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Unread 02-24-2019, 07:42 PM   #1
Mikefly
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Newbie questions - New Steam Shower

Hi everyone,

New to the board - have been lurking, reading about steam shower building. A contractor is in process of building a steam shower for me, using Kerdi membrane.

What steps can I take to check on the work? I trust the contractor, but if anything goes wrong, it will be in several years and it will be my problem.

Current questions:

I believe he's planning to build the curb using 2x4. From what I've read, there's a safer method, using styrofoam or polystyrene. How critical is this? Is it something I should be insisting on, or not such a big deal?

I was planning on using a 1/4" ceramic subway wall tile on the sides and top of the curb. This is purely for aesthetics, as the walls, ceiling and bench will be in the same material.

Any recommendations for vapour proof lights? Can I use wet rated slim leds and silicon them to seal?

Many thanks for any advice! I'm sure I will have more questions.

Mike
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Unread 02-24-2019, 08:06 PM   #2
Lou_MA
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Hi Mike -

I can't answer for the lights, but as far as the curb - is it on wood framing, or over a slab?
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Unread 02-24-2019, 09:09 PM   #3
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Freshly (to be) poured slab.
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Unread 02-24-2019, 10:19 PM   #4
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You don’t want to use 2x4’s.

Not a good idea for regular kiln dried to be in contact with concrete, and PT lumber will warp and twist as it dries.

He can make a curb out of 2” Kerdi board thinsetted to slab (laminate additional layers of k-board - it comes in thickness from 3/8” to 2” - to get thicker curb). OR - thinset bricks or concrete blocks cut down to desired height to slab. In either case, wrap the entire curb in Kerdi, down to bottom of outside face of curb.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 05:06 AM   #5
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Thanks Lou. What about the wall studs, footers etc? Oddly enough, these are on old concrete, not new.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 05:27 AM   #6
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Footers = sole plates on stud walls?

If so, for that, I *would* use PT lumber. Or at least a capillary break like sill seal under KD lumber. In fact, I’d probably use sill seal under PT as well.

Same principle in that you don’t want untreated lumber in direct contact with concrete. And the PT lumber in this case has a stud wall framing structure above it, unlike a curb which would be relatively free-floating in comparison.

For the studs and anything above the sole plate, use regular KD lumber.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 05:40 AM   #7
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Yes plates! (Was thinking headers and footers)

The studs are already in place using regular 2x4 plates. They are on top of a thick clear plastic which drapes over the edge. The seal isn’t perfect and I assume they have been nailed into the concrete, so moisture can get through.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 06:01 AM   #8
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Is that plastic between the concrete and sole plate? Or between the sole plate and studs?
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Unread 02-25-2019, 06:14 AM   #9
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It’s poly super 6 - and does look like it will be wrapped around the plate. Also they are not nailed in. Tapcons were used. Photo attached.

For reference - the floor is being dropped a few inches but the studs are on the old floor.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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Asked contractor - he tells me the 2x4 KN is absolutely fine and the 6mm will protect it. Is this true?

Another question - does the steam generator require a drip pan beneath it? It will be on a shelf, not enclosed in my laundry/utility room. Because the furnace is there, it's warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.

MT
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Unread 02-25-2019, 01:34 PM   #11
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as long as he doesn't tell you that the wood is fine for the curb
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Unread 02-25-2019, 02:05 PM   #12
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John - I'm confused. Is the wood fine for the studs and bottom plate? But not for the curb?
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Unread 02-25-2019, 03:10 PM   #13
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Mike, if your SOG has a good vapor barrier under the concrete, you should have no trouble with the wood framed curb. If not, however, your wood curb, if properly wrapped with the waterproofing membrane, can collect moisture and swell, cracking your tile or/and grout.

I've done Kerdi showers with wood curbs over my own concrete slabs without any problems, but I know they all had good vapor barriers under them.

If you don't know what's under your concrete, you're probably safer building your curb of CMUs.

Your studs and sole plates will not be fully wrapped with your waterproofing membrane and can, hopefully, still breathe.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 05:40 PM   #14
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No vapour barrier under the concrete - just dirt. FWIW we are on very sandy, well drained soil.

Contractor plans to wrap wood curb in 6mil poly as per the plates and now studs and insulation. Is there something I can point him to that shows this is a safer/better choice? I suspect it’s how he’s done it for the past 30 years - and it has worked well.
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Unread 02-25-2019, 06:53 PM   #15
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Maybe this is it?
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