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Unread 12-15-2020, 07:38 PM   #31
rmorse
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Ok, so, here goes...

I’m going back and forth on the traditional mud pan or the Kerdi system. I currently have a very level floor. I do need to pull up the 3/4” plywood and redo the drain, as the contractor kinda buggered it up a bit. The inside dimensions of the shower are 60” x 44”, with the drain 20” away from the wet wall (centered at 22”). I found a 38”x 60” off-center shower tray and I do have a Kerdi corner bench to install.

First question - How reliable is the Kerdi system compared to traditional and how much more or less challenging is the install for a complete beginner?

Next question - I need to replace the bottom sheet of hardibacker (the exposed studs in my posted pictures). If I’m going with the Kerdi system, do I just use concrete board? Hardibacker again? Drywall? Kerdi board?

Next question - do I still water test the Kerdi system for 24 hours after install? (I’d feel a lot better if I did tbh)

Next question - do I run the Kerdi membrane all the way up to the ceiling?

I’m sure I have more questions that I’m not remembering at the moment. Dan, you’re in fairfax...my brother lives out that way and I’m there fairly often. I will gladly buy you a beer for all of your advice if I survive this build.
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Unread 12-15-2020, 07:52 PM   #32
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Bobby, I DIY'd a shower a few years ago and cannot recommend enough that you use waterproof foam boards for the walls. If you're going with the Kerdi system (either their foam pan or a mud base with the Kerdi fabric) then it'd be Kerdi Board. Wedi board is another option (I used this along with their base and curb for mine). Much easier to use (there are a lot of threads here from DIYers struggling with the liquid and sheet membranes) and pretty foolproof if you follow the directions.
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Unread 12-15-2020, 08:43 PM   #33
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1. Well, I doubt you'll find many Kerdi showers that are 50 years old, Bobby, but I'm sure there are 30-year-old Kerdi showers still in operation. Lots of 50-year-old traditional showers that never failed, though. In general, I think that either method, properly executed, will last until someone gets tired of looking at the tile pattern.

2. Any of the above. I'd replace all the wallboard, though, and not finish any of the corners or seams. Easier to install the Kerdi membrane. And my choice of wallboard would be plain white drywall.

3. Yes, or longer.

4. Don't hafta, just a couple inches above the supply pipe for the shower head.

Unlike Jeff, I just don't see the advantage of the KerdiBoard. But there are clearly differences of opinion.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 09:30 AM   #34
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Bobby,

Given your shower foot print is 60X44, and the tray you found is 60X38, you'd still have to fill in the 3" on either side of the 38" with mud. But here's the thing; the perimeter thickness of those pre-made trays are consistent, say 1.25" thick. If you fill in the 3" on both sides you'd still need to maintain the slope so the actual mud thickness at wall will be somewhat more than 1.25" (but granted, not by much). The result is the bottom edge of the wall tile where it meets the pan will be slightly higher above the mud than it is above the non-mudded. In reality it's probably not going to be easily seen but still something to be aware of.

Something else. Those pre-made pans, depending on their size, often don't have the minimum required slope of 1/4" per foot as measured from the farthest corner from the drain. Your off-set drain may exacerbate the issue (as well as a none level subfloor). What you'd want to find out, then, is what is the thickness of the tray at the drain opening and at the perimeter. Easy to do the calculation from there.

I wouldn't hesitate to use a sheet membrane system, and didn't. But I didn't use Kerdi, I used a competing system. I'm with Jeff on the foam board walls, especially for a beginner, which I am.

If you haven't yet noticed 1/2" Hardie backer isn't actually 1/2", it's closer to 7/16th. If you replace what you removed with drywall, or concrete board, or foam board those will all be 1/2". Save yourself mucho aggravation and either stick with the Hardie or replace it all. To some extent what you decide to go with for the shower pan will drive what you go with for the walls.

You do water test it, for as long as you want, but not less than 24 hours. I did mine for around 48 hours. My build was a foam tray with compatible drain and sheet membrane, water proof foam board walls with all seams sealed with sheet membrane.

Happy to help Bobby. I'm in the Fair Oaks area, if you're out this way let me know. The outstanding folks on this site got me through my build, and they'll get you through yours, too.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 10:12 AM   #35
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Another vote for Schluter/Kerdi, Bobby. I just finished my shower using it and I really enjoyed working with it. I used the Kerdi board. As CX said, you can use just plain drywall and cover that with the Kerdi membrane and that'll work fine, but if one of your goals is to make the overall process as easy on YOU as possible, then the foam board does that.

With the Kerdi board you just have to put a Kerdi membrane patch over the screw penetrations that hold the board to the studs, and on the corners where two boards meet, or where they meet the pan. With drywall you have to cover the entire surface. Is that hard? No. Is it harder than just patching the screw holes and corners? Yes.

Another advantage to the foam board is being able to wet shim a wall if your studs aren't plumb. You can't do that with cement board or drywall. That being said, drywall will work just fine and it's a WHOLE lot cheaper than the foam board.

And I think you'll find most folks here will encourage you to pour your own pan instead of using the foam pan. I did it for the first time in my most recent project and while I was nervous about it, it went pretty well and my result, while not perfect, was satisfactory. My shower dimensions are similar to yours, and there are just too many problems to have to solve with a foam pan in a rectangle shape. Square shape is easier, and so maybe more of a consideration, but that's not what you have.

And finally, the biggest reason I went with Schluter in the first place was the waterproofing aspect of the pan. Trying to make vinyl liners work, while obviously possible, just looked like a nightmare for an amateur like myself. In all the threads I've read on this forum, I've seen nothing that has changed my mind on that! The guys here that do this work every day...sure, they can use vinyl and make it work great. But I knew that for me, even if I ended up with a successful vinyl pan, it was going to be a process full of pain. And for me, pain is something worth ponying up money to avoid!
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Unread 12-18-2020, 08:08 PM   #36
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Thank you all for your advice and input... I ended up going with the Kerdi pan and will be spreading the Kerdi membrane on drywall. I ripped up the old 3/4” plywood and redid the drain and got back to square one today. I just finished installing the corner seat, Kerdi drain and curb and I think I’m done for the day. I’ll throw the pan down tmw and do the dry pack surround.

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Unread 12-18-2020, 11:44 PM   #37
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Is the drain sitting in thinset mortar? How far off the subfloor is it?

Typically in that kind of installation, you would set the drain into the drypack mortar. Thinset mortar isn't made to be built up to the thickness needed.
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Unread 12-18-2020, 11:47 PM   #38
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Oh, I saw that and assumed it was set into the drain cut-outs from the foam pan.
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Unread 12-19-2020, 12:01 AM   #39
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I thought so as well until I saw the last sentence of his last post.
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Unread 12-19-2020, 12:02 AM   #40
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I think maybe it is a foam pan that is smaller than the shower floor space, and mud will be used to fill in the rest.

So we were both right.
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Unread 12-19-2020, 05:15 AM   #41
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Sorry for the confusion on the drain! Kman is correct...the pan I have is slightly too small for the space. The drain is sitting on the drain cut outs from the pan. I’m installing the pan plus the dry pack mortar to extend the pan today.
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Unread 12-19-2020, 05:27 AM   #42
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I was following this guide:

https://www.protradecraft.com/video/...ccess-plumbing
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Unread 12-27-2020, 09:31 AM   #43
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Good morning all! Back from Christmas and ready to keep tackling this project. I was going to move on to the waterproofing membrane for the pan but I’m not sure if I have another issue (of course).

I was researching how to install the membrane and found a discussion on the forums about the exact thinset that I used for installing the curb, pan and seat. I used unmodified thinset; specifically, laticrete 317 as recommended by the shop that sold the pan to me. However, now I’m reading that this was bad to use on plywood. Is this going to be an issue? I’m reading conflicting messages because Kerdi is saying to use an unmodified thinset yet 317 wants you to use an additive when putting down on plywood.

My substrate is 3/4” plywood if that makes a difference. Thank you!
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Unread 12-27-2020, 09:46 AM   #44
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Bobby, Schluter does not want you to use unmodified thinset mortar to install Kerdi on plywood. Schluter does not want you to install Kerdi on plywood at all, for any reason, with any type of mortar.

Let's clarify just what you're currently doing and why you would want to apply Kerdi to your plywood. Are you perhaps intending to install your foam tray to the plywood instead of kerdi to the plywood?
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Unread 12-27-2020, 09:47 AM   #45
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Generally you need a modified for installing directly to plywood, Bobby, but the manufacturer of that pan should state which type is needed in their installation instructions.

https://sccpublic.s3-external-1.amaz...20Handbook.pdf

Page 24: sure looks like Schluter says unmodified is ok.
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