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Unread 09-11-2021, 08:37 PM   #1
northdenvertom
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northdenvertom's YAHBRA

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and CX.

Welcome to YAHBRA - Yet Another Hall Bath Remodel Adventure!

I'm back on the best DIY forum on the Internet and the smartest and most helpful people around.

So the situation we have is the hall bath on the second floor was leaking water onto the wet bar below. Yes, the irony of that has not escaped me. I pulled off the crown moulding above the bar's cabinet and low and behold someone put some holes in the drywall to see what was going on - an old rotting drain and tub. Apparently, the previous owner knew about it as there were repairs.

So the boss lady decided it was time to update the hall bath, so here we go!

The bathtub is an alcove tub and is 60" wide but installed into a 66" alcove. Previous installer built up a knee wall/bench in back of the tub. The shower door is three piece and a dual slider.

So the first question on this project is what to replace this with? Before you say buy a 66" tub, that ship has sailed. Sitting in the garage a 60" new-fangled Kohler acrylic tub.

I see two choices:

1. Keep the knee wall/bench and replace with a three piece (expensive and custom?) dual slider door.

2. Build out the left wall to make a standard 60" alcove and buy an off-the-shelf (cheap and plentiful) 60" shower door.

Or other ideas?

Thanks in advance.
Northdenvertom.
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Unread 09-11-2021, 09:09 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome back, Tom. And Casey?

Choice #1 would seem to indicate you are not interested in re-using the existing shower closure?

Choice #2 would seem to indicate you are not particularly attached to the little bench area at the end of the tub. That the case?

In either case, that first decision would seem to be one best made by you and Mrs. Tom, not necessarily in that order. As often as I'm likely to use that bathroom, it really makes little difference to me at all.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-12-2021, 07:48 AM   #3
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Welcome back, Tom,

Being in the middle of my very own hall/guest bath remodel, I have some thoughts.

IMO, eliminate the wonky knee wall bench thingy. Being far from the shower head and therefore the warm water coming from it, to my mind it is nearly useless as a bench while showering. Build out the wall, incorporate A niche, and perhaps other shelving, say for decorative things (folded/rolled towels, etc). You could be very creative with size and location of the openings.

Just finished installing a Kohler acrylic tub. Mine has no front apron. Hope you don't have the same, was a challenge for me.
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Unread 09-12-2021, 12:57 PM   #4
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YAHBRA - demo

Thanks CX. Nice to read your voice again.

I guess I should figure how to update my photo. Casey is long gone. She left my life the way she entered - through the front door. Never returned one night in the middle of coyote whelping season. Probably ended up as nice meal for a new mom.

Goldenrod show door is gone. I'd like to replace it with a frameless roller type.

Looks like I am building up the back wall. There is a ton of room as that wall houses furnace flu and empty space. Have to think about being creative, not my strong suit. Plus the Mrs want's to save money and get standard shower door.

Demo went well. It was in remarkable condition for its age. 4" tiles over water resistance drywall. No vapor barrier. Looks like tile was adhered with construction glue? Hope it wasn't something nasty. Not sure if its the original (1984) or a second. Tub appears to be steel enameled not cast iron. Removal of bench made getting the tub out super easy!

Tom
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Unread 09-12-2021, 01:22 PM   #5
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Sorry about your buddy. I'll fix your signature.

Yes, that is remarkable condition for a shower constructed that way. I expect minimal use had a lot to do with that. Please don't duplicate the method.

That bonding material would be an organic adhesive (mastic) and was quite common back in the day in that application. Still common among some installers and is actually a legitimate use of the product, albeit not over gypsum drywall in wet areas.

I don't know what a "standard" shower door might be, but if it's just what your wife wants, I think it's just what should be installed. But you knew that, right?

You do not, by the way, need any vapor barrier in your shower walls. You do need a moisture barrier behind the appropriate CBU walls, or a waterproofing membrane on the inside face of the walls, but not both.

There are actually two sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membranes on the market that can be applied over typical gypsum drywall these days. One from Schluter Systems, the other from Laticrete. If you elect to use either one, you might wanna run it by your code compliance people beforehand just to be sure they're gonna find it acceptable.

You say you're building up the back wall. I consider the long wall opposite the tub entry to be the back wall of a tub shower. I think you're talking about the end wall opposite the plumbing wall? Lots of room there, presumably, for a niche or niches of some sort as Dan suggested. Wives generally appreciate those, 'specially when large enough for their tallest bottles of ........... whatever. As with the code compliance issues, I'd recommend you verify that with Mrs. Tom.

Unless you particularly favor the two-handle shower controller, you might wanna consider updating that while you're in there as well. Actually, if you do anything at all to the plumbing, your code compliance people might require you to change to one of the newer thermostatic mixing valves. Always needing to protect you from yourownself, dontcha know.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-12-2021, 09:56 PM   #6
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YAHBRA - corrections

Yes, CX - I meant moisture barrier not vapor barrier. I stand corrected.

As in "standard" I mean a "off the shelf" 60" door designed for an alcove installation.

Yes, the opposite wall from the fixture wall. I call it the back wall since if you are looking at the shower head that wall is at your back. I will refer to is as the "end wall" - the left side of a right handed tub.

I'm glad you asked, I was going to get there. I am planning a CBU wallboard with a moisture barrier of the thickest plastic sheeting Homer sells. However, I am interested in learning about these paint on membranes, Red Guard or AquaDefense. They seem quite expensive compared to good old plastic sheeting, but if the offer better protection, I would consider them. So if you have an opinion on these CX, I'd gladly pay you nothing for it.

Again you have jumped ahead on me. I am installing a Kohler K-8304 Universal Rite-Temp Pressure-Balancing Valve. I have a plumbing permit so the county will keep me honest (along with Mr. Love on the other forum). I was hoping to show you all some pretty copper pipe and brass pictures, but my torch ran out of propane!

That's all for tonight! Thank you again for all your good advice.

Tom
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Unread 09-12-2021, 11:12 PM   #7
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Absolutely nothing wrong with using a moisture barrier behind your wallboard, Tom. Been done successfully for many decades. I use 6mil polyethylene sheeting, but 4mil is the minimum requirement. The poly absolutely must lap over the tub's tiling flange on the drain side.

The newer direct bonded waterproofing membranes have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the important advantages is that they allow much easier and more effective waterproofing at niches, benches, and in your case, at the tub leg down to the floor. One important disadvantage is that they do not allow for any repair or change once a tile has been firmly bonded to them. And, of course, there's the extra cost.

For a shower I would use only a sheet-type membrane. For a tub/shower, you can get by with the liquid if your wallboard laps over the tiling flange on the drain side. You can also get by with a liquid with an appropriate reinforcing material if your wallboard stops above the tiling flange.

Dealer's choice.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-13-2021, 07:15 AM   #8
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You could put yourself in a linen closet in that open space on the end wall. We did just that when I remodeled my uncle's bathroom.

As for your door, the off the shelf doors are around $500.00 and you still have to install it. My neighbor did a barn door style (on rollers) it is super cool. He paid $1400.00 installed. Seems like a lot of money when you first hear it but think how long you will have that door so really you pay a bit more up front and reap the benefits for a long long time
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Unread 09-13-2021, 11:17 AM   #9
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Have a look at that Kohler acrylic tub, Tom, if it's like mine it has a very thick flange which might influence what type of wall board you use for your tile, how the same gets installed, and the water proofing method you employ.
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Unread 09-13-2021, 11:28 PM   #10
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If anyone actually takes a bath, I'd still consider ditching the tub and going with a 66" one...when I remodeled, would have died for a 72" one, but the most the room could support was a 66" one without doing major reconstruction of a load-bearing wall, which was not something I wanted to get into.
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Unread 09-16-2021, 09:42 PM   #11
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YAHBRA - tub fit and questions

Thanks CX. Good points. Leaning towards poly sheets but I have a bit to think about the niches and stuff. Never considered the repair issue. I can only think of the water wall and that's accessible via a bedroom closet (already been done before, big patch there already).

jadnashua/Jim - Damn good point. Now I wish I could change my mind. I do remember looking at 66" tubs, but I recall supply problems back when I ordered months ago (don't ask why I delayed the remodel, you don't want to know). Plus had no idea what was behind door number 3. I thought it might have been a HVAC duct.

ss3964spd/Dan - Oh my God!! You are right! That flange is almost a 1/2" thick. (reading your post now) Your Flesh Tempo tile color is a total match with mine! Construction the same too. What was/is your solution on the flange?

Curious - how many bags/pounds of mortar mix did you use? Plain old mason mortar mix? Nothing special right?

I test fitted the tub. It looks good, level but I have an issue with the drain. Looks like it lines up but there is a 1-1/8" coupling cemented into the 1-1/2 p-trap sticking through the floor joist. P-trap needs to be replaced. I guess I cut out the floor and replace the p-trap?

Tom
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Unread 09-16-2021, 10:39 PM   #12
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There are a couple of tools designed to chew out a fitting from a hub. One of them is called a RamBit https://www.amazon.com/Pasco-3244-2-.../dp/B00SSKN0OC

Note, the original hub was tapered, the tool will make it a straight hole, so make sure to use a liberal amount of cement on it. The cement has two basic components: solvent, and dissolved plastic. You want enough dissolved plastic to fill in well after the solvent evaporates.
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Unread 09-18-2021, 07:28 AM   #13
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Tom,

I decided to fur out the studs to deal with the thick flange. The end wall of the alcove, opposite the plumbing wall, is actually 8' long so I furred the entire wall so the dry wall would be in the same plane as the foam board for the tub surround. I can now extend the foam board all the way down to the tub deck and seal the gap.

Bought a sheet of 1/2" ply and ripped the whole sheet into 1.5" strips. Given the number of studs, including 3 in the adjoining linen closet, top and bottom plates, and horizontal blocking I used each strip, glued and nailed.

I bought two 60# bags of mortar mix, used about a bag and a half. Poly on the floor first. My tub didn't have "feet", it had 3 long, tapering ribs. I measured the depth of the ribs front to back and carefully placed the mud it would occupy the voids between the ribs and support the bottom, outboard of the ribs. Even with the measuring it still took 4 fittings before I was satisfied. I wanted it supported really well.

The Kohler drain and over flow is finicky. Measure carefully. After doing my water tests I can tell that I already don't like the drain flange. Well, the flange itself is nice, but it is thick. The depression in the tub for the flange is a much larger diameter than the flange itself. The combination of the two holds a lot of water.
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Unread 09-18-2021, 08:28 PM   #14
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This is a personal thing, but I'm not a big fan of most things Kohler...as a company, they're infected with NIH (not invented here), and like to do things differently which means they're not always that experienced with what they release...it's just different. Now, that may give you some unique looks that people love, but it may not mean it's easy to install or to eventually find parts for since things keep changing. New is not always better! Things, IMHO, should evolve as problems are discovered and new methods allow new things, not to change just because you can. It's critical for you to keep your paperwork with Kohler things so you can identify it properly when something needs to be fixed or replaced...otherwise, determining what you have, and what it needs can be quite difficult. It's also likely you may not find the part locally, since they change so often, vendors don't want to stock them often as there's not a demand, so you'll have to wait for it to come from Kohler, if they're still making it. Their parts book looks more like a big phone book...

As long as your tub is well supported and now level, it should be good.
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Unread 09-18-2021, 09:12 PM   #15
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At least in my experience, Kohler's customer support has been fantastic.

I called them because they do have so many part numbers and variations, it's hard to figure out what you need. It was actually a good experience to talk with their customer service, and they ended up sending me the correct repair parts for free. In my mind, the Kohler brand has good looks, good performance, middling reliability, sometimes exorbitant cost, but great customer support.
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