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Unread 12-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #1
eagles9259
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Shower Construction Help

I am no expert on building tile showers by any means, or I wouldn't have hired someone to do it for me. The primary reason I am starting this thread is to show my contractor that I'm not just a pain in the a** when I requested certain things be done on the shower he is installing. He has been using the same tile guy for 20 years and has been doing showers the same way for 20 years with success. Here are the issues with the install as I see it:

1. No moisture barrier - Contractor said moisture barrier is not allowed to be placed behind the CBU by code. I think he is thinking of faced insulation. I asked him about using RedGuard on the CBU, which is already up. He was unfamiliar with it. He asked his tile guy, who said he had only used it once and it caused the tile to not properly adhere to the CBU.

2. Shower pan liner stops on top of curb - Contractor put in liner with it ending on the top of the curb, not going over the outside. Contractor nailed it in three places on the top. Tile guy attached CBU to curb this morning. I have yet to see how he attached it.

3. Round drain cover - I am having 2" x 2" tile installed on the shower floor. Contractor put in a round drain cover. I requested that he change it to square so the tile would match up better and not require cutting all the tile around the round drain, which I think looks sloppy. Tile guy says it is stupid to put in a square drain cover because the shower pan won't drain as well as it would with a round drain cover.

Am I being too picky about these issues?

Thanks in advance for the responses.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Matt.

Too picky? Not at all.

1. There is no such code. For any CBU shower walls you must install either a moisture barrier behind the CBU or a direct bonded waterproofing membrane on the inside of the CBU. One or the other, but not both.

Of course the tile would no longer bond properly to the CBU, the CBU would be covered with the RedGard and the tile would bond to the RedGard just fine. That's why they call it a direct bonded waterproofing membrane (ANSI A118.10). Not sure what he's trying to sell there.

2. Unacceptable.

3. Sorry, but that makes as much sense as the RedGard argument. No basis for it whatever. The shape and style of the drain is a purely aesthetic decision and if you're writing the checks you get to make those decisions.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
Richard Tunison
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I wonder if a pre slope was installed. Here is a properly built traditional liner based shower pan.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
eagles9259
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CX - Thanks. I have been away since I did the shower on the first floor a few years back with a LOT of help from this forum.

Richard - Thank you for those diagrams. They will help when I show him what I'm talking about. A pre-slope was installed.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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CX - Can you point me to a manufacturer's installation instructions or some other guidelines that say a moisture barrier or waterproofing membrane must be installed?

Thanks,
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Unread 12-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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I'm sorry to keep replying to my own thread, but I just got home and the tile guy nailed CBU to the curb inside the shower and also nailed the CBU on the wall several inches from the pan. Is there a correction for this without tearing it out? Can I RedGard over the curb and wall nail holes?
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Unread 12-19-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Problem is covering the nail heads with anything isn't going to fix the holes in the liner. Looks to me like this is headed downhill.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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Nails have to be no lower than the finished curb height. Did he only nail at the top of the curb on the inside? Post some pictures!
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Unread 12-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Matt, the requirement may or may not be in your local building/plumbing code. You'd need to consult your local code code compliance office to determine that.

The backerboard manufacturer will generally defer to building code, but the ceramic tile industry standards, with which your tile man should be familiar, require it. Easiest place to look is the TCNA Handbook, a copy of which your tile professional will surely have.

The nailing through your pan liner as described is absolutely unacceptable as has been pointed out. The lowest mechanical fastener can be no lower than two inches higher than Erik (Swedes Tile) is indicating, though.

And I agree with Peter's assessment that you cannot repair the damage at the level of the CBU. In fact, it's unlikely you can adequately repair the damage at all even if you remove all the CBU, which you'll now need to do in order to replace the liner.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 10:18 PM   #10
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Cx, I think code is 1 inch above. Either way i try to tell people not to take a bath in the shower.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 10:29 PM   #11
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You'll hafta show me that code, Erik. I think you'll find that the liner must extend three inches above the curb and that you're permitted to nail only within the top inch of that. But I been wrong before.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #12
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I think it's in the florida plumbing code, I'll see if i can dig it up. You know they do a lot of half a$$ stuff down here in the sunshine state.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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I believe that's the same plumbing code that doesn't require a waterproof shower pan of any kind if the slab is depressed in the shower area, Erik. Not sure what you're likely to find about pan liners in that code, eh?
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Unread 12-20-2013, 05:31 AM   #14
eagles9259
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Thank you all for the responses. I don't have time to post pictures this morning, but the nails are within one inch of the shower pan on the inside of the curb and below curb height on the wall. I spoke with the contractor last night, showed him this post, and told him I don't want his tile guy back. He is going to speak with a couple other tile guys about tearing it out and starting over. The other bad news is that the guy tiled the shower pan already (immediately after pouring the pan), so I guess that tile is a loss as well.

The contractor also said that taping and mudding the seams on the CBU isn't necessary since the thinset on the back of the tiles will fill those gaps. I think I convinced him otherwise.
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Unread 12-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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Sorry for your troubles.
Not to rub it in but this is why I do all my own projects (almost).
I realize not everyone has the opportunity to do so.
When I do hire workers and they know what they are doing, I compliment and thank them appropriately.
I commend you (OP) for trying to manage the guys doing the work.
It's not easy or stress free but you should end up with a properly built shower because of your own efforts.
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