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Unread 07-13-2003, 02:06 PM   #1
Gil Smith
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Shower drain rough-in height?

Finally got the urge to tackle my master bath shower floor.......this is in new construction on concrete slab that I'm trying to finish up. I pulled up the liner that the contractor left on the floor to find that the pvc drain is off center by four inches in one direction and about two inches in another direction. It's apparent that the plumber just put the drain close to the center of the concrete "leave-out" which was nowhere close to the center of the shower.

Also, the drain is so tilted to one side that I can't see the bubble on my level.

My question is, now that I've got to relocate this drain, what is the ideal projection above the concrete for the lower drain part? If I install it on grade with the finished concrete it leaves less than 1/2" for the preslope at that point. What do you guys like to see when you walk onto a job?

Also, I'm going to get the drain centered as closely as possible using a couple of 45-degree ells, but I can't see it being perfect. What's workable, and reasonable?
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Unread 07-13-2003, 02:22 PM   #2
Jason_Butler
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Hi Gil,

I think you're OK with your 1/2" height

Check out this link from the liberry

http://web.archive.org/web/200108011...arbed_showers/

3/8" to a 1/2" @ the drain and then slope up to the walls. It would be ideal if the drain were in the center. It makes the tile layout a bit more simple. Just use the 1/4" per ft spec and see where it takes you on the shower walls

As for what I like to see when I walk on the job....welll...this ain't the place to be discussin' that

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Unread 07-13-2003, 03:23 PM   #3
cx
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Well, Gil, now you know why I don't let the plumber set the actual drain fixture in my showers.

Sounds like the plumber just did a poor job of the rough-in to begin with, the builder didn't catch it, and neither bothered to fix it at top-out. My rough-ins are usually pretty close only because I check the placement of their strings (your plumber pull strings to do his rough?) and watch to see that the pipe actually comes up where the strings cross, and that the pipe is well braced in position.

But being off even several inches is usually repairable without too much difficulty, and the repair is generally exactly what you have in mind. By digging down a ways and using a couple fittings, you should be able to center the drain very accurately and have the final rise sufficiently vertical to allow your drain to be level. If you have to make the leave-out hole a little bigger, so be it. Once everything is plumb and level, pour you some QuickCrete in the hole and vow never to trust the plumber with a drain again.
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Unread 07-14-2003, 01:26 AM   #4
Gil Smith
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Thanks, Jason, for the link. I've read MB's book and I've seen that article before but I guess I just missed the part about putting the drain directly on the floor.

I notice MB uses latex-modified deck mud for the preslope. I hadn't planned on that but I'm thinking now that I'd feel better about a 1/2" thick section if I used the modifier. But then again I've gotten pretty good at laying floor mud so maybe I won't need the modifier.

CX, don't get me on a rant about what my builder didn't do that he was supposed to do, but suffice to say that fixing this plumbing error is miniscule compared to all the work I've had to do over that wasn't done right the first time. But I look at the bright side.......I've become semi-skilled in just about every trade involved in building a house, out of necessity. And now I've got practically every power tool known to mankind, with the wife's blessing.

At my age, I don't know if there'll be a next time, but if there is, I'll contract and supervise it myself, unless I can get someone like you to come over to Driftwood and build for me. But I hear there's a hefty premium to be paid to build for an injineer.
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Unread 07-14-2003, 06:17 AM   #5
tileguytodd
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Gil, be forewarned,many Subcontractors (most of the good ones)will charge more for a Home that is being General'd by the Homeowner(At least thats the way it is up here).There are reasons for it that while they may not apply to you,experiance has shown homeowners who coordinate ntire jobs cause more time lost due to several factors.
#1- inexperiance at lining trades up properly
#2-Lack of time(due to careers) to actually do the job properly
#3-Lack of materials on hand to finish the job properly causing trades to return at a more frequent rate.
#4-#128-All the little reasons too numerous to mention.

While i am sure there are some who could do a proper job of running the show,there has been enough that couldnt to make subs wary of a building project run by the homeowner.I didnt make the rule,But my experiance has been about the same.I dont think you will save much by doing it yourself.you will however get a better quality job by working closer with the general and checking referances on all his subcontractors.
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Unread 07-14-2003, 11:21 AM   #6
Gil Smith
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Thanks, Todd.....I heard that! I realize I'd be starting with two strikes against me. But the only trades I'd need to sub out are the concrete finishing, framing, roofing, rockwork, and HVAC. Everything else I can do myself with some hired help if I choose, out here in the county's jurisdiction. The only license needed is for the septic system and I've got a friend with one of those.

I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, however. With 36 years of work in heavy construction under my belt (lots of concrete structures, drilled shaft foundations, industrial and commercial buildings, etc.) it never occurred to me that something as relatively simple as a residence could be screwed up so badly. It was my first homebuilding experience, and when I finally realized what was happening the builder and I parted ways, but it was already too late. So I'm making the best of it, and having a liitle fun, too.

I only wish I'd done it sooner. At nearly 62 years and climbing fast I don't know if I've got another one in me......or should I say my marriage may not stand another one?

But I may be forced to build again, just so I'll have place to lay some tile!
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Unread 07-14-2003, 04:41 PM   #7
Jason_Butler
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Hey Gil.....Where are you building?

I went through a similar experience with a friend of mine in Dripping Springs..

Jason
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Unread 07-15-2003, 12:00 AM   #8
Gil Smith
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Hey Jason,

The house I'm working on now is near Driftwood off Camp Ben McCullough Rd., but we're in the Dripping Springs ISD.....small world.

I completely gutted the shower today down to the framing and the concrete. My builder had it all nicely walled with green board, complete with knock-down texture and paint......I don't know what he thought we were going to do in that little room.

When I can I'm going start a new thread with pictures to make it easier to follow my progress on the shower project (and interpret my questions ).
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