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Unread 03-13-2022, 11:41 AM   #1
John Pride
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Laundry room waterproofing with Kerdi -no tile?

Hey, all. I'm moving my stack washer unit to the 2nd floor, in a 5' square closet. I want to avoid the nightmare of leaks from a 2nd floor washer, so I'm placing a drain in the floor, and I'm waterproofing the floor and 4-5' up the walls adjacent to the washer with Kerdi. I'm a remodeler who's done enough downstream repairs to be a bit paranoid.

I'm applying the Kerdi over plywood on the floor, and 2 layers of anti moisture/mildew drywall (sound control) on the wall. I do not want tile in this room, instead I'm putting a loose, unfastened carpet over the Kerdi in an "L" around the washer/dryer footprint.

I have a few questions:

1. Has anyone done this /seen this done?
2. What can I do, under the washer, to avoid damaging the Kerdi with washer movement? I'd thought about placing 2 2x6's that'll carry two feet each, wrapping them with the Kerdi, then gluing 4 rubber pieces to carry the washer weight and absorb some vibration.
3. Using (unmodified, right?) thinset under the Kerdi over plywood, is there an issue regarding how long until it's cured enough to run the washer, vibration-wise? I'll leave it and use it where it is, until it's good to use it in the new location.
4. Any other issues I've missed?

I'm finally getting to some projects on my own house, and I want to do it right!

Thanks for any feedback.

John Pride
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Unread 03-13-2022, 12:01 PM   #2
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Welcome back, John.

What's a "downstream repair?" Done a lot of remodeling and repair myownself and never heard the term.

1. Waterproofed a laundry room floor? Sure. Lots of such projects here. Four feet up the wall? Less likely, and not sure I see the reasoning there.

2. Install ceramic tile as the manufacturer recommends.

3. You cannot, according to the product manufacturer, install Kerdi over a wood substrate at all. Not recommended. You'd need to install a CBU or a mortar bed on the floor first.

4. The Kerdi membrane, as is the case with all direct bonded waterproofing membranes (ANSI A118.10) I know of, is not to be used as a wear surface. It must be covered with ceramic tile or similar.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-13-2022, 10:38 PM   #3
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John, did you mean ditra?
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Unread 03-14-2022, 05:41 AM   #4
John Pride
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Laundry room waterproofing with Kerdi -no tile?

Welcome back, John. Thanks, see replies below.

What's a "downstream repair?" Done a lot of remodeling and repair myownself and never heard the term. REPLY: Downstream means where the (damaging) water flows! I've fixed leaks where the water traveled several feet away, even to a room 10' away once, before they made a visible appearance.

1. Waterproofed a laundry room floor? Sure. Lots of such projects here. Four feet up the wall? Less likely, and not sure I see the reasoning there. REPLY: Many leaks are failed hoses, which can (and do) spray water against the wall, typically between the wall box to the floor. I've done repairs where this was the issue; a slow spray that soaked the drywall, got behind the baseboard, and did lots of damage downstream without getting the floor wet.

2. Install ceramic tile as the manufacturer recommends. REPLY: For various reasone, I'd prefer to NOT tile that floor.

3. You cannot, according to the product manufacturer, install Kerdi over a wood substrate at all. Not recommended. You'd need to install a CBU or a mortar bed on the floor first. REPLY: Yeah, I was thinking about a thread I read on JohnBridge: https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin...ad.php?t=98748 ... I can add a layer of 1/4" CBU, no sweat. I do think the fleece on Kerdi would adhere to the plywood, but I get the moment/movement issue.

4. The Kerdi membrane, as is the case with all direct bonded waterproofing membranes (ANSI A118.10) I know of, is not to be used as a wear surface. It must be covered with ceramic tile or similar. REPLY: That's why I'm adding the carpet over the Kerdi membrane, to be a wear surface. We're talking about an "L" roughly 2' wide with 5' legs. I can tile it, but the elevation to the adjacent floor becomes and issue if I add tile-ready substrate layers. Older people and trip hazards are an issue here.

My opinion; worth price charged.
Yesterday 01:41 PM
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Unread 03-14-2022, 05:45 AM   #5
John Pride
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Laundry room waterproofing with Kerdi -no tile?

No, sir. Not Ditra decoupling material, Kerdi waterproofing membrane.
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Unread 03-14-2022, 07:45 AM   #6
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Might there be an acrylic pan that fits the units well enough? You could treat it like a short shower and tie the wall membrane to the flanges on two sides (I assume you're talking about putting the W/D in the corner of this room). You'd have a "threshold" on the front edge, but never have to worry about tripping over it since the units would be on top. Just a thought.

Of course, you could also treat it like a short shower and tile it in the corner, and build the adjacent flooring so that there isn't a trip hazard. I'm not really clear on where the trip hazard that you want to avoid would be - at the door into this room, or inside the room adjacent to the drainage area? Isn't there some thickness of flooring over the same plywood, outside of the room? A sketch might help.
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Unread 03-14-2022, 04:54 PM   #7
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What are you doing out the doorway to contain the water?

The amount of tile you'd need is miniscule, and some of the stuff can be had for about $1/sqft. I'd use Ditra, and use Kerdiband in the seam you'd need, and go up the wall if you wanted, but I don't see much need to go up more than maybe 3-4" or so, and you could hide that behind baseboard if you wanted. If you had a decent drain, you should not get much water to rise up in there.

If you wanted some vibration noise insulation, you might consider the Laticrete product for thinset on top...it has some rubber particles in it, and acts like a noise dampener. You'd need to let things sit for a bit so it could dry its modifier, before you grouted, and smaller tile would help by offering more paths for drying. I think, but you could call them to see how stable it would be over Ditra prior to it drying...the cement will cure regardless, but the crystalline spikes could shatter if the modifiers haven't firmed up properly before you add the washer/dryer and started to use them.
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Unread 03-15-2022, 07:15 AM   #8
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Will the drain be tied into the drain system, John? If so, you'll need a trap, and the drain will need to be accessible so that you can pour water into it every month or so.
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Unread 03-17-2022, 08:23 AM   #9
John Pride
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Well, I'm crying "Uncle"! I was trying to avoid tiling over the Kerdi, but it seems the consensus is that's just wrong. I've revised my plan, including:

1 A curb around the washer and a non-walkway adjacent area (location of drain, over shelves) to isolate spills and allow a no-threshold transition from the hall to the small walkable area.

2. I'm sticking with my "4 feet up" plan for Kerdi behind and beside the washer. I guess I'm still haunted by one or two past projects!

3. Placing a splash shield as shown (hose spray containment, will also go above connections)

4. Placing the drain so that I can pour water into it every few weeks.

5. Tiling everything inside the curb, but continuing the hallway flooring (floating floor) into the walkable area

I appreciate all of you taking time to smack my logic (illogic) around a bit, and I mean that! As I mentioned, I'm home and doing about a year of projects in six months, including this project, a bulkhead tieback system, gutting 2 baths and (finally) creating a first-class home shop to work from. That said, This was one design that I was still a bit hesitant to move on.

NOTE: I tried to attach a sketch to my reply, but couldn't (quickly) meet the 50kb file size requirement. I will try again later... a smaller sketch?

Now, once the plumbing forum folks respond my questions, my life will be complete - and so will my project!

Thanks again!

John Pride


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Unread 03-17-2022, 08:26 AM   #10
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John, I think you can exceed that file size by a factor of at least ten. Have you tried to upload your sketch?
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Unread 03-17-2022, 09:11 AM   #11
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John, that floor drain will probably fall under the emergency use category so you might also need a trap primer in order to be code compliant.
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Unread 03-17-2022, 02:21 PM   #12
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What Dan said.

But were it mine, and were I able to terminate that drain to daylight somehow and not connect it to the sewer system at all, that's what I'd likely do.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-17-2022, 02:34 PM   #13
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If you ran it to daylight versus the sewer system, you'd still want a trap and to fill it occasionally, otherwise, it would be a direct link to the outside with nothing in between. Note, without a vent, a trap can self-siphon if the flow is fast enough.
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