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Unread 08-04-2005, 11:27 AM   #1
jfbailey3
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8'x4' new shower => fiberglass pan?

Hi all. Great Forum. My first post:
I am doing a complete Master Bath renovation w/ marble & tumbled marble throughout.
The new shower is ~8' by 4' in size.
The two rear corners are rounded (~1 ft radius).
The walls are 3/8" plywood on studs, covered w/ 1/4" Wonderboard.
I'm using special plywood in the rounded corners.
The 1/4" Wonderboard flexes perfectly for the corners as well.

So my question:
I have the plywood and curb in place in the new shower area. I've been assuming I'll get a fiberglass guy to do my pan, and then I'll finish the Wonderboard install in the shower area. Last step is the mud floor, and wall/floor tiles.

Is this the way to go? I am asking because I can't seem to dig up much information or references on doing fiberglass for shower installs. Am I searching wrong? Also, I don't know if special prep is required (e.g, notching at the wall base to avoid bulging of the Wonderboard at base).

Thanks so much!!
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Unread 08-04-2005, 12:01 PM   #2
MarcusEngley
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Hi! Jeff, is it?

Sounds like a cool shower. Hang around and post to this thread with any additional questions -- the pros will be along shortly, but here are some tidbits for you:

The pan -- if you're going with a fiberglass pan, make sure the installer does a good pre-slope to the drain. Is there any particular reason you're not using a PVC/CPE liner instead? If you're going to do the mud work yourself, it's not that much more involved and will save you the money hiring the job out...

I don't know diddly about fiberglass shower pans (though if you have a boat that needs patching, I can help...). Hang on for more info on that, though I've only read a couple of threads here about it -- try a search on "fiberglass" searching both the post title and the body...

Marcus
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Unread 08-04-2005, 01:45 PM   #3
trecile
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You might want to check out the Kerdi shower system: http://tile-experts.com/products.asp?id=54 It is very DIYable and you can do any size or shape shower you want.
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Unread 08-04-2005, 01:52 PM   #4
jfbailey3
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Thanks, but doesn't 90+" length disqualify Kerdi?

Looks like Kerdi only makes 32x60" and 48x48" trays.
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Unread 08-04-2005, 01:59 PM   #5
MarcusEngley
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You can make a custom mudbed any size you want -- no need to use the Kerdi tray if it doesn't fit the project...
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Unread 08-04-2005, 02:09 PM   #6
jfbailey3
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OK, now comes the "dumb question"....

When I demolished the old shower, the membrane was under the sloping mud bed. So I have assumed I need a similar arrangement for this larger shower. I don't think it's reasonable to use a rubber-composite membrane (folded and stapled at edges and sides) for such a large shower. I assumed one places a custom fiber-glass application on the subfloor and up the sides a few inches. Next comes the sloping mud base on top of the fiberglass (or membrane in other scenarios).

Do I have it wrong?

BTW, sorry for lack of introduction: name is John
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Unread 08-04-2005, 04:11 PM   #7
jadnashua
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Yep, you have it wrong...if you want a swamp under your shower, put the liner on the floor. No matter what you do, some water will get through the grout. It will migrate to the shower pan. Because it is not sloped to the drain, it will accumulate and sit there, starting to smell and promoting mildew from the constant moisture. You need a preslope, then the liner, then more deck mud, then your tile. Read up on the 'liberry' on shower building. BTW, the liner material can be seamed to make it any size you want with the glue made specifically for it. My unprofessional opinion.
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Unread 08-05-2005, 03:46 PM   #8
trecile
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You can do any size shower with Kerdi if you make your own mud base. Then you cover the floors, walls and curb with Kerdi to waterproof. I tell ya, it's pretty foolproof. No liner to fold, only one mud slope to do, no weepholes to worry about blocking.
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Unread 08-06-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi jfbailey, welcome
If you give us a first name, we'd be glad to use it. We're a friendly bunch around here.

I thought I throw this in if it's not apparent to you already. There is a fundamental difference between a "mud bed with a liner" and using "Kerdi". The mud bed is installed first with a pre-slope, then a liner, a thick bed of mud, then the tile is thinsetted to the mud after it dries.

With a Kerdi system, you start with either a pre-formed Kerdi tray OR a mudbed to get the slope of the floor proper (You could even use a pre-formed tray AND mud if the preformed tray was a little undersized and you needed make it larger)..........Then the Kerdi membrane is applied on top of either on of these.....then you thinset the tiles DIRECTLY to the kerdi.

The most beneficial part of using Kerdi is that you eliminate ANY moisure from getting past the mortar sticking your tiles down. By keeping the liner so close to the tiles, very little moisture can get in. That means that when you are done showering, your floor and walls dries out rather quickly. A mud bed can hang onto the moisture under the tiles much longer because there is a large volume of material that water can migrate to. If you are contemplating between the two, seriously consider the Kerdi method.
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Unread 08-10-2005, 02:58 PM   #10
jfbailey3
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8' shower - sloping options before liner

my new shower is 8' by about 4' with center drain. I am going to use a fiberglass liner under my mud/tile (popular approach here in NJ). I have received multiple 'opinions' that one does not need to slope towards the drain prior to membrane/liner installation. The fiberglass can go right on the flat subfloor (and up the side wall ~8" or so). The mud sloping is purportedly enough.

From reading this board, that would be a mistake. So I will provide my own sloping (~1/4" / foot) from the walls towards the drain, prior to the customer fiberglass installation. Options are:

1) a stepped approach using 1/4" plywood, glued and screwed, with concentric holes cut around the drain. First layer uses 1' radius. Second layer uses 2' radius, etc. Not a smooth slope, obviously, but better than flat.
2) use a single piece of plywood, cut to the shower floor size, then cut from center to each corner (4 cuts). Use blocking at edges so plywood slopes towards center. Use mud under the plywood to support middle areas.

Opinions? Condemnations?

Thanks for your help. Great forum.
John Bailey
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Unread 08-10-2005, 03:21 PM   #11
Arn
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Sorry John:

I'm unfamiliar with your pan.

If its a rigid fiberglass unit, it should have slope already formed in it. If not, and it is flexible you'll want a uniform slope to set against. Consider a drypack slope (you'll have to search threads for that) it's there.

good luck!
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Unread 08-10-2005, 03:27 PM   #12
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Listen to Aaron -- if you've even though of using mud under the plywood to support your pieces, just build the entire pre-slope from mud and you'll have a nice, uniform slope that's easy to put together.

Then go the next step and save the money you'll spend on the fiberglass pan, buy some CPE/PVC and put it in yourself, then tile away...
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Unread 08-10-2005, 06:05 PM   #13
don metzinger
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Good advice above, stay with the proven approach, mud preslope ect. You will save time, money and frustration. - Don
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Unread 08-11-2005, 06:42 PM   #14
jfbailey3
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"Floating" marble shower bench

Hi all!!
I installed a customer marble shower bench into my shower wall. Not too easy to explain, but here are the basic facts:
1) bench is cut from 1.25" marble slab
2) bench is notched so that it "interlocks" with studs in wall
3) bench is further secured by using a 'window box' technique, using 2x4's that clamp down between the studs, top and bottom
4) slab is mounted with definite slope towards shower to avoid sitting water
5) all parts of the marble that touch wood inside the wall are coated with redguard (if 'sealed' marble ever wicks any water, over time, this will give a little extra protection)
6) shower wall is covered with 3/8" plywood over the studs, to be followed by 1/4" Wonderboard
7) 1/4" Wonderboard is necessary because parts of the shower wall bend, and the 1/4" Wonderboard bends nicely with the contour. For the record, in the bends, I've used bendable plywood.

The result is a bench that floats from the wall with no support beneath it. To be clear, this bench resides on a long, straight section of the shower wall. The overall shower is ~8' long. Question is, before I install the Wonderboard on top of the plywood, I want to provide some seal to the interface between the marble and plywood. Is Redguard the right product?

BTW, I realize I've violated a basic principle by creating a HOLE in the wall barrier (Wonderboard). I'm prepared to accept a non-perfectly sealed wall, but want to give it the best chance I can for leak-proof performance.

I'll try to post a pic when I can.

John B

Last edited by jfbailey3; 08-11-2005 at 06:44 PM. Reason: missed a point
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Unread 08-11-2005, 06:50 PM   #15
Bill Vincent
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Being that it's a given that it'll be installed in the manor you've described, I'd goop the HECK out of it, either with silicone, or preferrably Hydroment's Ultraset. I'd want something a little heavier duty and a little more pliable than Redgard.
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