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Unread 11-10-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
kwood141
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Location: St Petersburg, FL
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Tiling an old sunken shower in FL.

Hi all! I'm New to tile setting and new to this forum (which is great). I have many questions so I'll try to get to the point. I've stripped all the tile off the mud walls (mud over some sort of foam insulation on 2 exterior walls and mud on lath on studs on the other wall). I also cut holes in the wall to move the valve. This used to be a tiled tub so I removed the walls and the dam up to the top of some sort of tar paper (not mopped) pan. The floor is sunken approx 6", so I'm told by the plumber that code doesn't require a shower pan. The plumber moved the drain and roughed in the valve today. Some of my questions and concernes are as follows.

1. The plumber moved the drain out to about 15" from the wall with the controls and centered it in the other direction. Is this far enough? It seems OK to me. are there any other reasons why it should be more in the center of the shower?

2. The drain seems to low, The lower part of the drain (the part that would hold the membrane) is about 1" below the surface of the sunken slab. Should I raise it? If so, how much?

3. Should I put a presloped floor and a shower pan, even if code doesn't require it? How thick should the presloped floor be at the drain?

4. There appears to some sort of soft white mortor on top of the slab but under the old pan (possibly to smooth out the floor?). Would this need to be removed or can I put a mud bed or presloped floor right on top of it.

5. What is the best and/or easiest way to patch the holes in the walls, both where I cut out for the valve and the bottom of the walls?

6. When I patch the slab, should I do anything special to make the new patch adhere to the old slab.

7. Can I put the new tile right over the old thinset?

These are the main questions that come to mind right now. I'm sure more will arise. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Kirk

P.S. I bought Johns book and am currently reading it. I'll try to attach some pictures
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Unread 11-10-2004, 09:58 PM   #2
jadnashua
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1. It is best if the drain is centered in both directions. It makes the short side have a pretty steep slope if you leave it like it is. You need 1/4" per foot from the drain to the wall, when the drain is centered, all slopes are the same. In your case, you've got a much longer slope on the long side, you want the same fall on the short side (so your bottom wall is level all the way around).
3. Water will get though the tile (mostly through the grout), and without a pre-slope sit and get funky.
6. Thinned out thinset painted/troweled on bonds new stuff to old stuff - put new stuff on before the thinset starts to set up.
7. If it is still attached well - if it isn't level, it makes it harder to get a good job.

I've only touched on the points I'm pretty sure of.
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Last edited by jadnashua; 11-10-2004 at 10:04 PM.
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Unread 11-10-2004, 10:03 PM   #3
jadnashua
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Around that new shower valve cutout in the wall, you'll have to cut some more back by the studs so you'll have a surface to attach the cbu. You'll also need to add some blocking to support the horizontal sections. It looks like you may have enough space to sister a stud in there, and that would allow you to not cut out any more. I might just tear out the existing walls and start over, but one of the pros may feel that is not necessary. If the walls are plumb, you can probably leave what is there. What is on the walls now? If it is not cbu, then you should probably take it out to the studs.
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Unread 11-11-2004, 07:55 AM   #4
kwood141
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The walls are mud over metal lath 1" to 1-1/2" thick. they seem really solid. Two of the walls are on exterior block walls and there is 1" of some type of blue foam insulation under the mud and lath (see top photo in original post).

Thanks for the input.

Kirk
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Unread 11-11-2004, 08:32 AM   #5
LonnythePlumber
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Plumbers Unknowledgeable

Frankly many of us plumbers are unknowledgeable about the correct way to do shower pans. I would favor the tile setters comments on this site over the plumber on your site. The drain should be centered and raised. Breaking the concrete will cost more but I see no reason to leave it in the corner. Certainly the wide part of the clamping flange needs to be level with the pan. Pre-slopes are a wise idea.
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Unread 11-11-2004, 09:30 AM   #6
kwood141
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Thanks for the input Lonny. The trap is about 2 feet deep in the dirt. If I move the drain do I need to dig out the hole and move the trap too? or can I just throw in a couple elbows to get the drain in the right place? see attached.

Kirk
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Unread 11-11-2004, 04:20 PM   #7
LonnythePlumber
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Move Trap

You cannot have 90's in the tailpiece. The tailpiece is the pipe from the strainer to the trap. You may use 45's but it's a bad idea. If you slow down the water movement before the trap you are more liable to get clogs. You need to dig down deep at the new location.
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Unread 11-11-2004, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Lonny,

I'll go rent the chipping hammer tomorrow

Kirk
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Unread 11-26-2004, 10:02 AM   #9
kwood141
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Making Progress

I'v got the Shower pan in, the walls repaired and the curb done, (See attached). I'm ready to start setting tile and I have a few questions.

1. I'm planning to put a border at about shoulders height, a soap dish, and 1 or two corner shelves (see attached photo). I would of put a nitche but I didn't think I could put one in a block wall. should I put these right next to the border (above or below) or spaced some distance from it.

2. The border seems to be in pretty bad shape. The spacing is uneven and the surfaces aren't flush because the paper backing is all bent. They seem to have gotten wet. is this common? should I spend the time to cut the sheets apart to get even spacing and flush surfaces or should I try to return them. Would others be the same?

3. Should I put the wall tile on top of the floor tiles or put the wall tiles down to the floor and then run the floor tile up to the wall tile? It seems people do it both ways. Is there a reason for one way or the other?

4. I'm planning to put a border around the floor and if I trim two edges of the inner floor pattern, I can put the border down without cutting any of the individual border tiles (see attached photo). The edges of the 3.5 x 3.5 floor tiles are kind of rough by design. if I cut them will the straight edges look funny? How can I make the cut edges match the other edges.

5. Can I cut a sheet of these tiles at once or do I need to remove these tiles from the sheet and cut them individually. I have a small cheapo 4" saw with the motor under the table or I could rent a bigger one from HD. Any suggestions?
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Unread 11-26-2004, 12:26 PM   #10
kwood141
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Chipped Edges

One more Question

The El Cheapo tile saw that I borrowed from a neighbor seems to chip the surface of the porcelan tile along the edge. Is it the saw, or just the blade?
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Unread 11-26-2004, 07:43 PM   #11
John Bridge
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Hard to say about the tile saw, Kirk. The blade might be doing the chipping, the blade might be out of line with the cart, or it might be wobbling.

I would notch in the fixtures either above or below the border. I don't like placing them right on the border because they obscure part of it. Just cut a notch in from the side of one of the tiles wherever you want the fixture. And those things are usually mounted pretty crooked. I sometimes take the worst looking pieces and straighten them.

Floor/wall -- wall/floor doesn't matter.
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Unread 11-27-2004, 07:50 AM   #12
kwood141
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More Progress

Thanks John

Finally getting some tile on the wall. If any one has some thoughts on the floor layout I'd really appreciate them (see previous post).

Kirk
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Unread 11-27-2004, 08:00 PM   #13
John Bridge
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I can usually make borders work in the corners or at mid-span in order to avoid having to cut the field tiles, and that's the desirable thing to do. Cut the field as a last resort.
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Unread 12-08-2004, 10:15 PM   #14
kwood141
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Even More Progress

Man! That border, What a pain. I've got 12 solid hours in that thing. But It really turned out nice.

I have a question about the mud cap that I'm using on the edges. There will be a lot of volume in the corner of each piece (see attachment). Should I just fill it up with thinset or will there be enough contact area on the flat part of each piece to hold it? Also, What is the best way to clean up buckets of mud or thinset? I really made a mess out of my driveway. I thought I could just pour it down the driveway and it might lighten it up a little. I spent 2 hours scrubbing it with a hose and a broom trying to get my oil spots and rust stains back. I'm scared to dump anything down the drain And I don't really want to dump it in the yard? any suggestions?

Thanks

Kirk
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Unread 12-09-2004, 08:29 AM   #15
LonnythePlumber
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Meter Vault

I dump my grout water in the water meter vault.
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