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Unread 04-06-2019, 12:08 PM   #1
vmcmahon
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Steam Shower

Good afternoon,

Sorry for the long post. I hope some pro's can jump in and help as I am trying to get this finished and ready for tiling over the next couple days. As alway's much appreciated

I am starting another project (or rather finishing). When our house was remodeled 10 years ago, we left the master bath unfinished. We have a 5*5 shower enclosure that has rough plumbing in place, along with shower pan liner installed on the plywood floor. This was all done 10 years ago and left.
I just did a flood/leak test on the liner/pan to ensure that it's not compromised and it passed. I left the water in it for a week. Building inspector passed it.

As always, before I start to work on a project, I come here and after reading I am a little concerned.

Here's my current state/and some concerns:

The shower is ~5*5 with a bench constructed from wood
Shower pan liner is installed, has some overlap on bench side to extend up over the bench. The overlap is glued with pan liner cement.
I am not sure the curb is done as you guys might recommend. See Pictures
The corners where the folds are pushed out some. Is this ok? do I just push the CBU onto it tight, or do I need to undo and notch out the wood behind? worried how the tile will install if the CBU is high in this spot
The building inspector who inspected the flood test recommended I add some additional liner a little higher on the wall and overlap/glue. Not required just recommendation.
Is it correct/normal to have shower liner on the bench?

Regarding the walls:

I am planning on using 1/2" CBU. I was planning on taping the joints with a fiberglass tape + hydro barrier Membrane. Does this make sense?
Since its a steam shower, do I need to install any additional barriers within the enclosure or is cbu with taped joints sufficient?
Regarding putting CBU on the bench, can I just screw through the shower liner that's on the Bench? Can't see any other way? I am not clear on the best approach here.
Regarding the Shower bodies/shower heads, how do I seal around this? Just tape the fiberglass + Hydro barrier membrane around them?
The Curb - See the pictures. What should I do here?
The outside wall is 2*6 with reg insulation. Is this sufficient - or should I add anything more?
I have a couple of Niche's. Both are backing up to the sheetrock in another room. Can I just Glue CBU onto the back of the niche/sheetrock? Will this be sufficient?


The floor:

I am planning on keeping the CBU up 2 inches from top of the outside level line and doing a mud pack on top of the liner - Part II


See some support pictures

Appreciate your help as always.

Vincent
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Last edited by vmcmahon; 04-06-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: corrections
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Unread 04-07-2019, 08:50 AM   #2
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I am not a pro but I see alot wrong with this scenario. Rather than detailing all the potential problems. I would just recomend tearing everthing out and start over using a bonded system like schluter. The kerdi board is suitable for steam shower, you can build the bench out of kerdi board, the kerdi pan and curb intrgrate well together. When you are done everthing is shipshape and ready for tile.
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Unread 04-07-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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Hi Vincent,

I don't see any mention of a pre-slope. Did you pour a pre-slope?

Does the ceiling in that shower have a slope? It should be sloped 2" per foot.

How exactly is that bench constructed?

Quote:
I am planning on using 1/2" CBU. I was planning on taping the joints with a fiberglass tape + hydro barrier Membrane. Does this make sense?
I would use alkali-resistant mesh tape and rapidset thinset at the seams. Then use the fiberglass and Hydro Barrier.

I would also make sure there's blocking everywhere that there'll be a seam in the cbu, This is not necessary, just what I like to do for steam showers.

Quote:
Since its a steam shower, do I need to install any additional barriers within the enclosure or is cbu with taped joints sufficient?
Since it's a steam shower, the entire shower needs to be THOROUGHLY waterproofed.

Personally, I would be using Kerdi for the entire shower, but it is a bit more pricey. The liquid membranes can be tricky to get the right thickness.

Quote:
Regarding putting CBU on the bench, can I just screw through the shower liner that's on the Bench? Can't see any other way? I am not clear on the best approach here.
The pan liner on the bench needs to go. It doesn't belong there. All you need is the CBU over the bench and a waterproof layer over that. Also, add some blocking on the left side of that bench.

Quote:
Regarding the Shower bodies/shower heads, how do I seal around this? Just tape the fiberglass + Hydro barrier membrane around them?
The Hydro Barrier will do the job. I would use Kerdi mixing valve seals though.

Quote:
The Curb - See the pictures. What should I do here?
The pan liner inside of the shower needs to extend 3 inches ABOVE the curb. Also, the liner should wrap all the way over the curb almost to the bathroom floor outside the shower. Then you'll use fat mud to float the curb. The nails in the liner at the top of the curb are a BIG no-no.

I would start over with a new liner. Especially if you don't have a pre-slope under there. Use staples to attach the liner to studs. Take your time and get your folds nice and tight. Notching the studs does help the buildup in the corners.

Quote:
The outside wall is 2*6 with reg insulation. Is this sufficient - or should I add anything more?
The framing is good. I would add a layer of 6 mil plastic sheeting before you hang cbu.

Quote:
I have a couple of Niche's. Both are backing up to the sheetrock in another room. Can I just Glue CBU onto the back of the niche/sheetrock? Will this be sufficient?
I would thinset the cbu to the drywall and wedge it in tight with the 4 adjacent pieces of cbu in the niches.



Steam showers are very critical. Not something you want to rush if you're doing this on your own.

Dylan
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Unread 04-07-2019, 11:21 AM   #4
workhurts
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I'd only recommend not tiling in the next couple of days. You have quite a bit of research ahead of you so don't rush it. The mess created later from a badly installed steam shower will be significant.
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Unread 04-07-2019, 12:57 PM   #5
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Hi Vincent. Like the others mentioned, You need more blocking near the blue pipe at the left side of the seat and another black glue on corner on the right side. I see a white line on top of the curb, not sure if that's where the liner stops or what but the liner needs to go all the way to the bath floor. If you have no preslope, take out the liner and install one. It's worth doing.

Kerdi is known for having a low perm rating which is what you want in a steamer. I have no idea what rating you'll have with the Hydro Barrier over the CBU. I haven't tiled a steamer in about 10 years and I mudded those walls and installed Kerdi over the mud.
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Unread 04-07-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
vmcmahon
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Thanks, everyone. Since I posted the situation yesterday, I continued researching and realized that the contractor never did a pre-slope before they put in the liner. This was 10 years ago. Water is now pooling at one end of the liner after I drained it after the flood test. . Doing the whole thing with Kerdi is now looking like the way to go.....

Is there any such thing as a prefabricated Pre slope?, or can I just pour some SLC in there and then screed in the required incline towards the drain. Or am I better doing in with mortar?

The subfloor is Plywood on LVL's.
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Unread 04-07-2019, 05:30 PM   #7
bellabella
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The good news is with a Kerdi Shower Tray you don't need a pre-slope. If you are using Kerdi Membrane on the mud-bed shower floor, create the slope to the Kerdi drain then cover with Kerdi Membrane. If your shower is an odd size you can combine the Shower Tray with a mud bed extension. Schluter offers free workshops on how to use their products. Very worthwhile, since they are free!
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Last edited by bellabella; 04-07-2019 at 05:38 PM.
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Unread 08-09-2021, 12:16 PM   #8
vmcmahon
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Bumping this thread up again -

Back in 2019, I took all your advice on this project. But - with the realization that I needed to rip what was done out, I put the project on ice. We now need to get it done as the kids are getting older and we need to finish this bathroom. The following is my plan from the advice you guys gave - any feed back be great before I start:

  • I was planning on now using Kerdi Board in the shower area (Walls/Ceiling). Screwing directly to the studs. Sealing with the kerdi band. Are you guys still big believers in the Kerdi system? Any better options at this time?
  • One wall is exterior - should we add a sheet of solid foam insulation here, or CBU, or is it ok to put the kerdi board on the studs directly on this wall also?
  • I have a pre-framed Shower Bench. Can this be adequately be sealed with Kerdi Board/Band sealer, or should it come out and be build from kerdi-board. I read somewhere that this may rot out, but how different is this from the studs rotting out - if sealed correctly?
  • I have a built-in Curb from 2*4's - ok to Wrap with Kerdi membrane? or should I rip it out and build up with Kerdi Board.
  • For the Shower Pan - When I rip out the floor liner - can I level the floor underneath with a self-leveler. Do I need to nail on some wire mesh to help it bond? Is this the correct approach?
  • For the Shower pan itself - since it's not a standard size - does Kerdi make a pan that's customizable. while the shower area is 5*5 - take the bench out of that it's more like 5*3 roughly for the floor area
  • For the corners when tiling - I have seen the corner trim pieces - are these needed/worth it. They look nice but are they needed to seal properly? I notice even in our regular shower the grout cracks in the corners.
  • We have an original Grohe Shower body mixing valve and on/off for a rain head/and hand shower. Should We just get new body hardware at this point (12 years old)
Thanks, everyone
Vincent
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Last edited by vmcmahon; 08-09-2021 at 12:31 PM.
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Unread 08-09-2021, 01:49 PM   #9
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Welcome back, Vincent.

It's helpful if you'll number your question list.

1. Done properly, per the manufacturer's instructions, it'll work.

2. It would be helpful to have a geographic location in your User Profile for this type of question and more information about your wall structure, but suffice to say you need as much insulation as you can get in all the steam shower walls.

3. If built with the correct slope in the top it can be successfully waterproofed with the Kerdi materials. The framing must first be covered with something other than wood before Kerdi can be installed. Or it can be covered with Kerdi Board.

4. Again, the wood must be covered with CBU or similar before you can install Kerdi. Or you can use Kerdi Board, but it's really easy to dent that when kneeling on the curb, which will happen.

5. No. I would not try leveling the floor at all. I would construct the sloped shower floor using deck mud to fit perfectly the shower footprint and the drain location.

6. See #5.

7. When using Kerdi I use the pre-formed corners where possible. They're not necessary, but they make the work easier.

8. I would.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-10-2021, 05:42 AM   #10
vmcmahon
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Thank you for your detailed reply @cx. A couple of follow-ups

For the bench, what slope out is comfortable? 1/2 on the depth? Or less /more?. From reading here ceiling has to be 2" per foot i believe.

For the shower pan mud job, would you mind explaining the specifics. I am ripping out existing liner as the water pools innone corner now. Do I just mud into wooden subfloor? Do I use mesh to help bond to floor? Once this is completed do I seal with kerdi membrane and tie it up and over bench /walls?
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Unread 08-10-2021, 06:39 AM   #11
vmcmahon
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Update : would this link cover the mud job fairly accurately?

https://youtu.be/RGaGELGgK1I

Thanks again guys
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Unread 08-10-2021, 07:37 AM   #12
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The bench top, and all other horizontal surfaces in the wet area must slope a minimum of 1/4" per foot to the drain.

Yes, that's a good video for a mortar bed installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-08-2021, 01:41 PM   #13
vmcmahon
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Thinset over Dens Armor

Hi guys,

I am tiling my master bathroom. It has Dens Armor Plus installed over 3/4 plywood /over I-Joists. This is separate from where my steam shower will be.

My question - Which thinset is best for here - Modified or un modified. Will be using larger format ceramic tile

thanks
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Unread 09-08-2021, 02:06 PM   #14
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Welcome back, Vinnie.

You have used this DensArmor Plus as a substrate for floor tile?

Best I can determine, GP does not indicate that product for floor applications as opposed to their DensShield product.

Nor do I see a recommendation for ceramic tile installation on the DensArmor Plus, but I'd expect the thinset mortar (thinset is a method, not a material) for ceramic tile installation, but I'd expect it to be the same as for DensShield. Perhaps I'm missing something in the DensArmor instructions?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-08-2021, 03:11 PM   #15
vmcmahon
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Thanks for your response.

So this is a bathroom that was partially completed many years back that we are now finishing (I have posted other questions about the steam shower install).

The contractor at the time installed Dens Armor Plus as the substrate for the tile. We never completed it past this.

Do you feel we should change this out to another material. Its in good condition, but whether its an appropriate material to lay tile upon is another question...
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