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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:43 PM   #1
tman1991
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New shower install - need methods ideas

Guess this is my first post even tho I've swear I had an acct before o well..

I did 3 showers back in the 2006-2008 timeframe but nothing since so looking at doing my 2 in my new house. Both have preformed plastic garbage. One is a straight shower one is a bathtub.. Shower will be done first..

Ive read and talked to some installers about kerdi vs deck mud.. all over the place. So looking at deckmud still.

Also -- the pre slope. I guess thats pretty important? I'm in AZ its dry. If I dont do a pre slope is that bad?

Can I use redgard on the mud and therefore no pre-slope? Just seems like an extra step and more stuff to do.

What about vapor barrier? I was told to use one before now they seem not to be as popular?

I'm used to writing all over my hardie during install for lines etc. Do I need to redgard it all? Just the seams?
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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:55 PM   #2
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Yes, slope is important. You always need one. Doesn’t matter what shower system, materials or methods you use.

If you’re using a traditional pvc liner, there’ll be a pre-slope under the liner. Then a second mud bed, of consistent thickness, on top of the liner that follows that same slope.

If you’re using Kerdi, there’s technically no pre-slope since it’s a surface membrane. Just a single sloped surface that Kerdi is applied to.

On deck mud versus Kerdi preformed pan, I prefer deck mud. Can fit any shower footprint, and I can make it thinner or thicker to hit any elevations I need.

You can only use redgard with the divot method. Search on this forum for details.

If you’re using hardibacker or cement board on the walls, you need a moisture barrier behind it OR a surface applied membrane on the face. If the latter, redgard is adequate but it needs to be continuously applied over the entire surface at the correct number of coats and thickness.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
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Kerdi can be installed over deck mud, and gives you more options than utilizing the preformed pans, but the preformed ones may be faster if they meet your size requirements and your floor is sufficiently flat AND level...otherwise, deck mud is cheaper and more able to conform to minor irregularities. My preference is a sheet membrane over a liquid applied one.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 09:10 PM   #4
tman1991
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The moisture barrier thing seems to be a code thing? As in certain climate zones dont need it -- Ie AZ. But I did one before and honestly that seems a lot easier than doing redgard just do plastic behind hardie and go.

Looks like I need to do a pre-slope.. Didnt do one before -- guess that was an oversight.. I used quick pitch before -- but I cant use that with a pre-slope as ill get 2 slopes..

I need to look into this "divot" method also. Sounds like no pre-slope with redgard is a non starter?
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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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If your waterproofing layer is just beneath the tile and above the mud, i.e. a surface-applied membrane, you need one sloped bed of mud. Think Kerdi, Durock Shower System, Redgard, etc.

If you're doing a conventional shower with a liner that goes under the mud, then you need an initial bed of mud under the liner, so that the liner is sloped. When water gets to the liner, it's directed by gravity to the drain.

For the surface applied systems, you need a drain that you can tie the waterproofing layer into. I wouldn't encourage a DIY'er to try the divot method. You'd be better off using something like a Kerdi drain or the Laticrete drain and bonding the waterproofing to it.

With a conventional shower, you can use the (much cheaper) three-part clamping drain.

Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. None of them are particularly difficult, but they are detail-oriented, and missing one detail can make the rest of your work null.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:19 PM   #6
tman1991
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So this is all great stuff but im still slow or missing something..

Can I have (in reverse order)

Subfloor/plywood
40mil plastic
Sloped deck mud
REDGARD
Thinset
Tile

Is that good? Use a conv 3 part clamping drain.

Or does the redgard do nothing? And i just need to do

subfloor/plywood
some layer of something for mud
sloped pre-pitch deck muck
40 mil plastic
constant layer deck mud
thinset
tile
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Unread 10-30-2019, 05:30 AM   #7
Lou_MA
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One option:

Quote:
Subfloor/plywood
Slip sheet (4 mil plastic is fine. Roofing felt also fine)
Expanded metal lath, nailed or stapled down
Sloped deck mud
REDGARD (have to use divot method)
Thinset
Tile

Another option:

Quote:
subfloor/plywood
Slip sheet (4 mil plastic is fine. Roofing felt also fine)
Expanded metal lath, nailed or stapled down
Pre-slope with deck mud
PVC liner
2nd mud bed of constant thickness
thinset
tile
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Unread 10-30-2019, 08:51 AM   #8
tman1991
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metal lath == chicken wire essentially?

and the plastic on the floor is the same ill be using behind hardie for floors?
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Unread 10-30-2019, 09:30 AM   #9
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No, Travis, chicken wire is not the same as expanded metal lath. The proper lath (minimum weight 2.5 pounds per square yard) looks like this at your local home center.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 09:59 AM   #10
tman1991
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ahh ok good to know on the metal lath. Thanks for all the help on that..

For a drain any 3 piece drain ok? I used Oatey in 2006, now there seems to be a zillion choices.

thinking of using this: Goof proof square drain.
https://www.goofproofshowers.com/drains.html

I still need to figure out if i have ABS or PVC pipe under my shower I think its black but there is some white stuff on top so its confusing ill have to pop the drain cover off and try to look more.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 01:34 PM   #11
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I know nothing at all about that drain, Travis, but I encourage you not to use those plastic strips in your mud bed. Not so bad in the pre-slope, maybe, but you really don't need any dividers to encourage your mud beds to crack in nice straight lines.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 01:56 PM   #12
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Also worth mentioning...that lathe is SHARP and you want to use gloves when cutting and setting it.

Also, if this is over a plywood floor, you need to first set down some plastic membrane under the lathe to prevent the wood from prematurely sucking the moisture out of the thinset...
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Unread 10-30-2019, 02:12 PM   #13
tman1991
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I'm assuming you meant moisture out of the deck mud? and yeah i plan on using 4mil plastic sheeting. same stuff i'll use behind hardie backer.

yeah the plastic things give you nice slope easily.. havent heard of them cracking but good to know i will look at that.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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I have no documentation of those plastic strips causing cracking either, Travis, and I've never actually used them in a shower receptor.

I have used a set the company sent me to make a test shower receptor and I honestly just don't see the allure even if they didn't physically section off parts of my mud bed. Unless your shower footprint is circular, you're not gonna have a level perimeter between the ends of the sticks unless you were to go to great pains to shim up the ends. And that would become even more pronounced with a rectangular shape. And that's just the pre-slope.

I found that I could quite likely have finished my mud beds in about the same time it would take to make a useful installation of the plastic strips. Just one man's observation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 02:29 PM   #15
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Travis - it’s not that the plastic strips themselves are prone to cracking, but rather they act as cold joints in the mud that make the mud more prone to cracking along those strips
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