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Unread 11-20-2020, 11:15 AM   #1
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I got one more in me, I hope

Thanks to this forum, I did my first ceramic tile shower 20 or so years ago. I like to play DIY, but have no real skills. My carpentry requires multiple cuts, molding, and wood filler, and I still can't sweat a copper fitting. But, happy to report my first shower still works like day one, and still looks good. I've done a few tub surrounds and other tile projects since, again thanks to JB and the forum. Still the best site on the interwebz for solid info.

I am starting what will be my last ceramic shower install. Getting too hard on the knees. This is our new master bath area. Very cramped, and poorly designed, with a window in the way of anything we'd want to reconfigure. I tore out a drop in tub and a very small 28x30 rotting greenboard tile shower with acrylic base. Replacing with a (smaller footprint) 60x32 alcove tub, a slightly larger ceramic shower base with pvc liner, and a 2x4 kneewall between the two. My plan is to gain shower space by pushing the shower base to 36" square or so, and offsetting the knee-wall glass wider than the shower base, to 38" or so. (About 39.5" from the corner to window.) I will be using 12x24 porcelain. laid horizontally, from the inside corner to the door molding on one wall, and from the inside corner to about 1" before the window on the other.

I plan to keep the existing tile floor. It was well-installed, with thinset below 1/4 CBB screwed into the subfloor. I had a heluva time removing the 3 cut pieces that extended to the old shower base.

How do I design around the doorway and the existing straight line of tile? It's 36.5" from the exterior wall to the cut drywall on the 2x4 (at the door molding), and 39.5" inches from exterior wall to existing floor line. That leaves 3" of space at the base (more like 2.5" after CBU and tile is installed on the exterior wall.) How do I best address that floor space?
  1. Build a curb to bring the base to meet the existing floor, and leave the existing door molding flowing down into the curb. Does not seem right to bury the molding in the curb.
  2. Bring the curb to meet the existing floor, and cut the door molding at the curb top? That will leave the door frame unbalanced, and looking cramped.
  3. Extend the curb to no more than level with the door molding, and lay a 1.5" strip of the existing floor tile between the current floor line and the new curb.
  4. Extend the curb to level with the door molding, and lay some other 1.5" material between the current floor line and the new curb.

I'm leaning to #3 or #4. Am I missing some other solution here?

Also, I am planning to put down 3/4 plywood on the existing subfloor, place the drain at the center of the new base footprint, with roofing felt and the preslope on the new 3/34 plywood. I'm thinking that will be plenty strong, but if you all tell me I need to patch or add additional support to address the current hole in the subfloor, I will. Joists are 2x8, 16" on center.

Finally (for now at least), my local Floor and Decor has for sale a "positive weep protector" plastic ring that fits around the drain, on top of the preslope. Said to improve water flow to drain weep holes. Worth it?

Hope all this makes sense. Thanks all.

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Unread 11-21-2020, 08:26 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Ed,

You'll have quite a go of it with that door casing, and desire to retain the existing floor tile. I've pretty visual, so perhaps another couple of photos, especially showing more of that wall with the entry door. A rough drawing of the currently floor plan wouldn't hurt.

I read that your joists are 2X8's, 16" OC, but what the free span?

Never heard of the little plastic thingamabob to protect the weep holes, but have read here that small pebbles have been used for decades to accomplish the same goal.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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Unread 11-21-2020, 08:56 AM   #3
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Welcome back, Ed.

If I'm seeing it correctly that piece of casing was installed as the jamb in that cased opening. Never seen that done and I can't see how you'd leave that in place if you plan for your shower curb to be in that opening.

The plastic weep protector works quite well if I'm understanding what you have. One like this from Noble company, perhaps?

My opinion; worth price charged.

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