offer a perspective and idea that I hadn’t already thought of.

All the answers I’ve gotten thus far have confirmed what I already thought, which made me less anxious. Just cut the base around it, remove that and then see what I’m dealing with. I am really hoping to see the bottom portion of a recognizable drain assembly on the underside. Then I’ll be happy enough just to be able to cut that mess off and be able to move forward with the rebuild. I am really hoping there are no more surprises waiting for me under there LOL

Lou. I hear ya on that. But I really think people should try to educate themselves before taking on jobs in their homes and botching them all. Which is unfortunately what I’ve been dealing with since buying this house. It’s maddening. There are so many informational resources available from pros, associations, building codes... etc... That to me there is really no excuse for winging it like it seems the former homeowners have done here. It’s one thing if it’ll be the home you keep forever, but to do this crappy work and then sell it to someone else to have to deal with is not a very nice thing to do. I’m frustrated to say the least. If you’re that unsure, then hire a professional.
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-11-2019, 05:26 PM   #14
Davy
Moderator -- Mud Man
 
Davy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Princeton,Tx.- Dallas area
Posts: 31,785
Whenever possible, watching videos from the manufacturer is best. Be careful, A lot of the pros are installing tile the wrong way and You Tube is loaded with them.
__________________
Davy

www.davystephenstile.com
Davy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-26-2019, 10:13 AM   #15
NativeNYerChicHK
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Finally began...

So I was finally able to start the bathroom demo. And what a process I might add!!!

The drain issue was exactly what I expected, needs to be cut back. I sawzalled the fiberglass shower pan out around the drain and this thing was definitely either a botched job to begin with or the former homeowners (who did a lot of crappy DIY work) rigged this thing without the proper mechanism/support for the drain cap fitting. But easily fixed because with my new drain assembly (Kerdi) the riser needs to be cut back anyway.
But what I found on the floor outside the shower when I began to take up the visible tile, is another layer of tile under that 🤬 And under it all is an inch thick of mortar, lath and tar paper - old style waterproofing. It’s been fun fun removing all of that <insert sarcasm>. Had to borrow a friends demo hammer to get all of that stuff up. It’s going to alleviate a ton of weight in that bathroom when this is all out, which its almost done. Also because they didn’t go all the way under the shower pan with that old style waterproofing, water that leaked from the shower got down between the shower pan and migrated under that tar paper when the silicone bead around the shower pan failed... So now I have a section of rotted out subfloor that needs to be repaired, not a huge section either. And under the shower pan itself the subfloor is pristine, it’s only rotted right outside where the shower pan ended and where the mud/lath/tar paper began, so I’m really grateful for that.
Now that that’s all up I realized that the toilet flange was set high (because of the mortar/lath/tar paper so I’ll have to build up the subfloor a bit, which is fine because what’s there is only 3/4” plywood and I’m tiling so I have to get it to the required 1 1/8 anyway. Another layer of 3/4” plywood, glued & screwed down, and this bathrooms new subfloor is SOLID! Working on all of that today.

The only real surprise I’ve run into is that I have a 1 ft bump out on the side of the shower & lowered ceiling over the shower that I wanted to get rid of. So before I began any demo I had I poked a hole and took pictures inside, both looked completely empty. But upon taking down the shower tiled walls & ceiling I found that the bump out is where they hid the sewer vent pipe for this bathroom 😒 however the soffit overhead (lowered ceiling over the shower) was empty, thankfully. Going to move that vent pipe back a foot and hide it in the wall. No big deal, just wasn’t expecting it. It’s true, builders really do take advantage of soffits and bump outs LOL But it seems silly to me that they shortened the shower length (from 5ft to 4ft) just to hide this thing. But whatever, when this home was built in the 80’s, soffits were all the rage for architectural design 😒

So I’ll update again when I’m deeper into this remodel.

Again thanks to everyone for the helpful advice, opinions and tips.
It’s greatly appreciated! 😊
__________________
Carrie
NativeNYerChicHK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shower Drain Flange Too Low looking Tile Forum/Advice Board 3 05-06-2016 10:07 PM
Removing Drain (and Flange?) from Shower Pan Saul775 Tile Forum/Advice Board 10 04-03-2014 07:21 PM
Fiberglass shower base with no tile flange? aaron0593 Tile Forum/Advice Board 4 02-24-2011 11:58 AM
Cement backerboard to shower base flange gpreissler Tile Forum/Advice Board 5 04-22-2008 07:43 PM
Shower Drain Tile Flange BJC Tile Forum/Advice Board 4 10-27-2004 07:24 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 PM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC