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Unread 02-26-2020, 09:39 PM   #1
joshtp
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First tile shower, slope too shallow

I've read a ton of posts here during my basement bathroom remodel, which includes a neo angle shower. I'm using Hardibacker with a divot shower pan, all sealed with RedGard.

Last night I poured the monolithic slope with deck mud, and it looked great. I started with 2x4s packing the edges, and screwed the drain to give the slope I needed. I checked level and it looked pretty good, at least I thought, maybe I wasn't thinking too clearly, because today I checked and it's only got a nice slope in about half the pan, the other half is too shallow, even level in some places.

I think the best approach is to try and scrape or sand to get the slope I need. I have 3/4" between the slab and the drain flange, then 1-1/4" from the flange to the top of the bed, so I think I have enough room to play. Alternatively I could put a skim coat of thinset to get the slope I need.

I might need to raise the height of the curb a bit as well, as it's only 1" above the pan and 1-1/2" above the drain. To do that I think I'll just adhere one or two layers of Hardibacker with thinset.

Sound like a good plan? Maybe I should tear out and start over, but my wife won't be too pleased with that idea. Thank you!
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Unread 02-27-2020, 06:11 AM   #2
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Thinset isn't designed to use as a mud bed although minor filling can be done less than 1/4 inch thick. I'd probably bust it out and redo it making sure to get the proper pitch.

You can bolt a shallow pan/skillet to the flange to give you something solid to work to.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 08:36 PM   #3
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That frying pan bolted to the flange is a great idea, wish I did that. I'll have to do that for the next shower.

I think my problem was that I set the drain (used as center screed point) a touch too high, and pounded the perimeter screed rail too low, so my slope was closer to 1/8" per foot.

I think redoing it might be the best course of action as you suggest, however I already used a stone to fix half the pan. The perimeter screed rail is nice and level all around. I will attest that deck mud gets very hard, and takes quite a bit of effort to sand it down.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 08:53 PM   #4
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Josh, do keep in mind that the 1/4-inch per foot is the minimum requirement and should be measured from the farthest corner of the shower to the drain. If you've got only half that, I would most certainly recommend you remove what you've got, call it practice, and do another.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 09:10 PM   #5
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I did measure from the far corner, but still messed it up somehow.

If I were to break it out, how cleanly would it separate from the slab and the Hardibacker? I did do a slurry of thinset between the slab and the deck mud. Could I break up everything but the perimeter and keep that for a screed rail?
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Unread 02-27-2020, 10:14 PM   #6
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It'll all come up pretty easily, Josh, except for maybe the very small portion that's bonded with your mortar slurry. That you can scrape up or just paint another slurry of thinset mortar over it when you place your new mud.

I would not bother trying to save the perimeter. Take it all out and start over. And give yourself at least a quarter-inch per foot this time. Planning for a bit more than that helps.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-28-2020, 09:02 AM   #7
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Wink divot

just mud to this..


http://noblecompany.com/storage/docs...escription.pdf
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Unread 02-28-2020, 05:54 PM   #8
joshtp
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E3, that Noble product looks slick, can't find it locally though.

I took your advice and started busting it out. It's going slower than I thought, maybe I have a bit too much cement, though I was shooting for 5:1.

The slab is 3/4" below the flange seen here, and with how hard it is to bust out, I think I'll only bust out even with the flange, bolt a frying pan to the flange, lay down a slurry of thinset, then put the deck mud down. That way I don't have to bust it out down to the slab, but I'll have at least 1" thickness of the fresh deck mud.

Sound good?
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Unread 02-28-2020, 06:59 PM   #9
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Forgot I had a demo hammer, duh! Broke it all out, except for right around the drain, for fear of damaging the flange or pipe.

Just got a 3-pack of frying pans from Walmart for $10, the 7.5" and 9" ones have a height of 1.5", and the 11" is 2" high. I think the 9"x1.5" is probably just right, though I'll have to go higher on the perimeter and raise the height of the curb a bit.
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Unread 02-28-2020, 08:31 PM   #10
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I believe the pan in my picture is 9 x 1.5. Of course the pan must be removed after the mud sets so be sure and pack mud back under the edge real well.
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Unread 02-28-2020, 09:36 PM   #11
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Great, thanks, glad I picked a good one, because I just drilled holes though that one.

It's 18" from the skillet top edge to far corner, 9" to closest edge. 1/4" per foot minimum, so perimeter should be at least 3/8" above skillet top edge. That would make the slope to the close edge 1/2" per foot, which is what I've read is the maximum slope.

The flange and thus the pan are just a bit out of level, maybe 1/8" per foot, I'm thinking I should shim the pan to make it level before marking the walls tomorrow.
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Unread 02-28-2020, 09:50 PM   #12
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You really want to make your drain flange level, Josh, not just your pan. Otherwise the top of your drain grate will not be level, which you do want.

You also want your slope to extend all the way to the drain, not just to the edge of your divot. Call it at least a 1/2-inch rise to the level perimeter.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-29-2020, 08:32 AM   #13
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Yep, snug the bolts and you may need to bust a little cement away from the flange so that when you push the pan, the flange moves with it. There's usually a little bit of flex within the PVC pipes but not much.

You may have noticed, I used a rubber fitting under the drain so that I have plenty of flex. Then I can get the pan level when mudding it in.
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Unread 02-29-2020, 09:41 AM   #14
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I'll keep 1/4" slope all the way to the drain.

Rubber fitting is a good idea.

Just had fun checking my levels, phone bubble level, and digital angle meter. Turns out my Mayes Supercede torpedo level is spot on, at 1.1deg it gets near the line, at 1.2deg it jumps over the line (1.2deg is 1/4" per foot). My Harbor Freight 2' level does show level well, but the line can't be trusted for 1/4" slope. My Empire 4' I beam level is good, but the bubble doesn't jump until 1.4deg. The factory cal on my Google Pixel is off by about 0.4deg.

My flange is at between 0.1 and 0.2deg, never realized how sensitive my level is, so I overestimated how out of level it was.
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Unread 03-10-2020, 05:07 PM   #15
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Finally got a chance to repour. Did a better job this time, good slope all around. When I removed the frying pan, it appears I didn't pack the mud well enough, as there is a spot with missing mud as shown in the photo. Can I just fill this in with thinset before applying RedGard?
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