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Unread 05-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
ProcrastinatorSteve
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Pre-slope shower pan product to feather thin?

Hi there and thank you for being here... My name says it all. 14 years of owning this stinking house and our 2nd bath has been in tear out phase THE ENTIRE TIME. The wife is getting really mad seeing as our three small boys are now fighting over one shower/ toilet constantly. Was never a problem before kids. Help!!! I've gutted and replaced our other bath years ago and did the same with the kitchen. This job,however, has some very unique problems.

So I demo'd this bath years ago and had to hammer up the concrete and replace several sections of the cast iron drain due to cracks and rust. Kind of goofed up a bit when I set the 2" shower drain. I purchased a 3 piece drain at HD and set bottom part (flange??) LEVEL with existing slab before re-pouring the concrete. Thought that was the required height, but now realize should set it up a little. Now that I am ready to pour the pre-slope pan I am finding that I will have to go from 1/2 inch on outside of 3 x 3 shower jerkery thin at drain flange (1/8 or however thin I can get it). My drain is offset a little with longest run to edge of shower 2 feet, hence the 1/2 inch at thickest.

Read the numerous posts on shower pans using the sand, portland, etc. Thinking I need to use something with a polymer additive to feather down without cracking. Some type of self-leveling underlayment perhaps. Saw a post talking about Sakrete Top n Bond concrete repair. Watched a video and it can be feathered very thin. This isn't the intended usage, but Does this sound reasonable to use UNDER mt PVC liner. I will then switch to the much
recommended mortar for the second layer of my pan above the liner.

Sorry for the novel. I intend to pass this home onto my boys and want it done right-not to mention I never want to work on this bath again.

Oh yeah, is a PVC liner going to hold up? Read about the fear of becoming brittle and cracking. Already bought a 5 ft piece at HD. I can eat the cost and purchase the CPE I keep reading about if you think necessary. I REALLY never want to work on this bath again with the exception of a minor repair here and there.

Thanks much and I appreciate any help I can get. My wife thanks you too

Steve
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Unread 05-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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Welcome, Steve.

If your drain is 2 feet from one wall in a 3x3 shower and centered in the other direction, the longest distance from drain to corner is 2 1/2 feet and your absolute minimum slope (1/4-inch per foot) would require a 5/8ths-inch depth at the entire perimeter. I'd make it 3/4 just to be on the safe side.

That's barely enough for an adequate deck mud installation, but I'd start with that and mix in some of one of the patching materials you can find at your local home center to help with the thinner sections. It'll be difficult to get the flat slope you really want for that pre-slope, but you maybe can finesse that.

Better approach, of course, would be to cut out your drain, extend the riser and set your new drain with the top of the bottom flange half an inch or more above the slab. Up to you, of course. It all just needs to be solid and properly formed.

PVC liner, properly installed, will be fully intact when your sons give the place to your grandkids. CPE is, indeed, alleged to last longer, but that shower is gonna get torn out again for other reasons before either material fails.

You have a plan for the waterproofing of the remainder of the shower?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
ProcrastinatorSteve
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Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer for pre-slope mortar bed?

Thanks for your reply... was hoping for some add'l advice, maybe my original post was just too long and not to the point. You are right about my slope calling for a little more than 1/2 ". At the longest point I measured 30" from the corner to the middle of the drain. I bumped up the line to 3/4" in the entire section.

At this point - definetely not too crazy about busting out the concrete even if it is only a small section around the drain. My construction buddy and I already talked about this and he said the same thing as you. Just can't do it.

Bottom line.. need a product I can taper "thin" at drain that won't crack UNDER my PVC liner. Thinking the polymer in Quikrete's Concrete Resurfacer might do the trick. Figured I'd mix a little thicker than usual application calls for. Also looked at HD's tile section at different thin-sets. Above the liner, I'll go with the usual stuff.

In your reply, when you say to use the mud mixed with some of the patching materials, can you please ellaborate a little as I am not 100% sure I follow you. Sounds interesting and I am up for checking it out.

As for waterproofing the walls (and thank you for asking), I have stapled up the black building paper they sell at HD overlapping from bottom up for the drops that flow down. Can't remember the name of product. Not the super thick stuff for roofing that won't bend. I believe it was rated for 30 minutes and they also had 60 minute. Plan on going over this with the Hardibacker after I install my liner. Will fold the corners of liner and not staple too low. Will leave a small gap at bottom of Hardibacker before 2nd mortar bed. Will put down some spacers on weep holes. Also will put some wire mesh in middle of 2nd bed of mortar. Sounds cheesy, but I bought a Black and Decker Tiling book at HD after researching many methods online. Their method seems do-able for a DIY and seems to keep everything sound.

In any case, I am just excited I am actually getting close. Have five days off starting today and hoping to get some more work done. Though i don't want to screw it up at this point as I've come so far.

Many thanks,

Steve
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Unread 05-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quikrete makes a number of concrete patching products and one of those mixed in with some of your deck mud and then used alone for the thinnest parts of your pre-slope should be workable.

I'm familiar with the Resurfacer product and would not recommend that for your application, although it might be made to work.

I would recommend you not try to put the reinforcing mesh in your final mud bed. More chance of damaging your pan liner than of improving your mud bed. The requirement for the reinforcement in that application is currently being recommended for removal from the ANSI standard.

If you bought #15 roofing felt you got the correct product for your moisture barrier.

You'll wanna notch the bottom of your studs and make your between-stud blocking material flush with the notched area to accommodate the folds in your liner. If you'll visit the Shower Construction section of our <a href="http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?s=&f=8&page=1&pp=60&sort=title&order=asc">Liberry</a>, you'll find information on that and perhaps a good bit more information that will be helpful.

If the book you bought has "1,2,3..." in the title, I recommend you return it to Homer. If not, I don't know anything about it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 05-18-2012 at 01:23 PM. Reason: add Liberry link
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Unread 05-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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Seems you are right on the money... Just got off phone with quickrete and the guy recommended I build up thicker area with sand topping mix and then finish off with the patcher or fast set repair mortar for the thinner area to be feathered. Pain in the rear, but do-able.

Good tip on the mesh. I actually had thought it seems a little sketchy as that stuff is razor sharp. Nice idea for the folds in the corners too!

You are the best

Steve
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Unread 05-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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The "razor sharp" reinforcing material is absolutely not what you wanted to use as reinforcement in that mud bed anyway, Steve. That would surely have done more harm than good even if you did not puncture the waterproofing membrane.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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